The Blue Bomber. Rockman. Rokkuman. Mega Man. Whatever name a gamer prefers to call him by, there's always one word that will describe the familiar blue robot: Legend. The Mega Man series started almost 30 years ago with a platformer that was fun as can be and insanely challenging. While the franchise has taken many turns over the years, the 8-bit era of Mega Man titles will always hold a special place in retro gamers' hearts. Now, fans both old and young can enjoy the beauty of those titles with the Mega Man Legacy Collection, and it's exactly what you want in a retro title.
The Legacy Collection is about as simple of a collection as it gets, yet provides so much entertainment for the player. Mega Man through Mega Man 6 are all available for choosing with the only changes to the games being cleaning up the graphics and allowing a full screen mode that can almost seem a bit unnerving for those who are so familiar with the standard 4:3 aspect ratio that they remember playing as the Blue Bomber back in the 1980s and 1990s. One of the nice features that's available for nostalgia is a filter that keeps the picture perfectly clean or options that allow for the old school "flicker" that players remember, including having the old resolution lines across the screen since the original games were only in 480i. While it was fun to play with those filters activated for a short time, the optimal experience will certainly come from having the graphics in the form that was meant for the Xbox One.
The UI for selection is clean, allowing a quick selection of either playing the games in their entirety or jumping into the challenge modes. The normal mode offers some bonuses, such as some beautiful artwork of each title as well as an in-depth bestiary that not only talks about every boss, but even the smaller enemies that Mega Man encounters on his journey to saving the world. This bestiary also provides some useful info such as attack power for each enemy so that a player can see just what kind of difference there is between an annoying hard hat attacker or a gigantic robot that spits continuous fire at the player. We've never seen that kind of information in the past, so it's great to see just how the formulas work out.
The games are how any player will remember them, so kudos to Capcom for resisting any urges for inserting anything new into the titles. The Mega Man 8-bit collection of games are wonderful challenges that should not have anything changed about them, simply because most of them are already difficult enough to begin with. The Xbox One controller's D-pad is definitely going to be the way to go as the analog stick just does not afford a player any kind of forgiveness that is needed with quick reactions. The D-pad isn't the best and is obviously far inferior to the old school Nintendo control pad, but it gets the job done and won't cause any major obstacles.
Inserted into the Legacy Collection is the Challenge mode, which may as well be the developers at Capcom mocking players. The challenges start out innocent enough by giving a time to beat and running through multiple stages from each game. The goal, of course, is to achieve the Gold medal in each challenge, but more are unlocked even if the challenge is simply completed. The challenges, however, become rougher as a player progresses. Simple challenges turn into marathons against bosses, both of the regular boss variety and endgame bosses where there may only be one or two weapons that work, yet being thrown directly into the fray does not give much time to prepare. Completing all of these challenges, and there are 54 of these to roll through, with gold level success will only come to those who are true masters of the series.
If there are any negatives that have to be brought up, I point at two glaring issues: The save feature and the button placement on the controller. Mega Man did not have in-game saving. There was a password system where a player could come back with a few robots taken out and pick up where he or she left off, but the Legacy Collection allows a player to save at any point in the game which is almost cheating with this franchise. I do understand why it was put in as a player can save on one title and, if running into a trouble causes one to need to step away for a bit, that player can come back or even switch to a different game in the series to get a break. It's nit-picking, but it has to be brought up because it can truly take the fun out of the game.
Button placement was the only major negative I had, and it ranged anywhere from mild annoyance to out and out frustration. The Legacy Collection added in an automatic rapid shot button that didn't exist in the old games unless a player ponied up the extra money to get a controller that had the function on it. The problem with this comes in the second half of the series in games four through six. In Mega Man 1-3, that rapid shot function is invaluable as Mega Man's Buster Cannon can be extremely effective if utilized properly. In games four through six, the Buster Cannon turns into the Mega Buster, which is a chargeable weapon, meaning that regular fire button now has to be the primary fire button. So where's the problem in this? It depends on how much you want to use either one. The A Button is the default for jumping, and it makes the most logical sense. The X Button defaults to your standard fire, while the Y Button is for your rapid shot. A player who wants to use rapid shot in every one of these games will run into the problem of not being able to effective use the charged Mega Buster simply because the buttons are too close together. When you pick this game up, try keeping the controls the way they are and jump into Mega Man 4 right away, the first title to use the Mega Buster. Easy enough to use that Mega Buster, but the rapid fire feels out of place up above. After that, switch it so that the functions are reversed. Try holding a fully charged Mega Buster with the Y button and see if you can jump with any kind of effectiveness and timing with the A button. It isn't really possible. By throwing in the rapid fire, it creates a partial problem because here's this wonderful button that can make a tough situation a bit easier, yet the placement of it on the main controller is just brutal. The triggers kind of work, but it doesn't have the same quick response that is needed for an 8-bit platformer.
All in all, the collection is worth picking up. The Blue Bomber has never looked as good as he does in the 8-bit world than he's portrayed on the Xbox One, and with 54 challenges to try and achieve gold status on, there is more than enough to chew on that will keep this game on the forefront of those who try to unlock 100% achievements in each game. The negatives aren't that big of an issue and are more of a nuisance than anything, though the button placement will get on a player's nerves in the later half of the franchise available. That's not enough to make this a questionable pick up, though. The games are just as fun as they were when I was a kid, and that means Capcom did a great job in bringing them back to the current generation.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.
I've been writing about games and entertainment since 2006 after starting out at Xbox Ohio. Since then, I have made the jump to Gaming Nexus and have enjoyed my time here. I am an avid gamer that has a solid old school game collection that includes the likes of Final Fantasy games, Earthbound, Gitaroo-Man, MvC2, and a whole slew of others. I have a primary focus on Xbox/PC games and PC peripherals and accessories. If you ever want to game against me, you can look me up on XBL with the gamertag GN Punk. View Profile