When it comes to iconic video game characters, there are a handful that come straight to mind – Mario, Sonic and Mega Man. All three were franchises that I was obsessed with growing up and would replay them over and over again. And while Mario has gone from strength to strength, the Mega Man franchise has not been so lucky with Capcom seemingly in no rush to release a new title. Instead, here we have Mega Man Legacy Collection – the first six Mega Man games all in one little cart.
The reason why Mega Man Legacy Collection is such a success is down to emulation, which is practically perfect. The worst thing Capcom could have done would have been to tinker with the level design or controls in an attempt to modernise it. We all fell in love with Mega Man for a reason, and I’m glad that Capcom has not messed with the original winning formula. The graphics have been given a little work in order to give a crisp image on the Nintendo 3DS. There’s no option to change between boxed and 4:3 ratio screen like other releases, which would have been nice but it’s a minor nag. The 3D aspect is non-existent and, to be honest, it’s better this way. The use of 3D should only be used if it’s going to elevate the game and I see no reason for adding it in other than for the sake of it.
One of the best things about Mega Man is the pick-up-and-play mechanic to it. You can play any game at any time and get into it right away. All six titles on this release are set up the same way and follow the same plot – Mega Man is enlisted to defeat the androids who are wrecking havoc. It’s these villains that are the true icons of the Mega Man series with an incredibly versatile set of opponents – from Ice Man to Tomahawk Man. Each villain has their own themed level and special skill which brings such diversity to each. It’s incredibly exciting when you defeat one of the villains and gain their power. These new powers can make other levels easier to complete which can make choosing your next opponent difficult.
The biggest thing that makes Mega Man games so popular is their difficulty. There are no other platformers that come close to the difficulty of any Mega Man game. You miscalculate a jump by 1 second and that’s you lost a chunk of your HP and before you know it, you’re one hit point away from death. At times, it can be incredibly frustrating but Mega Man is so addictive that your frustration quickly subsides and you’re ready for another go. Each title allows you to save a single restore point which is a huge plus if you want to take a break or try one of the other titles.
Outside of the main game, each game comes with a database packed with background information and art of every enemy you face. There are lots of little tidbits of information that will surely delight diehard Mega Man fans and assist those struggling to defeat enemies by learning of their weaknesses. There’s also a challenge mode which gives you a set of levels to complete and times you. This is a great way to get to know the game, the environments and enemies before diving into the main titles. And there’s more too if you have the Mega Man amiibo. You can use the Mega Man amiibo to unlock more challenges created by Mega Man fans.
If you’ve never played Mega Man before then firstly, shame on you and secondly, go and buy this game right away. Mega Man Legacy Collection is an absolute must for every gamer out there.