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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Minecraft Monday: Title Screens Always Take Forever

Mega Man 2 Title ScreenAs of the writing of this, I still have a little work to do on the Mega Man 2 Title Screen for my Mega Man Land project. All that’s left is the actual logo of Mega Man, which as I said a couple weeks ago during my Mega Man 3 work, has proven to be a pain. So I’ve been taking the whole screen a little slowly – tackling it one section at a time to make sure I didn’t miscount. Unfortunately that plan didn’t quite work out for me. I’ve already made one counting mistake, luckily one that wasn’t a tough fix. As for those details that I mentioned in last week’s post, the building and Mega Man himself; those were actually really quite simple to do. The building’s toughest part was not losing count on the vertical edge. Once I had that set, the sections are all divided up enough where the count wasn’t enough to really be an issue. The windows, which have some extra detailing in them, also went really smooth.

The biggest problem I have with doing the Title Screens so far though is just the sheer amount of black wool I need to place. And it’s really not even a problem, it’s more that it’s just such a slow process that it makes me less interested in doing the screen for long periods at a time. The Stage Select screens are a different beast because there’s so much going on – even though there’s a lot of blue wool in each screen, it’s broken up with all kinds of extra stuff. And the Sprite Field is totally different as well, in fact, the sprites have become my favorite part of the project. They’re quick to do, they look super cool when their all finished, and I think they add a little bit of extra flair to the project.

Megaman 2 Stage Select

So going into this week the plan is to finish up the Title Screen and get going on the sprite field. Depending on how fast the Robot Masters go there’s a good chance that I’ll finish it all this week. The question with this one is what to put in the extra space – there’s no Doc Robot or Protoman to fill the blank space. My early ideas are the three Item power-ups as well as Doctor Wily in some form. Then it’ll be on to the game I’ve been dreading – the original Mega Man. I’ll explain why when we get to it.

Minecraft Monday: A Simple Project at Last

Mega Man 2 American BoxIt’s a funny thing – when I started this project, it was originally just going to be Pharoah Man; he’s my favorite Robot Master after all. When it ended up being easy enough to do though and I decided to create the whole “love letter to Mega Man” project, I was in a bit of a weird situation. I had started not at the beginning, but right in the middle of the series. Since then I’ve gone backward in the franchise, which has given me a pretty unique view of the design process with the Stage Select and Title Screens. That perspective is super apparent now that I’m working on Mega Man 2.

 

Megaman 2 Stage SelectLet’s start with the Stage Select screen, since it’s the part I just wrapped up with. Mega Man 3, as I mentioned in my updates while I was working on that screen, has a ton of detail in there. The portrait frames are pretty complicated – the lights on the corners are actually bulged out, so it’s not a perfect square. That makes it a little more complicated to go through them. In Mega Man 2 the portraits are just simple squares – 45×45 pixels. The lights for the corners are simple squares too. The design is much more simple too – just full bars of colors – compared with Mega Man 3, which had a lot more detail in the bars. The field aside from the portraits is also much more simpler – just a few bars of color in Mega Man 2, compared with the “Mega Man III” that repeats all throughout the field. So after spending a couple weeks working on Mega Man 3, I have been very happy to see the simpler design. The Robot Masters have actually been pretty simple too – the color scheme is much less involved – with each bot really only using a couple colors. The problem comes from Bubble Man – his green colors don’t quite match up. I’m alright with the final result, but it’s definitely not perfect. The only really other issue was with Quick Man – his boomerang actually breaks through the portrait, so it took a little double checking to get it down.

Mega Man 2 Title Screen

As for the Title Screen – unlike Mega Man 3, which I think is pretty much the peak of the early games complexity in Stage Select; Mega Man 2 is the peak in the early games complexity on Title Screens. With the building, Mega Man himself, plus the whole logo, there’s a lot going on. They went the total opposite on Mega Man 3 – it’s a full black screen after all. After that they decided to add in just a few little bits of details to give it a bit more energy. I’m actually pretty excited to see how it ends up with the color palette that Minecraft has.

Minecraft Monday: Mega Man 3 Finally Finished With, Progress Continues On

Mega Man 3 Box ArtWhen I started this whole project, I knew that this was going to be a huge undertaking. Six NES games to do, plus two more 8-bit styled ones in Mega Man 9 and 10 – not to mention the possibility of doing the fan-made 8-bit de-makes of Mega Man 7 and 8. That’s a whole hell of a lot of Minecrafting to do. What I didn’t expect was that Mega Man 3 – the second game I tackled – would be so damn frustrating. I already have mentioned my continual messing up while doing the Title Screen, and also found another small error I had made in the Stage Select. Thankfully, it was only two blocks that needed to be fixed, so it didn’t mess up much. I only even found it because I was going overly detailed with one of the new additions to the sprite field. I decided to put in Break Man (Proto Man)’s portrait in, which was actually pretty cool, thanks to his scarf breaking out of the border. I did something similar with Dr. Cossack in Mega Man 4, but since Break Man is actually named like the other Robot Masters, I put his name below the portrait too. Of course that meant applying the background too – I made sure that the placement of the “Mega Man III” matches up with the center portrait on the screen. That’s where I found my error – I had messed up on the “M” in Man on a couple in the screen.

Megaman 3 Stage Select

Once that was dealt with though, I had a bunch of blank space to fill in with the sprite field. After digging around for a good sheet of Rush, I was able to put in Rush with Coil and Jet in there, along with all of the weapon energy and health energy pick ups. I got a little lucky there, in that there was just enough space for each pick up. While I was in pick up mode, I finished up the buffer zone between games, carpeted the whole thing, and called Mega Man 3 completed.

Megaman 2 Stage Select

I was still feeling the Minecraft though, so I went ahead and moved on to Mega Man 2. I set up four stacks of 64 blue wool, switched to survival, and set up the bottom row of 256 for the Stage Select. The thing with Mega Man 2 is that the Stage Select is a lot more sparse than Mega Man 3 – there’s not much going on, so to get started there was some counting of pixel rows. Moving back a game also adds in another little detail – for each Robot Masters’ name, in the later games, the white pixels are bordered with a row of black to add some depth. That row of black doesn’t exist in Mega Man 2, so the letters look a little weird right now. Since I was on a roll, I went ahead and finished up Metal Man and Flash Man – both were pretty easy to do, although Metal Man isn’t quite an exact match. The early Mega Man games use what is basically a really dark magenta color for deep red – which doesn’t exist in Minecraft, so I just used red wool and pink clay, like I have for the rest of the red Robot Masters. All in all, the Stage Select should go pretty smooth, it’s the Title Screen I’m looking at – there’s a lot more going on with it than any other one.