Megaman Legacy Collection - Review

A Legacy indeed.
With the Megaman Legacy Collection Capcom tries to reinvigorate the old-school Mega Man games with new life. Especially the old Mega Man games back from the NES-era to this day stand strong as some of the greatest and most high quality platformers/jump n run games ever.
Question is if the Legacy Collection is worthy of that legacy and name?

The Original Games

The original Mega Man, with most of them spanning the entire lifespan of the NES, to this day stand strong as some of the finest examples of what is considered jump n' run game perfection.
While opinions definitely differ on which one of the Mega Man games and spin-off franchises are the best (although the most popular choice is probably Mega Man 2), it all comes down to Mega Man being at his best when in 2D.
But what made Mega Man stick out so positively among the ocean of other jump n run titles of its age?
One of the most prominent reasons hands down is the Mega Man games' near constant high quality of level design coupled with a good amount of actual gameplay freedom. Whereas other games mostly pinned you down to your specific tools given to you at a specific moment in the game, the Mega Man games not only featured incredibly challenging but rewarding levels and bosses, but also many different ways in how to beat them. How? Simply, by the game giving you the ability to choose each earned weapon on the fly.

Six gorgeous games to choose from.

With this in mind, players now also got the ability to experiment what weapon works against which enemy and boss most efficiently and so on.
Yet on the contrary, Mega Man or the player never feel overpowered with the new earned tools. Though it offers a huge feel of accomplishment and gained ownership when finally defeating a boss, the clever level designs throughout pretty much all of the Mega Man games put enough challenge into the game to make using the right weapon at the right time and getting to know the levels and enemy weaknesses a necessity.
Without overcrowding a level with enemies, Mega Man is a fine jump n' run experience that rewards patience and learning enemy patterns the old-school way.
While the Mega Man games definitely might look easy to beat at first, they are anything but. Though far more forgiving than other NES hardcore titles like Battletoads or Ninja Gaiden, the Mega Man games (especially the early ones) definitely deserve their reputation as some of the most challenging platformers to date.

And now you can play them in old-school 4:3 ratio...

The Collection's Updates

But what new does the Megaman Legacy Collection bring to the table?
First of all, the Mega Man Legacy Collection does simply extraordinarily well in perfectly emulating the original games of the franchise. With that said, don't expect any new makeovers, hidden unlockable content, new skins or new flashy graphics to gaze at, but just the great ensemble of high quality retro platformers that withstood the test of time. And now these games find their way in one package onto the PS4, XboxOne, PC and most importantly the 3DS - the handheld system the Mega Man games are perfect for.
And since the Megaman Legacy Collection doesn't fiddle around too much all six Mega Man games included in the collection entirely benefit from the games' timeless gameplay and level design. Beating the several bosses and uniquely themed levels is therefore just as much of a joy today as it is back then.

...or the new widescreen ratio.

An addition that further sweetens the experience though, is the fact that each of the Mega Man games' has been added a save feature with which you can now save a single restore point each time. Though some gamers might prefer a more true to the roots approach by resigning the new saving feature, the feature simultaneously and luckily also replaces the old Mega Man games' now very dated and tedious password system.
Another noteworthy part of the package is the collection's huge archival data base which grants the player a huge amount of information about each of the games' enemies, bosses, and even background info on the games' creation. It's definitely nice to have such a tiny yet big encyclopedia at hand.
Last but not least, fans of the franchise who can't decide between which of the Mega Man games to play, can easily just use the new Remix Mode which puts you on a timed challenge course consisting of carefully put together chunks of Mega Man levels to make up a big "parcour course" of sorts. It's definitely a nice addition and change of pace for gamers who want to test their skills.

All stages at once in the new Remix Mode.

The Verdict

Following the saying "don't fix what ain't broken" Capcom's Megaman Legacy Collection offers just that - a great collection of some of what is even today considered the best among the jump n' run video game genre.
Each of the six Mega Man games are just as challenging and rewarding as they were back in the NES-era and now, with some minor yet welcome new enhancements, give some good reason to revisit them again.
The Legacy Collection features very fine emulating work making each of the jumps and shots in the game feel very responsive. On top of that, the new saving feature effectively eliminates the Mega Man games' previously tedious password system, and the new Remix Mode does a good job in giving additional incentive to test your skills in new timed Frankstein-like constructed level designs.

Now having found its way succesfully on the PS4, XboxOne, PC and 3DS, the old-school Mega Man are still one of a kind and truely video game marvels. While the Legacy Collection feels especially great in the palm of your hands with the 3DS, simply anybody not having gotten a chance to experience these games now has a great incentive to do so.

 Final Verdict: 9 out of 10 

Status: Amazing!

Big thanks goes out to Capcom Germany for providing a review copy of the game.

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