It's great to see that some game developers still care about their catalog of retro titles. Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 offers an assortment of The Blue Bomber's later games but are they worth revisiting?
Mega Man 7
Mega Man 7 is the first 16-bit game in the series. As a result, it looks completely different to what gamers expected. The large character sprites, bright and cheerful stages, and comic-style story sequences were a huge departure. Many fans still haven't adjusted to this change yet some (like me) love it. I find the lively and bright world of Mega Man 7 to be extremely memorable and full of fun. The soundtrack is excellent, the bosses are a blast to battle, and the stage designs are less linear and a joy to explore. Speaking of which, there are so many secrets to uncover and a lot of them are downright brilliant. Heck, there's even a hidden two player versus mode. Overall, Mega Man 7 is a fantastic experience. That is, if you don't expect it to be exactly like its NES predecessors.
Mega Man 8
Speaking of divisive games, Mega Man 8 is widely considered by many fans to be the worst of the series. That being said, it's definitely not a bad game by any means. Sure, the cheesy anime cutscenes and awful voice acting are laugh-worthy but the game itself is full of variety which is something that previous Mega Man games lacked. Whether it's the shoot 'em up segments in Tengu Man's stage, snowboarding in Frost Man's stage, working out mazes in Astro Man's stage, solving trials in Sword Man's stage, fighting a variety of crazy mid-bosses, or backtracking to collect hidden bolts; there's definitely a lot of stuff to do in Mega Man 8. The graphics are as vibrant as 7 and the music is great, too. In the end, it's far from traditional but a heck of a lot of fun. For more on this often misunderstood classic, be sure to read my full Mega Man 8 review and check out my bolt locations guide if you need some help finding those tricky things.
Mega Man 9
Over eleven years after Mega Man 8 debuted, Capcom worked with Mega Man Zero developers Inti Creates to revive the series. Instead of continuing the trend of making contemporary experiences, they decided to go back to Mega Man's 8-bit roots. The result is a simplistic yet satisfying retro 2D action game that would feel right at home on the NES. Although the level of challenge is back full throttle and the gameplay is spot-on, I can't help but feel like it's missing a lot of the magic of the NES games. For example, the Robot Masters are quite unmemorable and there's a general lack of novelty in the stage designs. Complaints aside, it's a solid game that'll surely delight any fan of The Blue Bomber. It is weird that he forgot how to slide and charge his Mega Buster, though...
Mega Man 10
Mega Man 10 released just a year and a half after 9 and it shows considering it feels extremely similar. In both of these games, you collect bolts that you find lying around that you can redeem at a shop for various items such as E Tanks. However, the hidden permanent unlockables that were featured prominently in past games (dating all the way back to the NES days) are unfortunately absent in both 9 and 10 which gives them less replay value. Along the same line, I miss having unexpected surprises such as fighting Mega Man 2 bosses in Mega Man 3 and multiple end-game castles like the ones run by Dr. Cossack and Mr. X. All of this being said, I don't mean to complain too much because Mega Man 10 is definitely a worthwhile entry in the series. I mean, you get to fight a robot baseball after all.
Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 doesn't just consist of four games; it also has plenty of extra content. For starters, you can view loads of images for each game in the museum and also fight each boss by pushing a certain button on their portraits. Next, every game's full soundtrack is available to listen to which is great because the music featured in these games is timeless. Another nifty addition is "extra armor mode" which halves all damage and hence makes each game much more accessible for casual gamers. Also, there are tons of challenges to try and master for each of the included games. Can you achieve all gold medals? Finally, all of the DLC for both Mega Man 9 and 10 is available here which makes up for their lack of replay value as you can enjoy Endless Attack Mode, Hero Mode, Superhero Mode, Proto Man Mode, Bass Mode, and every single Special Stage. Thankfully, everything is presented beautifully with animated menus that help tie the whole package together (unlike the drab menus in the original Mega Man Legacy Collection).
Where's Mega Man & Bass?
Released between Mega Man 8 and 9 for Super Famicom, Mega Man & Bass is probably the most underrated game in the series. Obviously, you can play as both titular characters and along the way, you'll discover a variety of data CDs that contain information about all of the Robot Masters which is a great way to tie the entire series together. Considering there are only four games here, the fact that they omitted Mega Man & Bass is rather disappointing. They could have also included the arcade fighting games (The Power Battle and The Power Fighters) or even the PlayStation kart racer Mega Man Battle & Chase. These unconventional games were featured in previous Mega Man compilations which makes Legacy Collection 2 feel less complete than it could be.
Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 houses four games from The Blue Bomber's past that offer a surprising amount of variety. Although not everyone will like everything they see, there's no denying just how enjoyable it is to replay these classics yet again.
- + Fantastic variety of Mega Man games
- + Extra armor is great for casual gamers
- + Loads of challenges to master plus all of the DLC from Mega Man 9 & 10
- - There are only four games included
- - Not everyone will appreciate every game
- - Mega Man & Bass is disappointingly absent