The release of Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 has confirmed something to me which I knew from the first collection. Yes, readers, I am not very good at Mega Man games. Despite having my arse handed to me countless times, I found myself working hard not to let my gaming prowess be all talk!
This new collection brings together Mega Man 7, 8, 9 and 10, with the latter two strongly considered to be among the best in the series. There may be less games in this collection but the four we have are notably more varied, with 7 and 8 boasting hugely different visuals. How can you not be impressed at being able to play the main 10 Mega Man games in one place? Very little work has been done to the games themselves, but they run and play well, and they’re tough as nails! These retro side-scrolling experiences are worth giving a go, but be warned that you might see the game over screen more than the levels themselves. Or maybe I’m just bad at Mega Man games.
I’ve got to say that I prefer the art of Mega Man 7 and 8, and it’s odd to see the art style become more retro with each game in this collection. There isn’t much story to experience here and it’s mostly gameplay-orientated, but 7 and 8 do feature conversations and more characters. These reasons helped me to enjoy those two games the most, although I understand that there are those who just want the pure, undistilled Mega Man experience which 9 and 10 offer. Regardless, you’ll be using the game’s core mechanics to shoot, slide and jump your way to the end — some games offer more special abilities though, and it goes without saying than 10 may be the easiest of the lot.
Mechanically they’re each sound games which require a lot of patience and precision – and it can sometimes feel a little slippery – with checkpoints, frustratingly, being far and few between. Despite being simple with very little to worry about in the way of controls, that didn’t stop the games from depleting my life bar over and over. There’s trial and error, and with each attempt I found more efficient ways to progress whether it be to avoid a certain enemy, take a different route or just to be patient and not run ahead simply because I want to go forward. It’s rewarding when you get to a boss and the frustration I had would quickly melt away, but that didn’t stop these games from being a slightly stressful experience.
7 and 8 are visually similar, whilst 9 and 10 are rather different. I believe that 7 and 8 have the best aesthetic out of the four though, boasting more detail and smoother animations. I’m not a big fan of the titular heroes design though, but that’s just personal preference — I’m not on-board with the massive pants and odd helmet! I realise it’s iconic to the character though, so even I don’t wish to see it change now. The enemies are strong but you wouldn’t guess it on how silly they generally look, with one looking like a sheep-man! The sprite work here is fantastic, and it’s been left exactly as you’d remember it. The upbeat music is brilliant and a pleasure to listen to, and Mega Man 9’s menu music is pretty damn great!
Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 lets fans play a piece of gaming history, and for the price it’s worth checking out if you’re looking for a good side-scroller or fancy a challenge. There may be very little done in the way of updated features, but there are a lot of new ones! There’s a gallery with hundreds of pieces of art, a music player with the entirety of each game’s soundtrack, challenges such as boss rush and remixed stages, and trophies to earn — good luck if you’re aiming to get them all, though!
The games may feel a little dated to some but I find it incredible that I can play through all ten Mega Man games on my PS4 now because, sadly, I never really played the series as a child. Blasphemy, I know! The price is fair and there’s plenty to sink your teeth into, and even more if you like the idea of high scores and speed-runs. Mega Man will entertain and frustrate you and whilst it’s a series I’m still not as fond of as the likes of Sonic, Mario and a few others, I appreciate that I can play these games and have fun with them.