Hearing the name Mega Man has the power to fill just about any gamer with feelings of nostalgia. Mega Man has starred in numerous games and spin-offs, with the first game appearing on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987. Five sequels would then follow during the NES’s life cycle. While these games are available on the Virtual Console, they are now bundled together once again in Mega Man Legacy Collection, which I highly recommend getting for your Nintendo 3DS.
Mega Man is best known for its above average difficulty, platforming elements, and the ability to absorb powers from robot masters. All six of the original games are included in Mega Man Legacy Collection. Not only was I able to revisit the games in all their glory, but each game featured its own database, where I was able to see various concept drawings of enemies from within that game. I really enjoyed flipping through these assets, each of which shows the name, basic stats, and interesting information.
Another new feature is the museum, which contains promotional art for each game. Included in this segment, is the original box art for the various territories, pages of the Japanese manual, the cartridge art, and various promotional materials. This was a very nice touch, as I enjoyed seeing the original box art once again. While I did own the original games, typically the boxes were discarded, so it had been a while since I had seen them. More specifically, I enjoyed the Mega Man 2 museum, which included a set of unused robot masters. Among others, this list includes Drill Man and Pump Man, which might sound familiar since they were both used in later games.
The biggest new feature of this collection is Challenge Mode. The challenges are sorted by game and offer a variety of segments from the original games. A single challenge will consist of multiple sections strung together, while a timer keeps track of how long the entire challenge lasts. This portion can be a small part of a level or a boss battle. For example, you could play the beginning of Guts Man’s stage, where Mega Man jumps on the various moving platforms. The end point of this fragment is clearly marked with a black circle to jump into, which then launches the next portion. While there are a variety of challenges, like mega mixes, remixes, boss rushes, or appearing blocks, I found the variety of segments to be in short supply. Often, I found myself playing some of the same parts over and over just in different challenges.
Perhaps the most enjoyable part of Challenge Mode is that you usually start with all of the items. Some of those trickier segments can easily be bypassed using Rush Jet or other assist items. The hardest challenges, though, have you beating all of the robot masters without items. I cannot even begin to explain how long it took me to beat Elec Man from the Mega Man 1 without using the cutter weapon. I had not done this since I was a kid and had forgotten how incredibly difficult he is. If the included challenges are not enough, you can use the Mega Man amiibo to unlock additional challenges. The only downside to this is that you have to continue to scan him for each session, as it does not save.
I really enjoyed the controls for this game. They are completely customizable to fit my preference. The collection on Nintendo GameCube, though, offered shortcuts to cycle through items. I was surprised to see this was not included in Mega Man Legacy Collection. The auto-fire feature did return, which I really enjoy. This mimics a turbo controller and fires all three shots in quick succession. This especially came in handy when tackling some of the tougher enemies. When fighting the robot masters, though, there is some lag between hits, so using it then was not always effective.
Some might dislike that sprite flickering and lag were not removed for Legacy Collection. Just like the original games, if there are multiple enemies on the screen, there is noticeable lag, which could often mess with the precision jumping. I am a purist, though, so I did not mind seeing the games in their original form. The top screen was also not stretched to fill the screen. I liked having a custom border around it. All this is to say that I highly enjoyed that the original games were completely intact in their original form.
Since this is a collection of games, there are obviously not many new songs. Each game has its original soundtrack. The few new tracks are simple remixes of the originals. For example, Mega Man 3 songs are used in both the museum, which is a remix of that game’s password screen and the game selection screen, which uses its stage select track. I have always enjoyed the Mega Man soundtrack. In my opinion, they contain some of the best music in video games. So, I really like that they included a music player to play all of the original tracks.
While Mega Man Legacy Collection is mostly a six-pack of the original NES games, there is plenty of additional content and nostalgia too. Previously unseen artwork, promotional art, a few remixed tracks, custom controls, and challenge mode will provide hours of new content for all fans to enjoy. I am very happy with the collection, as it easily allows me to revisit some of my favorite childhood games and try to beat my personal records in challenge mode. I strongly recommend this game to fans of the original six Mega Man games.
FINAL SCORE: 9.0 out of 10