Whilst the current generation of gaming may see Xbox and PlayStation proving the most popular amongst the console market, it hasn’t always been that way. Anyone who remembers gaming in the ‘80s will certainly remember Nintendo’s NES taking centre stage under the TV. One franchise to make its name during the 8-bit’s greatest years was Megaman. Recent years have seen a revived Megaman experience come to consoles, with Megaman 1-6 brought to players in remastered fashion within the Megaman Legacy Collection. By popular demand, the rest of the games have now arrived on our stores with Megaman Legacy Collection 2 bringing Megaman 7, 8, 9 and 10 to Xbox One, complete with the same remastered greatness and a few extra features for hardcore fans to sink their teeth into.
So what changes have hit these old school classics? Well, that would be the concept gallery, remixed stages, Boss Rush challenges and DLC for Megaman 9 and 10 of course.
Other than numerical order, the other main things that link the aforementioned titles together in this bundle are the robotic cast of iconic enemies, and the extreme difficulty levels that accompany each one. Make no mistake, these are certainly some of the most challenging Megaman titles within the series.
Unfortunately, whilst they may make for an exciting prospect for old school fans of the franchise, there are some major features missing from this collection that would have enabled a new audience to get lost within one of the platforming genre’s most iconic franchises.
One such thing is the ability to save your game anywhere you’d like. As a standout feature in the first Megaman Legacy Collection, it seems absurd that the developers would miss out such an appreciated feature this time round. Of course, there is still the option to save within a level, however, returning to a saved game now works much like a checkpoint system, with pre-set points within each level seeing players return dependant on progression.
Another feature that has been included in the collection is Legacy Mode, which essentially works as an easier difficulty for players, allowing gamers to take a little more damage with each life. However, truth be told, I would have much preferred, and certainly appreciated, the option to continue from my exact save point, as even with the Legacy Mode included within the bundle, there is still a challenging experience to be had for those of us who weren’t around to enjoy and master the original challenge back in the day.
If you’re looking for a return to the classic Megaman experience as it was, then you certainly won’t be disappointed – from the sounds to the graphics, the characters to the attacks, everything found in Megaman Legacy Collection 2 is as it should be.
Whilst each of the games recreate their true experience faithfully, my personal favourite has to also be the hardest title within the collection, Megaman 9. For any fan of Megaman, I’d almost recommend this collection for 9 alone, as this title is probably one of the most perfect experiences in the entire series. Of course, none of the games are ever bad, other than the overbearing difficulty, but the experiences found in Megaman 7, 8 and 10 aren’t quite as enjoyable with the latter proving a fairly lacklustre affair, even with the inclusion of Proto Man.
If you want something a little different from the main experience, there is always the included ‘Challenges’ Mode to get stuck into, offering players an opportunity to attempt each of the popular titles in a remixed fashion, with different levels pulled together and plenty of boss challenges to help bring an all new experience to the game. Unfortunately, it seems these are aimed purely at the speedrunners amongst the community, or at least those with firm knowledge of the original games. If you’re looking to finish within the expected time limits and gain any of those gold medals, then mistake-free runs are going to be in order.
Overall though, and whilst Megaman Legacy Collection 2 will be a welcome arrival for any fan of the Megaman series, I can’t help but feel it would have been nicer to see a few more evolved features make an appearance, and maybe even a full graphical upgrade too.
Nevertheless, the overall experience offers classic platforming in an original form, and anyone looking for their next challenging title would do well to check out the collection. Even though it is one I’m unlikely to return to at any time soon, it is certainly a welcome sight to see such an iconic character arrive on the current generation of gaming and comes at a great price for anyone wanting to see what all the fuss was once about.