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Capcom has recently released the Mega Man Legacy Collection, which includes all the games from X1 to X8, so while not forgetting that Mega Man 11 will come out soon, it can be seen as a nice appetizer, to learn more about the history of our favorite fighting robot.
X is a different series than the classic one, but with most key elements still intact. While still being challenging games, they introduce a series of features like wall-climbing and dashing that made them more appealing to the audience, and the X series also focusses to a greater extent on a more mature storyline.
On the first part we’ll be able to find the first 4 games, while on the second one we’ll see the remaining 4 of the collection. The game offers you the possibility of changing the graphic filters: you can make it look as pixelly as ever, emulate the stylish effect of a CRT monitor or use a filter to make it look more modern. You can also choose whether to stretch the image to display the game in 16:9 or to stick to the original 4:3 format, which will replace the missing space with a border fitting to the game you’re playing (even though you can still change it with one from another game, for example you can play X1 with the border of X3, if you so desire). If you set the format to 4:3 and add the CRT effect, you’re in for the ultimate nostalgic trip.
The first 3 X games were released on the Super Nintendo (SNES) and are the ones that are still considered the best of the series, while X4 was the first chapter that decided to skip the SNES to go straight to the PlayStation and was the first one to introduce Zero as a playable character. Focusing more on melee attacks compared to X, Zero can make the game significantly harder, but also offer an unique and fun gameplay experience. The first part of the collection is a masterpiece that still holds up to today’s standards. X1 to X4 are still incredibly amazing and challenging games, that should be played by everyone, and the collection might be your excuse for finally getting back to playing these titles.
The second part of the collection is instead a bit more problematic and deserves to be talked about a bit more. Nothing to say about the collection itself, which is very well done, it’s the games themselves that don’t quite hold up to these standards. At least, when we’re talking about X7 and X8. X5 and X6, while inferior to the first 4 titles, are still pretty good and tried to change the formula a bit. In fact, X5 was supposed to be the final chapter in the series, as you may notice by the several different endings that were supposed to wrap up the story in a touching way. Capcom, however, did not have the same idea and still decided to make X6, complicating the storyline but it’s still a pretty decent game.
So what went wrong? Well, we’ll offer these words to sum it up: PlayStation 2 and 3D. If you played videogames before this era, you’ve surely noticed the tendency to try and get classic games into a 3D environment because “it was the future”. X7 suffered that fate: it changed formula completely and ended up being tremendously flawed and, simply put, not worth your time. Doesn’t help that you can’t even play as X, the main character of the series, until you’ve already beaten the game by beating all 8 Mavericks. As you can probably tell, the fans didn’t exactly approve of this idea.
X8 realized that this was not the direction the series needed to go and made a step back, becoming a 2.5D shooter and, basically, using the 3D technique just to give better graphics. It ended up being way better than X7, but still inferior to the first 6 games.
The Mega Man X Legacy Collection also includes an OAV called “The Day of Sigma”, which is a prologue to the original Mega Man X and shows us how Sigma became the big baddie of the series. The bundle is available for 40 Euro on the store, or just 20 if you’re interested in just 1 of the two parts (they are listed as 2 different games in your library).
Overall, the Mega Man X Legacy Collection does its job right to make us relive the past of the series, both the best and not so great parts. If you aren’t sure, at the very least we suggest giving the first part a shot which, like we said, includes the best games in the series and is a must-have for every old school side-scroller fan out there.