Why did the US turn Rockman into Megaman?
The year is 1987, and in that year a game was due to appear on the Nintendo Entertainment System that would fundamentally change the gaming world: Mega Man. No one other than Keiji Inafune is responsible for this and since the rights of the blue robo hero are now with the publisher Capcom, who also brought the first part onto the market at the time, the signs are good for the Mega Man Legacy Collection. 28 years later, history is being made again - Mega Man makes it onto the current generation of consoles. At last! But is it worth the trip to my, our childhood? The test will tell.
Shine my hero!
When the mail went through the distribution list of the editors, I didn't have to think for a second whether I wanted to write the test for this collection. No other game series has influenced my career as a video game fan as much as this little 8-bit warrior of justice. So I became a 4 year old toddler again, sitting in front of the TV screen full of euphoria. And this time too I suffered and died a thousand deaths. But Mega Man has aged well, because the titles Mega Man 1 to 6 are all "all-time classics" that laid the foundation for today's games.
If you are too young and have not enjoyed these titles, you will find many elements from the games in today's platformers. Mega Man was a pioneer: Be it the slide from Mega Man 3, the charge buster from Mega Man 4, the possibility of using the weapons of the robotic villains of Dr. Wily or simply the ingenious level design that explains to players what to do without a tutorial. So it is not surprising that Mega Man shot itself back into my heart very quickly, even if the path of the sneaky Dr. Wily was paved with nasty robo villains. Actually, Dr. Sorry for Wily, he's the potential ancestor of Team Rocket, but he's not quite as stupid as Jessie and James.
If you play parts 1-6 in chronological order, you will see a phenomenal development as an entire franchise changed from the ground up. The controls still feel rather vague in the first part and, above all, shows that many small things have not yet reached the point I remembered them. It starts with the opponent's design, for example, and goes from the appearance of the energy container to the layout of the selection menu. Mega Man 2 is already in a completely different sphere in terms of feel.
Legends do not arise overnight
It is not without reason that, under this aspect, Mega Man 2 is the best part of the entire franchise for many fans. Mega Man 2 established the franchise in 8-bit format, as everyone knows who has played a Mega Man somewhere, at some point. A simple, direct control gives us total control over what you do. It's almost like Dark Souls and Bloodborne - you are responsible for your failure, the controls are perfect. Exactly this stimulus to implement everything perfectly, to find the weakness of every Robo villain, and to defeat them in the right order, make up the fascination of every Mega Man.
The Mega Man Legacy Collection is not just a 1: 1 implementation for today's platforms, it also offers some really useful extras. For example, if you want to use the full dimensions of your flat screen TV, you don't have to be satisfied with the original 4: 3 picture format. In the menu, you can easily choose between original dimensions, a full-screen function and a full-screen widescreen option. If you don't want to play through a Mega Man part in one go and don't want to use the password system that was used on the NES, you can simply save it as it should be for today's game. Capcom also offers a database, museum and jukebox function for each part.
The paint is not off
Every opponent of every part is broken down in the database. So even newbies can find out about every boss if the right weapon was not found right away. In the museum, Capcom provides an insight into the history of the Mega Man franchise. Many sketches, ideas and robots that did not make it into the finished game can be viewed here. For fans like me, it was immediately in a mental cinema what the stage and the abilities of a "Plas Man" would have looked like. The jukebox is what it sounds like: A playlist of all tracks - the theme from Wily Stage 2 from Mega Man 2 alone justifies this feature.
Last but not least, the Collection also offers a challenge mode, which appeared for the first time in Mega Man 9 and 10. Here certain passages from the stages of the respective title have to be completed as quickly and without errors as possible. At the end there is a black hole that will take us to the next section. So if you are self-confident and are convinced that you are a stunner in the Mega Man franchise, you can put your words into action here. It's just a shame that there is no way to compare your high scores online with other players. A simple highscore list would have been a great pleasure for many here. So the only thing left is the thought of having successfully completed that section with a top grade.
It's refreshing how well the Mega Man Legacy Collection fits into today's gaming world, especially at a time when people are thinking about the old core values that made a good video game "back then". That is why the blue paint of the assistant Dr. Lights so bright - almost three decades later, Dr. Wily looking stupid out of the laundry when his plans to conquer the world are thwarted again.
The Mega Man Legacy Collection made me a child again. At least for the hours in which I measured myself against my old adversaries like Heat Man, Skull Man, Cut Man or Proto Man. The Mega Man games are a wonderful journey into a piece of video game history that everyone should have experienced and can now do on today's platforms. Capcom has done a good job with the Mega Man Legacy Collection and so I have little more than a clear recommendation to buy for anyone who has been a Mega Man fan, nostalgic or simply a friend of good games since childhood. With 6 games in one collection, this includes some of the best platformer of the past 30 years with a chiptune soundtrack that is catchy. Those who can overlook the shortcoming of a lack of online connection in challenge mode will enjoy these games for a long time.
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