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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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PS4/XOne/PC Preview - 'Mega Man Legacy Collection 2'

by Thomas Wilde on June 22, 2017 @ 12:00 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.

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To my mind, the core Mega Man series suffers from somewhat uneven difficulty. The first game used to be the hardest, and after that, the series's run on the NES was more about voluntary challenges (clearing Heat Man's stage without the Jet Sled; taking the least efficient possible boss orders) than deliberately designed ones.

With Legacy Collection 2, however, you're getting most of the most challenging games in the franchise in a single release. Mega Man 7 wasn't so bad, and MM8 is more of a historical anomaly than anything else, but 2008's Mega Man 9 is a deliberately punishing throwback to the sort of punch-to-the-face ruthlessness that a lot of players associate with the NES in general, if not with this franchise in particular. Mega Man 10 from 2010 rounds things off for now, with an Easy mode for a less masochistic experience, although the 100 Mega Man Challenges will take some significant skill to beat.

This collection features the PlayStation version of MM8 (so if you were hoping to finally play the remixed Saturn edition, you're still going to have to keep an eye on eBay), and treats the various DLC offerings for MM9 and MM10 as unlockable, post-game extras. This includes Hero and Superhero modes, the various extra stages, the ability to play as Bass in MM10, and both games' Endless Attack option.

You can also play a new set of timed Challenge Missions, which are just as tough as they were in the first Legacy Collection, if not more so, since you'll occasionally get bushwhacked by a MM9 level. You do gain access to a full loadout of weapons — the one I played at Capcom's booth gave me the entire arsenal from MM9 — but you'd be surprised how little they actually help. It's a long string of some of the more challenging stages in the game, where one slip-up sends you flying onto spikes or into bottomless pits, with a timer constantly running in the corner of the screen as if to berate you for your failure.

Based on the time I spent with them in the booth at E3 2017, the games feel pretty good on the PlayStation 4, with a gallery and a jukebox mode. It feels like the same kind of package you got with the first Legacy Collection: four emulated games that range across three software generations. MM7 and MM8 might be the real reasons to pick this up, since they're hard to find outside of the notoriously flawed Mega Man Anniversary Collection from the PS2 era. If you've yet to play them at all, MM9 alone will keep you busy for more than a few nights. It's not so much NES-style difficulty as it's a homage to it, using more modern programming to build the sort of game that NES developers would've given their eyeteeth for.

It does feel like this package could have used a couple more games, such as Mega Man Soccer or maybe one of the Power Battles, but MM9 and MM10 provide a lot more overall content than any of the older games ever did, so it's more or less a wash. Between this, Mega Man X's long-overdue appearance in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, and a couple of rumors, it does feel like Capcom's warming up to bring Mega Man back from limbo, and the only surprise is that it's taken this long.

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