It’s been quite a few years since I’ve played a Megaman X title. Probably close to 15 years since X7 was my last soirée in the series. So I sat down with the Mega Man X Legacy Collection, booted up, I found myself wondering if time had not been kind to The Blue Bomber. Thankfully, my childhood remains intact because these games not only hold up well (not you X7), but are identical to the initial launch titles. Whether you are picking up the collection for nostalgia purposes or want to experience another take on Megaman’s story, all good things await.
Megaman X Legacy Collection launched on July 24th as two separate games or one bundle. Collection 1 carries X-X4 while Collection 2 holds X5-X8; Each collection runs for $20. Goes without saying but the bundle comes with all eight titles under one price tag of $40. Filled with goodies and extras, $20-$40 doesn’t seem like a bad deal.
The Little Things
Goodies are always a good thing, and both collections are chocked full of them. Acting as a prologue to Mega Man X, the Day of Sigma movie reveals the events leading up to Sigma going full Maverick. This OVA runs for about 25 minutes and though it isn’t crucial to watch, just by having the OVA makes the package feel whole. Additionally, Day of Sigma comes included in both collections.
Players are also treated to artwork, music and trailers from the various titles when the games were first launched. Adding further to the pile of extras, Capcom also included Rockman, the Japanese versions of each game as well. I’ve not noticed any major difference between the English and Japanese versions; but including another version makes the collections feel more comprehensive.
A new mode called X Challenge comes with both collections. Essentially a boss run, X Challenge adds a twist to fighting bosses. Instead of fighting just one boss, now players must deal with two bosses at a time. These powerful enemies come mashed together from one of four titles contained the collection. Players must choose up to three weapons to tackle bosses. For a real challenge, only equipping the X-Buster is also an option. Once each stage finishes, the player’s score tallies at the end. Scores in turn, can be uploaded onto the leaderboard. Shoot for the top or challenge friends against paired bosses.
Death By Machines
The Mega Man X games are fast paced, action platformers where players dodge traps and enemies in order to reach the level’s boss. After defeating the boss, a new power becomes available for the player. Each boss has a weakness to be exploited by trying out different powers in combat. In addition, the environment might change in other levels depending on which order players defeat bosses. These changes could open up shortcuts and/or allow players to gain access to power ups.
Power ups come in many different forms. Heart Tanks increase health, so players can take more hits before expiring. Energy Tanks store extra energy, which is used as a means of replenishing lost health. And finally, Armor Parts provide additional abilities, either to explore or to help in battle. The more power ups found, the easier a time players can have stopping Sigma’s plans.
Working on the collections finally gave me the chance to beat the games I’ve never gotten around to. X2, X3 and X8 fell beneath my radar and if not for the collections, probably would have stayed there. Having all of the series on one system feels pretty good because I’ll always be able to return. Gone are the days of bouncing between different systems just so I could experience a portion of the Megaman X series. Though if there’s one thing I’m regretting, it’s this: how soft I’ve become.
The way I saw it, if child Marcus could beat these games, then I’d have no issues. How quickly did my own hubris turn against me. For the games I used to play on repeat, I did okay enough but nowhere as good as child Marcus was. As for those games I never played? The game over screen appeared more times than I care to admit. A majority of Mega Man titles operate under a trial and error formula and Mega Man X is no different. If I was feeling hip and trendy, I’d definitely compare these games to another series that rhymes with Bark Goals.
To thwart difficulty issues, Capcom implemented an easy mode called Rookie Hunter mode. With Rookie Hunter toggled on, players take half damage from enemy attacks. Even better, bottomless pits and those pesky spikes no longer results in insta-death. Rookie Hunter comes available throughout every title contained in the collections. Players wanting to experience what the series offers can now do so without (hopefully?) dying too often.
Throughout the eight Mega Man X titles, I’m pleased to report of no major issue of input lag or lag in general outside of what was already there in the first place. In fact, the only time I experienced lag was during the same exact moments from years ago on the initial console of release. For example, during the end section of Armored Armadillo’s level in Mega Man X, X begins to race out of a tunnel with multiple enemies on screen. And just like when I played so long ago on the SNES, the action came to a crawl as lag took over for a few seconds.
And what I found crazy was how happy the lag made me feel. Immediately, my childhood of playing through this particular game on repeat came rushing back towards me once again. For those of us who played Mega Man X titles in the past, the collection will certainly meet expectations.
In fact, lags spikes are the only issue I found throughout each collection, outside of X7 being included as well. Whether you spend $20 on four games or $40 for eight, the content is pretty justifiable. Capcom did a perfect job porting to our current gen systems, considering how these games came out 2-3 generations ago.
The day Capcom announced both Mega Man X Legacy Collections, I was over the moon. Mega Man X was my debut entry into Mega Man as a franchise and as such, will always hold a special place in my memories. As such, the collections bring exactly what was necessary: quality content, reasonable price and of course, nostalgia. These collections are a no brainer for fans and I dare say, even newcomers. With rumors flying around about Mega Man X9 on the horizon, now may be a good time to invest in X and Zero’s journey.