It also seems like 8-bit really IS the only way to really capture megaman properly.
See, THIS is the kind of thing I'm tired of hearing. Megaman 9 was good because it was a solidly designed game, not because the chosen idiom has magical transformative powers. The idea that 8-bit is inherently superior carries the connotation that the franchise has been twiddling its thumbs up its ass for the last 14 years (and doesn't address why some of the 8-bit entries are so lackluster), and leaves some of the very best games in the series for dead. Inti Creates themselves have made some incredible MM sidescrollers the last few years, the X series has a good number of solid entries, and Powered Up has my vote for being the greatest MM game ever made. Also, nobody criticizes the Legends games around me without getting a swift kick in the south-forty.
The tunnel vision behind this argument baffles me. Mark my words, the 8-bit redux of MM8 that fans are currently working on is going to be horrible. The original game was designed FOR the 4-and-4 stage format; considering the fans' fidelity to the originals, making Swordman's stage available from the start - when the weapons of the first four bosses are MANDATORY for traversing the stage - is a terrible idea. But 8-stages-at-the-start is how it was on the NES, so by thunder, that's the way it HAS to be.
Also, if this complaint is specifically measured against the soundtracks, then I disagree even more vehemently. MM7 has one of the most well-rounded soundtracks in the Classic series, and Battle & Chase is both completely hi-def and characteristically Megaman. If you go beyond the Classic series' borders, the ratio of quality-to-lousy soundtracks is very positive indeed, with only three serious duds in my estimation (Network Transmission, Command Mission, and the first MM Zero).
I could well be reading too far into what you're saying here, and if so I apologize. It could just be disappointment from the Arrange album talking*. But few things get my Irish up more than dismissive blanket statements about Megaman when the franchise has produced MUCH more good than bad over its history.
*My own thoughts on the album: Sure it's not as good as Inti's previous album, but those were remasters, not arrangements. These are supposed to be dramatic change-ups, and it seems that isn't what most were looking for (it's telling, in fact, that the most widely praised piece online, Matsumae's We're the Robots take, basically IS just a remaster).
If anything, I'm disappointed the didn't stretch out further - I imagine a Galaxyman arrangement in the style of Cowboy Bebop's "Bad Dog No Biscuits" and drool a little bit. Not all of it's good, some of it's quite wretched (the Stage Select, Tornadoman, and Boss mixes especially), but when it works, it works. I'd had the idea to turn Flash in the Dark into a lullaby for my niece before hearing the album, so it was a nice surprise to hear it in ballad form here. Splash Blue is unspeakably awesome, the highlight of the whole thing, and less Schala in my estimation than Donkey Kong Country or Brave Fencer Musashi. The piano arrangements are lovely, and the country style works very well for Magma Burning, if less so for Strange World (another problem with that track though, is that the harmony was inexplicably gutted, making the piece hollow).
I'd call it a good album that could've been great with half the tracks and longer arrangements (most of these end too abruptly and when they could've taken their ideas so much farther).
Oh, and PS: why does Ippo Yamada get top billing for the OST when the liner notes reveal he only contributed two friggin' tracks? Granted, one was Tornadoman, but STILL...