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Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 + 2 (Switch) artwork

Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 + 2 (Switch) review


"Even the dodgy bits have been lovingly preserved!"


There's hardly a gamer in the stratosphere that hasn't heard of the 'jump'n'shoot' hero, X and his ponytailed girl-ahem, ally, Zero, and though there are mobile editions of the venerable Megaman X, there hasn't been convenient way of gathering up the entire franchise. Who has the time, energy and money to invest in that irregular eBay treasure hunt? Sure, previous collections on the PlayStation 2 and GameCube served up a healthy smattering of robot smashing, but Capcom has been slacking. Until now.

I'd like to talk about each collection individually before I address their digital wrappers, so we'll start with X Collection 1. Of course I was positronically thrilled to find out the Megaman X games were coming to Nintendo Switch, and as soon as I could manage it, I bought both of them. I'm not going to bore you by re-reviewing the parcels inside the package, but purists will be reassured to learn that even the less than pristine framerates of the SNES editions of Megaman X 2 and 3 have been meticulously preserved.

Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 + 2 (Switch) image

That point bears emphasis because homebrew emulation has given us a superior experience by alleviating - and in some cases improving - the performance of these game compared to the original hardware. The X Collection, however, preserves it because of one magical word: Nostalgia. Any deviation would surely draw spite and ire from even the most casual of players. Muscle memory does not lie. Of course they could have bumped up the performance of the emulated processors, but thatís a compromise too far.

So, technically, all is well... except for the consequences that result from the type of emulation Capcom chose to implement on the Switch. According to frame count comparisons - YouTube is your best friend here - there is notable input lag, as much as 12ms or more. That may not mean much to you, but thatís as many as two extra frames of lag. Speedrunners are going to shun this collection as a matter of principle, but I beat the first three games without a hitch.

The price on the tin is worth having the entire collection on a single, very portable console. That said, I do have a nitpick, and it might not be a small one: There were two versions of Megaman X 3: One for SNES, naturally, and then the PlayStation One port. For those not in the know, it features animated introductions, an arguably ďimprovedĒ midi soundtrack, and stutter-free gameplay. The PSX could easily maintain 60 fps under the rigours of MMX3. Of course X4 plays just fine as well, forgiving Zeroís memorable vocal performance.

Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 + 2 (Switch) image

One might postulate that the choice was made for space constraints, but given that Collection 2 has the comparatively massive MMX5, X6, X7 and X8, that explanation is doubtful. Only the developers know why it was done that way, but I have my guesses. Licensing could well have restricted which versions were available to Nintendo, since it appears that the editions weíve gotten are either from the Saturn or Nintendo GameCube. Sony and Nintendo havenít been getting along in 2018, but, with all of that said, I donít suggest that the lesser of two X3ís is a reason to steer away from X Collection 1. Many fans of the franchise are likely to skip X Collection 2, and could hardly be blamed for doing so.

In the case of X Collection 2, you get the lesser half of the Megaman X Greats, as mentioned. X6 plays well enough, but lacks the fast forward feature available in the original release, in addition to having very different introduction music than I was accustomed to. Howís X5? Why, itís X5 just as solid as you remember. The boys can still duck, and thatís just dandy.

Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 + 2 (Switch) image

X7 is ... well, a pain in the posterior and faithful in its recreation. One thing it does is look a whole lot better than X8. For some reason the smoothing method applied to bitmapped images in X8 is unpleasant to behold. When the PS2 had a more than competent scaler, I doubt very much the original looked that bad. Remember, the PS2 had 4GB of potential storage compared to the GameCube's measly 1GB. If this was an emulation of the GameCube port, scaled down bitmaps could make more sense, but I donít have any facts to back that up. Just my observations and assumptions.

The good thing is that X8 every bit like you remember, and being one of those players who enjoyed the character designs more than the stiff, awkward action, I was very grateful for Rookie mode, which slaps on the training wheels by preventing the loss of extra lives when you fall into a pit, for instance. Having said that though, Iíve had no impulse to beat the game. Maybe when Iím sneezing my head off confined to bed. Maybe. X8 continues to be the best of the polygonal titles, even if it wasn't my personal favourite.

So, after all of that, Iím sure you heard there is a Boss Rush mode. The rumours are true: In X Challenge, you select your difficulty, then catapult headlong into a fight against two bosses at once. Oh, letís not forget weapon selection: You get to choose three from a range of ... popular choices? Iím not sure what the criteria are for what weapons are, but once youíve locked them in, thatís it. I couldn't seem to make new weapon selections between rounds, so I'm not sure it was an option.

Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 + 2 (Switch) image

I suppose you just hack away at it until you beat them all. No, I havenít spent much time playing this mode. Frankly the armour they give you looks like a poorly recoloured version of the Ultimate Armour. Remember how some weapons give X a paint job that can turn out to be pretty cool? Not here, buster. So far they exaggerate the amateur Paint.exe styling of... whatever that armour is. The concept art is as snazzy as anything else, but the sprite work is a real letdown when the mode is supposed to be a reward.

One peculiarity that stuck out to me was that the X Challenge occurs in two different "Volumes", but I'd be playing against bosses from both sets of game archives, so I'm not sure what the difference is supposed to be. On that note, why couldn't there have been the option to play as Zero here? I know there are players who agree that he can be more deadly than X with his formidable Z-Saber. Ah, afterthoughts.

Now, the X Collection wrapper(s) do have some nice features in the form of achievements, concept art, official art, promotional art... photographs of toys, you know. The usual. Oh yeah, and the "Day of Σ". They didnít take the time to provide an up-rezzed or smoother quality version of this OVA, but it is a perk to get to watch X and Zero get all emotional and weapon-y. It would have been nice to have a better version than the one we've all seen on YouTube.

Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 + 2 (Switch) image

When youíve run out of games to beat, the rewards are a nice touch and even fascinating if youíre into the development process and/or lore of the franchise. The remixes we hoped for are there, but not as many as I would like to have seen, and not playable during the regular games. Of course, that would have been a much larger technical hurdle. Somehow, though I would have liked to see more perks for the homecoming of Megaman X to his originating platform. I'm not oblivious to the effort, time and money that Capcom put into the collection, with features like the option of choosing the International and Japanese versions of all the titles at your leisure.

While there have been several Megaman X franchise collections over last few years, this option for the Switch is not only brimming with extra content, in addition to X Challenge, it's also on the world's leading portable console. We didn't get the online mode we hoped for, but fans who were willing to pick this up likely already have 20XX, which sports that functionality. The price is right, and a lot of good gaming to go with the nostalgia kick you may enjoy. I can't think of a single reason not to make the leap, especially now that its back in Nintendo's land.

4.5/5

hastypixels's avatar
Community review by hastypixels (October 30, 2018)

Just a guy plonking away at a keyboard containing wit no greater than his own.

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honestgamer posted October 30, 2018:

I think you may have selected the wrong game profile for this. There is a profile for Mega Man X Legacy Collection, another one for Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2 and a third profile for Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 & 2, which is the one you seem to be reviewing. Since Capcom decided to release the game so many different ways on Switch (and on other platforms, for that matter).

That aside, this was a write-up with some neat comments on the games, but it didn't feel like it wrapped things up at the end with a definitive summary. It felt more like it just ended. Also, Mega Man X8 is a game I remember being pretty good... probably the best in the series since X5. X6 and X7 were the disappointments.
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hastypixels posted October 31, 2018:

My intent was to have this review posted for the combined listing, and I was puzzled how it landed here. I even had the picture selections arranged to match. So... how do we fix that?

As for the ending... yeah, you've got a good point. It needs a conclusion. :)
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hastypixels posted October 31, 2018:

I have an updated version of the review all good to go, but I don't want to double post (he says, double posting in this thread...). Should I just submit it to the Megaman X Collection 1 + 2 entry?
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Masters posted October 31, 2018:

Hey there... just delete your review and post it again, this time under the correct listing.
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honestgamer posted November 01, 2018:

I've updated the review so it is attached to the intended game now, which is a pain in the butt but doable. It's not usually an issue, because games don't often have such similar titles, but please do be careful to submit any future reviews from the correct game profile. Thanks!
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hastypixels posted November 01, 2018:

Hey no sweat. I didn't see a delete option for the review when I went back over it, so that might not available to me. Sorry about the mess Jason, thanks for the assistance. :)

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