Mega Man Legacy Collection 2

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Platformer
Publisher: Capcom
Release Date: Aug. 8, 2017


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PC Review - 'Mega Man Legacy Collection 2'

by Cody Medellin on Oct. 11, 2017 @ 1:30 a.m. PDT

Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 is a collection of the iconic Blue Bomber's four most recent classic side-scrolling adventures, complete with several all-new features.

Buy Mega Man Legacy Collection 2

In 2015, Mega Man Legacy Collection was released for the current crop of consoles and the PC. It paled in comparison to the contents of the Mega Man Anniversary Collection that was released for the PS2 era of platforms, but the addition of challenges made up for the fact that only the first six titles from the main series were on display. Two years later, Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 arrives with Mega Man 7 through Mega Man 10, completing the numbered collection for now.

If you haven't played any of these titles before, then you're in for a somewhat disjointed ride. Unlike the first collection, which featured games from the NES era, this one is split between several different console generations. Mega Man 7 was released in the SNES era one year after Mega Man X3. A return to the more playful vibe when compared to the X series, the game is reminiscent of the original NES titles while providing a level of 16-bit polish. It also happens to be a little easier to go through, but that doesn't say much when the series is notorious for being brutal. While the majority of the game ages well, the versus mode feels like something experimental that won't see repeat visits.

Mega Man 8 was the series' lone entry into the 32-bit era, and it's one of the lower-ranked titles. Purists will tell you about some of the changes here compared to the original PSOne, Saturn, and Anniversary Editions of the title, but it doesn't take an expert to point out the aspects that didn't sit right both then and now. The animated cut scenes have aged poorly over the years, with the English language track being just as cringeworthy now as it was then. The Japanese track doesn't fare any better due to bad timing and an overall speed increase that gives everyone a higher vocal pitch. It also tries to experiment with mazes and auto-scrolling set pieces, but it isn't executed well. It remains a fine title when sticking with the basics, and the cameos are a nice touch, but gamers will only want to touch this title if they're completionists.

Mega Man 9 may have been released on the PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii, but it was done with the classics in mind, as it completely looked and felt like an 8-bit game. Some of the more mainstay mechanics, like the slide and charge shot, are gone, but you can do a full stop after a run rather than deal with a microstep that inches you forward a bit. It also happens to be one of the more brutal games in the series, with loads of traps laid out and a level layout that begs for mastery via repetition. In a way, it's reminiscent of Contra 4, so players will feel unskilled even if they've been raised on the difficulty levels of classic NES games.

Mega Man 10, the last in the series thus far, is another trip to the 8-bit well, but it has some modern sensibilities. There's an easy mode that covers up some of the more dangerous parts of the level, and that's the most welcome addition for series newcomers. There's also the chance to play as Protoman from the start, and his abilities differ enough from Mega Man's that the levels feel fresh when you're playing as either character. This iteration also comes with all of the previous DLC, but as in Mega Man 9, you'll need to beat the main campaign to access it. Beyond that, the gameplay sticks closely to 8-bit sensibilities, so classic fans will adore it.

With a lower game count and no signs of alternate titles like Mega Man Soccer, Mega Man & Bass, or any of the fighting games to pad things out, Legacy Collection 2 has to rely on the extras. The museum only consists of character illustrations, a downgrade from the box art and boss tips in the previous collection. There's less variety to the challenges, so the joy of a boss rush with only a blaster cannon isn't as thrilling since you'll repeat that several times.

That said, there is one worthwhile extra: Extra Armor mode. With this activated, Mega Man takes half of the normal damage from hits. The four games remain a challenge despite this, especially since spikes and bottomless pits are the main culprit for most deaths, but it means things are more relaxed for people who aren't ready for an intense challenge.

As expected, the presentation of these emulated games is quite nice. The emulation is spot-on for the most part (Japanese audio in Mega Man 8 notwithstanding), and purists can revel in the inclusion of scanlines and the correct aspect ratio. One interesting issue is the fact that you can't change resolutions, a holdover from the previous collection. That may not seem like much at first considering the age of the games, but if you're playing the title in full-screen mode, it can either be too squashed or a tad blurry. Oddly, playing the game in borderless window mode makes the game sharp and actually fits the full screen.

Even though it isn't as robust as past collections of the series, Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 is still worth getting if you're a Mega Man fan. The eighth game may be a letdown, but it demonstrates some fun moments while the other three titles are solid. It isn't bursting with extras, and the inclusion of side games would've made this perfect, but for some people, it might be enough to be able to play MM9 and MM10 properly with save states.

Score: 7.5/10

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