The four games included in “Mega Man Legacy Collection” run well and are generally fun, although “Mega Man 8” hasn’t aged well. There was something lost with every console generational leap that Mega Man made even when considering the Super Nintendo era. The graphics improved, but at the sacrifice of difficulty and precision. NES “Mega Man” games and also “9” and “10” all had platforming sequences that called for the utmost precision. In “Mega Man 7,” the levels got shorter and easier, as did the bosses.
This series has always been reserved for gamers who are a cross between masochists and perfectionists. The “Mega Man” series is difficult, and “9” and “10” are reminders of that. That’s why it was an excellent design choice to not include save states in this collection. There is a checkpoint system that bypasses the awkward need for passwords, but save states in games like this make it far too each to cheese your way to victory. Each stage has two checkpoints: one in the middle of the stage and one at the boss gate. Revisiting “Mega Man” games means getting the full experience, and that means wanting to throw your controller in frustration from time to time.
For junkies of the “Mega Man” series, there’s still plenty here to appreciate. The museum is back with high-res sprites of nearly every enemy from every game, plus the ability to listen to each game’s soundtrack. Challenge modes return as well, which are like remixed versions of stages that combine components from different games. There’s still the ability to put on different filters to make it look like you’re playing an old tube TV. I’m told I’m a monster for preferring my 8-bit graphics stretched graphics to fill a 16-9 television, but that’s the beauty of choice!
It’s difficult not to recommend “Mega Man Legacy Collection 2,” but it’s just doesn’t quite reach the nostalgic overload of its predecessor. It only has four games instead of the six classics for the original collection, and this lineup of games isn’t as beloved as “Mega Man 1” through “6.” But, “Mega Man 9” and “10” were fantastic when they released nearly ten years ago and they hold up as two of the best 8-bit “Mega Man” games. These collections are designed for the most serious of “Mega Man” fans, and those fans will be pleased with what’s here. Now we’ll just have to wait for that “Mega Man X” collection.
8 out of 10