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Mega Man Legacy Collection PS4 Review

If you’re a connoisseur of retro gaming then you already know what you’re getting into, but if you’re trying to educate yourself in the ways of the old-school then I can’t think of a better way to start your retro gaming tour than a trip through these NES classics. This package is over flowing with extra content ranging from artwork to new challenges, although that’s not to say the Mega Man Legacy Collection is without any flaws holding it back from perfection. Let’s jump in.

Retro gaming fans will appreciate the fact that these games are untouched. They are the straight up NES versions and they wear their quirky little glitches and design limitations like a badge of honour, so do not mistake this for an updated HD collection. If you can remember powering on Mega Man for the first time in 1987 and the games framerate dropped because four things were moving at once then this collection will cause déjà vu. These glitches and hiccups are by no means a bad thing, in fact I would say they’re a plus considering none of them actually affect the game negatively. They do, however, act as an excellent demonstration of the limitations of the NES and they show how caring developers embraced those limits to deliver the best games possible.

The evil base of Dr. Wily!

The evil base of Dr. Wily!

If you’ve only played modern games and worry that you won’t be able to get to grips with these 80s and 90s classics, don’t. As I said above the games were made by caring developers who understood the hardware of the time. The controls are tight, responsive and simple which means you’ll be platforming and blasting robots like a pro in no time. The level design was handled with expert care and precision. Every platform, enemy and trap is perfectly placed which means if you miss a jump the first time you’ll realise what you did wrong and learn from your mistakes. This makes the games less frustrating because you know every failed attempt was your own fault and not due to poor design choices

What are the six games about? Well there’s eight robot bosses (but just six in the first game) that you must defeat to unlock the finale stage. You can beat the bosses in any order you choose which adds a tactical depth to Mega Man which I think makes the series special. For example a weapon you unlocked for beating one boss might be another boss’s weakness, so if you defeat Bubble Man in Mega Man 2 you can use the weapon he drops to easily defeat Heat Man. Unfortunately the best order to beat the bosses in or what weapon is a boss’s weakness isn’t always logical. This means there can be a lot of trial and error as you try to figure out the best order to approach the bosses in. The collection does include a database for each game which is extremely useful, it offers you story details on all the characters and enemies as well as showing you their weaknesses. This means when stuck you can use the database to figure out what order to fight the bosses in.

A fan club poster from the museum.

A fan club poster from the museum.

Another cool feature in this collection is the museum. Before you launch each game there’s the option to view its museum which contains concept art and so on from each title. My personal favourites here are the promo posters or box art pieces, but there must a hundred art pieces per game, at least. Then there’s the music player, I’m going to pull a Tristram Shandy here and promise I’ll return to it in a minute! Firstly I want to address the music. It’s video game music! That statement sounds obvious but the majority of modern game music is not game music at all, it sounds more like a films soundtrack. For example Skyrims soundtrack is incredible, but if I didn’t know any better and you told me it was ripped straight from Peter Jacksons Lord of the Rings trilogy I’d believe you. There’s no mistaking Mega Man’s soundtrack for anything but a video games and I found that to be refreshing, just take a listen. Now as promised the music player. It’s accessed from the main menu and while the ideas great it’s also my first complaint. It contains every track from all six games and that’s awesome, but you have to stay in the music player to listen, there’s no way to download the tracks and there’s no play all feature meaning you have to individually select each track and when the one you choose ends you must manually select the next song. I can’t imagine many people sitting in front of the music player screen manually choosing each track individually, it’s a shame there’s no way to download the tracks to listen to them whenever you want.

Then there is the challenges. You start off with a set amount of challenges and unlock more by completing a number of them. There’s three tiers of medals to unlock depending on your performance in a challenge and there’s online leader boards to give them a competitive edge. The challenges include remixed sections of the main games and boss fights, but there’s other challenges too and once you’ve completed a challenge you can watch the replay.

Bar the music player my only other complaint is that the collection feels incomplete. There are ten games in the classic Mega Man series (eleven if you include Mega Man and Bass), but this collection only includes six of them. I understand that the six games included complete the entire NES era of Mega Man but it is a pity the SNES games and beyond couldn’t have been included too. It would have meant more games, more music and more artwork which the collection would only benefit from.

Be it a trip down memory lane or your introduction to the 8-bit era the Mega Man Legacy Collection gives you all you’d expect and more. The games are the exact same as they were on the NES, even the glitches remain which is a good thing! The collections new features are fantastic with the exception of the music player which in concept was a great idea but its execution is poor. The museum, challenges and databases are all a Mega Man fan could ask for. My only major issue is that the collection feels incomplete although a €15 price tag, and the fact that it only takes up 297.5MB of your precious PS4 hard drive space, helps to lessen the sting of that complaint.

8 out of 10