So earlier in the month, a fair number of Mega Man games were on sale. I decided to get Mega Man X Legacy Collection, as these games were among the first set of games that enhanced my gameplay skills in video games, and I feel quite nostalgic for these games. I bought these games while I still have access to the first three games already on the New 3DS, Wii, and Wii U, as I enjoy these games that much.
Before we begin, I must note that this review includes only Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1, and does not include Legacy Collection 2. The first of these Legacy collections contains Mega Man X1 through X4, as well as some bonus features. I will review these games individually, complete with a score for each, followed by summary of bonus features, then a final score for the collection as a whole. So, with that being said, let’s look at the first game:
Mega Man X:
Mega Man X was originally for the Super Nintendo, and was the first Mega Man game on the hardware. This game has most of the same features of most Mega Man games. There is the standard actions of jumping and shooting, as well as an option to choose what order you complete each of the eight main stages of the game. You also get a new weapon from the boss you defeat.
What was new as of Mega Man X was the wall jump ability, which allowed you to climb up walls. The game famously teaches you how to do this in the first level of the game without a tutorial, and is one of several brilliant decisions this game’s developers made.
Also new was the variety of collectible power-ups and upgrades the player can find throughout the game. These include health expansions, multiple items that store health pick-ups for later use, and armor upgrades that add new skills and features to Mega Man X himself. This not only encourages exploration, but also gave the player a sense of self-improvement by making the main character start out relatively weak, but allowed Mega Man X to become much stronger by the end of the game. Most of the game’s story is about Mega Man X getting stronger, and it is being told almost entirely through gameplay and on-screen action.
Much of this game was well crafted, from the inventive level designs, to boss enemies that have an animation that shows they are about to attack, to allowing the player to exit any stage they already completed (this made looking for upgrades much less time consuming).
There are relatively few things I could complain about in this classic game. On this playthrough, it did hit me that one optional upgrade required a very precise jump to get to (though there is another way to get this one). In addition, there is a secret upgrade that has some odd requirements to get, and there was no indication that it would show up were it does, though I already knew about it thanks to some old magazines I used to own.
The last thing I would critique about this game in a negative light was that there were some portions of the last few parts of the game where there are either too many enemies, and/or they were placed in some of the worst possible spots. In these cases these enemy placements would interrupt the flow of the game and under normal circumstances would just about guarantee the player takes damage. There is an upgrade that you will have by this point in the game that can make you briefly immune to damage that makes these parts much easier to navigate. It is a shame that I feel that this is the best way to get through these areas in a game that is almost perfect, especially considering that it was released in 1993.
These small flaws were just minor enough that I didn’t even notice or consider them until now, despite my having played this game countless times in the past. Ultimately, Mega Man X is a shining pillar of excellence from the early game industry, and is one of the few games that teaches you how to play without saying a word to the player.
- Figure out which boss you can defeat early, so that you can use its weapon to defeat the next boss. Each new weapon is strong against another boss, so keep using them until the eight main bosses are defeated.
- Keep an eye out for power-ups, as they make the game much easier, and reinforce the theme of growing stronger.
- You may skip the optional secret upgrade, if you like, it only makes the game somewhat easier.
- Solid controls.
- Good graphics, for the time.
- Inventive setting.
- Good visual and gameplay based storytelling.
- Cool music.
- Power-ups encourage exploration.
- Game teaches you how to play without tutorials.
- Some secret power-ups are annoying to get, even if you know how to get it.
- Some late game enemies are placed in annoying locations or quantities.
9/10 An Excellent Classic Platformer
Go to page 2 for Mega Man X2