From Zero to six, it's the Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection
The best Mega Man series gets another day in the sun. At least for a little Weil.
To confusingly paraphrase Hugh Jackman’s hit musical, “this is the greatest news”. Yes! Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection has been announced for PS4/XB1/Switch/PC and packs five terrific games into one collection, as well as Mega Man ZX.
Okay, that’s a touch harsh. Mega Man ZX is… it’s alright. When you’re rolling along it’s pretty enjoyable, but the overall world design is bafflingly atrocious. Levels connect in the most unintuitive, fundamentally bizarre ways, and the in-game mapping system is completely inadequate, bordering on nonsensical. Thankfully its existence allowed for the creation of a sequel, Mega Man ZX Advent, which stands out to this day as one of the best Mega Man games you can buy. Level design is challenging, the bosses are plentiful and fun to fight, there’s a brace of player transformations to exploit, a metric poop-ton of bonus content and an awesome soundtrack. The original ZX isn’t a bad game, but in my opinion, Advent trounces it. I’d argue it’s the most underrated game in the franchise.
As for the rest of the games in the set, nothing much needs to be said. Mega Man Zero isn’t just the best Mega Man sub-series, it’s one of the best side-scrolling action series’ ever. While the series isn’t without its flaws - the weapon levelling system in the first two games is an unnecessary ballache, some of the missions in Zero 3 are tiresome when going for high ranks, Zero 4’s weather-changing system feels inconsequential because it’s a binary choice between “correct” or “incorrect” – these minor issues are swept aside by the sheer adrenaline-soaked drama of the gameplay, particularly the still-joyous boss battles. In my view, the mano-a-mano combat of the Zero and ZX games has never been bettered. I could reel off brilliant, memorable boss fights – Phoenix Magnion, Commander Craft, Panter Flauclaws, etc – but anyone who’s played it really ought to know already.
The six-game Legacy Collection seems to be bringing fairly rudimentary extras, such as an Easy Mode to let you breeze through the games, as well as an option to save your game mid-mission, alongside the usual art and music galleries as extras, but it's all cruft compared to the superb core experiences it’s offering at its thirty-dollar price point. It’s one of the best collections ever, by default, so get it in.