If there’s one thing that the Mega Man X series does for the Mega Man series, it’s how they continue the tradition of giving us fun and exciting action games that are timeless. The Mega Man X Legacy Collection compiles all eight Mega Man X titles that were released from the Super Nintendo through the PlayStation 2. Every game included in the collection is nearly identical to their original releases, with all the pros and cons and secrets that you remember. But what makes this collection special like the previous collections Capcom has made for their series on the Blue Bomber are the extra modes and bonus content that will make X fans very happy. If you were looking for a way to play through the entire series, this is the best way to do so.
All of the Mega Man X games included in Mega Man X Legacy Collection are exactly the same as their original release. The boss strategies, hidden secrets, and an overarching story that makes up this part of the Mega Man franchise are fully intact here. There’s nothing different about them, nor have any of the issues from each game been addressed. This is a slightly bad thing for those hoping to see any shortcoming from later games in the series be addressed, and unfortunately, Capcom hasn’t done anything to do so. Any bugs or glitches you may have run into playing any of the Mega Man X games in the past may pop up again. Another thing players may notice is the poor video and audio quality of some of the cutscenes from later games in the series. They haven’t really aged too well and still have a pixelated look to them.
Small gripes aside, however, all of the games included have incredibly solid and responsive controls and challenging gameplay. Playing any of the X games requires you to overcome many platforming challenges and be inquisitive enough to learn the weaknesses of each robot master you encounter. Though not much has changed over the years, gamers who’ve yet to dive into these games will have a lot to chew on, especially in some of the more unforgiving sections of these games. Luckily for everyone, there are a number of visual filter and background options to change for every game. Some filters are better than others depending on the screen you’re playing on, but most of the games still hold up very well in the visual department, even by modern standards.
The best part of the Mega Man X Legacy Collection are the extras in the museum menu. If you’re a hardcore Mega Man X fan, you’re going to love seeing all of the photos of merchandise released over the years, as well as the various commercials from both Japan and North America. The concept art section is what will help new players catch up with the lore told over each game, with some photos giving a synopsis of each game and background on all of the main characters.
This is a great inclusion for any compilation of classic games, especially ones that are iconic and have a long-running story that spans many games. But if the deal wasn’t sweet enough, the collection also has the Day of Sigma animation, which is a short anime based on the events before Mega Man X. Overall, there is a lot of things to observe and take in outside of the game, even if there are hardly any unlockables to add to the collection.
The additional mode of the collection is the X Challenge Mode, which acts like a boss rush for anyone looking to take on a tough challenge. There are ten stages of a gauntlet of 2-on-1 boss battles, where you’re given a choice of boss weapons and access to every upgrade from the series. The object is to clear every stage of the boss rush, taking on pairs of robot masters with the weapons you choose. Completing it gives you a score and placement onto the online leaderboard, which is different depending on the difficulty you choose for the challenge. For some, this might be the weaker part of the collection, mainly because of how difficult and chaotic things can get on screen.
Most of the time you’ll end up hitting the wrong boss with your special weapon because of how crowded the screen can get with everything happening. The amount of damage that you can take from the robot masters also seems unbalanced in some instances, making attacks devastating and frequent. Unless you’re playing on the easiest setting, expect to retry a lot when taking on this gauntlet. It would’ve also been nice to get a series of remixed full stages to play through, which mix and match the different bosses, but as a boss rush mode, this works just fine. If you’re daring and knowledgeable enough about each robot master in the series, then you’ll have a tense challenge for you to overcome.
As a complete compilation of Mega Man X games, the Mega Man X Legacy Collection is ideal for anyone looking to get into the series. All eight games will provide a lot of action and excitement with an interesting, though sometimes shallow, story that spans the whole series. The extra content in the museum will really spark the interest of many long-time fans, while also spotlighting a whole new side of the series for newcomers. The X Challenge may be unforgiving at first but will provide a lot of challenge for the fan elite who want to test their skills. This is the best way to experience the entire Mega Man X series until the eventual next chapter of the franchise is born.
This review is based on a digital review code for the Mega Man X Legacy Collection for the PlayStation 4, provided by Capcom.