- Game: Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1+2
- Consoles: PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
- Publisher: Capcom
- Developer: Capcom
A Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1+2 review code was provided by the publisher.
Capcom is trying everything in their power to reach “CapGod” status once again. They’re certainly doing the right things to make sure they reach the highest plateau that represents the top publisher/developer in gaming. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Monster Hunter: World, Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, and the upcoming releases of Devil May Cry V and and the Resident Evil 2 remake are doing a great job of bringing back lost fans into the Capcom fold.
Speaking of lost fans, the Mega Man fanbase have a lot to celebrate (for once). The Mega Man Legacy Collection 1+2 finally brought over all the mainline Mega Man games to modern consoles. And now one of the best spinoff series in gaming has gotten the very same treatment. The Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1+2 not only compiles some of the best action/platformers in gaming history, it archives fan service worthy material and offers a fun spin on the series’ intense boss fights.
This compilation of the Mega Man X series is split up into two packages. The first portion includes the first three SNES entries and the future “Blue Bomber’s” debut on 32-bit consoles. The second assemblage compiles the rest of the 32-bit series lineup and the last two games in the series that were featured prominently on the PS2 and PC.
One of the cooler features that’s implemented in both collections is the inclusion of different versions of each game. Fans who prefer Japan’s nickname for Mega Man (Rockman) can choose to play the Japanese versions of each entry or choose to try out other territories’ rendition. There’s no major gameplay differences to speak of between each edition of all the featured titles, but it’s still cool to be able to check out some of the visual changes seen in the Japanese releases.
With such a varied assortment of Mega Man X games split up into two parts, it should come as no surprise that one of them sticks out more due to their higher quality offerings. And that honor definitely goes to the first collection. The first ever Mega Man X still holds up well – the great stage pacing, awesome soundtrack, abundance of secrets to uncover, and faster take on traditional Mega Man gameplay is just as engrossing as it was when it first hit in ’93. Its sequel is even more enjoyable thanks to the improved platforming segments and the implementation of speeder bike sections.
However, Mega Man X3 falters a bit. There aren’t any substantial improvements to speak of, plus the chance to finally play as Zero is hampered by some strange design choices. Skipping that red-headed stepchild of the series and going straight to the one of the best sequels in the series is doable thanks to the inclusion of Mega Man X4. The visuals get a huge jump in quality, the replay value is higher now that you can utilize Mega Man X and Zero in two different campaigns, and the gameplay itself feels even more refined than past entries. Mega Man X4 stands tall next to other 2D platformers of the time and still delivers some of the best fast-paced action the series is well-regarded for.
While the second compilation isn’t as good as the first one, it still offers one of the more underrated Mega Man X experiences. The titles that come before it are certainly enjoyable in parts due to the always fun Mega Man X gameplay, but they still stand out for all the wrong reasons. Mega Man X5 features an annoying countdown timer that kills the desire for completionists to replay beaten stages. Mega Man X6 just feels like a lazy, run-of-the-mill entry in the series (which isn’t a surprise since series artist/producer Keiji Inafune wasn’t involved in its development).
Mega Man X7 certainly tries its best to innovate the series, but the actual implementation of those new features leaves a lot to be desired. The boring level design, atrocious voice acting, forgettable soundtrack, and awkward 3D movement makes playing through Mega Man X7 a needless chore. After slogging through those three letdowns, playing Mega Man X8 simply feels like a revelation.
The game’s creators clearly went back to what worked before and did their best to improve upon that foundation. The music reaches the high quality of past entries, the 2D platforming returns in top form, and there’s a ton of cool unlocks that adds on to the game’s huge slate of content. The second collection could have been more worthwhile if it featured the strange yet still enjoyable spinoff RPG, Mega Man X: Command Mission. Its omission isn’t much of a surprise since both collections are mainly focused on the series’ platformers. But it still would have done a good job of adding more content to the second portion of the overall Mega Man X package.
Besides the eight featured games, both collections feature a bevy of content that’s universally available. Longtime fans should be satisfied with the inside look at all the memorabilia released on behalf of the Mega Man X franchise. Combing through a gallery of detailed action figures, listening to the music featured in each game, and getting the chance to watch an animated Sigma prologue feature are all entertaining side endeavors.
The other main feature that’s present in both collections is the “X Challenge” mode. As a powered up (or underpowered) Mega Man X, you’ll be put to the test as you take on two bosses at once. There’s actually a lot of enjoyment to be had from these tough Maverick encounters. The most hardcore of series fanatics will get the most bang for their buck thanks to this side mode, especially since it uplifts the second collection’s quality a bit. X Challenge stands out as the most engaging fresh feature that’s been added to both compilations.
Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1+2 Takeways
As an overall compilation, the Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1+2 is full of some valuable series entries that are worth returning to. The original Mega Man X, plus X2, X4, and X8 offer the highest quality of the entire franchise. The more flawed portions of this compilation (X3, X5, X6, and X7) brings down its overall quality, however.
The in-game museum and surprisingly amusing one-versus-two Maverick boss rush mode do enough to bring that quality factor back up to respectable levels. The Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1+2 is a great compilation that reminds fans and non-fans alike of the glory days of the 22nd century’s savior.
Our Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1+2 Review Score: 8 out of 10