Mega Man X is certainly an iconic game series in the action platforming genre to this day, which will extend – a degree – to the Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection on review today. This collection includes four Mega Man Zero games, and two ZX games. These games were originally for the GBA and DS platforms, with more of a focus on exploration and progression.
Perhaps some newer players might find the games too much a departure from the previous Mega Man games, but spend some time with the collection, and feel how Zero and ZX carved out their own niche within the franchise. We did play some of the collection before way back during TGS 2019:
Zero begins after the events of X, with the titular Zero assumed as a hero of legend, tasked to help in the war against Neo Arcadia. The characters you meet in the first game will make their appearances throughout the series, likewise with the enemies who will reappear to challenge the player. There will also be factions like Ciel, who will be counting on you to help. The storyline and narrative can be considered more interactive, while still keeping the action going.
From a gameplay standpoint, the first game has you get missions and complete tasks as given to you by Ciel. The second, third and fourth games have a more traditional structure where you pick the boss, level and related missions. Between missions, you can explore the base populated by NPCs who can give items or hints.
New to the collection is the Cyber Elves, where on activation, can provide temporary or permanent buffs that include increasing HP. They require E-Crystals, which you can obtain from enemies or find them hidden within the game. Using the Cyber Elves can lower your score, and dying will see them leave you. In any case, Zero comes backing with his iconic Buster weapon that can be of various elemental powers, and other weapons ranging from swords to “boomerangs” to use.
Mega Man Zero has a reputation for its difficulty, and that is certainly the case here. Boss fights, and even regular enemies, are capable of dishing out the hurt. Within the menus, you can get some assist options to make your life easier. Use the Save-Assist available on every level to revive yourself upon death. There’s checkpoints that will always be outside the boss room. There’s also Casual Scenario Mode, which will allow players to focus on the story without worry of instant death as well as strengthening your character.
ZX and ZX Advent can feel like Metroidvanias, with vast maps and a teleport system. This takes place after the Zero series with human playable characters – you can choose from the male or female options on starting the game – who have the ability to become a robot a la Mega Man, but with different capabilities.
For ZX, defeating a boss to progress the story lets you collect Biometal to be made into new suits for increased strength. One of these snazzy biometal suits can let you glide through the air and make ice bridges to bypass areas. Advent escalates this and lets you transform into certain bosses on defeat, where you can use their powers to access new areas and flatten your enemies.
With a much larger cast and location variety in ZX and Advent, it’s certainly more different from the Zero series. The various stages feel distinct despite the relatively larger world size, and it can appeal to the collector maniacs as you explore a new place. Depending on what you feel about it, less challenging too. Due to previously being a DS series, there’s a “second screen” you can use as a map. You can change its position through the main menu.
Last but not least is the inclusion of the Z Chaser mode. This is “time trial” by another name, where you can compete with other players. If you need to, you can adjust your controls before you start on your race, while watching your opponent’s “ghost” on the lower half of the screen.
Mega Man fans or otherwise should consider the Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection! It’s a package of lesser known Mega Man games that bring their own charm. It’s definitely a great way for existing fans to just have all six games in one place! If you only ever played Mega Man 2 and Mega Man X, you might be in for quite the treat!
With the accessibility features and other additions, the collection is a more attractive prospect. It provides a new look into the Mega Man series, now available on the Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows.
Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection
An all-in-one package of some hidden gems of the Mega Man franchise!
- Accessibility issues and new additions are very welcome
- Different takes on the Mega Man franchise
- 6 games in one!
- Basic port may not be what some are looking for
A different flavour of Mega Man