Just playing some more platforming games
After I had written my earlier post about my top 10 platforming games where I placed the original Mega Man game on a 7th place, I decided to check Playstation Store to browse for some platforming games to see if there was anything new, there was the Mega Man Legacy Collection for sale, just little more than a dollar per game is definitely worth it. I prefer the Dualshock controller when I play NES games which I've done trough emulators so playing it on PS4 feels very natural as for me it really is the natural progression from the NES/SNES controller but with what I think is an even better D-pad.
The idea of playing trough all the original 1-6 series was partly to check if my thoughts is different now as my memory of Mega Man 4,5,6 was very weak and to see if the original Mega Man still is my favorite game in the series and essentially write short reviews about the games of my thoughts.
As with most classic NES games, games usually didn't last more than a couple of hours in length if even more than an hour. What made a lot of games longer was the difficulty as of trial and error as well as great replay value. The first two Mega Man games are shorter, but starting with Mega Man 3 they added more content for longer games. Depending how good you are, you can blaze trough all 6 games in about 6-7 hours, but for me because I'm not the best Mega Man gamer but I'm far from the worst it took me around 18-20 hours in total as I wasn't that familiar with Mega Man 4-6. It's essentially all gameplay time with just a couple of short story cutscenes. I really liked how some of the games added more cinematic story cutscenes as I think the Mega Man Universe still to this date has a lot of potential expandability.
For many new players who hasn't played a Mega Man game, it will be like playing Mario for the first time. The first game will take longer time as you have to learn the way how to play it, then you can play them all basically the same with minor changes between them.
As a summary it's an awesome collection, especially for the price. If I would try to get my hands on a Mega Man 1-6 complete in box PAL collection, that would be really hard and expensive as well playing them without any issues that comes with cartridges from the 80s. Aside from the games it self the collection has some good and bad features. The trophy list is a complete joke and not appealing, it's completely missing several trophies that you would expect to be there, example there's no Platinum trophy or a Gold trophy for beating all games. The most it give you is one gold and three silver trophies for completing challenges, everything else is a bronze trophy!. I think Capcom got inspired by Nintendo's NES Remix as of having challenges, but these challenges was more of a bonus/replay feature and not the major selling point of the collection, yet the challenges is the major part of the trophy list?. I don't understand why they did that.
The difficulty is easier this time around
Another thing this collection offers over the original games is one save state per game. However this can easily be exploited for those who just want to beat the game instead of actually getting a challenge, in the legacy collection 2 they fixed it so the saves occur at checkpoints/beginning of the stage which I think the NES games should had all been originally as of a more fair difficulty. What I did found interesting is that a very low amount of the people who played and own this collection on PS4 have completed a single game. Less than 15% owners on PS4 has beaten Mega Man 2 with save states surprises me a lot (according to trophy rarity).
I predict there is a mix of both older and younger generation gamers and if you recall Mega Man games, I predict the rougher rough difficulty cliff in the beginning may turned off a lot of new players. In the upcoming Nintendo Switch version the collection will feature a 'rewind'-button making the games even easier which I think makes the game too different and too easy compared to the original game design.
What I can say is that most of these games inherit the limitations of the NES very accurate and something that I had to get used to such as slowdowns, glicthes, flicking etc. that can be fixed in emulators. I personally if possible rather play a game with so little issues as possible.
Events before the first Mega Man game (MMKB)
In the 20th century, Dr.Light and Dr.Wily attended the Robot Institute of Technology where they became classmates. They graduated together although Dr.Light always received more credit than Dr.Wily, both got nominated for Nobel Prize, but only Dr.Light won. Dr.Wily's pride got hurt and got tired of being in second place as he vanish until the events of the first game.
Dr.Light built a series of household and civil service robots based on the successes and failures of his earlier project to build other Robot Masters, like Rock (a lab assistant, also known as Mega), Roll (a housekeeper), and a series of industrial robots.
When Dr. Wily grew jealous of Dr. Light's works receiving credit, Dr.Wily stole and reprogrammed Dr.Light's industrial robots, attempting to take over the world. Rock, having a strong sense of justice, volunteered to be converted into the super robot known as Mega Man.
In Japan, Mega Man was originally called Rockman and most of the games had a subtitle, but the subtitles didn't really tell you much about the game. When they marketed the games for the western audience they dropped the subtitles and used roman numbering because that was a huge trend in movies and entertainment at the time with movies such as Rocky, Star Wars etc.. After Mega Man 7 they started to drop the roman numbering, as in 7 it was only in the title screen and as logo-image but no longer on the box art and by Mega Man 8 they had completely dropped it.
|Mega Man II||Rockman 2: The Enigma of Dr.Wily|
|Mega Man III||Rockman 3: The End of Dr.Wily|
|Mega Man IV||Rockman 4: A New Ambition|
|Mega Man V||Rockman 5: Blues' Trap*|
|Mega Man VI||Rockman 6: The Greatest Battle in History|
*In Japan, Proto Man is named Blues.
Even after replaying all the six original games I still think the first game in the series is my favorite, even tho it has many flaws. Overall it's a lot clear in my head how the series evolved and how many improvements over time evolved with the series that I do really like such as charging the Mega buster, E-Tanks and other UI-improvements where I think Mega Man 5 is the greatest classic NES Mega Man game design as it did everything technically perfect in many ways.
The robots in the first game is still what I feel is my favorites and the ones I think of when I think of Mega Man. Cut man, Guts man, Ice Man, Bomb Man, Fire Man, Elec Man, I remember them all on top of my head, but what I also remember is it featuring one of the most frustrating Bosses in the series, Yellow Devil it's so annoying to beat him the legit way (without the glitch).
I love the soundtrack in this game, it's so classic and has so many great songs. My favorite tracks is Dr.Wily Stage 1 which I think it's the best Dr.Wily stage track in the series as it's a lot more emotional engaging as well the track Ending, which I really like.
Mega Man: Powered-Up
They made a remake on PSP called "Mega Man Powered-Up" and I think the reason many Mega Man fans didn't appreciate it was because of the graphics and change of gameplay. It has chibi-graphics that I liked, but the controls and gameplay was changed along with the stages (, there's a classic and new mode). Basic controls that was changed was jumping, shooting, aiming etc. and you had to adapt to play it. What they did keep was the difficulty, it may look like a more kid-friendly version of the game but it's a lot rougher then you expect first time playing it. They also improved on the story, a lot of UI enhancements which probably is my favorite feature, added voice acting. Overall for me it was a very fun game even tho it wasn't a clear copy of the original in the same way Sonic Generations isn't Sonic 2 but Classic Sonic takes the essence and reimage it, which many times result in a not perfect responsive controls due to animations, 3D and everything.
If you just want to watch a playtrough of Mega Man 1, I would watch the PSP version it's a lot more fun.
"It's a mastapieeeeeece"
Mega Man II
First time I played this game was on an emulator and it was the third Mega Man game I've played I wasn't that impressed. It had a lot more enforcement regards to weapons compare to the regular mega buster. I initially thought it still was a great Mega Man game but just not for me. Over the years and with replays I have appreciated it a lot more. This game for many others is their favorite Mega Man game and probably many first game in the series. Things that is also highly regarded with this game is the lower difficulty as well as the Metal Blade being very over-powered over any other weapon as well the extra E-Tank made the game also a lot easier overall.
The soundtrack in this game is regarded as one of the best ever made, it's a lot more pumped up and suits more people's taste and even tho it's not my favorite soundtrack, most of the songs is great to listen at. What this game did a lot better than the original was the level design. The stages is a lot more lively and creative compare to the first one that had a lot more solid colors. Even tho the level design is very well made it still can be hard at times and I thought Quick Man stage was very fun, trying picking up so many items you can while not getting killed by the laser beams.
The graphics were improved in this game but sadly the game suffers from some notorious glitches due to NES limitations like the dragon fight in wily's castle.
Mega Man III
After Mega Man 2 I didn't really play much of the series but I noticed a lot of people I liked to read reviews of and others on the Internet had a special love for Mega Man 3 or Mega Man 5 so I took a second look at it and I did liked Mega Man 3 much more than Mega Man 2. Mega Man 3 improved the UI a bit, you got more story with Rush as your dog and you get hints about a guy called Proto Man. But sadly I never got very interested with the robots in this game.
In Mega Man 3 they introduced the "slide" that would become a permanent gameplay mechanic in the series. I like the slide-feature but I don't think it was that well implemented due to button limitations of the NES and it wasn't until the X-series they had a dedicated button which made it a lot better. In the original series you press down and jump to slide, this made it annoying at some times when I wanted to jump I slided instead and sometime when I wanted to jump and nothing happened because the slide got me stuck but I got my way trough still. With Rush being a bigger part of the game instead of just "Items" it added to the bigger story overall as a partner on the journey, something I really liked.
Another thing they improved with Mega Man 3 was that they made the stages a bit longer but mainly added more stages. This made the first robot masters a smaller portion of the game and felt a bit less important but something that I liked more as I've always liked to play the stages rather than defeat the bosses.
In this game, at random points you have to fight this mysterious guy called Proto Man, I like that as it added the feeling of you want to know more about that guy and the story overall about what's going on. I really liked his whistle tune, which is the intro of the Ending song. The soundtrack as a whole I felt was worse compare to previous games, but some tracks was really great.
Mega Man IV
In this game they revamped the gameplay and UI. You now have the upgraded Mega buster as you now can charge it and it really changed up the game as many enemies would die in one shot so I basically was running around with it charged as much as possible. The UI/menu screen is now in fullscreen mode like Zelda and I liked it a lot more and the game had robots and weapons I thought was cool like the Pharaoh Man and Drill Man.
There's a new villain known as the Russian scientist Dr.Cossack. He wasn't that interesting but the stages was a lot more interesting. Proto Man did return in some way in this game as well rescuing Dr.Cossack daughter which I thought was great. The stages in this game was very fun to play but the game overall wasn't the most interesting game but a solid mega man experience that improved the fundamental parts of what would become Mega Man 5.
As a summary I felt this was just 'more Mega Man' the game but wasn't really a game that I thought was in the top games overall. I thought it had great soundtrack and better then Mega Man 3, songs like Skull Man I felt like, yes this is perfect Mega Man music. After the end credits had rolled I still felt that it was lacking in some way for me I can't really put my finger on.
Mega Man V
When I first saw this game, my first impression was that I was surprised that how many people liked this game and for a really long time wondered why as this was a game I didn't play until many years later.
This game I felt had some very creative and great level design like Wave Man stage where you ride on a jet-ski on the water and I felt reminded of Battletoads on the NES in a good way as it was a fun and challenging experience but never felt frustrating like Battletoads. Then with with Gravity Man, it had a more puzzle-design.
Robots in this game was overall great, the menu/ui is fast and simple, difficulty isn't too hard as they also added the M-tank which fills up all the weapon-energy, the story is a lot more interesting as Proto Man does make up a lot larger part and you can collect hidden items trough out the levels to get a support robot-weapon known as "Beat" who will attack enemies that appear around you. Overall it was a very fun playing and what they did in this game overall is what I would define as the greatest NES Mega Man experience.
The music in this game was like Mega Man 3 for me but a bit better, some songs was great but overall was by far not the best soundtrack in the series.
"It's a mastapieeeeeece"
Mega Man VI
With this game I felt Capcom ran out of steam with. They made changes that wasn't necessary and felt it was done for change sake. The UI was a slower and you have unskippable animations that's when changing suits. They removed the M-tank, many robots wasn't interesting at all, tho Knight Man and Tomahawk Man was really cool. The new villain "Mr.X" has a robot tournament I felt was dull and compare to Mega Man 5 just a lot worse overall. But the music I felt was on pair with Mega Man 4 and was great.
I felt like it's a shame that up to this point the games had got better and better technically but this one was a let down and the mega buster wasn't as effective when charged but rather used as a need at times to penetrate some damage. What the game did do right was the visual graphics and every stage was very nice to look at with backgrounds etc..
The biggest difference in this game is the levels has additional paths, which was an interesting idea but at times also requiring you to replay the stages because you forgot something that was a bit frustrating (, which got insane with Mega Man 7 where I ended up having almost nothing because of so many paths and secrets as of forcing you to replay stages over and over).
Final notes.. more collections?
As a final note, the whole classic series is very much worth playing. I recommend all of the NES games and no game is in any way bad other then the american game covers of some of them. I think as of the classic series it's very much a personal preference as well nostalgia which one is your favorite. I know mine is still the original Mega Man.
Some games that I would had love to see some day is a collection with the lesser known games. Such as the gameboy titles "Dr.Wily's Revenge", "Mega Man Xtreme 2" and maybe some of the remakes such as the "Mega Man: Powered Up" game.
Legacy collection 2
As a side note, in the legacy 2 collection, the classic Mega Man series take a huge hit in game quality and introduces a lot of experimental changes as well graphical improvement that causing gameplay to suffer until they later on with Mega Man 9 and 10 went back to the original NES style games. I've just played trough Mega Man 7 but felt a bit fatigue to start playing Mega Man 8 when 7 wasn't that good and 8 is very bad. So I will return to it sometime later.