A Strong Collection with Minor Faults
By: Steven Aiello
Mega Man is one of the most famous video game series’ of all time, and with good reason. With its unique formula, consistent quality and timeless feel, it’s no surprise that the series has spanned multiple decades across 10 plus games.
Although Mega Man’s classic series might never see another official release by Capcom, the blue bomber’s legacy is still one of the strongest examples of a platforming video game series there is. Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 aims to compile the latter half of the classic series while adding a new twist to its games.
The games featured in Legacy Collection 2 are emulations of Mega Man 7, 8, 9 and 10 with only minor changes to the games themselves. One thing to note about Mega Man, at least with the classic series, is that the focus has never been on the plot.
Despite these games having an admittedly colorful cast of characters, the Mega Man games have never put much focus into their plots. At its core, the stories have always been a “good vs evil” scenario in which Mega Man and his friends have to stop Dr. Wily from achieving world domination.
Rather than story, the Mega Man series has always focused on its robot masters, weapons, as well as its level design and gameplay. While the former two aspects vary in quality from game to game, Mega Man is almost always a well-designed and quality experience.
This is due to Mega Man’s clever level design in which mechanics or hazards are introduced in safe or controlled environments before being built upon later in the game or stage. It’s a great way of teaching the player the game’s mechanics while not breaking the flow.
Design choices like those are plentiful in Legacy Collection’s featured games, which makes for an enjoyable and challenging experience. Further enhancing the mood are the colorful graphics and catchy soundtrack, which gives each level its own unique identity.
Each game is not perfect and some titles are superior to others in certain fields, but each game is solidly designed for the most part while still offering something worthwhile for the player to experience.
Legacy Collection reproduces these games nearly perfectly, resulting in minimal technical issues. In addition, Legacy Collection 2 has more to offer than just the games themselves.
Similar to its predecessor, Legacy Collection 2 contains a museum with concept art, the soundtrack and a challenge mode for all four games. The museum and soundtrack options are amusing ways to pass the time while the challenge mode is an entertaining diversion from the main game that puts a new twist on past stages.
Challenge mode also has leaderboard functionality which allows players to view their best time, not to mention other’s bests, and there’s even a function that lets players view a recording of someone’s personal best.
Some requirements for the best ranking on certain challenges might prove to be absurd to certain players, but “challenge mode” is certainly a varied and well-designed feature.
There are numerous options that enhance the game’s presentation, such as being able to alter the controls, background and screen size of each game, not to mention an extra armor function for newcomers. These are all neat additions that make a game which can appeal to all gamers alike.
The only legitimate flaw with Legacy Collection 2 is that it lacks certain content that it should have contained. The version of Mega Man 8 used is the PlayStation version, which means that various features found in the Sega Saturn (extra bosses) version are missing; the Saturn version is superior from a technical standpoint.
Furthering this problem is the lack of an entire game, Mega Man and Bass to be precise. Although it’s a relatively unknown game that’s somewhat notorious for its difficulty, Mega Man and Bass was unique for letting people play as Mega Man’s archrival Bass.
Quality notwithstanding, Mega Man and Bass is still an important game in the franchise and its inclusion would have given Legacy Collection 2 more in-game content in addition to making the game more accessible for gamers.
Regardless of its grievances, Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 is still an excellent game for all kinds of gamers. Although the game doesn’t have as much to offer as the prequel, what it does have to offer more than makes up for that with its nuances and variety.
The collection also makes those games more accessible to gaming audiences, and at $20 it is both a cost and time-effective purchase.