Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 Review (PlayStation 4)
I couldn't begin to tell you the number of times I played each of the four games contained in Mega Man Legacy Collection 2. I know them like the back of my hand or, to put it more intimately, like the face of a life-long friend. These games mean something to me, you know? They mean something to a great many of us (all for different reasons, I'm sure). That's why it was important for Legacy Collection 2 to reproduce these games as faithfully as possible. I'm happy to say it met those expectations.
It may not have as many games as Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 or Mega Man Anniversary Collection, but Legacy Collection 2 does a great service to the four games it represents. These conversions of Mega Man 7, Mega Man 8, Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10 feel exactly the way they should. I experienced no game-breaking bugs or unintended slowdown. You could easily mistake you were playing any of the four games on their original hardware. Controls are responsive, lag-free, and fall nicely to the tune of your muscle memory.
If you’re totally new to Mega Man, you can opt to switch on the added "extra armor mode" to take less damage. This can be accessed from the main menu and it applies to all four games. Further, the developers have implemented save checkpoints for easy checkpoint reload. It's a nice addition for new and rusty players alike.
In terms of presentation, things are spot-on in nearly every regard. The colors pop, pixels are clean, and load times are essentially non-existent. The games themselves look fantastic. You have three display formats to choose from: "original" (4:3), "full" and "wide". A CRT-like filter can also be toggled. Out of all the games, though, Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10 look the crispest. I'm happy to confirm the forced blur filter from the PS3 and 360 versions has been removed.
Also, before I forget to mention it, Mega Man 7's end credits animation is intact. This is no Anniversary Collection do-over. What is gone, however, are two distinct Nintendo references: the Famicom in Junk Man's stage and the Game Boy that can be found with Rush Search. Not a huge loss but understandable.
Audio-wise, everything sounds as it should. Mega Man 9's music and SFX did stutter on rare occasion, though. The first instance was on the title screen. The issue seemed to work itself out shortly. Other than that, the audio presentation is nicely done. Mega Man 8's voices are the clearest I've ever heard them – for better or worse.
Speaking of Mega Man 8, I have to talk about the FMVs. I wish they were presented in a higher-definition. They look as fine as they did in 1996 but they're still compressed. I don't know if the original source material was lost or unavailable, but little effort was made to clean these clips up. I also found it a bit odd that the opening FMV does not not immediately play when you boot MM8. To see it, you have to sit through the demo clip that plays when the title screen is left idle. Electrical Communication is a no-show, I'm afraid. Even when you switch the game's language to Japanese, it still plays the English opening theme. A minor annoyance but not a deal breaker.
Mega Man Legacy Collection 2's extras add a bit of replay value. Much like Legacy Collection 1, there's new challenges, remixed stages and time trials to test your skills. You can also challenge Robot Masters outside of their respective games to improve your talents or practice. There's 21 Trophies to scoop up, too, which does not include Mega Man 9 or Mega Man 10's original Trophies sets. Instead, those original challenge have been moved to the Extra Challenge menu. Yes, that includes "Mr. Perfect".
Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10 DLC is not available from the start, might I add. You can either beat their respective game to unlock the DLC... or input the following button sequence on the respective game's title screen: Up, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, Down, Up, Up, Down. You'll hear a chime if it worked!
The Museum Mode is bursting with concept art. While most of these pieces can be seen in MM25: Mega Man & Mega Man X Official Complete and past publications, with a few new additions. One piece in particular is a bit of an odd-ball. The above image, dubbed "Design Concept " is purportedly from Mega Man 8 but it sure as hell doesn't look like it. It looks like the handiwork of Yuji Ishihara, character designer on Battle Network, Star Force and Legends. Curiously, Ishihara didn't work on Mega Man 8, let alone any classic series title.
I've combed through every resource I know and I've got nothing on it. I think it's new. I mean, did someone accidentally slip some Mega Man 11 art up in here? The details on the torso, feet and arms are reminiscent of Mega Man's Smash Bros. design. The oversized hand may scream Duo, but the whole package looks more a Robot Master power-up. However, classic Mega Man's appearance does not normally change to reflect an equipped Robot Master attribute. What's going on here?
Okay, okay. I'll chill.
Anyway, the Museum Mode is a nice addition but it's lacking. There are far fewer pieces here than Legacy Collection 1. No magazine clippings, promotional posters or anything obscure like that. The image quality isn't quite up to snuff, either. You're given the option to zoom-in for a better look, but what's the use when everything comes up blurry? The resolution needs some serious work.
Overall, Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 succeeds in bringing four great games to the current console generation. It is unmistakable that developers Now Production and Bullets Co., Ltd worked to ensure that each game was reproduced as authentic as possible. I only wish these guys had the opportunity to add in Mega Man & Bass, the Saturn version of Mega Man 8, and the Game Boy games. For what Legacy Collection 2 is, though, I gladly recommend it.
If I had to score it, I'd give it an 8/10.
Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 is now available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC for $19.99.