The first four Mega Man X games are fun nostalgia, though it sometimes feels like a case of deja vu.
I’ve never really had an opportunity to play the Mega Man X series, as the original series appealed to me more, for whatever reason. I always made a note to myself whenever I saw a re-release of the first X game that I needed to play these games sometime during my lifespan. So for me, Mega Man X Legacy Collection was like killing four birds with one stone. While this first collection is very much an exercise in redundancy, solid platforming mechanics and good presentation makes this collection of titles worth a look.
Mega Man X Legacy Collection features the first four titles in the series. Mega Man X, Mega Man X2 and Mega Man X3 were all released for the Super Nintendo in the mid 1990s. I like the new gameplay mechanics they added, like wall jumping and dashing. It still feels like a Mega Man game, but updated for the Super Nintendo era. These first three titles all look and play the same, with a few changes here and there to freshen things up a tad. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does get repetitive after a while.
X4, released for the PlayStation in 1997, is a lot like first three games but with better graphics and music. There’s also anime cutscenes spliced throughout which, while nice to look at, are voiced so astonishingly bad. Mega Man 8’s voice acting was bad, but you don’t know the definition of bad until you’ve gone through X4’s stilted garbage. They make me sound like an accomplished voiceover artist.
All four games carry the same tough platforming action that the series is well known for: you will get hit and there are plenty of trial and error moments throughout each stage that can easily hinder progress. The Rookie Hunter mode alleviates things, especially for someone like me who is just getting into the series. Weirdly, how it helps you depends on which games you play. The first three games lets you take more hits for little damage, but not much else. X4 gives you nine lives, lets you take the extra hits and prevents you from falling into spikes or ledges. This is great for newcomers; I just wish it were a bit more consistent in each game.
Other bonuses to the collection are nice, but nothing substantial. The typical museum and filter modes are fun to tinker around and explore with for a while, but it’s nothing amazing. I like the default filter the Collection has, as it smooths things out, leaving a more polished and cartoony look. I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority when it comes to things like that, however, so you can always turn off the filters if you wise. The new Boss Rush mode is pretty fun, where you select specific weapons and go after three sets of two bosses that you fight at the same time. It’s a nice time waster once you familiarize yourself with the series.
The first Mega Man X Collection is a nice set of titles that comes with some pretty nice extras. All four games are too similar to one another to stand out, but the platforming is strong enough that it can provide a fun challenge for platformer enthusiasts.