Note: This review covers all the content provided in Mega Man Legacy Collection 2. Check out our other review for Legacy Collection 1 on Switch.
With his successful stint in Super Smash Bros. behind him and a brand new adventure on the way, Capcom’s finally giving Nintendo fans the second half of the Classic series in one convenient package. While it’s missing the crown jewel that is Mega Man 2, what you’ll get instead is a much more varied bundle of games that almost all bring something unique to the table worth checking out.
Each game is loaded separately and can have its own Checkpoint Save. These are located at the existing stage checkpoints and are handy for bypassing 7’s password system and for trying to make a cleaner run through a stage when the going gets tough. It isn’t as thorough as Nintendo’s mini systems, but it does maintain the series’ difficulty. There are also multiple visual displays and borders, including a CRT filter for all you purists. Sadly, the rewind feature found in the first half of the Collection is absent from these titles.
We gotta stop that Dr. Wily this time! Then this time! Then this time! Then this time!
As stated, bringing together Mega Man 7, 8, 9, and 10 makes each game more distinct when stacked up next to Legacy Collection 1. 7 carries a 16-bit visual style more reminiscent of Mega Man X than anything else in the Classic series. Also like X, there are plenty of secrets and fun weapon interactions to be found, making it the most easter egg filled of the batch. That said, it’s definitely one of the easiest, save for the final boss which stands out as one of the most frustrating fights across the franchise. It manages to secure its spot as my second favorite in this set and serves as a guilty pleasure of the whole Classic series.
Mega Man 8 stands out even more in the visual department, as a 32-bit affair with voice acting and animated cutscenes. The stages and characters are more cartoon-esque, with colors that pop and some really great animations. A lot of the voice acted lines veer into so-bad-it’s-good territory, with the delivery in the cutscenes in particular being worth a laugh. Unfortunately, 8 feels slow at times with respect to movement (a problem 7 has as well), and in its attempts to offer variety via the likes of auto-scrolling shooter levels and the extra frustrating jump-jump-slide-slide jetboard sections, it comes up short, holding the dubious distinction as my third favorite in a list of four.
That brings us to the mightiest of all these, Mega Man 9. A deliberate callback to Mega Man 2 in particular, Rockman loses his slide and charge shot and instead gains some amazing stages, music, weapons, and bosses to stand alongside the best of the series. Galaxy Man in particular manages to land the top spot in all these categories for me, but the entire game is a real treat. The only real complaint I have for 9 is that some of its difficulty comes from trial and error style traps and layouts, making some obstacles seem more unfair than they should.
Last and least here is Mega Man 10. While not a bad game, next to 9 it ends up seeming unremarkable and more akin to Mega Man 4 or 5. There are some spots of inspiration, and having a playable Proto Man from the start (and an unlockable Bass) gives it more replay value than most games in the series, but it just isn’t as distinct. It (and 9 for that matter) includes all of its DLC at no extra charge though, and rounds out the lineup as a serviceable alternative adventure.
Strollin’ through the Robot Museum
Similar to the first collection, you’ll get plenty of concept art and robot design illustrations to look over when you aren’t Mega Bustin’ your way through stages. All that sweet, sweet Mega Man music is available as well, letting you loop your favorite Robot Master melodies and more. While these are both welcome, they don’t exactly stand out as extras. They’re worth checking out, sure, but for those out to test their malicious machine mangling there’s a little something else.
Every game in the legacy lineup comes with a set of challenge stages. Remixed stages, boss gauntlets, and more are waiting to put you through the wringer. They won’t win you over if Wily fighting isn’t in your wheelhouse, but for the rest of you super-fighting robots they fit especially well on the Switch via handheld mode. Even more are unlockable via the Mega Man amiibo, letting you tango with even more, exclusive trials. The best bit though has to be the ability to select any Robot Master from the whole of the included games and challenge them to a fight from the museum itself.
While these “work” and give even those who have played these games multiple times something new to play with, Legacy Collection 2 could’ve benefited from some Classic series side games. The Super Famicom version of Mega Man & Bass would’ve been perfect here, as would the fighting game duo of Mega Man: The Power Battle and Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters, previously packed in the Mega Man Anniversary Collection on GameCube. It doesn’t lessen the games on offer, but it does limit the scope of just how huge Mega Man was in his heyday.
He’s more than a robot
How much you’ll enjoy Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 comes down to what you want from Mega Man yourself. These aren’t the Blue Bomber’s best, but just like his own powerset, the compilation offers enough variety to make each game stand out. Even when they aren’t made equal they’re made well, reminding us why Rockman Classic is such an icon. More could’ve been done to make this a real comprehensive collection when paired with the first half, but it’s still a rush of jumpin’, shootin’ good times for your Switch.
For more on Mega Man’s retro revolution on Switch, be sure to check out our companion review for Legacy Collection 1!
Leave a Comment
System: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: May 22, 2018
Categories: Action, Platformer