The Mega Man X Legacy Collection is one that I’ve had my eye on for quite a while now, and it is finally here. Mega Man X is one of my favorite franchises when I was growing up, and I couldn’t be happier to relive it again. This series is a perfect transition from the older 8-bit SNES-style to the new. Mega Man X features new stories, abilities, and of course, vast secrets to find, if you’re willing to look hard enough for them. This collection consists of the first four X series games, and with some of the physical games being harder to come by than others, it’s nice to be able to play through them in all, some for the first time in about 20 years.
Mega Man X
This game is a great baseline for the Blue Bomber. He himself is new and improved. You can tell just from the introduction level how tight the controls are and how well X responds. Zero also makes his debut at the end of the intro level, which is kind of cool looking back on it. The only abilities you start with are the wall jump and, more importantly, the option to charge your Mega Buster. The game now allows for armor upgrades, but you must go off the beaten path to find them. Energy tanks are still available to find and assist you if your energy level runs out. You can still choose your path on which boss you want to take on in whatever order you desire. Depending on how you go about this, you might have to do some backtracking to find all the hidden abilities. Overall, this one might be my favorite of the entire series, but the others are really close to being just as good.
MEGA MAN X2
This game takes place about 6 months after the first, and apparently not much as changed. Good thing we have a whole second game to remedy that! Honestly, this game feels very similar to the first one, but that’s not a bad thing. An ability not found in the first game, the Shoryuken, can also be attained, so if you like Street Fighter, you get another reference here. Getting pieces for Zero’s armor can prove to be challenging at times, but that’s all the more fun when he makes his grand appearance near the end of the game.
MEGA MAN X3
This is where Mega Man X starts to feel kind of stale. You are tasked once again to defeat various bosses in the order of your choosing, but at times that doesn’t feel like enough. The only thing of real note about this game is that it is probably the rarest one out of the bunch. If I played this game at all as a child, I definitely don’t remember it.
MEGA MAN X4
X4 is the first game on the Sega Saturn and the PlayStation. I was worried how the graphics in this game would look, but Capcom did a wonderful job smoothing everything over. Some of the levels become interactive, such as running up a staircase or jumping from car to car on a moving train. This was a nice progression from the Super Nintendo era.
The Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 has some nice features that I really enjoyed instead of Capcom just throwing a port together and calling it good enough. You are able to change the aspect ratio of the screen to either stretch the picture out horizontally or square things up like on an old school CRT. I tried my hardest to use the full screen option because bars on the screen for any reason bother me, but the game just wasn’t playable that way. I set it to the old 4:3, and 10 minutes later I wasn’t even thinking about that anymore.
Something else that I thought was fun to spend time with was the X Challenge Mode. In this mode you have to choose three special weapons and take on series of duo boss fights. The unique thing about this experience is that you can choose which weapons work best with each duo of bosses you face. It felt really satisfying finding that perfect combination and waltzing through those bosses.
There’s also a Rookie Mode included. It’s like a god mode of sorts that can be toggled on or off at any time. That makes it nice if you’re getting frustrated during a specific part of the game. If there’s a whole level you don’t like, or if you just feel like taking a stroll to meet up with Sigma, go ahead on play on Rookie Mode.
Capcom also includes a museum, which once again wasn’t just thrown in. It includes concept art, the original Japanese Rockman X trailers, some cool photos of collectibles, and also an animated short titled The Day of Sigma that came with the PlayStation Portable game Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X.
Usually, I really only like these collections just for novelty, but with the Mega Man X Legacy Collection, I can see myself playing this off and on for the foreseeable future.
Overall, Capcom took no shortcuts with the Mega Man X Legacy Collection. The emulation is near perfect, they even threw in the “slow-down” effect when there’s too much happening on the screen and the system can’t handle it. Of course, the music is on point. MMX always had a great soundtrack, so I’m glad they kept the original in place here. The tight gameplay kept me coming back again and again. If that wasn’t enough, the Challenge Mode felt like a game within a game. The museum was a nice touch, and seeing where an icon in gaming came from was really neat to explore.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: 24th July 2018
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