There are few names in gaming as iconic as the legendary Blue Bomber, Mega Man. Capcom’s ultra-powerful combat robot first appeared on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987 and since then has had over 50 games in the series across multiple systems.
In 2002, Capcom expanded the franchise with the Mega Man Zero series of games on the Game Boy Advanced. And, in 2006, Capcom released a follow up series to Mega Man Zero with Mega Man ZX on the Nintendo DS. If you haven’t had a chance to enjoy these Mega Man games, or are looking to relive these celebrated pieces of video game history, you simply cannot miss out on the Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection.
Mega Man Zero / ZX Legacy Collection Details
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PlayStation 4
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
Genre: Action Platformer
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
The complete collection of Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX games in one package
The Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection includes all 4 games from the Mega Man Zero series and both games released under the Mega Man ZX name. Both Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX series of games offer an interesting storyline. The story in Zero is centred around a battle between humans and Reploids—self-aware, human-like robots—who are being hunted down due to a worldwide energy crisis.
On the other hand, ZX’s story takes place 200 years after the last ZX game. Peace between humans and Reploids has been achieved. However, this peace is threatened when rouge Reploids known as Mavericks start causing trouble.
While I did enjoy the story of both series of games, I found that Zero was more interesting. The story in Mega Man Zero and its events take quite a drastic change throughout all 4 games. I don’t want to spoil it for you but let’s just say you’ll be surprised.
Challenging games with added options to make them more accessible
If you played any of these games when they first came out on the Game Boy Advance or Nintendo DS, you’ll probably remember how incredibly difficult they were. Luckily, Capcom realized this and added to new features to make playing these games more enjoyable.
The first new feature is an added difficulty setting. Casual Scenario mode starts you out pretty much fully maxed out. By this I mean you get increased firepower and defense, making taking on your enemies a much more pleasant experience.
The second new feature added is Save Assist. This new feature adds save checkpoints throughout the levels. This means, if you die, you don’t have to start all the way back at the beginning. I’m glad that Capcom added both of these new features. It makes Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection more accessible and that means more people can play and enjoy these classic games.
Similar, yet varied gameplay between the two series
Gameplay wise, Mega Man Zero follows the traditional tried and true formula of the early Mega Man games. You have a variety of stages to choose from, in pretty much any order you see fit, and your goal is to defeat the end-level boss.
Weapons level up as you use them and you gain new abilities to help defeat the boss. In addition, you have elemental chips that you earn from defeating bosses. These can be equipped and used against other bosses to help make quick work of them. Furthermore, you collect Cyber-Elves as you progress and these will boost your health and even defenses.
On the other hand, Mega Man ZX breaks away from the traditional formula. Instead of following a linear path, ZX allows you to explore an “open world”. Instead of focusing on weapons, ZX is all about transformations. You are able to transform into a variety of different robot forms that all have their special abilities.
Portable Retro visuals that don’t quite translate well onto the big screen
I love playing retro games but one problem I find is that the graphics don’t translate well on to modern TVs. And, in this case, Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection are taking games that were designed to play on small portable screens and blowing them up to fit on TV screens.
There are a variety of different filters and options to try and recreate the look and feel of the portable screen but they really don’t do a good job. Even playing on the Switch in portable mode, it doesn’t look pretty. Honestly, unless Capcom did a complete overhaul of the visuals, there is not much that could be done.
Battle against the time and your friends in Z Chaser mode
One of my favourite new additions to the Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection is the Z Chaser mode. This new mode is composed of 2 levels from each of the 6 games and is a time trial of sorts. Your goal is to complete the levels as fast as you can, while beating your opponent’s time.
What I really liked about this mode is that you can split the screen in a few different ways as you race against time and your opponent.
Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection is a trip down memory lane that new and long-time Mega Man fans will enjoy
The Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection is a great way to re-live or experience for the first time some of the best Mega Man games from yesteryear. While the graphics might not translate well to the big screen, story, gameplay and added accessibility features more than make up for this.
If you enjoy retro games or love Mega Man, I highly recommend checking out Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection. Let me know in the comments section below what your favourite game in this collection is and why.
+ Collection contains a lot of content to keep you busy
+ All six games in one collection
+ Added gameplay features make these games more accessible
+ Z Chaser mode is fun and competitive
– Retro portable graphics do not stand the test of time
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF MEGA MAN ZERO/ZX LEGACY COLLECTION
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5