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.

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Mega Man Legacy Collection Impressions

Megaman Legacy Collection

While we haven’t quite made it to the Triple A busy season yet, we are starting to get some new games. I already talked about the Rare Replay collection last week, and today we’ll look at another anthology – the Megaman Legacy Collection. You may remember a Minecraft sprite project I was working on before my last computer met with an accident featuring the Megaman games. If you do, it should come as no surprise that I am very much in favor of this collection.

We’ll start with the games included. This is the third anthology of Megaman “Classic” series games, and the second to come out in the US. The first only was released in Japan as the Rockman Complete Works collection and featured the NES games with some neat extras. Our first collection was the Anniversary Collection, which was the first eight games in the series. It was the first time that Megaman 8 appeared on a Nintendo console (Gamecube); and conversely, the first time the first seven games appeared on Sony and Microsoft consoles. It wasn’t the best collection though in my mind – the Megaman 1 port was missing a feature unique to that game. The select trick that is present in the NES original wasn’t in the Anniversary Collection. The Megaman 8 port was also the PSX version of the game, which is missing two hidden bosses that I think really should have been in the collection – Wood Man and Cut Man.

Mega Man 2 Title Screen

Which brings us to the current Legacy Collection. It’s a simplified anthology, only featuring the first six games – the NES classics. The controls make perfect sense, and the unique quirks to each game remain in place. The first game’s select button “faintwarp” trick is still in there, Megaman 2 still retains the “normal” mode from the US NES version and there are even a few little sprite flicker elements. There are a few different visual options to pick from – you can make the game full or wide screen, in addition to the original screen size. If you want an extra bit of classic feel, you can put a filter on the screen to make your picture look more like a CRT display too. These don’t really have any impact on actual gameplay, but it’s a really nice little touch. The games probably haven’t ever looked this good on a console – they run really smoothly, and it’s easy to see every detail in the sprite work.

Mega Man 4 Title Screen

It’s no secret that the Megaman games have always been my very favorite games, of all times. This is a fantastic collection for a new player to get acquainted with the Blue Bomber. And for longtime fans, this is probably the best NES collection of his games out there. But what really makes this a real treat for longtime fans is the extras. Each game has a database showing off each enemy, including their health and damage, along with what weapon they’re weak against. That’s an awesome detail for new and old players alike – there are 46 robot masters in the game, and that’s a lot of weaknesses to have to remember. I find myself looking through the database just to see some more about everything in the games. Each game also has a museum associated with them, showing off the art from the manuals, as well as any other promotional artwork, including the boss contest submissions. It’s a really cool detail – I love the museum for the original game, since each weapon has two pieces of art: one from back in ’87 and one from more recently.

Mega Man 3 Title Screen

The last part of the collection is the Challenge section. They’re bitesized bits of Megaman goodness. They range from completing a screen or two from each stage in a game, to boss rushes, to beating levels under very specific circumstances. They’re great ways to give longtime players a little different kind of challenge. The Megaman games are well known for being pretty tough to begin with, but like most platformers are based on patterns. The more you play, the easier they get. The challenges shake the formula up and push you to learn new patterns – something that isn’t super easy after 20 years of playing the games. The Legacy Collection I think is a really awesome way to enjoy six of the best games that ever graced the NES. Megaman is a franchise that I think younger gamers don’t have the same appreciation for that a lot of older players do, mainly because Capcom has been loathe to make new Classic series games. Hell, the Blue Bomber in general has been on Capcom’s backburner for far too long I think. I’d love to see this collection, along with the success of Mega in Smash Bros. maybe get them thinking that the time is right for him to come back. We’ll just have to wait and see. Regardless, I really think you should go pick this up – it’s only $15, and it’s six amazing games.

Minecraft Monday: Mega Man 4 Rogues’ Gallery

Mega Man 4 Stage SelectWhile I haven’t exactly been working quite as diligently on Mega Man Land within my Xbox One Minecraft world over the Christmas week – especially considering my birthday was last week too – but I certainly have made good progress on it. In last week’s update, I showed, or at least tried to show, the two major sections of the Mega Man 4 area – the Title and Stage Select screens; as well as set up my plan for the Robot Master sprites.

Pharoah Man

The initial plan was to build them up vertically – and that plan quickly changed as I was working through building Toad Man. Going vertically – which may have looked real cool, but probably would have obscured the view of the bigger screens – was going to be a much slower process than I liked. The big issue boiled down to the fact that the RM sprites have so much diagonally set lines – which going vertically with no backer makes it more time consuming, since you have to frame it up. The other option would have been going through each line in the sprite, individually to build them, which again, would be real slow going.

Also I made a second and third addition to the “sprite sheet field” that has made it a bit more complicated/cluttered but in the long run I think will help it look even better. The original idea was to just put the eight Robot Masters initial sprites, in the order that I play them, along with signs with their DWN number, weapon, and weakness. While that is still the plan, I also added in a second sprite of Mega Man, using that RM’s weapon, along with the actual weapon sprite. Using the sprite of Mega Man actually firing the weapon results in a few changes across the board – the Rain Flush and Pharaoh Shot both are thrown weapons, while Flash Stopper is a full screen flash weapon (meaning the sprite is just Mega’s standing sprite) and Skull Barrier is a standing shield weapon. The rest are of course regular shooting sprites, but the variation in size within the RM’s also means that there aren’t quite perfect straight lines across the board.

Drill Man

The other addition I made, which will probably be changed around with the later games at least, was adding in the weapon tile in that same field. With Mega Man 4 they added in a full screen pause menu that featured all of the weapons, along with a small, 16×16 tile illustrating the weapon. I took that tile and dropped it into the field surrounding the Mega Man sprite. While they look fine there, again, there’s a lot of variation which makes the placement of the tile a little bothersome. Moving forward, if the game has a tileset for the weapons, I’ll probably break out the pause menu as a third screen project. That should work fine with the games after Mega Man 4, and I can probably finagle something for Mega Man 3, the first two games will be a little different.

Skulll man

As far as actual progress, I’ve got two more Robot Masters to build – Dive Man and Drill Man – along with their weapon sprites. Beyond that there’s the matter of cleaning up the whole Mega Man 4 field, looking at the blank space I have left and maybe making a few last minute upgrades to make it look even better. One thing I definitely want to look at is whether it’s worth taking a look at Ring Man, Drill Man and Bright Man’s portraits to see if the new dyed clay blocks would make them look closer to the actual art from the game. Anything else would just be extra fluff to make it look nice, and would also help me space it out on either side for Mega Man 3 and Mega Man 5. And as far as the next true step – I will be heading backwards through the series, starting with the Stage Select for Mega Man 3 – which I’ve mentioned will be a tricky deal. It’s a slow process for sure, but I always get a little surprised when I finish a section, fly way up to look it over and see it from above. It really does look pretty damn cool, and I am really liking the overall plan for sure.