Published on August 31st, 2015 | by IceCube
REVIEW: Mega Man Legacy Collection
Summary: Six classic, eight-bit, Mega Man platformers (1-6) come together in this collection, re-released in a bundle as one DLC for PS4, Xbox One, PC and a little later on N3DS.
Concept: Well here’s a blast from the past! I remembered Mega Man as one of my favourite series on the original NES console, so I was looking forward to replaying the little action hero games. The concept is the best thing: You play as Mega Man but choose the enemy you want to take down, like Wood Man and Metal Man, etc. If you can get through the tough level and defeat the chosen boss, you gain their power, which can be used to access blocked areas and weaken enemy bosses. Certain bosses are susceptible to certain powers, so part of the game is learning which weapon will give you the edge.
Graphics: The original games have not been enhanced, they are as they were. While it’s nice to play for nostalgia, it really made me crave for a new and enhanced sequel, reboot or remake. The menu presentation is very simple, with just a game selection screen. It’s serviceable, but lacks the quality and engagement of other classic collection games, like Rare Replay, which has set the new bar for this genre. The Museum Mode is a collection of artworks and concepts, which adds a little something for fans.
Gameplay: Oh boy, how quickly I remembered how tough these games are! You have three lives to get through a level and defeat the boss, or start over. Your default blue outfit comes with (what feels like) a short-range pea shooter for an arm cannon, with only the ability to shoot in a straight line. This was frustrating when short enemies speed at your feet. Even more frustrating is when defeated enemies respawn when only inches off-screen. You will die a lot when you start playing these games again, but I found practice made perfect. With trial and error, learning enemy patterns and where they appear will make the harder levels manageable.
Sound: We have to judge the music from it’s 8-bit time, and it does have some memorable tunes, particularly the character selection track that gets you ready for battle. While the music is great, the sound bleepy effects are pretty awful and add very little to the experience.
Awesomeness: Mega Man’s concept is what made the game so awesome, and even now, no game has really thought to copy the excellent premise. I love being able to choose my opponent and play in their level at a time that suits me. Plus, the “elemental-style” theme of discovering which boss is weak to which weapon provides a clever strategy that gives your many deaths a purpose in discovery.
Final Word: If you play each game for five minutes and die, you will get frustrated and probably stop playing it for good. I nearly did, despite my love for these classic games from my childhood. But if you push on, you will learn, improve and truly enjoy the discovery, as you grasp the gist or remember what made them so special. It’s a shame the catalogue stops at Mega Man 6, and the enemy respawning is a painful act no matter which generation you were born in. Unfortunately the limited effort put into this short-stocked collection and lack of gameplay enhancements and options prevents me from grading these games as highly as I would have back when they were conceived. As great as they were, they could really use an HD spit shine and a modern sequel (No, Mighty No. 9 doesn’t count).
Score out of 5 bugs