For those looking for perfect emulation of the classic NES Mega Man series, look no further than the Mega Man Legacy Collection. From Mega Man 1 through to 6, each NES game is recreated perfectly, even down to the screen flicker and slowdown.
The Legacy Collection is a lovingly made compilation for both veterans who played the original releases and others like me, who rarely played the series through to completion.
Each game is ready to start, which is great since the first can be brutally difficult. To mitigate frustrations, Capcom has included the ability to practice against any Robot Master through their database entry.
While this feature isn’t communicated to the player clearly, it is a great option. Every special weapon is included during the battle, letting you freely experiment with which one is most effective.
The database itself is a complete encyclopedia of Mega Man‘s characters and enemies each with a brief description, health statistics, and weaknesses. A museum feature also allows you to view tons of art from each Mega Man game, including rejected ideas for enemies and Robot Masters.
The biggest addition are Challenges, which range from simple boss fights against the Yellow Devil or Mecha Dragon, to sections of different titles intercut together.
Each challenge is timed and rewards with bronze, silver, and gold medals depending on completion time. Unlocking challenges relies on completing a set amount instead of locking it behind your ability to speed through unabated by the difficulty.
The main games themselves are, as previously mentioned, preserved perfectly. You begin every Mega Man with the choice of which Robot Master challenge to take on first. This in turn creates a meta-game since every Robot Master has a specific weakness that can be exploited.
Mega Man gains the ability of defeated bosses, which can then be brought into the next stage to more comfortably defeat the next one. Robot Masters don’t make up the entire bestiary, as each boss has a themed level preceding it. These levels are challenging and varied, keeping players on their toes and memorizing, or exploiting, enemy placement.
Some flip gravity, others have blocks that appear in a pattern, and others appear impossible to pass through untouched. Still, thanks to the save feature, you are never too frustrated by a potential difficulty wall.
Some visual flair was brought into the Legacy Collection as well, as box art can be inserted around the screen, if you so desire, through some sparse visual options. For those who prefer scan lines, TV and Monitor options mimic the effect of an older television set.
While you can choose full and widescreen modes, I found the original boxed resolution the way to go. And in case you don’t already have an iTunes folder full of Mega Man music, the Legacy Collection also contains every track for each game accessible from the start.
While overall not much has been changed to the mainline Mega Man games, that was the point of the Legacy Collection. It wonderfully preserves the presentation and gameplay of those six games from the NES era.
However, the bonus bells and whistles elevate it above the recent trend of ports and HD collections from prior generations. Instead of a port, we have a database and art on every character, the ability to practice against each Robot Master, and most of all a wealth of custom made challenges specifically for dedicated Mega Man fans who have already played those six games dozens, if not hundreds, of times.
All of this makes the Mega Man Legacy Collection the most ideal package for those with both a love for the franchise or an earnest desire to see what makes that blue robot so special.