It’s not Mega Man 12, Mega Man X9, Mega Man Legends 3, or Capcom USA publishing Rockman X Dive in the U.S. (versus Capcom Taiwan), however, it IS a new Mega Man collection, this time offering up the six games from the Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX series! After the release of Mega Man Legacy Collection and Mega Man X Collection, it seems as if Capcom is going in chronological order. Hmm, could a Mega Man Legends collection be next?
Only time will tell but for now, let’s take a look at what we have here today!
Title: Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection
Platform: PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
Release Date: February 25, 2020
Let’s be honest here… when it comes to collections, the main attraction is and always will be the games. This review is going to focus on the extra features more so than the games because the Mega Man Zero series has been out since 2002 and the Mega Man ZX series since 2006. Chances are that if you are a Mega Man fan, you have played and/or own all of these games already. These collections serve as a way to relive those memories and play them on your current-gen consoles without having to worry about finding your Game Boy Advance (Zero) or Nintendo DS (ZX) and charging those bad boys up. Simply download the game on the console of your choice or insert the disc/cartridge and off you go.
Before getting into the features, the games are still as top-notch as you remember them as with the first Mega Man Zero game being the hardest of the bunch due to the fact that you get to die just 3 times before you completely Game Over and have to start from scratch. While the other games are WAY more tolerable for mistakes, Mega Man Zero still remains as punishing as ever. Do not let that sway you as Capcom built in some tools to help you with that as part of the features. Actually, they did that when they released the Mega Man Zero Collection for the Nintendo 3DS and just carried it over to this collection.
So, what extra features do you get with this collection? Well, plenty of them that will keep you entertained for hours. Let’s start off with the biggest and most in-depth one.
This is the big feature of the collection that places you against ghost data and asks you to beat it. There is a LOT of depth here when it comes to this mode that will keep you coming back over and over again but there is some trickiness to it that may end up screwing you if you breeze through the menus.
First off, I have to talk about the controls. I played this game on PlayStation 4 so I will be using that control scheme as an example. I’m used to pressing X to jump, Square to fire and Circle to dash but the default controls have it as X to fire, Circle to jump, and L1 to dash. You can change these controls in the regular game modes but in Z Chaser, if you breeze through the menus and start a run, you will miss the option to change your controls and you’ll be stuck with defaults. So while mashing X to get through, make sure you stop right on the screen that starts the run because you will notice three options at the bottom of the screen. One to set the options for the game and two options which will allow you to play in dual screen to see the ghost data or in a single screen where you’re just racing blind.
So, remember to set your controls before starting the run… unless the defaults are your thing in which case, ignore everything I said and have at it.
There are three modes for Z Chaser: Single Player, Dual Player, and World Record. Single is what it sounds like… you play by yourself and race against ghost data. World Record is the same but you’re racing against some of the top speed running data in the world which will provide you the ultimate challenge. Dual is exactly that. Play against a friend locally and try to beat each other in a race.
With Single Player, you get two difficulty settings; Normal and Hard. Normal and Hard have different stages for you to complete but if that wasn’t enough, each difficulty setting has another difficulty setting within them. You can go for the easiest with the P ranking all the way up to ZZ rank. The higher the rank, the shorter the time you have to complete that stage. There is a lot of challenging ways to tackle this mode. In order to help you, Capcom has given you the biggest health bar available for the run, so if damage boosting is your strat and you know where health pickups are, you can do it… although I probably wouldn’t recommend that.
This mode alone is a game in and of itself and will keep you coming back for hours to try and beat your own time or the times of some of the best players in the world. If you have friends, the mode gets better albeit we’re not responsible if you get beaten by a single second and you end up bashing your friend with a blunt object.
This seems to be the standard fare when it comes to Mega Man collections. We get a great art gallery with pieces from all six games as well as bonus material that is exclusive to the collection itself.
While that just seems like the norm, Capcom added a section called ZZ Cards and this ties into several challenges that you can complete to collect and activate these cards. The ZZ cards are pretty diverse as they can change the design of some enemies and stage assets to even empowering weapons.
Some examples would be to add a reploid on the second floor of the resistance base, power up the recoil rod, or simply change the outfits of some characters and art assets in the stages themselves. You simply collect these ZZ Card by completing challenges such as Completing Mega Man Zero 2 (not on casual mode), listen to 3 tracks from every album, complete all six games, etc. etc. There are 100 cards to collect and some of them are hidden and don’t say what you have to do in order to unlock them. Like Z Chaser, completing these will keep you coming back for hours on end… especially if you are someone who likes to 100% a game.
The Music Player is a pretty straightforward feature. You have seven total albums you can listen to. The six main games and the new tracks that are exclusive to the collection. There is an ability to add a track to a My Playlist option and then play that playlist as you are browsing through the menus of the game.
The player also comes with some looping options where you can loop a single track, all tracks from a single game, or all tracks in the entire collection. If you want just a single listen, there is a setting for no loop as well.
Like I said, pretty straightforward.
Filters & Display
Filters are back and you get two of them. Your standard oily filter which doesn’t look good at all. It hasn’t looked good since it was first implemented and it still doesn’t look good now. Capcom really needs to do something to make this better because it just looks like a smear of colors on the screen. While it is not as bad for the ZX games, it really stands out like a sore thumb for the Zero games.
The second tries to replicate a CRT monitor by adding motion grain in the background. This looks pretty good, to be honest on lower resolution televisions. I played this game on a 4K TV and it just didn’t look all that great.
Lastly, there is no filter which means you just play the games in their natural states. I went with this for all of the games I played for that authentic feel but there is a bit of a downside to this.
These games were made for handheld systems. Seeing them nearly fullscreen on a 4K television really showed how dated they were. They looked like a pixelized mess but, thankfully, Capcom thought of that and has several display options to shrink the game screen to make them appear at a higher resolution or, in this case, a more appropriate resolution. This is also true for the ZX games which also feature an overlay which represents the old touch screen on the Nintendo DS which they mapped to the right thumbstick to switch between powers… just like in Mega Man 11.
As I mentioned, the Zero games were pretty tough on players back in the day… especially the first game. They still remain some of the toughest in the series to date. In order to help people who have never played these games or any Mega Man games for that matter, there is a Casual Scenario Mode and a Save Assist feature which will help ease the pain and help lesser-skilled or impatient players experience the story of the games.
Again, collections are all about the games and the Mega Man Zero series and the Mega Man ZX series deliver the fun and are all incredible games. They offer the same style of play as the Mega Man X games with dashing, wall jumping, and all the great stuff in between. There’s life-ups to grab, mavericks to defeat, and weapons to collect. Each game has different systems that will have you collect Cyber Elves and feeding them to evolve (Zero) or Computer Chips and other equipable items like an Absorber, an Extender, Ice Boots, etc. (ZX).
One nice touch is the anime cutscenes for Mega Man ZX and ZX Advent. Back in the day, they were compressed due to memory and storage limitations on the Nintendo DS. When the internet decided to rip and upload these, they were in the quality of a potato. Now, thanks to modern technology, that is no longer an issue. These cutscenes are now in their native resolutions and look SO MUCH BETTER!
All of these provide for a great trip down memory lane and adds a lot of extra content that you can tackle at your own pace. Needless to say, ugly oily filters aside, this is one of the better Mega Man collections Capcom has offered up. The challenges for ZZ Cards and the Z Chaser mode are fun and entertaining, the hi-res artwork on all of the game menus is great, the new exclusive tracks actually sound like they belong in this series (unlike the Mega Man X Collection-exclusive tracks), and so much more.
Now, if we can only get a Mega Man Battle Network collection on console, I think I could die happy.
My final verdict: Go buy this game and relive the magic or buy it and experience it for the first time. It is well worth the $30 price tag and it will entertain and challenge you for hours, days, or even weeks!
Review Disclosure Statement: Our copy of Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection was provided to us for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please go review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.
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Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection
Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection offers up six great games and enough challenges and extra content to keep you coming back for me. The inclusion of a casual mode and save assist feature helps new players experience the games that they may not have had a chance to do before.
- 6 Great Games
- Z Chaser Mode is fun
- Plenty of Unlocks
- Trophies/Achievements to Hunt
- Rich collection of music and art
- Plenty of customizable options
- High replay value
- Needs better filters
- Scaling doesn’t look good on large televisions
- Overall Score