After six years of doing this website I feel its about time I talked about one of Capcoms oldest but most popular characters Mega Man, Mega Man began his epic saga in 1987 with his first video game on the NES, The legacy collection includes the first six games in the Mega Man franchise along side some extra features which will be discussed.
Mega Man (1987)
Yikes would you look at that box art, I dont know who that person is meant to be but its not Mega Man, The box art for the original Mega Man is fairly crap its Mega Man himself who looks like a grumpy middle aged man which ruins it for me, the rest of the box art is OK but that original design for the Hero of the series was not helping sell copies of the game back in the day.
The Mega Man games all have fairly similar plots but I will do a brief summary of each one starting with the original games.
Dr Light and Dr Wily used to be business partners, They both worked together to build robots with a purpose to help people and each robot had a different ability.
One day the robots started behaving inappropriately as they began attacking the people they were built to help, Dr Light discovers that it was Dr Wily that reprogrammed the robots to do this as he wanted to use them to take over the world, a prototype robot with a strong sense of justice and the ability to learn called Mega Man takes off into the city in order to stop all of the robots and Dr Wily from achieving world domination.
Mega Man uses a level select system which allows the player to go to any level they want from the get go, this idea gave the Mega Man series its own identity and a new challenging way to play games which became a staple in the video game industry, the level select menu is quite boring in the original game, its a plain background that doesn’t give the player much to look at.
Thankfully the game play is a lot more interesting I do wish their was more to look at in the background of the levels but we must remember that this is an early NES game so we shouldn’t expect too much.
Mega Man 2 (1988)
The box art for Mega Man 2 is more appealing than that of the original but its still not great, the characters look like extras in power rangers more than they do robots, also Mega Man looks like hes just broken his ankle, that actually looks quite painful,it was a good effort Capcom but the art really needs work.
After his defeat in the first game Dr Wily creates 8 more robot Masters in order to take over the world and Dr Light sends out Mega Man to stop the mad scientist once again.
The level select screen in Mega Man 2 is a lot more exiting than Mega Man 1, its amazing how just a little bit more detail can make all of the difference.
Visually the games colours are more sharp and the backgrounds are a lot more interesting, they are well animated and very cool however these fun backgrounds only tend to turn up now and again before returning to a more bland background design, other changes to Mega Man 2 is the ability to shoot in all directions and the addition of Energy Tanks, Energy Tanks can be found in difficult spots of various stages, these useful canisters can be used by Mega Man at anytime to completely refill his health, the enemy designs are again very creative in this game but they are too generous with their energy and weapon drops which makes the game quite a bit easier than the original.
The Robot Masters in the game are a lot of fun and similar to the original game most have weaknesses which can be taken avantage of with Mega Mans ever expanding arsenal however many of them can be easily defeated with either the Mega Buster or Metal Blade making them much easier as well.
The game has a kickass soundtrack which I wont go into too much detail now but I will say that the opening theme is perfect and really helps to get you hyped for the game that follows.
Mega Man 3 (1992)
Ok so the release date here is a little controversial because while the game was released in 1990 in Japan and in the USA in Europe it wasn’t released until 1992 so whether the date I have put is relevant to you depends on where you are from.
Now that box art is much better, sure Mega Man himself seems a bit derpy but its hard not admire the rest of the detail, for one Mega Man is actually shooting with his Mega Buster and not a pistol, Wily’s fortress in the background is pretty cool and Mega Man blasting the gears out of a robot just gets me super hyped for the adventure that awaits.
After being defeated twice by Mega Man Dr Wily helps Dr Light build a piece keeping robot named Gamma, 8 more robot masters are built in order to mine different planets for crystals which will power Gamma but these crystals mysteriously go missing and the robot masters start acting violently, Mega Man is sent to destroy the robot masters and return the crystals however this time he is joined by a robotic dog companion called Rush, both Mega Man and rush shoot off into the galaxy in order to save the day once again.
Mega Man 3’s gameplay is not much different from the other 2 games but some differences worth mentioning are as follows, this game has longer levels and most have 2 checkpoints instead of one, Mega Man 3 is much more difficult than both of its predecessors, you fight not only the 8 new robot masters but four additional stages with each needing Mega Man to defeat two robot masters from the last game, Rush is a useful companion and in a similar manner to Mega Man 2’s Dr Light upgrades Rush can help Mega Man jump higher, fly freely and can also be used as a submarine which can shoot and drive freely underwater, all of these become extremely helpful but they do have a limited power source and finally a new foe called Proto man makes an appearance in the game and Mega Man will need to defeat him various times.
Apart from those this game follows the regular Mega Man formula but one thing I will point out is that this game lags a lot so be prepared for that.
The sound track isn’t too great here not many memorable tracks at all and the lack of an intro cut scene kinda sucked.
Mega Man 4 (1992)
Mega Man looks a bit more normal on this cover but the art is no where near as cool as Mega Man 3’s.
After Dr Wily’s defeat in Mega Man 3 world peace came to the world for an entire year before Mega Man was threatened by a new foe Dr Cossack, Dr Cossack has created eight robot masters who are each programmed to kill Mega Man, Mega Man sets off to defeat the robot masters and his new enemy hoping to bring peace back to the world.
Mega Man 4 runs a lot smoother compared to the last game which was a bit of a relief as it made the experience less aggravating, in my opinion this is the game which pushed the NES era of Mega games to some of the best visuals the system could put out, the game is beautifully animated, you should watch the final cut-scene over and over again just appreciate how amazing it looks, If the graphics were enhanced a little I honestly believe that it could be mistaken for a Super Nintendo game, along side the awesome visual upgrade we are treated to a few additions and changes, Mega Man now has a new Mega Buster which can deliver charge shots for extra damage and instead of fighting robot masters from the last game we are instead given two final castles to take on although the levels here are a lot shorter than usual so its not too overwhelming.
Mega Man 5 (1992)
I really like this box art, Mega Man looks cool, the enemy designs are pretty awesome and their is plenty of detail in the background, its really nice and its my favourite so far.
Two months after the events of Mega Man 4, Proto Man has sent an army of robot masters to take over the world, Mega Man doesn’t understand why the robot who once helped him is doing such an evil thing but with little choice Mega Man runs into the city with his new robot bird called Beat who was gifted to him by Dr Cossack after he rescued him during his last adventure, don’t feel too bad about the companion as hes extremely useful, although it should be noted that hes only available near the end of the game so make of that what you will but either way you still get Rush which is great.
To be honest not much has changed here, as stated before you get a new companion but apart from this only very few changes were made compared to Mega Man 4, energy tanks and health drops I found found were slightly more generous making this adventure a little less stressful and I found the mega buster to be more powerful here but I cant be too sure.
With Mega Man 5 not really giving us much new material we just have one more game to tackle in this collection.
Mega Man 6 (1993)
This box art is really weird, why the hell does it seem as though Mega Man has travelled back to the middle ages,that castle is really old looking and it doesn’t suit the futuristic theme of the series but I will say that I do like that they are showing off one of the Rush adaptor suits on the cover with the Jet Pack Mega Man.
After Dr Wily’s 5th defeat a global robot alliance was created to help keep peace in the universe, a robot tournament was made to help find the strongest peace keeping robot in the world, Mega Man is sent to supervise the tournament to make sure that there is no funny business but before the tournament begins the host Mr X announces that he has re-programmed all the contestants to help him take over the world and he even announces that he was manipulating Dr Wily the entire time, with the world in danger Mega Man and Rush set out to defeat their new foe and bring back world peace.
As previously mentioned in this game Rush does help Mega Man but unlike before when Rush would allow Mega Man to use him to get past difficult obstacles this time around they both combine with each other its pretty weird but I like it, apart from that nothing much is new its just a standard Mega Man game, great sound track, nice tight controls and epic action packed platforming game play, you cant go wrong, its more unique than the previous games with its rush adaptors but other than that its the same Mega Man we all love and you cant complain about that.
With the games out of the way I want to quickly cover the extra features of this collection, first of all we have the challenge mode, its essentially small scenes from the games where you have to complete difficult tasks, they could be kill a boss within a certain time frame or beat a bunch of bosses without dying, finish a segment without taking damage and so much more, getting gold on all of these challenges is difficult but can be done with a lot of patience and a steady mind.
Finally there are two pretty cool features available from the get go one is quick access to each games sound track which are all awesome by the way, and the other is the ability to change between the English and Japanese versions of each game.
I know it may seem odd that I chose to cover these in a collection instead one at a time but to be honest as much as I love Mega Man they are all fairly similar, this collection is a fantastic purchase for anyone who loves the series and even those who may want to check it out, fear not it does have a save state option available and the Nintendo Switch version which has not yet been released is going to include a rewind feature which will allow you to re try tricky sections in real time without having to reload a stage or re-do an entire level, the only small issue I have is the few lag spikes in some of the games I don’t expect this in a collection for such modern day machines so this was a little disappointing, the Mega Man games are a huge staple in the video game industry they helped to put Capcom on the map and have since become a massive part of video game history, each game is fun in its own way and each game has a special place in my heart, now go out there and blow up some robots 9.5/10
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