A shift to 3D leads to more mixed results for the second collection of Mega Man X games.
The second version of the Mega Man X Legacy Collection combines the last four Mega Man X games for those who are fans of the series’ later titles. Unlike the first collection, which doesn’t differentiate much from the formula made popular in the original X title, these games actually do try and spice things up with new gameplay elements. The end result is questionable at best. Though it does provide solid gameplay for the most part, Mega Man X Collection 2 is a far more flawed collection than its predecessor.
If you enjoy challenging platforming titles, than X5 and X6 are likely going to be your favourites. Both are fantastic options, but if I had to choose, X5 has better level design than X6, which was frustrating to get through at times. Neither are particularly revolutionary, but play well overall. One word of warning, if you’ve only played the earlier X titles you may be surprised by the amount of dialogue. The X series has always revolved around the Reploids’ struggles against the Mavericks, but going through mountains of text to get to the next area can be a chore. Even during gameplay, assistant Alia is always there to say something. As someone who just wants to go in and do it the old trial-and-error way, this was pretty lame.
X7 brought the biggest changes to the formula as this is the first Mega Man X game in 3D. Parts of stages are played in 2.5D, which are fine, but problems begin when the camera shifts to 3D and it has to be moved manually. This turns into a giant chore when trying to figure out how to clear an area. Depth perception issues based on the camera’s position behind you, bad voice acting, and dated graphics make X7 the weakest title in the series.
X8 ditched the 3D concepts and returns the series to its roots, though it kept the 2.5D style of graphics that look a bit too dated for my liking. It’s everything that 7 should have been: an updated version of the X series that feels like the breath of fresh air the series had needed for so long. Axl’s rapid fire abilities are also a great addition to these last two titles.
X Legacy Collection 2 is just okay. X5 and X6 look great and provide fun platforming, though both fall victim to uninspiring stories and a lot of dialogue. X7 should be commended for trying to change things up, but the switch to 3D falls flat. X8 is much more polished and is probably the best title in the collection. The collection overall is probably best for those that are nostalgic for the PlayStation 1 and 2 era Mega Man games; otherwise, there are much better platformers around on the Switch with better variety.