Destiny: The Taken King – Stormcaller Warlock Overview

Destiny Stormcaller

Yesterday we went over the new Solar subclass for the Titans in Destiny: The Taken King. Today, we’ll look at the new Arc subclass for Warlocks – the Stormcaller. It’s time to be a Sith Lord.

STORMCALLER – THE SITH LORD
This is one that we’ve been thinking was coming for a very long time – a force lightning-esque power was just too perfect an idea for an Arc Warlock. Now that we have it in our hands, I think it’s pretty fair to say that it’s as awesome as we had hoped.

But we’ll start, as we always do, with the grenade options. Stormcallers have the Pulse Grenade, Storm Grenade and the Arcbolt Grenade. The Pulse grenade is just like the one on the Striker Titan tree – solid AoE pulse damage, just an all around good choice for either PvP or PvE. Likewise, the Arcbolt grenade is just the same as the Bladedancer’s – it’s not the best “bolt” style grenade, but in PvP it’s a pretty solid choice. The new choice here is the Storm grenade. You toss one out, and it creates a pretty decent sized lightning storm. It’s good for creating a safe zone in PvE, while killing low-tier enemies; and also good in PvP for netting some kills with a somewhat surprising radius. I think this is a great mix of grenades – the Stormcaller really doesn’t have a weak option.

We’ll move on now to the melee ability – Thunderstrike. It’s not super different from the other Warlock melees, just an Arc powered hit, with even more range. Warlocks already have long melee ranges, and this is just icing on the cake. it can be upgraded with Chain Lightning, Amplitude, and Rising Storm. Chain Lightning does just what it sounds like – the Arc damage chains to another nearby enemies. Extra damage with a melee attack is always a good thing. Amplitude gives your Thunderstrike even more range – on top of the already extended range. This is definitely the go-to PvP choice here – Warlocks already have the best all around melee attack, and this just makes it even more so. Rising Storm functions similarly to Amplify for Strikers – hits with Thunderstrike charge your Super and now melee energy. It’s a good choice in PvE for just continual charging. I think really Chain Lightning or Rising Storm are both good PvE choices, while Amplitude is purely PvP focused.

Now the meat of the matter – Stormtrance. You activate it, you float around and shoot lightning from your fingertips. It chains from target to target, and is insanely powerful at clearing enemies. It lasts for a bit longer than you might expect such a strong super to, but it does have somewhat short range. It can be upgraded with Landfall, Superconductor, and Ionic Blink. Landfall has you shoot out a bolt of lightning to the ground, generating an AoE burst of damage when you activate Stormtrance. Good option pretty much all around I think. Superconductor doubles your lightning chaining capabilities – also a great option for PvE utility. Ionic Blink gives you a quick teleport while you’re using Stormtrance. Stormtrance does suffer from somewhat poor mobility, but honestly, I think this is kind of a gimmicky pick. I can see it being useful in PvP, but that’s about it.

That brings us to the class specific perks. The first column includes Pulsewave, Feedback, and Transcendence. Pulsewave has you trigger a Pulsewave that boosts speed for you and your allies, but only when you are critically wounded. Feedback has incoming melee attacks fully recharge Thunderstrike, and intensify the damage from Thunderstrike. Transcendence is an interesting perk – when you cast Stormtrance with full grenade and melee energy, it restores your health to full, and also drains slower. It may have you be a little more thoughtful with your super usage, but I think it could be a good pick in PvE. Feedback is pretty much a pure PvP pick. The second column of perks include Electrostatic Mind, Arc Web and Perpetual Charge. Electrostatic Mind has your Stormtrance charge faster while your near allies, and gives you a little AoE damage effect while it’s active. Arc Web makes it so all your grenades chain their damage to others nearby. Perpetual Charge makes it so your grenade kills recharge melee, and vice versa. I actually think anything from this column works pretty well. This is more of a personal preference column.

The Stormcaller is I think the Warlock’s glass cannon nature brought to it’s logical conclusion. You’re still pretty fragile – Stormtrance doesn’t give you a ton of resistances. But man, you dish out some serious damage to just about everything that you’ll run into. Even majors will just melt to your lightning powers. Just like with the Sunbreaker, if you haven’t been playing a Warlock, this is a really good excuse to try one out.

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Destiny: The Taken King – Sunbreaker Titan Class Overview

Destiny Sunbreaker

I briefly talked a little bit yesterday about the new Subclasses available in Destiny: The Taken King. Over the next few days though I want to hit each Subclass a little more in detail – similar to what I did at launch last year. As always, we’ll start with the best class, the Titan, and move through Warlock and Hunter later.

SUNBREAKER: TOO LEGIT TO QUIT
The Sunbreaker is the Titan’s answer to Golden Gun and Sunsinger – it’s a duration based, Solar super. The hammers that you throw throughout the duration have some serious power behind them – a direct hit is a one-shot kill in Crucible play, and in PvE they cause burn damage over time. You gain some pretty serious damage resistance too while it’s active. Defender may have been the go-to PvE class for Titans in any serious content, but I can definitely see Sunbreaker being just as viable. Just like I did last year, let’s talk about the Subclass specific abilities.

We’ll start with the grenades. Sunbreakers have access to the Fusion Grenade, Thermite Grenade and Incendiary Grenade. The Fusion is just the same as the one on the Sunsinger Warlock. It’s a sticky grenade that does some good damage – and is one of the best PvP options. Similarly with the Incendiary grenade – it’s the same grenade as the Gunslinger. It’s a good crowd control option, and does cause damage over time. The new grenade option here is the Thermite grenade. Thrown one down, and a solar shockwave will shoot out in a straight line. It’s very similar in behavior to the Shockwave and Razor’s Edge abilities from the arc subclasses. It does some decent damage – I’ve been using it a lot to clear lines of weak enemies like Thralls. In PvP, it’s much more of a zoning tool, but it does have some use because of the range on the firewave. Each grenade is useful, and each one excels in different phases of the game.

We move on now to the melee abilities that add on to Sunstrike. Sunstrike is essentially a solar powered punch – nothing too crazy from the Titan norm. It still suffers from the same problem that all Titan melees have – the range is abysmal, and it’s outclassed in PvP by the other options. That said, the extra perks may have you punching things a bit more than you’re used to. Our upgrades here are Melting Point, Thermal Vent, and Stoke the Forge. Melting Point makes it so after you punch an enemy, they’re weakened for you and anyone else. Essentially, all incoming damage is shown as precision damage, resulting in a bunch more damage – and precision shots still add in their damage multiplier on top. All incoming damage is increased too – that includes supers and grenades. Against majors and bosses, this is perhaps the most important single ability on any Titan tree, aside from Ward of Dawn. It doesn’t last forever, but with the right builds, that won’t really be a huge deal. Thermal Vent, while it does pair well with a later class perk, loses a bit because of the Titan punch. It creates a solar explosion on hit – that’s a good thing, area of effect is always a plus. It also creates a Sunspot on kills that damages enemies inside it. That’s where the issue lies – the Titan range is so short, and punching in general is a really risky move, that the Sunspots really are only happening with low-tier enemies. It’s maybe a fun Patrol or messing around perk, but that’s all I see for it. Finally, Stoke the Forge is essentially a pure cooldown buff. It reduces the cooldown on it – whether it’s to the same level as Fast Twitch for the Bladedancer’s Blink Strike I can’t say for sure yet. Kills with Sunstrike also instantly reset the cooldown – again, always a good thing. This is probably the PvP option for Sunstrike I think. Melting Point probably would work, but I think taking Stoke the Forge will net more value. As it stands right now, I see Melting Point being the PvE choice, and Stoke the Forge the PvP option.

Destiny Hammer of Sol

Next up, the Hammer of Sol – the new Super ability. Popping this will have you tossing flaming hammers around all over the place. Each hammer does serious damage, and has a pretty surprising blast radius too. The upgrades for it really pull it into three different directions, giving you some options. Forgemaster plain old buffs the Hammer – you get more hammers, and they blow up bigger. I’ve found that you get maybe three more hammers, which is a pretty solid boost to damage possibility. Suncharge gives you a new melee ability while Hammer of Sol is up. Press your melee button and you’ll hurl yourself forward. You do some pretty serious damage with this, but it does take up a huge chunk of Super energy. Enemies do explode though, which sets up for chaining damage, helping it a little. Finally, we have Scorched Earth, which is all about creating Sunspots. Every impact from your hammers creates one, which cause damage over time to enemies inside them, and they pair with other class perks. Depending on how well that pairing works, a Sunspot build could be a pretty powerful one. In the end, I think Forgemaster is always going to be strong, in PvP or PvE; Scorched Earth is also pretty strong in either phase. Suncharge I think is really the one that going to be left behind – it’s got uses, but they aren’t quite as plentiful as with Forgemaster or Scorched Earth.

As for the class perks, we’ve got a pretty good mix with the six new ones. In the first column, we have Flameseeker, Explosive Pyre and Fleetfire. Flameseeker adds a homing ability to the Hammer of Sol – it’s not quite as aggressive as Truth’s rockets, but definitely noticeable. Explosive Pyre makes it so enemies killed by Hammer of Sol explode, which then chains the damage. It’s somewhat similar to Combustion on the Golden Gun. Fleetfire gives you a bonus agility and reload speed boost when you get kills with your fire abilities. That means grenades, Sunstrike and Hammer of Sol. It’s similar to Gunslingers Trance, just a little more difficult to get the stacks built. The final column of perks includes Simmering Flames, Cauterize and Fire Keeper. Simmering Flames makes your grenade and melee recharge twice as fast, but only while your Super is fully charged. It’s got use for sure – especially in low-pressure activities like Patrol. Cauterize gives you health regeneration when you get kills with your fire abilities – again grenades, Sunstrike and Hammer of Sol. It’s a good upgrade for Hammer of Sol, keeping you alive while tossing hammers around. Fire Keeper is the perk that plays into the Sunspots – while you are standing in one, you have an overshield, and Hammer of Sol lasts longer. Depending on how much longer it lasts, this with Scorched Earth could be a pretty beastly build.

All things considered, the Sunbreaker Titan feels a lot more flexible than previous Titan builds. There are a couple different ways you can go about taking perks, and I really don’t see a lot of all around weak ones – maybe Fleetfire or Suncharge. It’s a great Subclass for Titans to use in the Crucible – we finally have a slayer style Subclass. If you’ve been waiting to make a Titan, this is definitely the time to finally get on that.

Destiny: The Taken King – Launch Day Impressions

The Taken King LogoI’m officially back from out of town for a few days, and with my return yesterday came the launch of Destiny: The Taken King. I put in a pretty solid chunk of time playing around with it yesterday – unlocked each of the new subclasses, got a bunch of new items, leveled my Titan to 40 and played a handful of story missions. It’s still early to say for sure – I haven’t really begun to sink my teeth into the real end-game level content yet – but after yesterday I feel really recharged about Destiny as a whole. Let’s hit some high points.

Titan Flag

NEW SUBCLASSES ARE REAL
It’s probably the most visible part of the new content that isn’t directly related to the story, the presence of the three new Subclasses. Admittedly, I put a bit more time in with my Sunbreaker than the other two new Subclasses, but that’s just because Titans are the best. That said, I think these new Subclasses are probably the best built skill sets that exist so far. We’ll start with Titans, because again, best class. The Sunbreaker has a really solid set of skills across the board – ones that work awesome in PvP, and others in PvE. Hammer of Sol is going to be a gamechanger in both phases of the game – it’s damage over time aspect makes fighting bosses a lot easier. Melting Point, an upgrade for the melee Sunstrike, essentially makes any incoming damage after that hit count as precision damage. That’s an amazing PvE buff for fighting majors and ultras. As a Titan player, and one that tended to play Striker as much as possible, I am totally in love with Sunbreaker.

Warlocks have always been in a pretty good spot. Voidwalkers were always great for clearing enemies, especially low-tier ones. Sunsingers are phenomenal support classes, and have a built in fail safe with Fireborn. With the new Stormcaller subclass that utility isn’t going anywhere. They still are a bit of a glass cannon – fragile, but powerful; but man, Stormtrance causes some serious damage. It might be the best crowd control out there in terms of killing the enemies outright. Red bar enemies just melt away, and Stormtrance lasts a pretty decent amount of time. In PvP, I think it might not be quite as good as Voidwalker, but it still is a great slayer style ability. When you combine Stormtrance with a Sunbreaker’s Melting Point, the damage output here is just insane. My fireteam played through the Undying Mind strike – now on Xbox – and our Warlock just tore through Vex. Even majors were just chaff in the wind to the Stormtrance. A fireteam that’s properly chaining supers will absolutely tear through enemies.

Which brings us to the Nightstalker. Hunters might have a little bit more of an adjustment period with this one than the other classes. Gunslinger and Bladedancer are both designed around purely slaying enemies – they’re great trash disposal classes, and they shine in PvP. With the Nightstalker though, Hunters can finally play a more support focused role in PvE. Shadowshot is Destiny‘s take on a traditional MMO/RPG “chain” skill. It tethers enemies to a point, debuffing them and leaving them open to damage from your fireteam. Orb generation is still an issue with Hunters, but again, with proper super chaining, and good placement with the Shadowshot, you’ll do fine. Solo Hunters probably won’t get as much use with Nightstalker, and in PvP it’s definitely not going to shine as much as the other two. That said though, having another support option in a fireteam is always a great thing. More variety is always good, and these new Subclasses help promote that.

I don’t really want to go too much into the story side of things with The Taken King, both because I haven’t finished the storyline, but also because I think it’s worth experiencing for yourself. It’s a new feeling with Destiny to actually enjoy the story content. There’s been more character development and interaction in the first few missions in this DLC than there were in the entire base game. What I will say is that the new organization of the missions is such a huge benefit for the game. The “questification” of all the story missions is a simple change, but it’s one of the best parts of the 2.0 update. I’ve gone back through a few of the original questlines again, and with the new structure each one feels much more coherent. One of the biggest issues with Destiny‘s story in the vanilla launch was just how disjointed it was. You had these major missions that forwarded the main storyline, but at the same time minor nodes that had missions that were just as important to play through. The problem was that there was no good order to play them in. Now, you pick a quest, which all have a unifying theme behind them, and going through them feels a lot more proper.

One last thing that I want to look at is the sheer scope of this expansion. It’s a different beast compared with the previous ones. Bungie has gone out of their way to make sure that the naming is all standardized. The Dark Below and House of Wolves both bear the prefix of “Expansion #” before the name. It signifies the idea that they’re both direct add-ons to a vanilla game. With The Taken King Bungie has dropped the “Expansion” prefix. Instead it’s being treated a lot more like a old-school traditional expansion. I know that sounds kinda confusing, but you have to go back and look at PC gaming back in the day. Before add-ons were called DLC. We used to get huge chunks of extra content in these Expansion Packs – that honestly were usually closer to new games than anything. The Taken King feels a lot closer to that old idea. There’s hands down more content than any previous add-on for Destiny here. And with the recent court ruling for Marty that shed some light on the plan for Destiny, this kinda fits the bill. Every other year, the next numbered game is released – so we can probably expect Destiny 2 next year, with the off years featuring major expansions that help keep the game installed on hard drives and played. With a week of 2.0 under our belts, and just a day of TTK to build off of, I think that could be a pretty solid, winning formula moving forward.

Destiny 2.0 Patch: Social Change Thoughts – It’s a Whole New Tower

The Taken King LogoToday marks the beginning of Year Two in Destiny, and with it comes the long awaited 2.0 patch. There are a ton of individual changes that are in this patch – it’s a huge 17 Gigs on current-gen consoles after all. Instead of going through each and every point, I want to talk today just about the changes to the social zones – the Tower and the Reef.

We’ll start at the Reef, because there really aren’t any major changes here to worry about. Petra Venj lost her bounties, so her reputation is pretty set for now. I expect next Tuesday with The Taken King launch that there will be a new way to level that up though. One other thing to note, if you dismantle your Vestian Dynasty sidearm, she wasn’t selling one anymore for me. Variks the Loyal’s inventory hadn’t changed, and Prison of Elders is still a viable activity to play. So the Reef in general really didn’t change a ton with this update, which makes sense when we look at the Tower.

Destiny The Speaker

When you first arrive at the tower, I recommend first heading over to the Speaker’s area. This is where you’ll find two of the new Kiosks – Shaders and Emblems. Any emblem or shader that you’ve found in the past, you can pick right back up here. There’s no glimmer cost for them either, at least not for the emblems. It also shows all of those kind of items in the game – whether or not you’ve found them. The ones you haven’t it will tell you how to obtain. For example, the Crota’s End emblem is only found from beating the raid Crota’s End – and it tells you exactly that. The Glowhoo shader is only found from beating Crota’s End on heroic difficulty – again, it tells you that, including the difficulty modifier. For a collector like myself, this was one of the parts to 2.0 that I was most interested in. It’s a great way to see some of the cool things you might have missed in the past. The Speaker himself has a totally new inventory. Gone are his class items (which now have a defense stat) and instead he sells some of the new Ghost Shells. Currently he only sells Rare quality ones, but that could change next week. The Ghost Shells also have a defense rating, along with a set of perks – I grabbed one that alerts me to the presence of nearby Relic Iron.

Moving back to the center section of the Tower, we have a few points of interest. The vault space upgrade took effect today, so weapon and armor both can hold up to 72 items, while the general section remains the same. General can easily be cleared though by deleting shaders, emblems, ships and sparrows. You’ll also notice that Eris Morn isn’t in her usual spot. Instead you’ll find her at the bottom of the stairs headed towards the Vanguard, our next stop. Eris currently doesn’t have bounties – but her reputation will be earned again starting next week. In the actual Hall of Guardians, you’ll find two more Collection Kiosks. One features Exotic Armor, the other, Exotic Weapons. Any Exotic that you have earned is right there, available to you. These do have a cost though – Exotic Shards, plus Glimmer. It’s another good way to clear some inventory space out with those items you never use. You’ll also find a Kiosk that will let you replay abandoned quests again, letting you do the story again this week. Your respective Vanguard rep also has a much more involved role now – you’ll have one subclass specific quest in your inventory upon loading today that has you going through them. I assume this will increase moving forward through Year Two.

Destiny Helm of Inmost Light

Finally, you’ve got the hangar area. The only real new additions here are the three new Kiosks. One is for your jumpship, one is for your Sparrow and one is for the new Emotes that were added in. The Emote one is the only tricky one to find – it’s down below the Future War Cult rep, in the bar area.

Overall, I’m really excited with the new changes. The Tower is a place now that makes a lot more sense, both lore-wise and gameplay-wise. I really am excited to see how it looks when the actual Taken King systems switch on next week.

Destiny: The First Year Post Mortem

DestinyToday marks the final day for the first year in Destiny. At some point tomorrow morning Bungie is going to flip the switch and make live the 2.0 patch, bringing with it a lot of sweeping changes. So today I want to look back over this first year, the ups and the downs along with all the storylines that we’ve been talking about for a year now.

Let’s start at the very beginning – those first couple weeks after the game went live. We all were learning the ins and outs of our chosen classes, which ones worked best at what parts of the game. The Crucible wasn’t a Thorn/shotgun filled mess – there were actually all three classes represented. We were still trying to actually fill our inventory with Legendary tier gear, pushing up that Light level. The Vault of Glass was just opening, beckoning us with its challenge. Exotics were exceedingly rare, Xur was still a mystery and the Nightfalls were new and hard. It was really easy to find things new in the game that were really exciting to play around with – secrets to find.

Destiny Black Garden

Of course, it wasn’t all roses. We all know that the story was presented in a less than particularly effective matter. This past week we learned that the story did in fact get a pretty substantial overhaul a year before launch that may have contributed to that fact. The idea of tying power level to the Light stat on armor was a cool experiment; but one that ultimately fell flat, so much so that it’s being pretty much thrown out tomorrow for a much more standard item level system. The loot system at that point was especially brutal too. It was a definite period of growth for the new series.

After those first few months, we got our first taste of the grinding part of Destiny. We kept running the Vault of Glass to try to get that last weapon or armor piece. We were starting second and third characters on the other classes. This was also when we got the first real Crucible meta. Auto Rifles were powerful, with one weapon that really reigned above every other weapon – Suros Regime. It was such a nuisance that Bungie pretty much killed the entire weapon class to “balance” the Crucible. We’re still playing with the fallout from that first rebalance.

Destiny The Dark Below

When we start talking about the DLC season, we’re only looking at two points really. The Dark Below brought a new raid with it, and a lot of new info about one of the more exciting enemy types in the game, the Hive. Of course, Crota’s End is a little less involved than the Vault of Glass is; and most of the new weapons introduced were rather lackluster. But it was still what we were looking for at that point – more Destiny. With House of Wolves the game was clearly starting to show the beginnings of thinking about the next step. Prison of Elders was an attempt to make endgame content for 3-man fireteams. The story content was told through one solid quest line. Where I think House of Wolves really did well is the expanded lore for the Reef and the Awoken. We learned a lot more about the Fallen too.

Over the last year we’ve seen a new franchise really start to get its legs. I still think that Destiny‘s potential is super high. If tomorrow’s patch and next week’s Taken King launch can live up to the hype, I really think that there will be a solid foundation in place for that 10 year plan that Bungie and Activision have. It absolutely has its flaws – and they’ve been talked about ad nauseum over the last year. At the end of the day though, Destiny is still a fantastic game, with a lot of fun in there to have.

Weekly News Recap – Week of August 31, 2015

Well it’s finally here, the new releases have started to come our way. September has just barely begun and we already have two big titles out, in the first week. New launches usually means a few headlines worth talking about, and this week is no different. Let’s go over a couple.

Metal Gear Solid 5

METAL GEAR SOLID V – MICROTRANSACTIONS AND SERVER ISSUES
Probably the biggest new game that launched this week, Konami’s hugely successful tactical espionage thriller Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has had an interesting first week. While the reviews for the game have been super strong, and it seems like the public opinion is right in line with them, I have seen a bit about the microtransactions that are present in the game’s Forward Operating Base mode. From what I’ve read, it looks like the FOB mode pretty much requires you to spend actual money on in-game currency to succeed. The other issue that I’ve seen this week is the servers for the game have been spotty. It’s been playable, but there have been some online issues, which honestly seems like it’s pretty much standard for launches these days.

Mad Max

MAD MAX – POST APOCALYPTIC OPEN WORLD FUN
The other big game that launched this week is the licensed Mad Max game. While it’s not a direct tie-in with the movie from earlier this year, it’s clearly designed to take advantage of the success of the movie. I spent some time this week checking out some streamers playing it, and I have to say, while the game looks good, it also looks very much like a game with a high chance for burnout.  The map looks pretty damn big, and there seems like a lot of collectible type activities in the game. It’s the kind of game where I think you have to play this and this alone to really get everything out of it, and this fall is just too busy to me to do that. It still looks cool, but I just think there are so many games this fall that you really need to pick and choose your games carefully.

The Taken King Logo

DESTINY 2.0 PATCH INFO
In this week’s Bungie Weekly Update we finally got a few more concrete details about the upcoming 2.0 patch for Destiny. We already knew that the patch would be coming on the 8th of September, but now we know a little more about what is actually going to be in the patch. The changes to the character level are taking place on Tuesday, meaning that Light will be separated from Level, as well as the weapon balance. The Questification is taking place as well, along with the extra bounty space. The kiosks will also be installed, meaning that those emblems and shaders you’ve been wondering how to get will be right there to see. The other really big part pertains to the bounties. Any uncompleted Year One bounty will be lost – so make sure they’re finished up or you lose the XP. Eris Morn is losing her bounties as well, probably because she will be a big player in The Taken King. The House of Wolves targets are also disappearing, so make sure you’ve gotten all their Grimoire cards before Tuesday. But the biggest bounty news relates to those Exotic bounties. Any Exotic bounty you have will be automatically completed on Tuesday and you will receive the weapon from the appropriate person. That’s awesome on Bungie’s part. People who have been stuck at the Void kills for Thorn no longer need worry, you’ll get a Thorn very soon. It’s a good way to make sure that those Year One Exotics are put right into the kiosks immediately.

Mega Man Legacy Collection – The Games Ranked

Megaman Legacy CollectionTaking a little break from what’s been a pretty Destiny heavy couple weeks lately, I wanted to put down my ranking of the six games that are present in the Mega Man Legacy Collection. I already talked a bit about the game as a whole, and in the past I’ve talked about the classic series as well. But now that those first six NES games are easily available on current-gen systems, I thought maybe people would like to know which are the better games in the collection.

Mega Man 3 Title Screen

We’ll start with what I think is the very best Mega Man classic game – Mega Man III. it has the first example of story shakeup, with the Doc Robot stages, Break Man’s presence and the two Dr.s working together. Add in the best play control seen in the series to that point, and really the foundation for the 8-bit games moving forward. Rush opens up all kinds of different movement options, making for some pretty clever platforming. It’s also got one of the better sets of Robot Masters, with great music to go with them. I know Mega Man 2 gets a ton of talk about being the best – but I think the series really started to shine with the third game. Play them both back-to-back and I think you’ll start to come around.

Mega Man 4 Title Screen

Next up, I think the next level actually is a tie. I would put Mega Man 2 and Mega Man 4 together, but for different reasons. MM4 is my very favorite game in the series, mainly for nostalgic and personal reasons, but I do think it stands up there pretty close to the top. It’s got that same level of player control – which gives the player incredible precision, which then extends to awesome platforming sections. Rush is still in there, and then they added in the two items to increase the options. I do think that the Robot Masters are also awesome. MM4 is also the first game to add in a second castle section with Dr. Cossack, and really added in a little bit of depth to the story. Mega Man 2 on the other hand is up there for a different set of reasons. It’s the first one that truly feels special – the original had a great start, but the sequel is when the series really takes hold. The precision is stepped up, the detail in the levels is increased, the Robot Masters are a bit more inventive and there’s more variety in weapons available to the player. Not only that but the game has perhaps two of the most recognizable pieces of music in the series and it’s really hard to argue against Mega Man 2‘s place on the pedestal.

Mega Man 2 Title Screen

Next up on the list, just missing the podium, is another set of two games that I think are pretty comparable. Just like the last set, I think it’s a different set of reasons that keep them pretty close: Mega Man 5 and Mega Man. The original needs to be here, for historical reasons mainly. It’s the beginning of the franchise, which keeps it from being the worst out there. Yes, it’s probably the hardest in the collection, mainly because of the lack of E-Tanks and passwords. Yes it has only six Robot Masters and a pretty simple set of them to boot. But looking at it within the context of the collection it’s hard to say it’s the worst Mega Man game. With MM5 though, I think we hit that point where Capcom ran into a bit of a wall. The story is very similar to the previous game – a first boss that is a red herring, complete with a whole castle to fight through. The actual play control is still at that same level, nothing really changes from Mega Man 4 onward. I think the Robot Masters are a real mixed bag in MM5 though – there are some cool ones, but there’s also some kinda lame ones. Music that is mediocre in its arrangement also doesn’t help. MM5 is really where the series started to show its age – five games in just a few years is pretty rough. That’s why I think the Mega Man X series really came in at the perfect time.

Which brings us, of course, to the final game in the collection – Mega Man 6. While it’s not a bad game, per se, but when you compare it with the other games it really struggles to stand out. Losing Rush’s separate forms in exchange for the power adapters really I think was a poor move. The storyline is the third time in a row that there’s a doppelganger villain before Dr. Wily is revealed to be behind it all – complete with two castles to deal with. What I think really hurts MM6 is that a lot of the Robot Masters feel boring. There are a few that feel like retreads of previous themes, and other that just don’t really come across as exciting to fight. Mega Man 6 wasn’t actually made by Capcom, and it shows – it was a Nintendo made game. Again, it isn’t a bad game – but I think once you’ve played through all the games in the Legacy Collection, you’ll agree it’s probably the weakest one in there.