Mega Man Legacy Collection Review (Xbox One)
Mega Man fans have been starving for a new Blue Bomber game for years now, especially since the Mega Man Legends 3 fiasco in 2011. While the Mega Man Legacy Collection won't scratch that itch -- if anything the itch gets worse playing these games -- it's still a great way to relive the glory days of Mega Man in ways I didn't even expect.
I don't have to go into great detail about the first six Mega Man games, as they've been around for nearly 20 years. All six games have been faithfully recreated for the current console generation, both in full HD and with some nifty screen filters. I still can't figure out how the development team was able to recreate the grainy, line-filled look of old CRT TVs and monitors, but adding the filter immediately takes me back to my parents' living room as a six-year-old battling the forces of Dr. Wily.
The translation from NES to Xbox One wasn't entirely smooth though, as there's a few technical issues that pop up once in a while and take the shine off of the experience. One of the largest examples is in Mega Man 3 where the screen doesn't properly line up with the border and there's a giant black stripe on one side of the screen. Mega Man always seems off center because of the weirdness, and it really takes away from what some think is the best Mega Man of them all. The slowdown I've experienced in some parts of the games since the beginning has also returned, and while I understand that it's a part of the classic experience does it really need to be a part of the game anymore? At some points the game slows to an absolute crawl, seemingly worse than it was originally on the NES, and it's really annoying. Some things are best left to the ages, and slow Mega Man is one of them.
Legacy Collection is more than just the classic stages however, as custom challenges have been created from certain scenes from the six games. Those challenges play out in similar fashions: warp into a stage, traverse the room, touch the black hole strategically placed in the level, warp to a new stage, and repeat. Some of the challenges act as a playlist of stages from the same game, others pit me against every Robot Master in the collection with just one life.
These challenges are made even more addictive by the timers that run in the corner. As if trying to fight through these levels isn't hard enough, now I have to worry about scoring a time low enough that my Xbox Live friends can't catch it. This creates an experience of trying and re-trying and re-trying again that ought to make speed runners, and those more competitive fans, salivate.
The rest of the Legacy Collection's charm comes from its in-game museum of concept art, finished art, and game music for each of the entries in the collection, letting me take a trip back in time to the days of Mega Man development. Each game holds a section for concept art and a section for the characters in each game, giving me a glimpse of what went into making the Mega Man games that shaped my youth. The character section holds a neat little feature: finding the profile for a Robot Master and pressing A takes me right into a fight with that boss, letting me test out the match before jumping into the real game. Sometimes you just want to fight a boss instead of playing through the game, and this mode lets me do that with one press of a button.
Despite a few technical shortcomings, Mega Man Legacy Collection is a love letter to one of the best franchises in retro gaming history. It's packed with great gameplay, a museum's worth of never before seen pictures and information, and everything Mega Man fans could ever ask for. Well, except for a brand new Mega Man game, but that'll have to wait another decade or so. This Legacy Collection is worth adding to your collection.
This review was completed using a download of Mega Man Legacy Collection provided by the publisher for Xbox One.