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February 2019

Mega Man Legacy Collection 2

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Platformer
Publisher: Capcom
Release Date: May 22, 2018

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Switch Review - 'Mega Man Legacy Collection 1+2'

by Andreas Salmen on May 25, 2018 @ 1:45 a.m. PDT

Mega Man Legacy Collection 1+2 brings all 10 of the numbered series games to the Nintendo Switch. The first collection, which includes the original six 8-bit games, sees the addition of a new Rewind accessibility option to go back in time to correct blunders.

Buy Mega Man Legacy Collection 1+2

There are video game icons that have been around for decades and are still loved to this very day. Some didn't stand the test of time, either failing to reinvent themselves in a meaningful way (looking at you, Sonic) or were criminally underappreciated by their creators. Mega Man fits into the latter scenario, as he's perhaps the most recognizable character from Capcom's repertoire and part of many people's cherished childhood video game memories.

The series had its up and downs, including several remixes and spinoffs, like the Mega Man X titles, but the main line of games struggled in the late '90s and early '00s. Capcom has been known to fill these gaps with collections, with the most recent being the Mega Man Legacy Collection 1+2 on the PC, PS4, Xbox One and 3DS (only Part 1) collecting all 10 main Mega Man games, and the compilation is now also available on the Nintendo Switch.

While it seems like a weird way to split them up unevenly, bear in mind that the collections were produced and released independently when they first came out, supposedly due to the first title's decent sale numbers. The physical version of the game includes both collections in one, but the first collection is available on the cartridge and the second collection is a 4GB download. It's a worrying trend on the Switch, given that storage management is an increasingly dire problem. If you're only buying the digital version, you also have the option to buy the titles separately.

If you're unfamiliar with the series, we are Mega Man ("Rockman" in Japan), and we continuously face off against Dr. Wily, an evil scientist who throws several evil opponents our way, and we must defeat them to save the day. All Mega Man games in the collection are traditional 2D platformers where we wield a variety of weapons, jump through tricky platform sections, and, in later entries, gain a few allies and tricks. The series' signature feature, which dates back to 1987, was the freedom to tackle the stages in any order. With every defeated boss, we gain a weapon that helps with platforming or in future boss battles. It may feel limited today, but this was a huge feat at the time, and it was perfected in subsequent entries.

Any kind of collection initially sounds like a cash grab, but taken as a whole, the content in Mega Man Legacy Collection 1+2 is surprisingly solid. We get Mega Man 1 through Mega Man 10, with the first six titles in Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 and the remaining four titles in Mega Man Legacy Collection 2. An emulation interface lets us start, stop and save them at any moment in time.

The features differ between the collections. In Mega Man Legacy Collection 1, we get a few basic additions, such as one save slot. This works relatively well across all six titles, but we did encounter one corrupt or wrongly saved game state that caused us to lose progress. Otherwise, it's a truly welcome addition. Another new feature to make the game appealing to a more casual audience is the ability to rewind at any given time without any restrictions.

Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 is a good entry point that accommodates even those who are easily frustrated or new to these types of games. It makes it really easy and almost impossible to die, but enables learning and a trial-and-error approach without the usual high stakes or having to redo huge portions of the game. The second collection, however, does not include the rewind feature, so be aware of that.

Otherwise, the whole collection offers pretty standard emulation options, with some neat additions. We can play all games in original ratio, stretched on the vertical axis or stretched to full screen (which doesn't do the game any favors). We can include some colorful artwork borders that look fantastic, and we have a save system (manually in Legacy Collection 1 and checkpoint-based in Legacy Collection 2). We can even choose to play either the English (Mega Man) or Japanese (Rockman) versions in Mega Man Legacy Edition 1. We can adjust the CPU speed for either improved enjoyment or original performance, and we have a few filters that emulate old CRT monitors. The filter option gives the game a very old-school feel that looks especially nice on the Switch's built-in screen.

The games, on the other hand, are as they've always been. They're not consistently great, but they're always enjoyable. As this is the original series, eight out of the ten offerings are 8-bit platformers, with one 16-bit game (MM7) and one 32-bit game (MM8). Fans have been vocal about the exclusion of Mega Man & Bass, which would have been a great surprise addition, but as a whole, the collection isn't extraordinary, but there's not much to pick on, either, especially if we take the extra content into account.

In addition to the original games, Mega Man Legacy Edition 1+2 also provides access to quite a few challenges and remixes, some of which are exclusive to the Switch version and unlockable with the Mega Man Amiibo. There are close to 60 challenges in Legacy Collection 2 (not counting time attack and original challenges), including regular remixes, leaderboards, and boss rush modes. There are also over 50 challenges in Legacy Collection 1. Even veterans will find enough content here to be aptly entertained and challenged. However, it's evident that the challenges offered exclusively the on Switch (and those in Legacy Collection 2) feel less inspired and thorough than those in Legacy Collection 1.

Apart from actual gameplay, there's also the obligatory music player, which offers all tracks from each game and museum memorabilia, including game artwork, drawings, scans, and everything else a fan would want to see.

The performance is great, but that's to be expected from a collection of mainly 8-bit experiences. The entire game is available via a rock-solid emulation interface, making this a solid collection with great additions. Even with all the added content, though, Legacy Collection 2 feels like a cash grab because this should've been originally offered as a single collection. It's equally puzzling that the physical game offers the second part as a download, even though the combined size of both collections is well below 5 GB.

If you're a fan of Mega Man or want to catch up on the series, Mega Man Legacy Collection 1+2 is your chance to do so on a portable system, making this perhaps one of its best incarnations.

Score: 7.5/10

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