THE ORIGINAL BLUE POWER RANGER IS BACK FOR MORE
The Mega Man series has always piqued my interest. As a loyal Sega Mega Drive kid up until the PlayStation was released, Nintendo’s Blue Bomber sadly passed me by as the NES and SNES did. It was only until YouTube came to the forefront of the internet and I was relentlessly binge watching episodes of The Angry Video Game Nerd when I actually made it my business to try these games out and even then I was more a fan of the X series than the originals. In the grand scheme of things, Mega Man embodied every that was beloved in the 8-bit and 16-bit eras. The charming graphics, driving soundtracks and the amped up difficulty are why they hold such a legacy and is still held in such high regard by players of the originals way back when, which makes the fact that there was 8 initial Mega Man titles as well as a 9th and a 10th made 20 years later completely justified.
Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 doesn’t offer as much as its predecessor did, with only 4 games being included (7 through 10) compared to the first collection which offered the first 6 and does away with the handy ’save anywhere’ feature and cuts it down to only being able to save at certain points or checkpoints. This can become quite a hindrance as these games keep that old school difficulty which is a fantastic and welcome addition to the older gamers that are familiar with the series but doesn’t really open any doors to today’s generation (you kids today, with your Justin Bieber and your Minecraft).However, despite the lack of content in comparison to the last collection, Legacy Collection 2 still has some extras to offer. The remix stages offers an added challenge to the already intense trials that the 4 included games already have for those hardcore gamers that are always looking for something more, and the added Boss Rushes gives every player the chance to put all the skills they have learned into action. Legacy Collection 2 also includes a museum full of artwork from all 4 games which……you can just look at…..I guess, and that is all well and good but to have every picture already unlocked instead of having to achieve them through gameplay seems somewhat unconventional and doesn’t really give an incentive for players that appreciate the artwork galleries to really put in the hours. But the one thing that has been brought to the Mega Man table which I myself and I’m sure many other fanatics will love is the inclusion of the music from the 4 games on the bundle. Mega Man has a reputation for having some of the most catchiest tunes in the days of 8-Bit and 16-Bit gaming and to have all these pumping chiptunes in one place is a joy to this gamer at least and much like the artwork is available from the get go. Each game also looks pretty faithful to their original counterparts, and in a day and age where remasters and remakes run rampant over the gaming industry it was surprising to see that little of as been done to the general outlook of these games and when it comes to Mega Man – if it isn’t broke there’s no need to fix it (if only they thought that when it came to 3D eh?). Despite the time they were originally released 7 & 8 were and still are very bold and lively looking games and the devolution in aesthetic in 9 & 10 hold a great precedence to those NES classics they many people grew up with.
Mega Man 7 takes the unfortunate distinction of being the least electrifying entry in the bundle with controls executed with little grace and at points borders on the schizophrenic and more or less features the same mechanics as the previous six with a little narrative added with the addition of Bass and Treble. Mega Man 8 also follows suit but with a lot more fluidity in its control however the 8th adventure does include those delightful animated cutscenes with the so bad it’s god voice acting which showed that at the time Capcom wanted to do a little more with Mega Man’s PlayStation outing and to see what boundaries they could push but also not being tempted to go to 3D worked in the long run as history dictated.
The aforementioned ‘demakes’ Mega Man 9 & 10 pays homage to the franchise at its youngest and to be honest are not meant for beginners or the light hearted. Mega Man 9 is legitimately one of the hardest games I have played, insta-death is everywhere with numerous pitfalls, spikes a plenty and vengeful robots ready to take you out. Mega Man 10 is no walk in the park either but it is the only entry in the collection to feature an easier option to get you familiarised with the layouts, jumps and enemies before moving on with the harder difficulty, or to save some of your hair from being pulled out, and not to forget it also features Sheep Man the mightiest of all of Dr Wily’s robot army!