Before we get started on this review there is one important thing you will need to know. If you know nothing about Mega Man Legacy Collection, listen up good ya hear. This is exactly what it claims to be: a collection of legacy games from the incredibly addictive Capcom series Mega Man. Do not purchase this game expecting it to have been re-created with Unreal Engine 4, you will be disappointed. In the Legacy Collection, Mega Man 1 (1987) through Mega Man 6 (1993) are all included in all their former glory.
For those that have never played Mega Man, it is a side-scrolling, 2D platformer originally created for the NES. Gamers will play as Rock, an android created by Dr Light to be his lab assistant. Following treachery from Dr. Wily, Rock is turned into a battle robot to save the world from Dr. Wily’s evil robot creations. Attached to Rock’s arm is a ‘Mega Buster’ cannon used to shoot evil robots in a variety of levels. The combat design is based on the classic game of Rock-Paper-Scissors but in this case, ice beats fire, blah beats blah and blah beats blah (what are the other elements?). Players can attempt any of the levels in the game right away with the ultimate goal to beat all of the level-end bosses. After Rock has beaten a boss he will acquire their power thus allowing the player to use that variation of Mega Man on other levels. Due to the nature of the combat design, the choices a player makes in which boss to fight will ultimately determine how easy it is to defeat other bosses.
Now that we are all familiar with the original games and what they entailed, let’s get stuck into the Legacy Collection specifically. Aside from having the first six games of the Classic Edition there are some modern additions that will make any Mega Man fan salivate with excitement. Firstly, Capcom has added a database of enemies you are likely to encounter in each game. The images are presented in HD but the exciting part is the option to practice a fight against each of the bosses. Too often have I beaten a level, arrived at the boss and been destroyed only to have to complete the level again. This option is invaluable in defeating each and every boss. The next addition that I’m really loving is the Museum. Within the Museum you will find Production Art, Character Files, Concept Art and even advertisements used in the different countries. I had an incredible trip down memory lane looking at all of the HD images. Each of the six games in the Legacy Collection has its own Database and Museum for you to peruse, and peruse you should, there are some fantastic things in there that will remind you of the nostalgic better times. The final addition for modern gamers is the Challenge mode. Ranging from fairly straight forward to punching-a-hole-through-the-wall difficult, there is sure to be a challenge you will love. Online leaderboards have been added for bragging rights and a replay function lets you not only watch your replay but any replay from the leaderboard. Feel like there’s a quicker way to do it? There is and now you can see how.
All six games are presented in their original 8-bit format but now in super crisp 1080p. Developer, Digital Eclipse, have used their new Eclipse Engine to rebuild the games from their source elements which means in additional to getting a clearer picture, you will also get the game as they were originally, glitches and all. In the Legacy Collection players have the option of changing how they view the game, with cool new filters added to emulate playing on an old TV or monitor. You can have it as original size, full or wide and you can turn the border on and off.
“We’re living in the golden age of a brand new form of artistic expression, and we’re not doing a very good job of making sure our games will be available five years from now, let alone fifty. The more we can do right now to take video game preservation seriously, the safer our history will be.” – Frank Cifaldi, Head of Restoration for Digital Eclipse
Getting stuck into Mega Man Legacy Collection has been a truly nostalgic experience. Capcom and Digital Eclipse have taken video game history and presented it in HD that will be sure to make Mega Man veterans and newbies alike very happy. The sounds, the images, the gameplay; it’s all exactly as I remember it. The thing that is exactly the opposite of what I remember is the difficulty. The number of times I have rage quit on a level is astounding. As a kid I used to beast Mega Man, it was my bitch and bosses like Cutman, Gutsman and Fireman were my slaves. Now, I am incredibly humbled by how good this game actually is. Maybe I’ve just become really shit at side-scrolling platformers or maybe I’m older and have less coordination. Whatever it is, this game throws up a serious challenge; it’s no easy beat. Of course, on the first challenge, I was the 3rd best in the world at one stage (I’m claiming it).
Mega Man Legacy Collection gives you a truly wonderful trip down memory lane, with some modern additions to keep your interest. It will remind you of better times, as a child-gamer-genius, in all its 8-bit glory and is a game that will actually challenge your abilities. Realistically, the majority of people that will enjoy this game will be Gen Y and older who remember playing this or other 8-bit games. That’s not to say a younger audience won’t get some enjoyment out of it, quite the opposite. I would urge anyone born after 2000 to get stuck into this. At the very least it will serve as a bit of a history lesson, showcasing how awesome gameplay can be artfully rendered in 8-bit, and that true classics will never die.
This title was a pretty tough one to score because of the nature of the game. It’s a collection of classics that have been remastered for the modern age with some additional content for die-hards of Mega Man. As much as I loved taking a trip down memory lane and appreciate what Capcom have done for gaming history; the Legacy Collection doesn’t have much in the way of replay-ability and it just can’t stack up against most games created in this century.
Reviewed on PS4