When we reviewed the original Mega Man Legacy Collection, we gave the game a favourable score, mentioning that it was an affordable compilation of classic ports that would fill your time ahead of the then-anticipated Mighty No. 9. A lot has changed since then.
It’s no secret that Keiji Inafune’s spiritual successor disappointed, and despite a few token gestures like Mega Man X’s inclusion in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, the Mega Man series remains dormant. Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 is probably the best that fans could have hoped for, compiling the remaining four entries in the mainline series.
Mega Man 7 is the first of these, a title which originally released on the Super Nintendo all the way back in 1995. Unlike many of the other Mega Man games released for the system (like the Mega Man X series), Mega Man 7 was intended to be a return to the series’ roots, featuring a story distinctly lighter than the Mega Man X series, and similar gameplay to the entries on the NES.
The plot is an iteration of the traditional Mega Man narrative, featuring Dr. Wily and his robot masters. It also introduces series antagonist Bass, who appears multiple times via boss battles similar to the Proto Man fights in past instalments.
Some of the dialogue is a bit iffy, but the game’s soundtrack and pixel art fare very well in 2017. The sprites are a particular point of interest, as they look gorgeous – and the music makes full use of the Super Nintendo’s sound chip. One thing this compilation improves is the save system, with generous checkpoints relieving the need for arduous passwords.
Then there’s Mega Man 8 – a game which was originally released on the PSone. While the gameplay again remains familiar, the switch to Sony’s first system means that fully-animated cut-scenes and CD-quality audio are the order of the day – and even some (entertainingly awful) voice acting.
Animation is one of the standouts in this instalment, as the controls remain tight and fluid but the number of frames has been increased. The only thing we’ll say is that a lot of the dialogue is badly translated, and while it was obvious even back in the 90s, it stands out even more in 2017, which is to be expected but still unfortunate.
And finally, Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10 are the two most recently released titles in the compilation, having previously launched on the PlayStation 3 in 2008 and 2010 respectively. These digital releases developed by Inti Creates aimed to capture the spirit of the 8-bit Mega Man games, and thus despite them both being fairly contemporary, they feel more like long-lost NES entries.
The good news is that the Legacy Collection includes all of the DLC for the two titles, so you’ll get both the Proto Man and Bass expansions for Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10. While add-ons are obvious inclusions, they really help round out the compilation.
Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 has more variety than its predecessor due to the titles spanning both different systems and different decades. Just like the Disney Afternoon Collection, there’s a plethora of bonus content included here, including art galleries and music libraries. This is another essential compilation for fans of the Blue Bomber.