So I’m going to start this review off by saying that as a kid my first experience with Mega Man was with Mega Man X back in 1993 and from there I would go back and play 1-6 on the NES and then by 1994 I was ready for X2 and by 95 I was all over Mega Man 7. Admittedly going between the Classic and X series was at times jarring as they had similar foundations, however, the X series always felt like a more refined experience. The Classic series continued on with Mega Man 8 and then Rockman Forte aka Mega Man and Bass, and then a full decade plus later we got Mega Man 9 and then a few years later we got Mega Man 10 and later on this year we get Mega Man 11!
This Collection has been released on other consoles such as the PS4, Xbox One, PC, and 3DS (first collection only) so it was only a matter of time before it came home to a Nintendo console and that is what we are getting into today with this review! This is the Blue Bomber’s first appearance on Nintendo’s newest home console ahead of the release of the highly anticipated Mega Man 11. Mega Man is a legendary video game character and his impact is still felt on the industry today. Capcom seems to be gearing up hype for their flagship character by re-releasing the classics. This collection includes the original 10 Mega Man games in an exciting new package. The game also includes additional content including new modes and challenges, and also exclusive amiibo functionality. The collection is brimming with content and is being sold for an attractive $39.99.
The Legacy Collections offer a pixel perfect recreation of all ten titles in the mainline Mega Man series. You can jump in and relive them just as they were, or enhance them to your satisfaction, an area in which the Collections shine brightly. Load save states that take you back to the moment before a mistimed jump, or directly rewind immediate gameplay to correct your errors (present in the first collection only), these games as being the definitive way to enjoy the Mega Man series. The graphics of the games range from 8-bit, to 16-bit, to 32-bit and back to 8-bit. However, the colors and textures remain as vibrant as ever. The legacy collection really does preserve the legacy and introduce a whole new generation to the classic graphics. The music invigorates the gameplay and enhances the atmosphere of the games.
Mega Man is a classic 2-D side-scrolling platforming game at its core. You move the blue bomber from the left to the right. There are many hurdles and pitfalls within the stages, so you must keep the controls tight. You are constantly attacked by a multitude of robotic baddies with different means of attack. You are able to attack back with your Mega Buster or you can simply dodge their attacks by jumping. At the end of each level, you must battle a boss. Those main bad guys are called Robot Masters and they grant Mega Man a special ability that will assist him further in the game. Now, you can choose the order in which you’d like to play the levels, but there is a way to play the game that creates an easier way to beat the game.
Capcom was in a state of flux in the mid-90s, and it shows in the inconsistencies present in Mega Man 7, in particular. Make no mistake: it’s still a fun game and plays just as well as most other platformers of the time, but in a franchise with such a storied history, it doesn’t quite compare. The ultimate verdict for the SNES Mega Man titles is simply ‘play the X series instead’, a fresher and more dynamic take on the character. Mega Man 2 and 3 are considered by many to be the highlights of the franchise, possessing many of the most iconic stages and Robot Masters. One could accuse Mega Man of becoming a bit too busy with each new game that premiered, a trend that would continue until a hard reset in Mega Man 9 brought everything back to basics.
The legacy collection really does a superb job at preserving every wonderful about Mega Man. It gives a new audience a chance at enjoying the triumph and joy in playing as the blue bomber. Whether or not you should invest the money into buying Mega Man Legacy Collection on the Switch comes down to two factors. Primarily, how much of a Mega Man fan you are; if you live, breathe and die this series, then these collections are such a treat. Putting aside the SNES-era dip in quality, the games are retro treasures, and their more dated aspects are mitigated by modern additions. The second factor, and this is a big one, is whether you already own the Legacy Collections on another console. The Switch’s best features are either coming to the other platforms post-script, or in the case of portability and amiibo functionality, already exist on the 3DS. If these variables aren’t enough to deter you, then these collections are a welcome addition to any Switch library.