Mega Man Legacy Collection Review: Rock Out

Mega Man Legacy Collection is a game that understands the authenticity is in the little things. Our review.

7

You may not remember exactly how the system slowdown during Needle Man's boss fight in Mega Man 3 makes it easier to aim the Gemini Laser, but your fingers do. Mega Man Legacy Collection is a game that understands that authenticity is in the little things. It retains the feeling of the classic Mega Man series with pinpoint precision, even as it introduces a few appreciated added features like better controls.

In fact, between its attention to detail and those additional bells and whistles, Legacy Collection is a better homage than 2004's Anniversary Collection. MMLC seemed like an odd choice for Capcom, given that the prior anthology included four more games. This one is strictly focused on the NES titles, in a series that saw diminishing returns later in its lifespan. However, it carries itself more reverently, to the point that this one stands out as a better package overall, even if a less complete one.

Most notably, the buttons are correctly placed. That may sound obvious, and it certainly should be, but the GameCube version of the previous collection made the fatal error of reversing the jump and shoot buttons. Longtime fans found the reversal so strange it rendered the entire game practically unplayable, because it simply felt backwards. Digital Eclipse was sure not to repeat that particular grevious mistake. On top of that, the buttons are fully mappable, so anyone crazy enough to prefer the switcheroo can have it their way. There's also a dedicated Turbo button, handy for mopping up tougher enemies with rapid-fire.

The classic Mega Man games are notoriously tough, and Legacy Collection doesn't pull any punches or change anything about their structure. However, it does make the task a little easier with the introduction of save states. These are a mainstay on bootleg emulators, where Mega Man games have been much more surmountable for years. You can save a state anywhere, at any time. It has to be done through a menu, making it slightly less convenient than if it were mapped to a button, but the utility is undeniably helpful.

If those weren't hard enough, it also packs in several challenge levels. These gauntlets are chopped up pieces of several Mega Man games, with small warp portals linking them and a timer ticking away throughout. You may be asked to play through all the disappearing block segments in a row, or to defeat every incarnation of Dr. Wily. They add some welcome longevity to an otherwise straightforward game collection.

In most games, museum content would be gated behind these challenges, but Mega Man Legacy Collection gives you all of them upfront. I appreciated being able to browse goodies like character art and rejected boss designs without needing to unlock them first. It makes the whole collection feel like a true museum piece. No velvet ropes, just content to enjoy however you'd like.

That's a feeling that permeates the entire Legacy Collection. Everything from the menu presentation to the game emulation is crafted with such care that its developers clearly understood the subject matter. It's the best Mega Man game collection to date, and shows how a classic series can be revitalized in the right hands.


This review is based on a Xbox One code provided by the publisher. Mega Man Legacy Collection is now available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One for $14.99. The game is rated E.

Editor-In-Chief

Pros

  • Precise emulation exactly as you remember it
  • Modern touches like button mapping and save states
  • Challenges remix classic stage elements
  • Artwork and artifacts unlocked from the start

Cons

  • Limited to six NES Mega Man games

From The Chatty

  • reply
    August 25, 2015 12:01 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Mega Man Legacy Collection Review: Rock Out

    • reply
      August 25, 2015 2:32 AM

      ooh it does have a save state then after all. The package looks good enough IMO, even though my nostalgia is more for the GB versions of these games as I never had a MM game on the NES.

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      August 25, 2015 5:37 AM

      Okay. This sounds much better than I intended. Browsing rejected boss designs and other artwork piqued my interest, but the challenge levels sold me. And only $15 for the package? Damn you, Capcom. Damn you and your re-releases that strike my nostalgia cord, that gives off such a mellifluous hum.

      If this package is successful, I hope it leads to more MM collections down the line. I'd love to play a curated collection of the X games given the same treatment.

      (By the by, Steve, it should be noted that the jump and run buttons in MMAC were only reversed in the GameCube version. The PS2 and Xbox versions suffered from no such travesty. You can be sure I traded in my GC version almost immediately for the PS2 disc!)

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        August 25, 2015 5:39 AM

        I played the xbox version and the controls were as you described. Even think they were remapable.

        Also, did you use the word intended? First time I see it used in that context, might be something I missed.

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          August 25, 2015 6:03 AM

          Oops. Blame that on early morning thinking and typing. Thou shalt not type and sleep walk.

    • reply
      August 25, 2015 6:07 AM

      Is this getting a retail release or not? I see it on Amazon, but with no release date so I assume that is an error.