Developer: Digital Eclipse (originally Capcom)
Platform: Xbox One (Version Reviewed), PS4, PC
Release Date: August 25th
Mega Man is one of the most recognizable names in the video game industry, and Capcom has decided to release the first 6 games starring the famous Blue Bomber as the Mega Man Legacy Collection. With an HD shine, remix challenges, and lots of concept art and sketches for added content, is Mega Man Legacy Collection the ultimate representation of these classic games that fans will really want to dig into?
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If you are at all interested in Mega Man Legacy Collection, you probably already know that it is the NES collection of mainline Mega Man titles, and that it is supposed to be at least the beginning of a “Criterion Collection” of sorts for video games. In case you are unfamiliar, a Criterion Collection, be it one film or a collection of films, are supposed to be the ultimate version for aficionados/super fans. Classic movies are restored to look their best and loaded with as many features as humanly possible. Ultimately, I feel like Mega Man collection falls just a bit flat on both those counts.
Let’s start this review with the core, itself; the 6 classic Nintendo Mega Man games. Now keep in mind these games are decades old; they were on original NES hardware. So maybe it’s shoddy emulation or just presenting the games as they were originally (I honestly can’t remember) but why do these games perform so poorly on a machine that is many generations later? Every single game in Mega Man Legacy Collection suffers from horrendous slowdown when more than a few sprites get on screen, to the point of almost being unplayable. The Mega Man games are games that require intense precision to even get past most of the easier stages, so this is completely unacceptable in my opinion.
That being said, while they vary in quality (Mega Man II is probably peak 8-bit gaming), none of the games in this collection are bad, so based on it’s own as a value proposition, six good to great Mega Man games on their own isn’t a bad value. The various challenges & remixes along with leaderboards also give a lot of new stuff for veterans to try and a good reason to play it time and time again to improve your standings. So if a patch can fix the slowdown, judged on it’s own merits, the Mega Man Legacy Collection has a good amount of gameplay content for it’s asking price.
But, Mega Man Legacy Collection doesn’t live in a vacuum. Not even compared to another Mega Man collection; I mean, the Mega Man Anniversary collection, which came out over a decade ago, was a meatier selection, including games that had never been released in America before. If you’re going to call something “the Criterion Collection” of video games, it had better be the most complete collection to date. I could forgive not having any Mega Man X or Mega Man Legends games in there, some people almost consider those separate franchises. But to not have Mega Man 7-9, or any of the oddball side games like Mega Man Soccer, or the portable versions that were actually different from their console counterparts is pretty inexcusable.
Like I said in my Rare Replay review, a collection should either be everything or the cream of the crop, and frankly a game like the Mega Man Legacy Collection doesn’t provide either of those scenarios.
So what about the extras for fans who want to know about the history of Mega Man? You get a lot of nice concept art. Annnnd that’s about it. Not one bit of actual history. Comparatively, this is something where even though it was stupidly locked behind some arbitrary gameplay, Rare Replay shined with plenty of video footage and cool stuff to see. You’re telling me you couldn’t just give some paragraphs on each game’s history or the series in general? Something? Again, if you purport to be the ultimate collector’s version of something, you can’t half-ass it like this when it comes to extras. This wouldn’t matter quite as much if the actual game content was more extensive.
Again, purely taken on its own, Mega Man Legacy Collection isn’t a bad value. It has 6 classic Nintendo games and some fun extra modes. But it suffers from poor emulation, lack of cool extras and, most importantly, can’t even match much less surpass a similar collection from over a decade ago. Mega Man Legacy Collection is simply an unacceptably incomplete effort, and as such you simply should not buy it.
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