When I played this series as a kid long ago, I hate this game. To be fair, this was the era where I sucked the most at video games, and didn’t learn to appreciate the game for what it was. Fast forward years later, where I see the pain on my friends’ faces when the third game was cancelled by the now diabolical and self-destructive Capcom. After seeing so much anger and pain that surpassed most of my anger towards games, I made it my mission to play both games, to see the joy in the series they saw. But was it joy I found, or was my childhood crap skills right? Was this really a horrible game?
Hell no. I do not regret playing this game in the slightest. Old games like Final Fantasy VII tend not to age well, least for me, but Mega Man Legends is one of the exceptions to that rule, managing to stay very fresh and feel new. There were many spin-offs in the Mega Man series, like X series, Mega Man Zero, Battle Network, Starforce, and I am sure I might be missing some more, and Legends out of all of them tends to be regarded as the best. Why? Let’s take a look!
The story itself involves Mega Man, named Rock Volnutt here, as a robot traveling with a group of diggers, those that go to ancient ruins to find and sell what they find, one of whom is Roll and not his sister for a change, who is actually human this time around. Eventually, things heat up as robots go wild, whether it’s from the Bonne family or the unknown being behind the scenes. Together with his partner Roll, you must uncover the island’s secrets, and save those on it, all while making various weapons and upgrades to combat the threats.
Gameplay revolves around wandering the island, able to go anywhere so long as there are no barriers at least. Each dungeon is actually entertaining, despite some small bits every now and then, and usually have a surprise or two for you. Some can be even be large and link to one another as well, acting as shortcuts in case you need to go somewhere else. In combat, you do have your standard and much loved Mega Buster, with no charged shots sadly. You also have a kick, which can help knock away bombs and other items away from you. A shame they didn’t expand much on this. I would have loved to see Rock try to use kickboxing moves against his enemies. And enemies can vary, and obviously not trying to get too close is the name of the game. You may even have to use platforms as well, search areas for advantages to combat and safely fire from. Thankfully you also have a dodge roll to help in those other matters.
Over the course of the game, you can find hidden areas and gain various items. This is very important to getting new sub-weapons, and there are quite a lot to create. While weapons are not as creative as the ones in other MM titles, they perform well in certain situations, and really do fit in this universe. Wanna snipe from far away with a weapon at that one pesky enemy with a rocket launcher? You can! Wanna keep enemies at bay with rapid fire? You can! Wanna nuke every enemy in a giant robot!?…Okay, this game doesn’t have that, but even without it, the weapons still kick ass. However, I found a few of them not so useful, but they are fun to toy around with regardless. But being only able to equip one tended to get annoying sometimes, as I would have to switch them out for certain situations, and that requires going all the way back to Roll. Yes, there are shortcuts for this, but doesn’t delude my point.
There is also customization, and that allows Rock to not only create weapons, but to also perform upgrades. Health boosts and subtank energy can be bought, as well as spare ammo for when you need to use more subweapons, as well as other items that can restore your shield, which acts to help reduce damage. Money can usually be found from either breakable items or defeating enemy robots, and necessary to help upgrade your Mega Buster in various ways, such as the speed of your shot, power output, and range. And while grinding for cash can sometimes get boring, the fun comes from traveling through all those dungeons and wanting to find out what happens next in the story. In fact, the game isn’t even all that linear, as it does feature side-quests and a few mini-games to gain more items, and even put a bit more story into the game. Some may not be necessary in the long run, but were still fun regardless.
If I had any complaints, it’s the camera., as against certain bosses, you really do have to plan ahead. And there is a lack of varied that were in most of the other MM series. It would have helped make the boss fights all the more memorable, giving them some personality rather than be set to one mode. The Boone family does kinda make up for this given their interesting weapons and boss battles, and I’d be lying if I said I hated them. It’s mixed to say the least. And the lock-on can be annoying as it forces you still, and against faster enemies, this can be a huge problem, so ya better learn how to dodge, a lot. Then again, I even the found the dodge button to be a bit weird, particularly with homing blasts from bosses. You really need good timing, or the bosses are going to kill you, badly. Then again, this is a MM game. It has to be hard somehow. The controls and lack of personality with some bosses irks me and prevents it from being as perfect as some people may think it is.
However, it still felt fresh. It feels like a new experience as opposed to recycled gameplay with few modifications that some games made me go through. The characters are enjoyable even if the bosses lack some personality, the gameplay is fun despite some mechanics that definitely have aged a bit, and even the side-quests managed to get me a smile along with the music.
Mega Man Legends gets a 4 out of 5. True, it’s not perfect, and I can name several better games than this, but if I had to play this game again, I can definitely look forward to it.
Sadly, I also gained more hatred for Capcom in the process.
I’m Final, and as I look at the price for sequel on Amazon, I am now suffering a heart attack…call a doctor…X_X