Played on Windows.
Also Available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
A couple of months ago, the Mega Man X Legacy Collection came out as a two pack. I reviewed the first game that month, and I recommend reading that review here. It was an excellent compilation, but it did have a couple of flaws. Today I bring you the second set of games. Will they fair as well?
I will say that I’m not going to go over the same information as Mega Man X Legacy Collection. All the same issues occur with this game. The steam overlay still doesn’t work even after two months but does capture button presses and controls. (Disable it Capcom, just do it). Rookie Hunter mode is too easy but that might be a good thing, as we’ll see with these games. No 4k Support still, and a majority of the X Challenge is recycled. However, we’re also looking at vastly different games. Where X1-X3 were the originators of the series on the SNES, and X4 was the beginning of the PlayStation versions, these are the continuations after that point.
So I’m just going to jump ahead, if you want to hear me talk about the series and all, the previous review is available above. Again these are short reviews of each title, and not intended to fully capture everything that goes on in the game, mostly to give my feelings on the game, the qualities of it, good and bad. In these four games, I’ll be talking about the latter often. Oh boy.
Mega Man X5
Mega Man X5 is a bit divisive. But there are a few facts that I think are important. Mega Man X5 was intended to be the end of the series, the producer up to this point was Keiji Inafune of Mighty Number 9 infamy. He basically was done with the series and had little to do with it but told the team to finish it off. Of course, we know that isn’t what Capcom did, but that was the intended purpose of X5, to be a finale.
The original game also had the enemies based on Guns & Roses, which was awesome…. Too bad the legacy collection removes that, and it’s weaker for it in my opinion.
The game itself is weaker than X4, I know people will prefer it but there are a few things that really drive me up a wall. You can choose X or Zero, and that’s the similar to X4… However, there’s a time limit on the game. It’s not a real time limit but based on how many bosses you fight. You have 16 hours so you can play quite a bit, but still, a time limit on these games seems wrong, especially your initial playthrough where you have to learn which boss has which weakness, so you feel rushed (At least with how you visit levels).
Here’s one of the new bosses, the games look amazing.
Worse, if you get all the parts the first time around to destroy the Bosses’ MacGuffin that threatens you… you still can fail because there’s a high percentage chance the weapon won’t work. Or if you have earned no parts to that MacGuffin, the weapon might succeed (very unlikely). Why leave any chance in the system with either extreme?
You also have unlimited continues, a great addition to this entire series. However, the continue makes no sense as you just restart from your last death. Why not have unlimited lives instead, since you practically have that with the continues?
Maybe the original game ran slower, but there are a few levels that seem to run so fast they’re near impossible to win. Thank god for those unlimited continues. The speed bike level is really bad. The good news is the game has a “slow” option in it on the main menu so you can turn that on to avoid death, but I don’t know why that’s there, it’s to help people but it’s a sign of bad game design in my opinion. If you had to put that option in, why not just make the game less frustrating? Turning that option on means you run the entire game “Slow” and makes much of the game very easy.
There’s also a part system here. It’s the beginning of the part system in the series, but it’s not explained at all and rather confusing. I’ve read a bunch on it, and it sounded interesting but without the game acknowledging it directly or explaining it, I really dislike it and it just feels like they got RPG elements into an action/platformer game.
Speaking of RPG Elements, Bosses have levels, which lead to the parts. I don’t fully understand the depth of the level systems but it’s also something that seemed to linger through the rest of the series… Never explained, never something I liked…. Kind of the big problem with a number of these systems. They reached the PlayStation era, expanded on their game but don’t explain what they’ve done with it.
Ultimately, Mega Man X5 isn’t a bad game. But it’s not as good as the previous 4 games. It’s weaker than X4, but also I feel like it gets a lot of credit because people feel like it’s on the edge of the cliff in quality. It’s the last “Good” X game for a while, but I think that’s a flaw as it’s already on the downward slope below X4, and changes entirely too much of what drew me and others into the series…. But that slope does drop off…. As we move on to…
Mega Man X6
The good news, X6 isn’t the worst in the series, it also seemed to learn some lessons from Mega Man X5. The time limit that X5 has is gone, and the part system is a bit easier to understand. However the game did add in a new mechanic for it, the player has to collect “reploids” little helpless NPCs, who can die (and be removed completely from the game). Many Reploids do nothing, but some will award the player with items such as the upgrades.
However, that’s one of the only good things here. The level design is horrible. There’s a trash compactor level and a flame level which makes me feel bad for complaining about the levels in Mega Man X5, as this is just far worse. I used Slow Mode in the options liberally in this game because while I could struggle through all the levels in X5, I found them near impossible in X6 without Slow Mode, even with Rookie Hunter and other helpers turned on. Even when the levels aren’t hard, they’re uninteresting. Why?
Again the graphics are great, too bad the level design is weak and frustrating.
There’s another problem I have with this. In this game, without rookie hunter mode, or slow mode on, I was able to kill almost every boss with just my mega buster. I say almost because a couple bosses are near unreachable without slow mode, but the point remains, it’s not a very hard game at times.
Honestly, X6 is one of my least favorite games in the series, including the original series. It has a lot of problems in my opinion, and I just dislike almost everything in it. It made me realize why people liked X5 because X6 is such a downturn. At the same time, it’s not the worst… Because we have
Mega Man X7
I’ve made this clear, this is NOT my favorite Mega Man X game or Mega Man game by a long shot. It’s easily my least favorite, and it seems like the fans seem to agree, with a few people trying to defend it.
Let me start by the big points. Mega Man doesn’t want to fight in this game… and so he doesn’t… It’s a Mega Man game with Mega Man on the American cover and he isn’t even in any of the levels until you collect 64 of the reploids.
I just can’t explain how bad that is. It’d be like Super Mario Odyssey 2 starting and Mario just says “you know what? I’m going to eat spaghetti” and the game focuses on Luigi for 50 percent of it. No… that would never happen, but this did.
The 3D levels are at best good, and most are much weaker. The 2D levels would be ok.
Add in you have a new character, Axl who gets a bad rap from fans…. But actually is a horrible character. I hate the story about him, I hate the voice, I hate the character. The copy shot is one of the worst things (mainly because of how weak it is and it has to be the last shot of a kill). But he does have auto aim on his buster… that’s one thing.
Then we get to the 3D design of the levels. Yes, levels are in both 2D and 3D, and you realize why Mega Man wasn’t made into a 3D game. Mega Man Legends is a very different game than Mega Man X7… and Mega Man X7 actually came out later, and somehow is far worse.
Bosses are again relatively easy here, but there’s a HUGE flaw. If you shoot a boss with their weakness, they get a massive invincibility boost to the point where they will likely get a hit in. Instead, you should just use normal bullets, which sounds like horrible advice.
Level design outside of just the 2D to 3D is also pretty bad. There’s an entire vehicle level in the game that is incredibly short, way too easy, and unneeded, and yet it’s probably the fifth or sixth problem of the game because it’s all bad.
I have to call out Mega Man X7 for the dumpster fire it is. It’s just bad. It’s interesting to play because it’s so not Mega Man X, but at the same time, I played through and hated almost every minute of it. If you do play it, play it for “completion” sake or at least because you want to say you played all of them. This is the best one to skip. At least it’s not the last, could anything be worse than X7? Well, there’s.
Mega Man X8
Ok, that was just a lead-in, this is NOT the worst.
In fact, Mega Man X8 might be my favorite of this four pack, but it still has a lot of issues. There’s an extremely hard level with Optic Sunflower, that has a few jumps that are near impossible unless you bring Axl along with you. There are a couple of other levels that are annoying as hell, like the Burn Rooster’s level with an abysmally slow scrolling screen.
There are two non-standard levels that are rather… well there interesting but just barely.
Speaking of Axl, I actually like him in this game. He’s finally a better character, and well developed, in fact, the entire team is so much more cohesive. You actually can choose two characters at a time to go into a level, as well as an operator who will tell you about the level.
With two characters you get two life bars which are helpful, however, I do have to mention the dual life bar system has a couple of caveats. First, there are no lives, you only get one life with the new system. However, you can retry, which is the same as a second life. You get three of these and can buy up to 3 more, but this is your new life system and I’m not sold on it. It’s different and yet… it’s 8 games into the series, After X7’s attempts to be different, maybe returning to traditional systems would have fared better.
Character designs are pretty good, we have here, Bamboo Pandamonium.
I mentioned buying with the retries. Instead of the collectible part system of the last three games, you can purchase upgrades to each of your three characters with a currency enemies drop. It works for the most part. The upgrades are a bit pricey, but if you grind on levels that you can’t beat, you’ll have more than enough. If you can run the game without a lot of repetition you might not get that many purchases, but you’ll be fine.
Still, there are problems here. The problem where items cause bosses to become invincible in X7 is gone, but now bosses will trigger animations to change up their fight and they’re rather long animations. Unless you memorize the fight, you may waste valuable shots on the bosses during these invincibility moments.
In addition, this is the only X game not to have Sigma as a final boss. He does appear as a boss, but honestly, it’s a welcome breath of fresh air to me. Yet again, it’s the eighth game, which is probably the wrong time for such a major change to the formula.
Sadly the game didn’t do too well but that’s probably more due to X7 being so poorly received then X8 being a bad game. The series was in an unrecoverable tail spin after X6 and X7, and while X8 is rather good, it couldn’t rescue the series.
Mega Man X Challenge
Of course, there’s also the X Challenge, and as mentioned in the Mega Man X Legacy Collection, 2/3rd of the bosses don’t change, the final bosses of each battle has been switched to a pair of bosses from these four games, but the overall game is about the same as the original.
While it looks the same as the other game, these bosses are only available in the second collection, sadly it’s the only change.
It’s a nice addition but again, after Mega Man Legacy Collection, a touch underwhelming. The fact there’s the same game as the Legacy Collection has, is more insulting though.
There you have it. While Mega Man X5 and X8 aren’t bad games, the collection here is significantly weaker, where X1-X4 is a great collection, I feel like X5-X8 are the games of the series that you might not need to play.
In addition, I found these games less interesting to play, more frustrating and I found myself triggering Rookie Hunter a bit earlier on each game. Part of the reason is I wanted to finish the game faster, and at the same time I wasn’t having a good time with these games, or couldn’t beat a specific level. That doesn’t affect my score, but the fact I wanted to get the games over with as fast as possible does factor in. Where the first four games were like fine wine to be savored, I wanted to chug these four as quick as possible.
I did mention that I would recommend this collection with the original. I don’t want to be a liar, but after playing these games, I don’t know if I can. If you are buying the Legacy Collection, I would say you should buy the two pack of both games. For Nintendo Switch it’s how it comes in a physical form, and otherwise, it’s worth grabbing both games just to say you have the entire series (At least for now.) However, if you already have Mega Man X Legacy Collection, I don’t see a strong reason to pick up the second part. It’s 20 bucks, which isn’t much, but there’s so many other games out there that are probably worth that money, and you already would have the better half of games, so is the second collection worth it?
I give Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2 a ….
I should explain. A 3/5 or above is a recommendation, a 2 is a non recommendation. The fact is, I can’t really recommend Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2. While I enjoyed two of the games to an extent, That’s only two out of 4 games, and it’s not worth it. If you’re a collector, grab this game, just for the collection aspect. If you want all the Mega Man games, It’s totally worth buying, but outside of just the collectible aspect, I don’t know if it’s worth the money.
Final Thoughts: The weaker four games collected in a single package. If you want to collect them all, grab this, if you want to see all the games, it’s fine. But there’s nothing here that’s superior to the first 4.
Stats: 27.5 hours 19/52 achievements earned