Developer: Digital Eclipse
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC (via Steam), 3DS
Price: $14.99, £11.99
Release Date: August 25, 2015, Q1 2016 for 3DS
Reviewed On PlayStation 4
The publisher provided a product code for the purposes of this review.
The Mega Man Legacy Collection is the latest bundle of Mega Man games to hit the market. The Collection comes with the first six games in the series and a bunch of extra content to go on top. Its release comes after a year of controversy surrounding the Mega Man-inspired Mighty No. 9, which was supposed to see a 2015 release but ended up being delayed. Capcom clearly saw the interest in Mega Man that Kickstarter had created and decided to capitalize on it.
I am going to be completely honest; I had never played a Mega Man game before the Legacy Collection. It has always been one of those games that I would “eventually” get around to playing but never did. The series is incredibly well respected for its difficulty, lore and overall aesthetic, so I was excited when the collection got announced. It seemed like the perfect way to get acquainted with the series without having to emulate it.
So what’s new?
Well, there’s a challenge mode now, if you want to make Mega Man even harder than it is. Players also have access to a music player, with songs from first six games. I know that a lot of people really like the Mega Man soundtracks, so it was a good decision to include it. Alongside the music, there is a library of concept art and other content that longtime fans of the franchise will love. Or maybe even the newbies like me who are completely clueless. So aside from all this extra content there are six Mega Man games (all of the numbered titles) to contend with.
The first thing I noticed was the difficulty, and these games do not mess around. It is well known that the first title is the most difficult in the series. This may be more to do with how it controls, making the platforming much harder than it should be. It is especially frustrating when you have to be positioned perfectly in some areas, but the controls make it nigh impossible. While this might be what some people want from the game, I’d have liked the controls to be tweaked a little bit. Just to give them a more responsive feel. I could see a lot of people just outright skipping the first game and going onto the later entries, where the game controls a little bit more sharply.
If you can get over this issue, the first game is a great short burst of intense challenging fun. I started looking at it like I would a Dark Souls game, persevering with a boss until I could figure out the best way to damage it. There’s a surprising amount of depth to all the boss battles, a depth that likely wasn’t seen in a lot of the other games around that time. Mega Man was the first game in which you could pick a non-linear route through the game, but if you pay attention you will notice that some bosses are weaker against certain weapons. Doing the research and planning your way through the game feels great, especially as it makes some of the most challenging bosses much easier. There’s a real element of preparation and reward through doing this.
The soundtrack is incredibly well done for the era it was written in, they got all they could out of an 8-bit system. The music ranges from slow and melodic, through to energetic and manic. It fits the game well but due to spending long amounts of time on levels it can become incredibly repetitive. This is why I would love the option to mute the music in game and just keep the sound effects turned up. But I honestly think this should be an option in every game ever released. Regardless of this, the music player is a nice addition giving you the opportunity to listen through all six of the games soundtracks.
I think my favourite addition to the collection is the emulation like save system. It gives you the ability to save and load where ever you wish, making the Mega Man games a lot easier to sit and play. The childhood version of me would have had no problem sitting and playing levels over and over again to get them right, but adult me just doesn’t have the time. There is, of course, the option to play without this system if you fancy a more authentic experience, but get ready to be annoyed. I ended up getting angry at the game while using the save system, so I imagine starting entire levels over and over again will be rage inducing.
I can’t see longtime Mega Man fans being that bothered by this release, especially as there was a similar one a few years ago for the Gamecube and PS2. The Mega Man Anniversary Collection featured ten games, two of which had never been released before. Either Capcom has purposely kept games back that they intend to release for DLC, or they are just being cheap. It’s a shame as they could have had the entire series on the PS4 & Xbox One, giving a whole new market the chance to become Mega Man fans. Business decisions aside though, it is an excellent way to get introduced into the series especially with the lore, imagery and music included in the collection.
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