MegaMan Legends Fan Review (theory C)

by theory C MegaMan Legends is not your typical MegaMan fare. At long last, Capcom has given the blue robot a new direction, entering him into the realm of 3D. And unlike past MegaMan titles, this isn't a shoot 'em up; this is as pure an action/adventure/RPG as you're ever going to see. Add to that new set of characters, a new visual style, and a place on the MegaMan timeline thousands of years ahead of the X series, and a lot of fans from the NES and SNES eras are going to get the heebie-jeebies. However, these worries are needless. This is not the MegaMan they're used to – but it's better.

The large majority of the game takes place on Kattlox Island, and small forested island with only one town. You will be able to explore the city of Kattlox as well as the surrounding areas, which mostly look like park areas. However, beneath the island's cheery surface is a network of underground dungeons that interconnect between numerous entry points on the surface. These dungeons are large and creepy, housing plenty of Reaverbots – mysterious robots who's only job it seems is to guard the treasures of the dungeon. What are these treasures? Well, there are various items and parts you can use to enhance MegaMan's ability, but the more important treasures are called Refractors. These refractors act as the world's energy source, and as also as the game's currency. So how do townspeople make use of these refractors while the deadly Reaverbots are guarding them? Well, people called Diggers go underground to take on the Reaverbots, and collect the refractors to bring back to the surface to sell, or use for themselves. MegaMan is one such Digger, and about half of the game will be in the dungeons looking for refractors. MegaMan isn't the only character interested in refractors, however. Early on in your journey, you'll meet a band of Sky Pirates, known as the Bonnes. The Bonnes are quite likeable, and their relationship with MegaMan is actually pretty humorous in that in the end, both parties don't really want to see the other dead. However, the Bonnes are not on Kattlox for just any refractor. You'll soon hear rumor of a great hidden treasure hidden away deep in the dungeons. As you progress through the game, you'll learn more about this rumored treasure, and come closer to learning of the mystery behind it.

The controls in MegaMan Legends may seem a little odd at first, but you should be able to get used to them fairly quickly. Initially, just walking around will make you feel like you're driving a tank. Pressing a direction on the D-Pad or Left Stick will move you strictly in that direction, meaning that if you press left or right, you'll actually strafe, so that you're facing forward the entire time. Rotating MegaMan is handled with the shoulder buttons, meaning players will have to learn to use the D-Pad/Left Stick in tandem with the shoulder buttons. It feels clunky at first, but it shouldn't take long before you're running around Kattlox Island like a pro. In the meantime, everything else in the game controls more or less as you would expect. Square is to fire your Buster Gun, X is to jump, Triangle is your special weapon (or kick, if you have no special weapon equipped), and Circle is to Dash. Dashing is not like it was in the X series were you gained short bursts of speed; in Legends, you actually have a continuous dash, which basically functions as a pair of rocket skates. These are great fun to use, and actually benefit from the control scheme. The biggest issue with controls is the lock-on. When locked onto an enemy, you're frozen in place. This is very constricting, especially if you're used to the sequel, Legends 2, which fixes this problem. Also, there are many times when you'll lock on to an enemy that is not even in your view range, which can be very frustrating when there are nearby enemies attacking.

As has been mentioned before, about half the game takes place underground, and about half on the surface. Both are quite enjoyable, and yet very different at the same time. On the surface, you'll mainly be talking to the townsfolk, going on side quests, and generally moving the story forward. Most of the fighting is in the dungeons (except for the pirates). There are few boss fights in the dungeons, but for the most part are not that memorable, and nearly all of them can be easily defeated with the same strategy: run around the boss in circles while firing. This gets old pretty fast, but is made up for by the far more interesting pirate boss battles on the surface. What's most intriguing about the dungeons however, is that you can enter them from various points around the island, and they're all connected. It can be great fun to get lost in the dungeon, and end climbing out onto the surface in a place on the opposite side of the island that you entered.

The graphics in the MegaMan Legends are a mixed bag. On the one hand, the game is bursting with charm. The blocky anime style, the vibrant worlds, and the unique and lovable characters are some of the highlights of the series. Indeed, a large part of the reason fans want a new Legends game so badly is because of the characters themselves. However, on the other hand, the game is plagued with jagged lines. For example, if you're walking through the shopping center, you'll see zigzagging lines on the walls – lines that should be straight. This happens consistently throughout the game, and is very annoying, although it never actually affects game play. While that is the main visual negative of the game, none of the other technical aspects of the game ever really exceed par for PlayStation games of the time. On the upside, there are good amounts of in game cut scenes that are very enjoyable to watch and help move the story along.

To sum things up, MegaMan Legends is the one of the most memorable MegaMan experiences ever. It does have it's flaws: sub par graphics, and the game play occasionally gets stale. But the positives far outweigh the negatives. This game has charm, is loads of fun, the story will keep your interest, and it's fresh and exciting. This is not just a game for MegaMan fans. This game has something for everybody.