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.

Minecraft Monday: Mega Man 3 Screens Done

Short post today, since I’ve come down with the classic January cold. Over last week I was able to finish up the Mega Man 3 title screen, despite my best efforts to keep screwing up. I messed up with the M in Man twice, both requiring me to completely re-do the work; and then messed up the A once as well. It’s hard to concentrate when you put on Retsupurae on in the background. The Mega section went pretty smoothly, only one little issue with the A at the end. The only other thing was that I tweaked the colors a little bit. Instead of using two different textures for red, I used pink clay for the normal red tone, and then used the red wool for the dark red. It turned out alright, the sheer scale makes it tough to really tell when zoomed out.

So my plan for this week, once I start to feel better is to go through and do the sprites for the Robot Masters, again in the order that I use to go about beating them. Following that, I want to do a set of Mega Man sprites using the Master weapons, along with a few other details. I’m still nailing down exactly how I want to organize the setup of the sprites, but I want to get started soon. For the most part, the colors should be pretty easy to get right, Top Man might be a little off, but we’ll see. After that, I want to add in some extra details between the Mega Man 3 and Mega Man 4 sets, probably using E-Tanks or Extra Lives – items like that.

For now though, here is the total set – as it exists right now, with both games completed.

Minecraft Monday: Mega Man Land’s First True Completed Section

I mentioned in last week’s status post with my Minecraft Mega Man project that I had basically finished the Mega Man 4 section. Well over the New Year holiday week I managed to sit down and truly finish out that section. Both the Stage Select and Title Screens were already done, and now all eight Robot Masters have their initial sprite created, along with Mega Man using each weapon. While I was working on that sprite field, I decided to also include the actual weapon sprite, as well as the icon that is in the pause menu for each weapon. Looking back I would have liked to put a bit more organization in how I aligned them – as it is, they’re put down in the order I would suggest tackling them in the actual game, but it looks kinda sloppy from above. If I was starting over right now, I would have separated out the Robot Masters from the weapon stuff – still using that order. I would have put the RMs and Mega Man sprites in separate groupings, finally putting the pause icons grouped together at the end.

Skulll man

In the end, the nice thing that came out of the rather messy organization that I went with is that I was able to put in an extra Mega Man sprite using the Wire Adapter, firing it from the very bottom to the top of the field. I got lucky as well in that I had just enough space to put in Dr. Cossack’s mugshot as well. In the end, I’m pretty happy with how Mega Man 4 turned out, and it’s encouraging moving forward to have a pretty solid base down. OneDrive is still being kinda weird, only allowing me the option to embed my whole Xbox DVR folder, so instead I can present to you a link where you can check out the final product here.

Megaman 3 Stage Select

And so with that section of this grand scheme of mine done with, I started late last night on the next step. I moved on to the Stage Select screen for Mega Man 3 – which I’ve mentioned before as the one screen that I have been the most apprehensive about doing. Last night’s work – about 2 hours worth – showed me two things. First was that it still feels really good to put the final touches on those mugshots – pulling up after and looking at it and seeing just how good it turned out is an awesome feeling. The other was that this is going to be much slower going than Mega Man 4 went. The added “Mega Man III” that is littered in the background slows down filling in that section of the screen; while the actual mugshots have a bit more complicated frame around them, which does have a pattern that makes it not totally insane, but it will be a bit slower going I think. As far as progress, I just completed Gemini Man last night, picking a corner piece to start with, which gives me a bit of flexibility as for where to go next. My thought is finish the bottom row – meaning Magnet Man and Shadow Man – along with the “Mega Man III” details before heading up a row. One thing that I’ll be dealing with soon is the amount of red in the mugshots – Magnet Man, Top Man, and Spark Man all have red color schemes. Which is one of the two major colors Minecraft doesn’t do particularly well – the other being green. The nice thing is that with the new dyed clay options, there are a few more potentials – I used the clay while doing the sprites for Mega Man 4. If they give me the better look, I’ll use them for the red ones – I doubt I’ll need to with Snake Man, since he’s a bright green for the most part.

In the end, Mega Man 3 could end up looking really really slick, but both the Stage Select and Title screens are going to be tough sledding. The Title screen in particular is a whole lot of nothing – lots of Black, which might make it easier to slip up. That’s a ways off though, for now, I’m focused on the Stage Select screen.

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.

Mega Man Monday: Mega Man 4 – The Title and Stage Select Screens Are Done

With this week’s Minecraft Monday update, I’m able to share my progress with the Mega Man 4 Stage Select and Title Screens. Each screen is 256×224 – pretty typical for old NES games. While that doesn’t sounds like a lot considering YouTube videos run at a way higher resolution nowadays, what that number really means is that each screen features over 57,000 blocks. This is easily the biggest scale thing that I’ve ever worked on in Minecraft, in Survival or Creative.

I went ahead after completing the two screens and made a clip on my Xbox One showing off the hard work. The video can be seen here, thanks to OneDrive not letting my embed the file right now. Without knowing 100%, since I never actually timed it, I would guess that those two screens took about 20 hours total to make.

Mega Man 4 Title ScreenWhich brings me to the plan for the next step in Mega Man Land. Screen-wise, I have completed my Mega Man 4 screens – the only other MM4 things I want to do is create each Robot Master’s sprites as massive statues, along with Mega Man himself using each weapon in the game. The size on the sprites won’t be quite as big as for the full screen images, but each one will still be pretty tall. While I could scale them up a bit, instead I want to make them 1:1 scale still. The hardest part of this next step is that I’m building them vertically – as opposed to horizontally along the ground. This means I really have to make sure each line of pixels is exact, in order to minimize the amount of going back and re-working things.

But the next true major section of Mega Man Land that I will begin work on this week is starting the Mega Man 3 screens. Like I did with MM4, I’m going to start with the stage select screen; I’ll most likely start with Top Man, just because it’ll be easy to start with a middle side portrait.Megaman 3 Stage SelectThe real trouble with this stage select screen is the detail in the background – that repeating Mega Man III isn’t going to be fun to deal with. In general, I think this screen will be more complicated, in all respects, than MM4. The portrait frames aren’t exact squares, thanks to those lights on the corners. There are three Robot Masters with red as their color scheme – which is the worst color for working with in Minecraft. Hopefully the newest console update, which added dyed clay, might offer some extra options. The good news is that the other Robot Masters use pretty simple colors that work well in Minecraft – blue and green. This might be a slower go than the MM4 screen, but in the long run might look pretty damn cool after it’s done.Mega Man 3 Title ScreenThe other tough part is the Title Screen for MM3 – it’s a whole ton of black. While that might seem easy, in truth it makes it really easy to mess up. All things considered, this is the game that I definitely want to make sure I get a timer going whenever I work on this one. I honestly fully expect this to take longer than the last game, so I might go with the MM4 sprites first – we’ll see.

Minecraft Monday: Mega Man Land Part 1

MinecraftToday I want to start a new project here at Infinite Lives. Over the PlayStation Experience weekend, I saw a few people sharing the Lootcrate Mega Man 2 items, including Game Informer writer Michael Futter sharing a really awesome pixel art of the Stage Select screen from the same game a fan made for him. Which got me thinking that I could do something like that too – even though art isn’t even close to the list of things I’m good with. I figured I have a bunch of old LEGOs, I can probably make something along those lines. But I wasn’t going to go with Mega Man 2 – it’s been done before. Instead, I wanted to go with my personal favorite game in the series – Mega Man 4. In particular, I wanted to create a scale replica of the portrait/mugshot of Pharaoh Man with my LEGOs. Well, I started that project last week and quickly learned that, even with a childhood’s worth of LEGOs, I’m woefully unprepared to make it work. But what I did decide to do was use the next best thing – Minecraft.

Mega Man 4 Stage Select

I’ve been a big fan of Minecraft since I first played it years ago. It’s both a wonderful outlet for creativity, and at the same time, there’s some pretty in-depth gameplay in Survival mode. I’ve never really sat down with Creative mode and made something before, but with Mega Man, a series that I really enjoy, I made the effort to sit down and do this. What started as a proof of concept for the LEGO project, making the portrait for Pharaoh Man with wool blocks. What I quickly came to realize was that since the LEGO project is a scope that’s a little beyond my current capability; thanks to the larger map size, Minecraft allows me to make an even bigger project. So with that in mind, I set off to create Mega Man Land, a whole world dedicated to the Blue Bomber. Last week I completed the first major component of the world – the stage select screen from Mega Man 4. It’s a scale replica – 256×224 pixels, 57,344 total blocks.

Mega Man 4 Title Screen

What I did come to learn in doing the stage select screen is that the current set of dyes in Minecraft is great for blues and greyscale – but reds are missing a good option for mid-range tones, and a light green option is a bit neon for some cases. As for going forward, I expect to explore some other options for certain tones – as it is, in the stage select screen, I ended up using sand as a flesh tone/light color. There’s also the issue of animals in the world – even using creative on a Superflat world. Because of that, each screen that gets built will be fenced in to keep the pigs and cows and sheep and chicken from sneaking on them. The first portion of the project, the stage select screen, was done – next up is the title screen for the game, followed by some detail work – each Robot Master sprite, along with the Blue Bomber using each weapon as well. After that is done – hopefully all this week – I’ll either be moving back in time to Mega Man 3 or hitting the next game (and the first I actually owned in the series) Mega Man 5. MM3 features a really detailed background to the stage select screen, with the title spelled out throughout the screen – while MM5 has a bit more detailed border to each Robot Master. Either one will feature a few difficult sections, but the payoff will be pretty sweet. I’ll have an update next Monday on Minecraft Monday.