Originally, Mega Man X was released by Capcom for the SNES back in 1993. A spin-off series of the original Mega Man with an even more futuristic touch, set in the future of the original series. The concept is, a robot has been created with the ability to feel emotions, and with free will. Although, quickly, the technology behind this new brand of robot is replicated. And with free will, comes criminal activity. Naturally, you, as the new and improved Mega Man, known as X, have to go put a stop to all these robot shenanigans.
Usually, when you consider plot in SNES platformers, it’s all there for excuse. However, the Mega Man X series sought to change this by having an in depth plot spanning all of its games. And all of those games are now in two handy collections for players to get their hands on. The two collections bring together every Mega Man X game from 1 through to 8, as well as a whole heap of bonus goodies, such as a gallery and an anime short, among other things.
The game is mostly for hardcore Mega Man fans, although, being a collection, makes a huge effort to be a good starting point for new players as well. The game offers a ‘rookie hunter’ mode where health drops are more numerous and enemies do less damage. For the first few installments of the series where the phrase ‘Nintendo Hard’ was around for a reason, this might be a good idea for newbies, as the controls may catch some off guard, as the earlier installments are slower and a little more clunky, with movement not being as fluid as later entries.
The port itself has a few issues insofar as frame rate, as I noticed, at least on the Switch, my game slowing down numerous times. Not just when anything too intensive was happening on screen, but even just traversing the levels normally there were moments when the game would stutter and I would find myself scrambling to avoid falling down a pit when the game finally caught back up.
Another issue I noticed as I booted up the various 2D games is the collection adds a filter by default. The filter is very hit and miss, with some things looking smoother, and others looking like a blotchy mess. Thankfully, there are numerous filter options available as well as the original look, and an ability to set the game to widescreen.
The other new feature the games offer, which is very interesting, is the X Challenge mode. It’s basically a boss rush, where you’ll face bosses of the series two at a time from the first four games. You also get to pick three special abilities to start with before you’re thrown in. It’s a great bit of fun for those familiar with every nook and cranny of the series and are looking for a new challenge to set themselves up against.
All in all, these collections are a great place for veterans and beginners alike to experience the entire series, its evolution, its ups and downs and its behind the scenes in the form of concept art and other various goodies. Despite its issues, it’s still easy to see why the Mega Man X series created a new standard for platformers, providing fast paced action with story to create something new and exciting. The visuals are gorgeous, when not put through a filter, and the soundtrack still holds up.
If you’ve ever been curious about the Mega Man series, this is probably the best place to start.
Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 and 2 are out now for Switch, PS4, Xbox One and PC.