All of these games have their share of problems.
I won’t pretend that Mega Man 1 is a good game, but the rest of the first volume of the Legacy Collection is top-tier NES goodness. The four games included in this second volume, however, are a bit more divisive. The overlay has also changed, and not necessarily for the better. For the completionists among you, having both halves of the Legacy Collection on your Switch is probably a no-brainer. For the rest of you…well, read on.
There are just four games in the second Legacy Collection and, unlike most of those in the first collection, I cannot give a full-throated endorsement to any of them.
Mega Man 7 is the main series’ first and only foray onto the Super Nintendo. In North America, at least, it launched almost two years after Mega Man X did and the differences between the two games are severe. The game features very large, chunky sprites but the camera is zoomed in way too much, making everything cramped. Mega Man also moves with all the speed of a racehorse that broke its legs and is about to be put down. Seriously, after zipping around in Mega Man X, this game is a plodder. It also doesn’t help that Mega Man’s charge shot is slower than it’s ever been. There are some interesting Robot Masters in here, including a vampire and an off-brand Transformer, but this is by far the weakest game of the four.
Mega Man 8 is very obviously a PlayStation game, and in fact looks a lot like Mega Man X4 (they were both released in North America in 1997). Unlike its predecessor, the big sprites actually fit into their much larger environments this time around and the gameplay is quite good. Master Weapons actually have uses outside of boss fights, and it pays to revisit stages to find Bolts that you can use to build new parts (this is also in Mega Man 7 but it’s more elegant here). What makes Mega Man 8 infamous, however, is its use of anime cutscenes in which Mega Man is voiced by a 10-year-old girl and Dr. Light sounds like Elmer Fudd. They’ve changed a lot of core Mega Man tenants here, including how Rush works and introducing new shot types for the standard buster. I like Mega Man 8 a lot; aside from the cutscenes, it’s a good balance of new and old.
Mega Man 9 was originally a WiiWare game. Developed by Inti Creates, it promised a return to the old school games, and indeed Mega Man 9 looks and plays like Mega Man 2. Our hero cannot use a charge shot or slide here. This is by far the most difficult Mega Man game in the collection, and possibly in the entire original series. The music is not up to par with the older NES games and backgrounds tend to be static black rather than having any images at all, which I found distracting. Beating the game unlocks Proto Man as a playable character and a few new gameplay modes. Proto Man’s moveset differs considerably from Mega Man’s. Also, screw the Black Devil.
Finally, Mega Man 10, also by Inti Creates, is much more fun than Mega Man 9. You still can’t slide or use the charge shot, but level design is more forgiving, the bosses are ridiculous (Sheep Man, Strike Man) and bolts are easier to come by. There are also more play options: you can play as Proto Man from the start this time around. Beating the game unlocks Bass (who was originally downloadable content) who has his own moveset, and three bonus levels based on the Mega Man Game Boy games, complete with Mega Man Killer bosses (Enker, Punk, and Ballade).
(There might also be a code you an input in Mega Man 9 and 10 that will unlock the DLC content right off bat but I leave the internet sleuthing to you good readers.)
As with volume one, each game comes with concept art, a music player, and unique challenges. You can turn on a new “Legacy Mode,” which increases the number of hits you can take in each game (which I found critical in Mega Man 9). However, you can no longer save whenever you want or rewind. Saving now occurs automatically throughout each game, and you can only return to predetermined save spots if you screw up. Otherwise, your overlay options are largely the same as in Volume 1, though you have four framing picture options per game instead of one.
Overall, this second Legacy Collection is weaker than the first. The game are not as rock(man)-solid and losing the ability to save anywhere or rewind dampens their appeal. I can certainly recommend Mega Man 8 and 10, but that’s just two games—half the collection. And, again, it’s a shame that there aren’t any bonus games included that could round out the selection. As it stands, this is not a strong collection of Mega Man games compared to the first. If you want all the Mega Man games on your Switch, you’ll obviously need this volume, but if you don’t feel that need, you might skip this one.