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Mega Man Legacy Collection

Platform(s): Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Digital Eclipse
Release Date: Aug. 25, 2015


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3DS/PS4/XOne/PC Preview - 'Mega Man Legacy Collection'

by Thomas Wilde on June 29, 2015 @ 12:30 a.m. PDT

Mega Man Legacy Collection includes faithful reproductions of the original six Mega Man games along with a new Challenge Mode and a Museum collection of art assets that will appeal to both new players and diehard fans.

Capcom's booth at E3 this year was mostly the Street Fighter V show, as one might expect, but it had a couple of other titles to show off. One of them was the Mega Man Legacy Collection, a colorful package that contains the first six 8-bit Mega Man games, complete with a host of extras, such as several visual filters, challenge modes, and a "bestiary" that lets you view and fight any of the several dozen robot bosses from any game.

Compared to the last big archive of Mega Man games, the old Anniversary Collection for the PS2 and GameCube, the Legacy Collection initially looks a little anemic. That disc featured the first eight Mega Man games and allowed you to unlock Power Battle and The Power Fighters.

On the other hand, the Anniversary Collection's emulation left something to be desired (delays, input lag, graphic flickering, etc.), and it was never available on the PC. Going by the version available on the E3 show floor, which only contained the first two games, the Legacy Collection is just about perfect, and in some ways, it's even a little better. The old NES cart used to come down with a bad case of sprite flickering when too much was happening on-screen, like when you fight the eggs full of tiny bird robots in Air Man's stage, but the Legacy Collection version doesn't have that problem.

The original Mega Man is still one of the most difficult games in the NES's lineup, largely due to some unforgiving platforming. Mega Man 2 is a big improvement, with more weapon variety, several vehicles you can use to take shortcuts past obstacles (if you can clear Heat Man's stage on an NES without using the Jet Sled, someone at Capcom ought to buy you dinner), and some of the best musical tracks in the 8-bit generation.

Both look good in HD, with little of the visual problems that used to plague the game on both its original hardware and the Anniversary Collection. You also have the option to turn on visual filters, much as with several of Capcom's recent arcade releases on the PSN and Xbox Live Arcade, allowing you to make the game look like it's running on an old TV or an arcade monitor. The game also features a vast assortment of original concept art, including sketches and pictures I haven't seen since the old Nintendo Power days.

The Legacy Collection also features several collections and challenge modes, which remix the game's stages, provide a "boss rush" mode that lets you fight several of the Robot Masters from different games in a row, and default to Mega Man 2's "difficult" setting, which caused me to get beat like a rented mule several times. Save states are also available, which means you can pick up a game exactly where you left off, which means you don't have to beat the first Mega Man in a single sitting anymore. (I did it once. I'll never be able to do it again.)

Cynically, I suspect that the presence of the Library Collection at E3 2015 wasn't exactly a coincidence, since the Mega Man series has sat fallow for several years now when it used to be one of Capcom's tentpole franchises, and since Mighty No. 9 was being shown off upstairs at Deep Silver's booth. Just the same, it's pretty good value for the dollar; the Library Collection features six games, including at least one all-time classic, and the challenge modes should provide some longevity.

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