The first Mega Man Legacy Collection was a masterpiece for NES fans as it gave them the original six games in one package on modern consoles. Capcom did a superb job bringing that old-school experience to life again with bonus material and new options that were a joy to play. Now they’ve decided to complete the collection by bringing the last four out of mothballs, given them a cleanup and added some new features with Mega Man Legacy Collection 2.
Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 is essentially Mega Man 7 for the SNES, Mega Man 8 for the original PlayStation, and Mega Man 9 and 10 which were digital download versions released for all consoles in 2008 and 2010 (respectfully). These are more of the oddity titles in the series, and I use that term lovingly because they’re usually overlooked for the “X” series, which people hold in higher regard. As a Mega Man fan, I was always confused why they didn’t just make X the main character going forward instead of having two different series happening at the same time, but that’s a mystery for another day.
These later games have a reputation for also being the hardest in the franchise as 7 and 8 were raising the bar on the game’s difficulty and made some fans despise them. And if you think those are tough 9 and 10 cleared that bar, raised it, and then cleared it again. These are the most hardcore of the hardcore Mega Man levels you’ll ever encounter, and that’s saying a lot. Having just one of these is enough to give you a stroke, but trying to beat all of them is an intensity challenge that I have only seen the best of the best beat online after countless hours of getting the timing down.
So what’s new in Mega Man Legacy Collection 2? A little good and a little bad. First off, the games themselves are the originals without any special redesigns and what not. Just a simple cleanup on Mega Man 7‘s graphics like they did with the first collection. Seven still feels a bit off, even as a Super Nintendo title, and doesn’t measure up to the “X” series. Eight is a superb title that deserved better when it was released but was sorely overlooked with other PlayStation titles at the time. Nine and 10 are ridiculously hard, but also have some of the best level designs and soundtracks of this bunch. So each has their own place within the Mega Man collection and will spark interest in every kind of fan who loved the traditional platformer side.
Now for the bad: there’s no rewind or save option available like in the previous collection or another retro Capcom favorite that came out this year, the Disney Afternoon Collection. There are very specific spots you can save in, but you can’t save in the middle of a level or go back and undo a mistake you made, and not having either hurts. I’m sure there are purists out there who will scream that having them is a cheat, but you know what, you can do that anyway without cheats in both of those collections anyway. Not having it here for people learning these games that they may have passed over is a hindrance.
I enjoyed Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 overall, but this collection reminds me a bit of how Mega Man games can sometimes be an annoyance. It’s easy to look back at Mega Man II and III and remember them as awesome experiences, but we tend to forget that a lot of Mega Man titles are trial-and-error and that you have to die a few times to get it right. The games in these collections are massive amounts of death to get where you need to go, and not having a viable save option killed some of the experience for me. Mega Man diehards will love it, but average gamers may curse it out over time.
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