So here we are, somewhere between the digital release of Mega Man Legacy Collection for Steam, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 and the physical release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo 3DS (plus the digital release for the latter).
It may seem like an odd point to review the game, but until now, I didn't have a machine upon which to run it (I do have Steam, but space is currently at a premium on my PC). But recently, the wife and I plunked down some hard-earned money from some extra work we'd managed to get and purchased a PlayStation 4. And what was the first title to christen this new vessel -- er, system?
Mega Man Legacy Collection, of course.
Sure, we had a few other titles we could run on it first -- the copy of NHL 16 that came with the system that we're trading in anyway, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (which also came with the system), Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below, Transformers: Devastation, and WWE 2K16 (the latter two of which I'm reviewing for Mario's Hat) -- but even though I tend to associate Mega Man more closely with Nintendo platforms, having him on PlayStation is something of a tradition as well. I even bought Mega Man X4 as my first PlayStation One game before I even had the system!
Mega Man has long been my first and foremost reason for buying PlayStation hardware, and while that wasn't the case this time, it was still kind of nice to keep tradition (of a sort) going.
That said, if you've already made up your mind about this release -- or more specifically, whether or not you need it in your collection -- then I'm not likely to change it here. If you're reading this site, then these six titles pretty much speak for themselves on a core level.
On top of that, there are numerous ways to display the games. You can have what I think is a "true resolution" inset, such as in the image above, or have it stretch to fill the screen vertically while allowing borders reflecting each game or simple black space to take care of the rest.
Furthermore, you have your choice of three ways to display the game screen itself: normally, with an old-style standard definition television filter, or with a filter that is meant to emulate a monitor. While I appreciate the nostalgic throwback to the others, I played mostly with the normal setting, as the "TV" setting hurt my eyes a little bit. The monitor felt like a happy medium, though, and I did toggle that on and off for a bit.
The bonuses to be found are pretty cool, too. There's a ton of art to explore, and you can zoom this stuff in really close. Not quite every single little thing made the cut, but there is still a lot here to enjoy, and you don't even have to unlock it. The music archive is similarly cool, spanning pretty much everything in all of the games that I could tell (though I didn't sit down and count).
Appealing to me, as a fan of the NES Remix games, was the Challenges mode. Granted, it's not going to appeal to anyone wanting to run Mega Man through a Metroid stage or anything like that, but there are numerous timed challenges of various types not unlike those that make up the rest of those titles. Little portals are placed at various points to bring you to the next challenge until you reach the end, where you're awarded a bronze, silver, or gold Mega Man icon, as well as the ability to watch your playback to see where you might have messed up, or view Leaderboards (I've been playing these games for decades, but I didn't even come close to ranking).
The database is pretty nifty as well. Though not quite as exhaustive as online resources, you'll get a little info about who each enemy or character is and some tips to beat them alongside a picture. Strangely, in a few very rare instances (I think only two across the six games), a pixel art image is used instead of production art.
For Robot Masters, you can even go directly into battle with them for a quick bout or a little practice -- just be warned that if you're used to playing Mega Man 2 on Normal, that's not how this gang runs; they go for full-blown Difficult.
Not everything was perfect, though. I did encounter an odd sound glitch when facing Metal Man from the Database, though the problem didn't repeat itself, so I'm guessing it was a fluke.
Disappointing was that the Database doesn't allow you to fight all the bosses, as I thought I'd previously read/heard in one of Capcom's interviews. All the Robot Masters are fair game, sure, but the Yellow Devil? There is a challenge specifically for the likes of him and Mecha Dragon that do just as well, but I was hoping that all bosses would be covered.
One problem I kept having falls more on me, or at least the hardware manufacturer: with no shoulder-toggling for special weapons, you have to press Start (or rather, the similar Options button on PS4) to change. Unfortunately, due to the placement of that button, I ended up hitting the big square pad in the middle of the controller, bringing up the collection's menu instead of the game's subscreen. Again, not the fault of the developer, but straying from absolute purity might have been nice in this case -- especially during Challenges, as the time keeps ticking while you're paused anyway.
Edit: As COtheLegend pointed out in the comments, I can probably just remap the Subscreen button to a shoulder button or something. Worth a try, since Select from the first game is already up there!
Still, these are largely nitpicks, as the games feel like they've been replicated perfectly. From the touted genuine slowdown and flicker to all of the little glitches, tricks, and exploits (including my favorite, the "Early Rush Jet" trick), it's all here. People are taking full advantage of them, too -- particularly on the aforementioned Leaderboards.
As noted by many in the lead-up to this release, the games have been re-released several times through the likes of Mega Man Anniversary Collection (alongside other games not featured here), Rockman Complete Works on PlayStation Network, and Nintendo's Virtual Console service. Fortunately, and perhaps/probably not coincidentally, all the platforms Mega Man Legacy Collection have been released on don't have the ability to play any of those -- with the exception of the upcoming Nintendo 3DS version, of course.
So if you've already got these six games in a form that makes you happy and is convenient for you to play at a whim? If that's all that interests you, then sure, give this one a pass.
But if all those other options aren't viable for you, or you simply haven't yet splurged for Virtual Console releases at $5 USD a pop, then there is really no better way a PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or Steam user can go than this -- especially at half the price (the physical version will cost more, yes, but the other releases don't really have much in the way of a contemporary comparison).
It may not be for everyone, but for those which it was made, it does a great job of delivering a solid chunk of Mega Man's legacy from those most formative of days. What's more, it delivers a lot of great bonuses that are still good additions to any Blue Bomber fan's collection and will put their metal mettle to the test. Personally, I enjoyed losing myself in these once again while having other fun things to mess around with related to the experience.
One other thing: I've heard that some Steam users are having some difficulties with that version of the game; I can't speak to that, as I've only played the PlayStation 4 version. Capcom has said fixes are coming, but that's all I really know to say on that.
Mega Man Legacy Collection was released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam on August 24th, 2015 at a price of $14.99. Physical retail versions are coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo 3DS for $29.99 on February 23rd, 2016, and a Collector's Edition for Nintendo 3DS will be $49.99.
A download code was provided by Capcom USA.