Short Takes: Mega Man Legacy Collection - Or, Why I Was A Better Gamer When I Was 7 Years Old
You’re reading Short Takes, our sort of first impressions/mini-review hybrid in which we provide our opinions of a game in slightly truncated form. This may be a game we’re eventually going to fully review, it may be a game we don’t have time to play to completion and review right now, but it’s a game on which we want to share our thoughts. There are tons of games that come out every week, and we can’t play and review all of them, so this is our way of joining the conversation and chiming in on the titles that interest us as we work through the weekly release schedule. Short Takes will not include a numbered score.
Capcom, you’ve heard my cries!
After the success of the remastered Resident Evil HD earlier this year, Capcom was keen on the idea of resurrecting more of their cherished properties for modern consoles. Upon release of this news, there was only one thing on my mind: Mega Man. I spoke about a collection of the original Mega Man games on an episode of the Short Pause Gaming Podcast, and lo and behold, a few weeks later Capcom was announcing the Mega Man Legacy Collection! Clearly, I’m the reason this compilation exists and to all the millions of Mega Man fans out there, “You’re welcome.” I kid, I kid! Obviously, I had nothing to do with this getting made (Well, as a huge Mega Man fan I guess I had a little bit to do with it; the game needs an audience!), but I couldn’t have been more excited when the Mega Man Legacy Collection was officially announced. The Blue Bomber’s NES adventures have made their way over to PS4, Xbox One, and PC, complete with an array of awesome museum content, and I jumped head first back into one of my favorite childhood gaming relics to see if it was worth the excitement.
Title: Mega Man Legacy Collection
Developer: Capcom/Digital Eclipse Software
Platforms: PS4/Xbox One/PC
What is it?
Mega Man Legacy Collection is a compilation of the first six Mega Man titles which were all originally released on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Not only does it feature six classic games — faithfully recreated here in all of their 8-Bit glory — but it contains a wealth of supplemental material from throughout Mega Man’s history, as well as a totally awesome Challenge Mode which remixes Mega Man I-VI into a series of timed tests. If you have any interest at all in Mega Man, grew up with the games as a kid during the NES heyday, or are just curious what this series is all about, you owe it to yourself to check out Mega Man Legacy Collection. At $14.99, it’s a steal.
The six games on display here are essentially pixel perfect recreations of their 8-Bit forebears. Developer Digital Eclipse has done a terrific job porting the old NES titles over to current gen systems, and these games are exactly as I remember them as a child. I’d almost forgotten how hard they were, especially Mega Man 1 which I fondly remember playing as a kid. I didn’t own all of the Mega Man games for my NES — games were a luxury commodity during my formative years — but I owned the original Mega Man, and somehow 7 year old me was able to play through this game while “Old Me” struggles to clear the first part of Gutsman’s stage. Seriously, when I first booted up Mega Man Legacy Collection, I naturally hopped into the first game in the series and fired up Gutsman’s stage, only to spend 30 minutes attempting to clear the first jumping section involving a series of moving platforms. I was attempting to recall the right order to fight the robot masters in, and somewhere in the deep recesses of my bursting memory banks I pulled out Gutsman as the first robot on the agenda. I almost broke my controller trying to clear the first part of his stage, but I eventually persevered, defeated Gutsman, and took his rock throwing ability as my own. Mega Man never was for the faint of heart or easily frustrated, and that’s still the case here.
As I mentioned, the games in this collection are essentially perfect recreations of the NES titles, and this includes any blemishes the games may have been plagued with all those years ago. It would have been nice to have experienced these games without the occasional bouts of slowdown and screen-tearing, but I guess that’s part of the charm! Any old Mega Man veteran would tell you as much. The tried-and-true Mega Man gameplay is still fantastic here in 2015. Pick a robot master, clear his stage, defeat him, take his ability as your own, and find the next boss who is weak to that weapon, is still an engaging and novel formula. I’ve enjoyed my trip down memory lane so far, and it’s exciting to think that those who never experienced these games, for whatever reason, will have a chance to see what all the fuss is about.
While perfectly recreating the old games in a modern collection would have been enough for this old bat, it’s the new content that really takes Mega Man Legacy Collection over the top. The museum content, consisting of game soundtracks, concept art, and even old advertisements, is a really nice treat, especially for longtime fans. The Mega Man games have some of the best chiptune soundtracks in the history of the medium, so I love having them available at any time. The Challenge Mode is also a terrific addition to the game. The addicting mix of time trial runs and remixed Mega Man stages brings a whole new dimension to the classic Mega Man experience. I can see myself spending a lot of time here, possibly even foolishly so, as some of the gold medal times in these challenges are just brutal!
This game was made to be experienced on Remote Play over the PlayStation Vita. Games that utilize all of the DualShock 4’s myriad of buttons and features often struggle to translate over to the Vita control scheme, but that’s not the case with the Mega Man Legacy Collection. Obviously, the old NES pad only had 2 buttons (the ever reliable “A” and “B”), so button layout was never going to be an issue for this compilation. The game runs awesome on a solid connection and it’s really nice to be able to carry Mega Man around the house wherever I go, or fire up a late night session in bed before I hit the hay. Hopefully, one day we’ll see a native Vita release — this game was made to be on the Vita — but until then, this is the next best thing and performs admirably.
What I Played
I’ve put a few hours into the collection so far. I’ve sampled multiple stages from each of the six games, defeated a number of robot masters, checked out a lot of the awesome museum content like the game soundtracks and concept art, and spent way too much time trying to master some of the Challenge Mode stages (those gold medal times are killer!). I’ve got a lot more playing to do, and plan to eventually complete all of the games and maybe even make a run at the full trophy list if I’m feeling masochistic (getting 50 gold medals in the Challenge Mode is insane, and this game doesn’t have a Platinum Trophy either, D’oh!).
Should You Buy it?
Absolutely. While it’s not for those who are easily frustrated or like their games too easy, this is a tremendous package for a fantastic value, and I highly recommend it to those who are fans of challenging 2D platformers, nostalgic for the games of yesteryear, or just curious about one of the seminal franchises in video game history. Just be prepared to die. A lot.
Can we get a Mega Man X Legacy Collection next?
This Short Takes was based on a PlayStation 4 version of Mega Man Legacy Collection