When it comes to compilations of retro video games, everyone has their own list of features that they want. Some want to see as many games as possible fit into one package, while others value the authenticity of the classics included. Capcom and Digital Eclipse’s Mega Man Legacy Collection might not appeal to those looking for a comprehensive package of all of the Blue Bomber’s escapades, but it is absolutely the best way to play his NES origins in 2015.
Mega Man Legacy Collection features the first six Mega Man titles released between 1987 and 1993 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. All six of these titles have been painstakingly reproduced on PlayStation 4 to look and run as if they were on an original NES. This means that slow down, which was programmed into the game at a software-level, is still present. If I didn’t know better, then I would believe that the games are legitimately running on a NES. This is the most faithful reproduction I have ever seen in a retro collection.
If you want the game to look as if it was running on an old CRT TV in 1987, then you can put on several different filters on the option menu. The effect that this filter pulls off is very impressive, as it adds motion blur and screen flicker to the game. Without the filters, you get a sharp picture that makes the classic Mega Man games look better than ever before. It really is the best of both worlds as archivists get to see the game as it looked originally, while new players get to see it at its best.
All six of the Blue Bomber’s adventures find him running and gunning through difficult stages. Each stage ends with a boss fight, and if Mega Man manages to conquer the enemy he gains their special ability. Players can tackle each boss in their own order, and it is a series staple that many games have taken inspiration from.
Quite frankly, all six of the games hold up fantastically. The platforming is difficult, but ultimately fair. Some of the boss patterns are difficult (I probably will never beat the Yellow Devil), but the skilled will be able to overcome them. I have had just as much fun dying repeatedly in the Mega Man Legacy Collection as I did when I first played through these games.
Extras Done Right
Where the collection really shines is in its presentation. Each game has a database and a museum full of information on the bosses, enemies and the games. The database features bios for all of the enemies (did you know that Fire Man was originally a waste disposal robot?) and gives a lot of backstory to the characters. It is a great read, and even the most dedicated fan will learn a thing or two. Also included in the database is the ability to practice boss fights. This was included so you can be prepared when you reach them in the actual game.
The museum features a ton of production art, concept art, character files, and promo art. So if you ever wanted to see the horrendous promotional flyer for the original Mega Man, you can view it in all of its glory. Rounding out the extras is the music player which allows fans to listen to the soundtracks for each of the six titles. The music in the Mega Man series is fantastic, but sadly there isn’t a way to play each soundtrack from start to finish. Instead, players will have to select each individual song from a list. This kind of kills the dream of letting the soundtrack play in the background, but hopefully Digital Eclipse will patch in a “play all” button.
The real highlight of the collection is the new challenge mode that allows players to experience these games in a totally new way. Each challenge has the player completing different tasks (such as beating the Yellow Devil), or running through bite-sized chunks of levels that are connected together through warp zones. These challenges are a blast to complete, and players can even watch other players’ replays! It’s fun seeing how expert players are able to breeze through challenges, and you can even pick up some new strategies by watching these replays.
Sadly, while there are over 50 of these challenges, access to them are gated off. Players will have to complete a number of challenges before being able to unlock them, this means less skilled players won’t ever get to see more than the first couple. This is a shame, especially since the replay ability allows players to enjoy watching the challenges. Hopefully, this progression system will be changed in a further update.
If you want to relive your memories as a kid or just want to see how Mega Man got his start, then Mega Man Legacy Collection is an easy recommendation. The price point of $14.99 is perfect for the collection, and hopefully we’ll see Digital Eclipse work on similar collections for the SNES Mega Man games in the future. The challenges are a great touch, and help round out a stellar collection of gaming classics.
Review code for Mega Man Legacy Collection provided by publisher. Reviewed on PlayStation 4. For more information on scoring, please read our Review Policy here