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Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 + 2 (PS4) Review

August 1, 2018 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Mega Man X Legacy Collection
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Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 + 2 (PS4) Review  

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I’ll admit that I tend to favor the X games over the original Mega Man franchise. Part of that is age, I was just a hare too young when the Mega Man games were coming out, part of that is they were tough (especially the first two), and part of that was that I never really owned a NES as a kid. I did own a SNES though and got into the Mega Man X franchise. The basic premise of the Mega Man X franchise is that it’s at least 100 years after the Mega Man series. Dr. Light long since died, but he made one last robot named X. X is found in hibernation by scientists who use him as the basis of a whole new generation of robots called “Relploids”. Some of these Reploids turn bad and become “Maverick”, and X (alongside Zero) are a force of Maverick Hunters who take them out. Let’s see how this package treats each game

Mega Man X: The original MMX holds up shocking well, despite it being almost 25 years after it came out. I forgot that you don’t start off with the dash move, you pick it up as an upgrade in the ice stage. MMX introduces most of the basic framework of the X series including X, Zero, Vile, Sigma, upgrade capsules, refillable sub (energy) tanks, and so on. It also features a hidden Hadouken attack that can one-hit kill anything but requires some requirements to actually get it. As a whole, MMX is still a great game.

Mega Man X2: More of the same, just with slightly upgraded mechanics. There’s a new gang of evil robots called the “X-Hunters” who are trying to stop you, and recover the body parts of Zero after he sacrificed himself for you in the prior game. This game introduces vehicle stages, as well as branching paths for boss fights, as well as different endings for the game. Also, if you meet certain conditions, you can get the Shoryuken, which is pretty great.

Mega Man X3: I’m noticing a theme here of making these games just slightly more expansive. In MMX 3 you gain the option of playing Zero during levels, who is initially a stronger character than X. If Zero dies in a stage though, he gets locked out for the rest of the game. Aside from that, there are different types of ride armors for use that are required to unlock upgrades and new enhancement chips. You can only have one chip active, but each has very useful purposes like refilling your health slowly, or letting you do two air dashes. Sadly, there aren’t any Street Fighter moves in this game.

Mega Man X4: Honestly, Mega Man X4 is probably my favorite game in the entire Mega Man franchise, as a whole. It has some great graphics, some interesting secrets, and one of the best soundtracks ever in a game. To start with, you can play as both X or Zero at the start of the game, and each has their own slightly different storyline. Also, as compared to X3, Zero now has his own drastically different moveset, focusing entirely on his Z-Saber and close-range attacks. Ride armors are de-emphasized and enhancement chips are gone but there are still upgrade for X to find that increase his abilities. The bosses have a touch more personality in this game, the art style has been upgraded from the SNES-era, and there are a few anime-FMV sequences to flesh out the story. The only downside is they reduced the number of sub tanks from 4 (in the previous games) to 2, which isn’t fun. To me though, Mega Man X4 is the definitive Mega Man X game.

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Mega Man X5: Rinse and repeat only now with a slightly “Meh” quality to it. You can switch between X and Zero at any time as you play. The big addition here is that you can get infected with a new virus that damages X but gives Zero some temporary boosts. There are more armors for you to unlock, but you can’t mix and match them, you have to collect all the parts for them to become useful. There are also multiple endings in the game, whether or not Zero turns Maverick or who actually finishes Sigma off.

Mega Man X6: To its credit, X6 does have an interesting armor system. You can now mix and match different armor parts, so if you like the boots upgrade from the Blade Armor, and the X-Buster upgrade from the Shadow Armor, you can use them. There is also an actual focus now on trying to rescue innocent Reploids and not letting them go Maverick. You don’t have Zero at the start but have to defeat an evil version of him first in order to unlock him. X6 isn’t necessarily a bad game, but it is the X series when it’s just spinning its wheels.

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Mega Man X7: This is where the X series really went off the rails. In the transition from the PS1 to the PS2, Capcom decided to throw in a lot of new mechanics that well, suck. First is that you primarily control Zero and Axl, a new character, and not X. Axl is different from both characters in that he can shoot diagonally, hover in mid-air (without the use of an upgrade part) and has a “copy shot” ability, which lets him transform into certain robots, if killed with a different attack. This lets you use enemy robots abilities against other enemy robots, as well as access different areas and such. The “rescue Reploids” mechanic comes back in a vengeance in this game as you have to rescue 64 Reploids (out of 128) to actually unlock X to play. This is…insane. It doesn’t say “Mega Man Axl” on the box, it says “Mega Man X”. The fact you can’t play as the title character of the game, for a majority of it, is crazy. Also, X7 is the first (and only) X game that had a foray into the 3D realm. There are both 2D (side-scrolling) and 3D sections, and neither feels good, although the 3D one feels markedly worse. It plays a lot like Contra III: The Alien Wars on the SNES. This is, without a doubt, the worst game in this entire package.

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Mega Man X8: X8 is a bit of a return to form for the X franchise. Instead of being strictly 2D or some ill-fated 3D, X8 is a 2.5D game. What this means is that most of a level is on a 2D plane, but it is rendered in 3D. So, there are times when one of the three playable characters (X, Zero or Axl) can go into the foreground or background to access hidden places, or just to continue on with the level. While there are three playable characters, you can only pick two to play a stage with. You can swap between them with a press of a button or unleash a super attack with both characters when a meter is full. There are three Navigators that tell you secrets about the levels or analyze boss weaknesses. In X8, there is a much greater emphasis on collecting bits for you to buy new items for your characters and collecting “Rare metals” for you to unlock new weapons and abilities for your characters. I actually have a fondness for X8, it’s not quite a traditional Mega Man X game, but it is unique and I like the overall feel of it.

So, with this Legacy Collection package you get the first 8 Mega Man X games, as well as the Japanese versions of them, which you can toggle with a button press. Starting with X4, the games got some really dodgy English voice acting, so this give you the ability to play “Rockman X4” instead, with the Japanese language activated.

There is one big omission in this package and that is that Mega Man X: Command Mission isn’t included. Command Mission came out around the same time as X8 and is a JRPG set in the world of Mega Man X. You have a party of X, Zero and Axl, alongside some other more popular JRPG character tropes and you’re trying to stop a rebellion within the city. I’m not going to claim it’s the greatest JRPG in the world but it did have some nifty features like the turn indicator and how you create new items for your party. I imagine its exclusion here is based on size, after all it is another PS2 game, but still, it’s a missing game that should have been here.

Aside from that though, you get the soundtracks for each game, galleries of each game, galleries of the merchandise for each game, game trailers, and each version of the collection includes “The Day of Σ” (The Day of Sigma), which was an animated prequel taking place just before Mega Man X.

The two big additions to the game are “Rookie Hunter Mode” and the “X Challenge”. As opposed to the old Mega Man Legacy Collection games, there isn’t a save state feature in this game. Instead there is the Rookie Hunter Mode, which halves damage that you take. Personally, I’d much prefer the save state system that the previous collection had but maybe that’s just me.

X Challenge is a wholly unique mode that is interesting. It sets you as X going up a ladder system where you face two Mavericks at the same time. You are able to select three different subweapons at the start and the goal is to make it up the ladder and get a good leaderboard score. I’m not a huge fan of this survival mode. Some stages are easy to take on but others have robots that are diametrically opposed to one another’s weapons. Also, you can’t change your subweapons during rounds, you’re stuck with whatever you picked at the start, so you’ll likely run into a pair of bosses that aren’t weak to anything you have.

The final thing I’ll say is that this is a bit of a weird package. Without question Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 is better than 2. Legacy Collection 1 has at least two superb games (in my view) of X1 and X4. X2 and X3 are perfectly fine but nothing special. Collection 2 has one good game in it, X8. X5 and X6 are serviceable but that’s it, with X7 being a stain on the franchise. If you have a lot of money or are a Mega Man X completionist, feel free to buy the complete bundle. If you are budget conscious or are a tad hesitant, then only buy Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1.

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8
The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Having to review both packages together, I’ll give this set a solid 8.0 out of 10. It has at least three of my favorite Mega Man games in it and four others that are perfectly playable. Only one game in this collection is a travesty and it can be safely ignored. I wish there had been done a bit more around the edges like including Command Mission or a save state system but that’s just me. Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 + 2 is a good nostalgia trip for MMX fans and should be played if you enjoy good platforming/shooting action.
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