Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Mega Man Legacy Collection (3DS) Review

Fresh of the heels of my look at my favorite Mega Man game turned iOS title with my review on Mega Man X, I set SuperPhillip Central's sights on the recently released Mega Man Legacy Collection. Is this compendium of the Blue Bomber's worthy of his legacy? Find out with my review.

Fight, Mega Man! For Everlasting Peace!

The original six Mega Man games are no strangers to the porting and collection treatment. The original games released on the NES/Famicom. Then, we saw Complete Works versions on the PlayStation, which eliminated things like sprite flickering and slowdown that the original NES versions contained. These six re-releases also added an updated soundtrack for most of the titles, remixing many of the themes from the games.

Then, came the Mega Man Anniversary Collection for all sixth generation consoles, including the PlayStation 2, GameCube, and Xbox. From there, we've seen all six NES Mega Man games hit Nintendo's Virtual Console service on three platforms: the Wii, the Wii U, and the 3DS. Now, these Mega Man games are seeing a re-release once again, and on this occasion it's at a time where fans like myself are eager for anything Mega Man since the franchise is very much on a hiatus at this time. The end result is Capcom and Digital Eclipse's Mega Man Legacy Collection.

See the beginnings of the Mega Man series with the original game.
For those not in the know on Mega Man, the classic series has you going through an assortment of stages where you choose which of the eight (or in the first Mega Man game's situation, six) Robot Master stages you'd like to tackle in any order. In each level you run, jump, and shoot your way through the horizontal and vertical scrolling levels filled with enemies, death traps, and obstacles. At the end of each Robot Master level, you face a boss. Defeating that boss rewards you with that Robot Master's weapon. Not only does this weapon work well in defeating another Robot Master (which one it is is for you to figure out), but it also works great on certain enemies as well.

Or just jump into whatever Mega Man game you want to!
The original Mega Man introduced the nonlinear level structure, as well as a one-time for the series point system. Mega Man 2 gave us the standard eight Robot Master formula the series would use for each succeeding game, as well as deliver health-restoring E tanks, and helpful parts. Mega Man 3 brought Rush, the introduction of Mega Man's brother, Proto Man, and the slide ability in the fray. Following up on Mega Man 3, Mega Man 4 brought to the table the helper robot Eddie, as well as a new charge shot for Mega Man's Mega Buster. Finally, Mega Man 5 introduced Beat that could be unlocked through finding all eight letters spelling out MEGAMANV, and Mega Man 6 was the most graphically capable of the Mega Man series.

Mega Man 3 introduced the ultra helpful slide move. It works just as well in Mega Man 5, too.
The Mega Man Legacy Collection presents all six of these aforementioned games into one package, and it's as simple as choosing a game from the startup menu and hitting the play button. However, as a collection, each game has a museum that shows all of the characters (mostly enemies) in the game, a short description of each, and what weapon they're weak against, if applicable. There are also a nice portfolio of the game boxes, manuals, packaging, and cartridges for each Mega Man game in each major region: NTSC, PAL, and JP.

Playing the classic Mega Man titles in Mega Man Legacy Collection feels good enough. If you're looking for improved features like a solid frame-rate or a lack of sprite flickering, you best avoid this package and look into the PS1 re-releases. Instead, the Mega Man Legacy Collection brings you the emulated versions of all six NES games with no major alterations. Though confusingly enough, Mega Man 5 is at a much lower frame-rate and features some issues that aren't present in the original release. The majorly confusing part is that switching over to the Japanese version of the game, Rockman 5, makes it so the game runs as it should.

Other than that, the games are without much to gripe about. You can turn on and off the border that each game comes with. These generally show one character from the Mega Man game you're playing on either side of the game screen. Additionally, the ability to save and load your game data at any point, much like an emulator is also included, making so you can play each game with as much or as little help from restore points as you'd like. Don't worry; I won't tell.

Outside of just playing the six classic Mega Man games, Digital Eclipse has included a set of over 50 challenges that have you trying to complete boss rushes, runs through remixed levels, runs through multiple level portions, and much more in a specific amount of time. You can save and watch your replays, as you try to get a gold medal on each challenge. Just playing these challenges and completing them will add some longevity to the collection, so going for the gold adds even more, and this is certainly welcomed. Unfortunately, you have to play early challenges to unlock later challenges, so you can't just jump to any challenge you like. You gotta work for it.

How fast can you beat this Mecha Dragon?
Mega Man Legacy Collection isn't a perfect compilation of all things classic NES Mega Man, but it also isn't a poor compilation either. The games play as my aging mind remembers-- glitches, sprite flickering, slowdown, and all. For a compendium of some of the best 2D action platformers around on the go, Mega Man Legacy Collection for the Nintendo 3DS is a highly capable course for fans of the Blue Bomber and new players to gobble up.

[SPC Says: B+]

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