The Hoff Reviews Mega Man Legacy Collection

by Chris Hoffman. Originally posted at http://christhehoff.tumblr.com/

No open world, no ultra-realistic graphics, no 100-hour campaign, no epic story, no online multiplayer, no dynamic scripted set pieces. Yet the titles contained within Mega Man Legacy Collection are still some of the best, most enjoyable video games you’ll find anywhere.

When these games came out on the Nintendo Entertainment System in the late ‘80s and early '90s they were cutting edge — fantastic graphics, amazing level design, awesome music, and superb controls. All these years later, they still hold up, thanks in no small part to Mega Man’s ever-expanding arsenal and the brilliant core gameplay hook: the ability to take enemy bosses’ weapons and use them to exploit other enemies’ weaknesses. It’s a simple formula, but it’s satisfying every time.

There’s also a surprising amount of variety to keep things interesting; despite the fact that the gameplay hardly changes from Mega Man 1 to Mega Man 6, each level feels distinct, from icy fields to mine-filled underwater lairs to crystal caverns to European castles. Goofy enemies will keep you smiling even when you’re getting your butt kicked, and tough (but generally fair) obstacles will put your skills to the test. If you’ve never encountered Mega Man’s disappearing platforms or instant-kill spikes (or the deadly beams in Quick Man’s stage), get ready for an experience.

In addition to containing six all-time classic 8-bit games — purportedly “remastered” to be truer to the NES originals than any other port or emulation — Mega Man Legacy Collection has a nice set of extras, including a music player, character profiles, a vast hi-res art gallery, and a challenge mode that remixes various level segments from all six games into a series of 50 increasingly tough contests. For long-time Mega Man fans, this should be worth the price of admission alone. There are plenty of visual and control options, too — and there are no weird reversed buttons like there were in Mega Man Anniversary Collection for GameCube.

As much as I’d like to say this is the ultimate classic Mega Man experience, unfortunately that’s just not true. Most notably, on the version I played for PlayStation 4, some of the audio has a slight crackly sound to it, and Capcom has yet to issue a patch. (Apparently the PC and Xbox One versions have audio glitches as well.)

Less important is the fact that as good as the games play, they can’t re-create the feel of playing with an original NES controller, and the awkwardly placed Options button on the PS4 is less than ideal. And why is there even a music player if you can’t make the tracks loop or have them play in sequence?

Of course, some would argue that this collection is a travesty without Mega Man 7, 8, 9, and 10, but I beg to differ — at a $15 price point, you get a lot of retro fun for your money. While I won’t be fully satisfied until there’s a patch that makes this collection truly fulfill its promise of preserving some of history’s greatest games, I feel that it does an impressive job overall, and there’s an incredible amount of fun contained within this release.

Even with some blemishes, this release earns itself a solid 4 E-Tanks, and I cross my fingers that the upcoming Nintendo 3DS version will be problem-free.

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Friend and fellow former Nintendo Power writer Chris Hoffman is a member of The Mega Man Network's User Content Submission System, and the views expressed here reflect the views of the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mega Man Network.