Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 Review: Rocky Footing

Capcom's latest four-game set collects one exceptional game and three passable ones, which might not be enough for fans who got their fill of the formula years ago.


Capcom's latest four-game set collects one exception game and three passable ones, which might not be enough for fans who got their fill of the character years ago.

Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 is a collection of some old games and some newer games modeled after older ones. One is exceptional. The other three are fine.

That about sums up the quality of classic Mega Man titles post-December 1993, when the X series burst onto the scene boasting Metroid-style exploration and dramatically improved mobility through upgrades. Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 rounds up the remaining four entries in the classic series and adds an assortment of artwork, soundtracks, and Challenge Modes assembled from remixed stages and objectives such as boss rushes and time attacks. Aside from one standout game, this compilation only holds appeal for Mega Man diehards who feel a burning desire to retread well-worn ground.

Mega Man 7 leads the pack as the one and only classic title on SNES hardware. It's a solid game weakened somewhat by a slower pace and less oomph behind its soundtrack and sound effects. You still fight eight robot masters in a paper-rock-scissors style of progression. The added wrinkle is that some weapons can be used to alter environments, such as firing off Thunder Bolts to power up machinery and lighting your Scorch Wheel to burn away foliage and reveal hidden paths. These and other functionalities add some depth to the formula, but aren't used enough to prevent Mega Man 7's stale formula from shining through layers of 16-bit makeup.

Mega Man 8 ushered the series into the age of CD-ROM and multimedia, taking full advantage of the greater capabilities of PlayStation and Saturn to create fluid movements, vibrant stages, and animated cutscenes containing possibly the most atrocious English dubs to grate against your eardrums. While the gameplay isn't as tight as that of the seven preceding games, it'll still scratch your Mega Man itch.

Mega Man 9 is the gem of Legacy Collection 2. An 8-bit-style game rather than purely 8-bit—as it uses technical trickery not possible on NES hardware—Mega Man 9 is the Blue Bomber at his best, stripping away as the slide and Mega Buster and challenging players to run, jump, and shoot their way through some of the toughest and cleverest Mega Man stages ever devised against a backdrop of chiptune earworms. Steep difficulty might be the only valid complaint one could lodge against Mega Man 9. Its saving grace is that Capcom leaned into firm and fair design rather than the cheap tricks, such as enemies that materialize in midair just as you're trying to hop a chasm or pit of spikes, that defined some of the earlier entries. It's worth mentioning that all four games in Legacy Collection 2 give you the option of halving damage, mitigating even the toughest parts.

Mega Man 10 is fine, just as MM7 and MM8 are fine. MM9 was released in an era when retro was in vogue. In comparison, Mega Man 10 felt like a cash grab. It's not a poor game, only one less novel and less refined than its predecessor. It's a good get, however, if for no other reason than Legacy Collection 2 is the only way you can play Mega Man 9 and 10 outside of moribund hardware from last gen.

Challenge Mode was the breakout star of the first Mega Man Legacy Collection. Because all six of its games were made for the NES, designers from Capcom and Digital Eclipse—developer of Legacy Collection—were able to stitch together challenges made up of bits and pieces from any of them. One challenge might start you in Guts Man's level, whisk you away to Bubble Man's subaquatic den, and drop you in Snake Man's slimy lair. Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 isn't capable of fashioning composites because each game it collects was made for a different platform. That's not to say each of the four Challenge Modes doesn't stand on its own, only that the variety and possibilities are shallower in comparison.

 I love Mega Man games. They're some of the best platforms ever made. However, as much as I enjoy the four titles bundled within its bits and bytes, Mega Man Collection 2 would be difficult to recommend if it cost a penny more than its $20 asking price. It's hard enough to recommend as it is. How much you get out of it will depend on how much you still enjoy a core gameplay loop that hasn't evolved much since 1988, and how much you want to rescue Mega Man 9 from last-gen purgatory.   

This review is based on a PS4 code provided by the publisher. Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 is now available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One for $19.99. The game is rated E.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

  • Mega Man 9
  • Classic Gameplay Will Satisfy Fans and Collectors
  • Three of Four Games are Average at Best
  • Shallow Challenge Modes
From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 8, 2017 12:01 AM

    David Craddock posted a new article, Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 Review: Rocky Footing

    • reply
      August 8, 2017 5:35 AM

      Doesn't sound too bad. I wish it had Rockman & Bass and, maybe I overlooked it, but there's no Japanese track option for MM8? That was a dope ass game, fo sho.

      I'd love to see properly remastered editions of X7 and X8 one of these years. Rebuild the camera, tweak the levels, etc

    • reply
      August 8, 2017 5:43 AM

      How is this not on Switch? This would be a day one purchase otherwise.

      • reply
        August 8, 2017 6:00 AM

        It's Capcom. The pioneer is selling the same shit over and over. They'll round up all these anthologies--Disney Afternoon, Mega Man Legacy 1+2, Ultra Super Duper SF2 Turbo HD X Silver * Platinum Director's Bullshit--and sell them again on Switch.

        • reply
          August 8, 2017 6:01 AM

          The Switch version will be based on the DOS ports

          • reply
            August 8, 2017 6:16 AM

            In a way, that would be kind of amazing. I don't think those have ever been available outside of their original release, and they were very different from (much worse than) the NES games.

            • reply
              August 8, 2017 6:28 AM

              As a Mega Man fan, I'd probably by the collection of both DOS games (Mega Man and MM3; there was no MM2 for... reasons?), but yeah, those games are objectively terrible.

              • reply
                August 8, 2017 6:35 AM

                Similarly, they should throw the Gameboy games together into a collection. MM4 in particular was superb.

                • reply
                  August 8, 2017 7:10 AM

                  That I would definitely play. I had the first 3-4 MM games on Game Boy and enjoyed all of them. I loved that each was a remixed version of two NES games. Even though they amounted to dumbed-down rehashes, their portability made them worth playing.

      • reply
        August 8, 2017 8:41 AM


      • reply
        August 8, 2017 9:52 AM

        You know what is annoying, though? They have all these fucking classic NeoGeo games on the switch. While that is cool, it's kind of stupid they seem unwilling to put their own classic games on there.

    • reply
      August 8, 2017 7:23 AM

      Where's my X collection those games were fantastic.

Hello, Meet Lola