Despite Capcom's best efforts to forget that he even exists, Mega Man's popularity with players endures regardless of the lack of fresh outings. Such is the gaming public's adoration of this pint-sized hero that they will gleefully crowdfund spiritual successors (Mighty No. 9, we're looking at you) in lieu of a genuine Blue Bomber adventure. Thankfully, Capcom is perfectly happy to mine the back catalogue of this iconic character for profit, so in addition to the many re-releases that we've seen on services like Nintendo's Virtual Console, we're getting Mega Man Legacy Collection, a compilation of the six 8-bit titles which arguably established the series as one of gaming's greats.
It's often said that gamers have it too easy these days, and while this tends to be a rose-tinted exaggeration rolled out by 30-something retro addicts who simply refuse to accept that the '90s aren't coming back, in the case of the Mega Man games, it might actually carry some weight. These are unforgiving and relentless experiences which call for memorisation of enemy patterns and punish even the slightest lapse in concentration. Pixel-perfect leaps combine with a surprising amount of on-screen projectiles to create the perfect platform-based storm, and when humbled by these games today it strikes us as amazing that Capcom expected kids of 10 and under to last more than 30 seconds. Yet those old enough to recall those glory days will point out that survive they did, largely because there were endless days to hone skills and learn every inch of these stellar titles.
Today we might have less spare time on our hands but thankfully Digital Eclipse – the studio responsible for this collection – has taken this into account. Save states allow you to return to the game at a later date or even save right before a tough boss fight, while the all-new Challenge Mode allows you to practice sections of levels which are proving to be particularly tricky. This mode also stitches together disparate sections to create all-new levels, which expands the longevity of this package dramatically. You can also challenge the boss characters – arguably the stars of each individual release – outside of the main game, and leaderboards give an impetus to improve your talents and show your skills.
The porting process is so faithful that it feels like you're playing these titles on original NES hardware, which is surely the highest compliment that you can give to such a project. Digital Eclipse has wisely decided against embellishing the package with cosmetic improvements and smoothing out the kinks, and has instead presented the games as authentically as possible – right down to moments of sprite-flicker and slowdown when the action becomes particularly intense. Screen filters – which add those all-important CRT scanlines – are the only admission that Digital Eclipse has made to progress, and ironically these merely serve to make the games look even older. It's clear that a lot of attention has been paid to make sure that these titles look, sound, and play just like they did two decades ago, right down to glitches which veteran players will be happy to learn can be exploited just like they were in the 8-bit originals.
In terms of fan service, Digital Eclipse really has gone above and beyond the call of duty with Mega Man Legacy Collection. Concept artwork, promotional art, and bios for each Robot Master is included in the game's Museum and Database sections, and truly dedicated followers will appreciate the attention to detail that has been lavished on this portion of the package.
However, it's a shame then that when compared to the only other Mega Man anthology released so far – 2004's Mega Man Anniversary Collection – Digital Eclipse's offering lacks Mega Man 7 and 8, and the bonus titles Mega Man: The Power Battle and Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters. Presumably if Legacy Collection sells well enough, we could see the 16-bit outings get their very own compendium.
It may not have as many games as the decade-old Mega Man Anniversary Collection, but Legacy Collection is a much better effort when it comes to overall presentation and ensuring that each game is reproduced as faithfully as possible. These conversions are absolutely spot-on in every regard, and the supplemental features – such as the Museum section and inventive Challenge mode – augment the experience neatly without sullying the purity of the original releases. Fans will appreciate the fact that all six NES titles are now in the same package, while newcomers can finally see what all the fuss is about. With Mighty No. 9 now delayed until 2016, Legacy Collection is the perfect way to fill the gap until Mega Man's much-hyped spiritual successor emerges.
I need this in my veins but One Piece 3, Devil's Third and Metal Gear all out in just over a week......
Lovely review, Damo. This sounds like a great little package, but much like @NamelessAndi, I just don't have time for it right now. I'll probably end up picking it up during a sale.
Great review, Sammy. Will definitely buy it since I played most Megaman games in the past and will totally double dip but does this game also on P's vital? Will love to play this collection everywhere.
@Cyber-BLP-- It's £11.99 in the UK.
@SoulsBourne128 Actually, @Damo wrote this one - but I'll take the credit anyway!
@get2sammyb Shoot, sorry. I was kinda in a hurry and I'm kinda new here. Anyway, @Damo did great reviewing this collection since I'm a fan of Megaman.
Just finished downloading and I'm going to dive into this now. Fans of both Megaman and unbelievably good rock music would do well to check out Protomen. They're a band who do concept albums based in and around Megaman, Light, Wily etc. They're one of my favourite bands.
Well another repurchase for me I can't have enough Mega Man I already have
Mega Man 2, 3, 4, 6 on NES Cartridge
Mega Man Anniversary Collection on Gamecube
Mega Man 2, 3 on 3DS VC
Mega Man 5 on Wii U VC
Mega Man Wily Wars on Sega Genesis
And later today I will get this.
@NamelessAndi Devils turd? I saw some footage and it was just like a ps3 early gen game..
Thank goodness it lets you save now. I'm all for a challenge but I no longer have the time to spend all of a Saturday playing MM3.
Gonna stick with the Megaman collection game I still have on the PS2.
@glassmusic You could always save in Mega Man games, we'll except for the first one. From MM2 onward they had a password system.
I'm really pleased with this but has anyone else noticed some issues with the sound when starting the games? That and MM3 has some really bad slowdown on Top Man's stage. Never noticed that before :/
Awesome! Never played the retro Megaman games, so this'll be a treat when I get to it.
@Johnnycide the slowdown on the Top Man stage has always been there since the NES days. One of the main reasons alot of people like MM2 over 3 is because of the slowdowns that plague MM3.
@Tasuki I stand corrected. Haven't played MM3 in over a decade though so that'll be why.
I wonder why no Vita version - I far prefer the Vita D-pad to the 3DS...
@get2sammyb Do you think that they'll end up making a Retail version with more games added??
@JLPick I believe there is a retail version in the works, but it's the same as the digital release.
@Johnnycide Haha no problem yeah, I have played Mega Man 3 on several platforms (NES, Gamecube, PS2, 3DS VC, emulators) and that slow down is on all of them it's something to do with the limitations of the NES. The only version it's not present is the Wily Wars on Sega Genesis but that's cause its a remake not a port of the NES version.
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