The Mega Man Legacy Collections are great, but there's still so very much original series Mega Man content left un-collected. Today in the Gratuitous Rainbow Spectrum, Kris looks at all the Mega Man games that should be collected in a third and possibly 4th Mega Man Legacy Collection.
Gameplay footage credits:
World of Longplays: https://www.youtube.com/recordedamigagames
Felipe Nascimento: https://www.youtube.com/recordedamigagames
Mega Man collections are nothing new, but every time they’ve been created, they’ve managed to be something special. The first time was on the Mega Drive with Mega Man: The Wily Wars where the first 3 Mega Man games were completely remade 16-bit style with new levels and robot masters to boot. The second time came on the PSX, GameCube, and Xbox with the Mega Man Anniversary Collection, which gave most US gamers their first real chance to play Mega Man: The Power Battle and Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters. Finally, we got the recent Mega Man Legacy Collections, which gave us some great deep dive history stuff and the first chance to physically own Mega Man 9 and 10.
There’s still so very much left in the wind though in terms of original series Mega Man, not to mention all the various spinoff series currently waiting in the wind for some sort of collections.
But sticking with the original series, there’s enough un-collected content to span at least one more Legacy Collection, and given the success of the existing two, it’s kind of baffling that it hasn’t happened yet.
The biggest, most glaring omission from the pantheon of re-released Mega Man games has to be the Game Boy series. There were 5 Mega Man games released for the Game Boy, and they’re very interesting titles indeed. Unlike some other NES titles that were shrunk down to the Game Boy’s size, the Mega Man series is surprisingly playable on the Game Boy, and is made even better when played on a TV screen, as seen with the Super Game Boy support in Mega Man V. The first four games in the Game Boy series were actually mashups of two NES games per title. Mega Man in Dr. Wily’s Revenge pitted you against 4 robot masters from Mega Man and 4 from Mega Man 2. Mega Man II pits you against the remaining 4 from Mega Man 2 and 4 from 3. Mega Man III puts you against the remaining 4 masters from 3 and 4 from 4. Mega Man IV set you against the remaining master from 4 and 4 from 5. This tradition didn’t continue in Mega Man V though, instead V features a completely original set of Robot Masters based on the planets in our solar system. These games were also where the Mega Man killers came from, which were reprised in Mega Man 10.
These games were actually almost re-released as their own compilation called Mega Man Mania for Game Boy Advance, featuring colorized graphics! Unfortunately, the game never materialized. Now would be a great time to make that particular dream a reality!
In a similar style to the first 4 Game Boy games was the single Mega Man release for the Game Gear. This game, which was developed by Freestyle and published by US Gold was a weirder than usual mashup featuring 2 robot masters from Mega Man 4, 2 from 5, then another robot master from each game as followup bosses in the Dr. Cossack stages, and then Quick Man’s stage from Mega Man 2 as the Wily fortress stage. Unlike the Mega Man Game Boy games, this Game Gear release has never been reproduced in any capacity, and stands as one of the most rare Game Gear releases in the US.
Speaking of Sega and Mega Man, the aforementioned Mega Man: The Wily Wars has had a bizarre release situation in the US. While a standard release existed on the Mega Drive, the Genesis only got the game as part of the Sega Channel service. It was then put on some sort of plug and play system at some point, and finally it was included as part of the Sega Genesis mini a few tears ago. I tactually did get an official Genesis release on cartridge recently as well, but as far as being widely released by Capcom in a way that most players can get their hands on, it's never really happened, which is a shame. Dr. Wily’s Revenge is a remarkably bizarre game, and it’s also got a set of stages called Wily Tower that allow players to choose weapons from Mega Man 1-3 for their load out and face off against 3 unique robot masters.
On the topic of unique robot masters, we have the side story game Mega Man & Bass. This game also has a somewhat unique release situation in the US. IT originally saw release in Japan on the Super Famicom, but it never made its way to the Super NES. It did, however get ported to the Game Boy Advance, like many SNES games did, but this version is… .okay at best. Not that the Super Famicom version is some sort of lost masterpiece. In fact, it was the strange distinction of having only two recycled robot masters, Mega Man 8’s Astro Man and Tengu Man, teamed up with 6 completely original robot masters. This game in its original form has still never been released in the US, which considering its ending is directly referenced in Mega Man 9, is a real shame.
This game also had a completely original Japan only sequel on the Wonder Swan called Rockman & Forte Mirai kara no Chōsensha. This time around, the game featured its own completely original robot masters with no retreads, though there were only 6 of them instead of 8. Putting this game on a collection would be especially cool considering how few people have actually played it.
Of course, if we’re diving that deep into Mega Man games with unique robot masters, there’s something to be said for the Mega Man MS-DOS games. They were wholly unique games, but whoo boy, they’re a pair of stinkers. I don’t think they’d be missed.
Then there’s Street Fighter X Mega Man, which is a fan game that was actually promoted officially by Capcom. It’s a great Mega Man game, and it’s only ever been released on PC. The rights on this one might be a little weird , but giving long time Mega Man players a chance to play this one on their consoles would be pretty swell.
That just leaves the spinoffs. Both of the arcade fighting games Mega Man: The Power Fighters and Meg Man 2: The Power Battle were on the previous Anniversary collections, so it really stinks that there isn’t an official current way to play them, but others like the cart racer Mega Man: Battle and Chase (NintendoComplete) and Mega Man Soccer haven’t been re-released in any form up to this point. Are they masterpieces? No. Are they fun curiosities? Absolutely. Wily & Right no RockBoard: That's Paradise and Super Adventure Rockman would be fun additions as well, but they rely a lot of Japanese text, and as they’ve never been translated before, they would present a considerably undertaking on Capcom’s part, which I doubt they’re wiling to do for a pair of super obscure Mega Man games folks in the US probably have very little interest in actually playing.
Last but not least though, we have Mega Man: Powered Up. This game is easily one of the very best Mega Man games ever made, and it’s only ever been released on PSP. Rumor has it the game is notoriously difficult to port, but whatever the case is, this one should absolutely be played by more people. It had a remarkably uphill battle when it released. It was on the PSP, and it was super bright and colorful, chock full of chibi graphics. That was absolutely not the PSP audience at that time, and as a result the game flopped hard at retail. However, those who did play it found a fantastic remake of the original Mega Man that allowed players to do crazy things like make their own stages and even play as the robot masters themselves. It’s a tragedy that this game isn’t more readily availble.