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Review

Review: Mega Man X Legacy Collection

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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).

Conclusion

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.

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