Mega Man 1-6 found a winning formula and stuck with it, and helped to define the NESís greatest years. Mega Manís next four games -- those in the Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 -- may span several console generations but donít stray far from that original formula.
The selection of games in Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 is slim: this package only includes four Mega Man games, the DLC for Mega Man 9 and 10, a concept art gallery, and a handful of brand new, remixed stages and boss rush challenges.
What links these Mega Man games together, aside from their kooky robot cast and sequential numbering, is their unrelenting, old-school difficulty. In fact, theyíre some of the hardest Mega Man games ever made. Thatís welcome for old-school fans like me, but Legacy Collection 2 lacks some now-expected features to make it more accessible for modern audiences. In the first first Mega Man Legacy collection that challenge was made a little more forgiving for modern audiences with a ďsave anywhereĒ feature, and others, like the Disney Afternoon Collection include a handy instant rewind. Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 doesnít include either, and theyíre sorely missed. You can save your game and return to a few pre-determined spots in each level, and turn on an easier "Legacy Mode" that gives you a few more hits per level, but together are still an inadequate substitute.
Hereís a quick take on each game in Mega Man Legacy Collection 2:
Mega Man 7 is the weakest game of the bunch. Unlike the twitchy platforming of previous games, the SNES sequel is slow and clunky. Jumps and dodging feel all wrong, and waiting for the charge shot slows things down even more. However, itís worth playing for the colorful, 16-bit sprites, like this huge polar bear that slaps ice at you. IGN reviewed Mega Man 7 retroactively in 2008.
PlayStationís Mega Man 8 has aged surprisingly well. It picks up the pace a bit with an awesome auto-fire attachment, and the 32-bit art is straight out of Capcomís golden era of fighting games. The laughably bad voice acting and cutscenes are more entertaining than annoying. Read IGN's original Mega Man 8 Review (from 1997!) here.
Mega Man 9 is a 2008 retro de-make that apes the graphics and structure of Mega Man 1-6, and itís the hardest Mega Man ever made. Unlike its predecessors, instant death is everywhere. Bottomless pits, spiked walls, and quickly moving platforms render your arsenal useless. The level design is brilliant, however, and the impossible becomes possible, even easy, after many plays. But without save states, the sparse checkpoints become your biggest adversary. Read the original Mega Man 9 Review here.
Mega Man 10 is a direct sequel to 9, with the same classic look and feel. It adds an easy mode to help you learn the levels, and the bosses are the looniest bunch yet: Sheep Man fortifies his domain with evil mouse pointers and Pump Man pumps his own pump (his head, thankfully). The tunes in both 9 and 10 are top notch. Read the original Mega Man 10 Review here.