Mega Man is an iconic IP and one that many want to see a new adventure with in the future. And Capcom does as well, starting to drum up interest in the franchise with a collection of the six original Nintendo Entertainment System games for a number of platforms. One questions remains though; how is the collection and are the quality of the ports good enough to warrant buying them again if you owned them in the past?
The story of Mega Man is of a helper robot named Rock living with his creator Dr. Light and his robot sister Roll. But Dr. Light has history with another great scientist in robotics; Dr. Wily and after being upset with Dr. Light taking all the spotlight, he high jacks six of Light’s robot masters that would help humanity, and instead turning them into fighting robots that cause havoc. Rock takes action into his own hands and request’s Dr. Light turn him into a super fighting robot. Light agrees, and after re-building him, Rock becomes MEGA MAN or ROCKMAN if you live in Japan.
He goes out after a series of robot masters that Dr. Wily built on his own or high-jacked from Dr. Light for the next six adventures of the series. Along the way, we get introduced to Protoman or Blues, one of the first creations of Dr. Light and having his own free will compared to other robots, Rush the Dog, Beat the Bird and more.
These characters present personality through the sprite work, intro cut-scenes and more as you play through the games. For 8-Bit titles, the NES Mega Man series did attempt to tell decent stories and the six games have a nicely connecting plot-line to follow.
Gameplay & Design
Mega Man is split into various sub series but the Classic Series, which is the one that started it all, is simple; run and jump action with a dash of different 8-bit titles of the times. You have the focus on combat that Contra has, the exploration of Metroid at some points, and the tight jumping controls you would see out of a Mario adventure. All these elements blend into a perfect gameplay style that can appeal to anyone.
Mega Man has different moves as you play across the series, with Mega Man 3 introducing the sliding ability that lets you get under foes/tight spots, Mega Man 4-6 having the charged buster shot for higher damage, and Mega Man 2-6 having parts/items Mega Man can use like his robot Dog Rush or two kinds of Armors Mega Man can equip for punching action/extra jump height.
Not to mention the robot masters, bosses you fight at the end of every single stage. They have special weaknesses and if you go in weakness order, it can turn the tide of most of these fights. One thing to keep in mind is that all six games have varying levels of difficulty. Mega Man 1 can be difficult, as can Mega Man 3 and 4 but games like Mega Man 5-6 have low difficulty levels compared to other games in the series.
Overall, the gameplay across the entire classic series is strong and if adapt to the challenge the games can throw at you, you are in for some quality platforming action.
Content and Features of the Collection
This is a special rating section, as it will be covering all the bonus features and extra content outside of the playable games. Anyway, the collection has a lot of content for a number of areas.
You have a lot of promotional and concept art work to look at across all versions of the collection, with it giving you an insight on where the original games were packaged in and some of the art designers used when making the games. Music for all six games is playable too, with it being in a music player option when you start up the game.
In addition, you even get a detailed database for every robot master, foe and boss you fight across the series.
Outside of extra features, you can play both the original JP versions of all six games OR the NA/EU versions of the games. This is a major feature, as some titles like Rockman 2/Mega Man 2 work differently across the versions; you do not have a easy mode for Mega Man 2 in the Rockman 2 version of the game for example. This also helps with performance issues, which we will get to soon.
The game has a series of challenge levels to play as you play through the collection ranging from boss rushes across all six games, harder versions of some fights like the Yellow Devil and even a gauntlet across the bosses from the six games back to back. If you want more challenge in the collection, this is the spot to visit.
Nintendo platforms have exclusive content if you own a Mega Man Amiibo, as you can play special challenge levels once you scan the Amiibo in the game. I only a Nintendo 2DS and do not have the Amiibo NFC Reader, so I was not able to test those levels for this review. The retail version of Mega Man Legacy Collection comes with a Gold Smash Brothers Mega Man Amiibo, so you can access that content that way if you choose to get the retail version.
For a simple collection, you get a lot of content but the only issue I have is the omission of other Mega Man games. Mega Man 7, 8, 9 and 10 are lacking here where in other collections like Mega Man Anniversary Collection having Mega Man 7-8 in addition to extra games like The Power Fighters/Power Battle. That isn’t a major issue, but the lack of Mega Man 9 & 10 is glaring, considering how those return to the 8-bit style that the NES games presented.
Quality of the Ports/Presentation
Rather then talking about each game individually in this section, I would rather discuss the quality of each port. The quality of the ports is solid, with all six games running well and being stable across the board. Places where slowdown was originally, in many cases is restore in this collection.
But remember when I was talking about the differences between the JP and NA/EU games in the collection? That extends to the performance for some of the games. In Mega Man 6, the game has far more slowdown compared to the other games in the collection and as someone who played through Mega Man 6 recently on the Nintendo 3DS VC version of the game, did not encounter the slowdown like I did in this port. This isn’t a problem, as the Rockman 6 version of the game has less issues with slowdown. So I recommend you play that version of the game for this collection.
Story – 4 out of 5 / Gameplay – 4.5 out of 5 / Content & Features – 4 out of 5 / Presentation & Performance – 4 out of 5
Mega Man Legacy Collection is a fantastic collection of the Blue Bombers historic NES adventures. Between mostly solid ports of some great games and the extra content being offered, Mega Man Legacy Collection is a must own if you wanted to give this series a shot but never played the series before. While lacking in some places, this collection is a great way to experience the series for the first time.
Overall Score – 4 out of 5
Reviewed the game using the Nintendo 3DS version but it is out on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC platforms for the price of 14.99$ digitally and 29.99$ for PS4/X1/3DS at retail.