'Mega Man Legacy Collection' Brings Back The Blue Bomber

August 27, 2015

In the annals of video game history, there are only a few third party characters that can withstand the test of time, and Capcom's Mega Man is at the top of that very short list. The little blue robot has been challenging players since his first appearance on the Famicom and Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987. Over the last 28 years, the Blue Bomber has set the record for "most number of games in a single series" and in doing so, has worked his way into the hearts of gamers around the world. While he may not have gotten the respect that he deserves in recent years, with Capcom cancelling his most recent original titles in 2011, he still stands alongside the greats, like Mario, Link, and Samus as one of the most important characters of all time. Given Capcom's lack of support for Mega Man in the last few years, their latest release, the Mega Man Legacy Collection is actually a pretty big deal, since it shines the spotlight on everyone's favorite little robot, while giving his original NES games the honorable treatment they deserve.

Developer: Capcom/Digital Eclipse
Publisher: Capcom

When the six Mega Man games that are included in the Legacy Collection were released decades ago, the tech of today wasn't even a glimmer in an engineer's eye, which means that these games needed a lot of updating to play at today's standards. Fortunately, Capcom and Digital Eclipse were just the team to do that. Capcom brought their decades of Mega Man expertise to the table, and Digital Eclipse brought their dedication to faithfully recreating and preserving these classic games in their best possible format. The end product merges vintage content with modern day tech in ways superior to any other comparable release of its kind.

There are two layers to the Mega Man Legacy Collection: the first being the games, and the second is everything else. At first glance, the biggest selling point of this compilation may be the updated re-releases of six of the most important NES games of all time (Mega Man, Mega Man 2, Mega Man 3, Mega Man 4, Mega Man 5, and Mega Man 6), but Capcom trots those games out every few years to make a quick buck. Most of those games have seen releases on the PlayStation, GameCube, PlayStation 3, Wii, 3DS, and Wii U in one shape or another, so it isn't really a big deal to be able to play them again on the latest consoles. It is worth noting though, that Digital Eclipse did an amazing job of updating them to be optimized for the latest hardware. They look great and play like they did in the days of yore. However, while the fancy bells and whistles tug at your nostalgic heartstrings, it's really the second layer of "everything else" that makes the Mega Man Legacy Collection a big deal.

The most important innovation that the Legacy Collection offers is its remixed take on classic Mega Man levels in the form of Challenges. These Challenges either push the player to complete compiled chunks of levels from across different games, or defeat a boss, all within a certain time limit. These remixes will offer something new and challenging to even the most seasoned Mega Man veteran, and they come complete with online leaderboards so you can see just how you stack up against other Mega Men. In addition to the extra gameplay, fans can indulge in some of their favorite sights and sounds from this classic series by perusing the Museum and Music sections of the compilation. The Museum section offers a look at production art from each of the games, as well as providing information on all of the characters, from Mega Man, to Dr. Light, to each of the Robot Masters. The Music feature includes all of the music from each of the games, that most fans already know by heart. Players can relive their youth by playing Heat Man's stage music over and over again, as they recall those damn disappearing blocks ever so "fondly."

If you want to relive your youth by battling your way to Dr. Wily's castle over and over again right now, you can pick up the Mega Man Legacy Collection on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or PC as a digital download. If you're the more patient type that likes holding boxes, you can pick up physical releases for consoles in 2016, along with the upcoming 3DS release, which promises to include some exclusive special features.

Everyone loves Mega Man. He's a hard guy to not like. He's one little robot that's always had it tough, because Dr. Wily never seems to give up creating more and more robot masters to take over the world. His games are famously hard, and, as a result, serve as a true accolade of accomplishment for anyone that has ever taken them on triumphantly. The Mega Man Legacy Collection celebrates everything that is great about the humble beginnings of this amazing franchise, and lets players feel just what it was like to play these 8-bit classics. Sure the collection feels somewhat incomplete since the mainline Mega Man games go up to ten, but the collection gives fans a sense of where the Blue Bomber started, and just what kind of an uphill battle he faced. The extra content provides an upsell for longtime fans, and gives them a special, behind the scenes look at the development of the original releases, while also giving them something new to play in the challenge modes. Whether you've already tried to take down Wily and his robots so many times that your thumbs are scarred with calluses, or this is your first time giving these vintage classics a shot, the Legacy Collection is a great way to revisit the origins of one of gaming's most important characters, Mega Man.