I didn’t’ grow up with the Mega Man games. I didn’t even know they were a thing until late in high school, so I was excited when Capcom announced they were putting together a Mega Man Legacy Collection, allowing players like me to experience the original six games for the first time. It was full of image galleries, special challenges, and more, which was a treat for the players who already loved the originals. Following the success of the first collection, Capcom just recently released Mega Man Legacy Collection 2. This collection includes Mega Man 7 thru Mega Man 10.
Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 follows in the footsteps of the first collection by offering a museum, challenges, and hidden game modes unlocked by completing the games or by inputting a cheat code that the official Mega Man Twitter feed shared. Each game is gorgeous, the sprite work is incredible, and the animations are crisp. Mega Man 7 is the best-looking game in the collection in my opinion, but I am a sucker for the 16-bit Super Nintendo graphics.
Not only are the games in Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 beautiful, they handle like a dream. The entire point of every Mega Man game can be boiled down to two actions: jump and shoot. The controls are responsive down to the slightest touch, which gives the player absolute control over every action. The jumps are quick and with the right amount of weight to the arcs, while shooting feels solid and strong. Each death feels as if it comes from the players lack of skill rather than actual game mechanics. Players then get to decide how they want to proceed through each level and how they want to deal with the army of robots that stand in Mega Man’s path.
As always, the story isn’t the focus in Mega Man, but Capcom made honest attempts to bring a more serious story to Mega Man 7 and Mega Man 8. The basic story is one we all know: evil Dr. Wily has created nine robot masters to take down Mega Man. With the help of Dr. Light, his creator, Mega Man destroys each robot boss, absorbing and gaining a specific powers to use to overpower another robot boss, ultimately leading to the capture of Dr. Wily. The thin story doesn’t subtract anything from the games. Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 is the perfect game to plow through in one sitting, or play for small bursts at a time.
A new feature to Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 is the addition of armor for new players. The armor halves the damage that Mega Man takes in game. The challenges are basic: beat a level in a specific time, beat a mini-boss in a specific time, and fight bosses without getting hit. Another change from the first collection is how and where the game saves.
In Mega Man Legacy Collection, Capcom gave players the ability to save at any point. You could save right before a boss fight, in the middle, or while jumping and when you died, you had the power to start right from the point. Capcom has since implemented a save feature that allows players to save their health, E tanks, and weapon energy whenever they want, but the player will always start at the last checkpoint they passed. This could hinder some enjoyment of the game, but it offers a more authentic feel in my opinion. Players are more rewarded with their skill instead of their ability to save and reload sections.
My biggest, and really only issue with Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 lies not with the included games, but with the presentation of the collection itself. In Mega Man Legacy Collection the splash screens before the main title were bright, colorful, and sounded amazing. In Mega Man Legacy Collection 2, I didn’t even realize I was at the main screen until I moved the cursor. Sure, there’s music, but it’s not the majestic fanfare and celebration as I expected by the standards set from the first collection.
The music and sounds from the Mega Man games are some of my favorite and I want to hear it. Not only that, but the menus feel rushed and lazy. There’s just a basic black background with green lines shooting across, while in the first collection, players had colorful box art to look at, and bright and inviting blue colors. Everything feels either rushed or too serious for the menus. Sadly, Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 feels like something Capcom developers were forced to do for a cash grab instead of a love letter to a video game icon.
If you can overlook the stale and boring menu screens, the games included in Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 are well worth the MSRP of $19.99. Mega Man games, in general, have always been difficult, but rewarding, and that feeling is still there. The music is catchy and one of the best video game soundtracks out there. The controls are responsive, tight, and feel so good. The sprite work is beautiful and such a joy to look at. Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 is a game I would recommend for Blue Bomber veterans or new players wanting to play a piece of video game history.
Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. This review is based on a copy purchased by the writer.