MEGA MAN X LEGACY COLLECTION 1 & 2
X gon’ give it to ya. Eight times
After barren periods where it felt like their hero was being ignored by Capcom, Mega Man fans were blessed with the Mega Man Legacy Collection and its sequel, which together comprised all ten games in the main series. As die-hard devotees of the Blue Bomber know, though, that’s only half the story: step forward this new pair of compilations which now offer the entire Mega Man X spin-off series too. Collection 1 includes the SNES versions of Mega Man X, X2, and X3, as well as the PlayStation version of Mega Man X4. The second collection, meanwhile, adds a couple more PlayStation games in the shape of Mega Man X5 and X6, and rounds things off with the controversial PS2 duo of Mega Man X7 and X8 (which ditched the sprite-based characters and went polygonal).
The first six games are handled exactly as you would expect a retro compilation to be these days: there’s a selection of different upscaling filters – smooth, scanlines, and unfiltered – and the option to play in full screen, a slightly reduced screen (to keep the pixels square), or stretched widescreen. X7 and X8, however, get arguably the best treatment due to their polygonal nature. The characters and stages are upscaled significantly, essentially making them HD remasters rather than the standard-definition PS2 games they originally were. Purists may sneer at this, but there’s no denying they look much better on a modern telly.
As with the previous collections, there’s also a generous Museum mode here, including loads of artwork and music. You even get Day Of Sigma, a 25-minute anime made for Maverick Hunter X on PSP (though annoyingly it’s on each collection, meaning you’re essentially wasting time downloading it twice if you own both).
Add to this a new Rookie Hunter mode, which greatly reduces the amount of damage you take, and an X Challenge mode, where you take on two bosses at once with limited weapons, and it’s safe to say there’s a healthy selection of content here for beginners and veterans alike.
Two great retro packages. If you only want one, go for the first: like the Police Academy movies, the quality dips as the series progresses. Chris Scullion