Monday, 12 April 2021

Nintendo Switch Round up 6: Mega Man

Mega Man games are notoriously difficult and expensive to get hold of so it can be very tricky for newcomers to get into the series on the original hardware. There’s also so many games that keeping track of it all and knowing where to start is a challenge in itself. Luckily, the Switch has a host of collections for those looking to get into the series. Here we have rounded them up in an attempt to make it easier for newcomers to jump on board.

What we can say is that care and attention has been taken with these collection for the most part. Extra challenges have been put in, museum features added and a number of quality of life concessions have been implemented pretty much universally.

Mega Man Legacy Collection 1

This collection contains the six NES Mega Man games. Of those Mega Man 2 and 3 are the real highlights. Mega Man 1 is incredibly tough even by Mega Man standards and 4-6 are decent if you get into the series as a whole. The collection is well worth it for Mega Man 2 and 3 alone though and if you are ever going to get on with one of the games then the second game in the series is the most easily accessible and of pretty constantly high quality throughout. The addition of save states and other quality of life issues certainly helps as well.

Mega Man Legacy Collection 2

This is a bit of an oddball collection of Mega Man games. You get 7 on the SNES, 8 on the Playstation and then 9 and 10 which were made for the digital services in the old Mega Man style. What is very strange is that some of the features present in first collection such as the rewind function are not here meaning the games need to be played by those who really know what they are doing. You are really getting the collection for 9 and 10 as the other two don’t hold up that well but this is one for those who have mastered the original games. Many may be better just sticking to the first collection.

Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1

The first X collection stands up excellently with each of the three SNES games expanding on the classic Mega Man formulae but still remaining close enough to keep fans happy. The fourth X game moves things to the Playstation and the added graphical heft certainly take the series to new heights visually. The franchise does begin to get a bit stale here but each of the games is worth playing through. There’s also a host of new features added such as the Rookie mode which allows players to take more damage and adds extra lives for those who haven’t been playing these games before.

Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2

This is one for the hardcore fans only. Mega Man X5 is fine but the others here really start to go downhill quickly. By the time the games have reached the PS2 there really isn’t much left for all but the most ardent of Mega Man supporters as the game become tired an uninspired. If you’ve played everything and want more then fine, but otherwise there are far better options available.

Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection

The portable spinoff series collection covers the GBA and DS games. While the DS titles are a bit uninspired and don’t hold up that well the GBA titles are outstanding. Modified for portable play the missions are short but challenging affairs and there is a system in place which allows Zero to level up his weapons. There are some decent quality of life features in play as well such as extra save points which means you still need to overcome the challenge but don’t have to trek make through a whole level to take on the boss that just killed you again. There’s also a more casual mode that powers up Zero allowing players to take in the story more easily if they so wish. This comes highly recommended for both long-time fans and newcomers to the series.

Mega Man 11

Now this is how you refresh a long running franchise. After the middling reception to Mega Man 9 and 10 Capcom decided to shake things up with 11. As a result we get new visuals that bring the Blue Bomber into the modern era and really help the character find new life. The action is still fairly traditional though with bosses still needing to be defeated in any order and new powers gained from them as you progress. The weight and general movement of the character has altered a bit but the action and controls are as tight as ever.

New difficulty modes have been added for players new to the series but this time you may not need them as a lot of cheap deaths and general unfairness of previous titles has been ironed out. That isn’t to say the game is easier though, more that now you might actually know why you died. There is also a new gimmick added in the gear system. This allows you to either power Mega Man up or slow the environment down for a set period of time. Upgrades can also be purchased as well but they don’t come cheap. This is probably the best place to start for anyone not versed in the ways of retro gaming.

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