A few days ago, I wondered aloud (well, "aloud") what the debut of Man of Action's new Mega Man cartoon means for the long-running but seemingly moribund game franchise. Today, Capcom gave us a sign of life: The Mega Man Legacy Collection, a digital-only compilation of the six Mega Man NES games for current platforms.
It's not a new game, but it's something. How much of a something, you may ask? This week's episode of Retronauts sheds a little light on that very question: Bob and I talk about it in fair depth with Capcom's Brett Elston and Greg Moor during the middle portion of the show.
In brief: The Legacy Collection is a Capcom USA-led project, with the heavy lifting being handled by Other Ocean [correction: The project will be handed by Digital Eclipse, a separate company that's been spun out of Other Ocean]. It consists of the six 8-bit Mega Man games and a ton of archival bonus material, available as a digital release for Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4 (a 3DS version is due this fall).
While it might seem superfluous given the availability of the NES Mega Man titles on every variant of Virtual Console under the sun, Capcom seems determined to justify the existence of this consolidated release. Besides the archival material, which includes scans of production guides...
...and planning illustrations by Keiji Inafune...
...the Legacy Collection also has the benefit of being assembled by Other Ocean, a company known to employ people who are very passionate and very particular about archiving game history. Based simply on official screenshots, it's plain to see that — unlike the Wii U and 3DS Virtual Console renditions of the Mega Man games (and other NES titles) — Other Ocean is shooting for pixel-perfect fidelity.
I've heard great things about the studio's NES conversion process from several different people, which means the games will likely play with as much fidelity as the visuals demonstrate. As Brett and Greg note on the podcast, all the original programming and software tics of the original games, including the Elec Beam pause trick in MM1 and MM3's super-jump controller "hack," have been carried over faithfully.
All of this suggests that the Legacy Collection will be the truest rendition of the games outside of playing on the original hardware — something the Mega Man series has been sorely lacking despite how widely it's been reissued over the years. Finally, in order to entice parsimonious gamers, Capcom has set the collection's price at $14.99, which comes to half the total cost that the six games would add up to on Virtual Console.
OK, so it's a good deal and seems likely to be a good conversion, but should you care? Ah! Well, that's what this episode of Retronauts should help clarify. Bob and I have been revisiting topics we last covered many years ago — old favorite topics, series that have gone by the wayside since Retronauts' 1UP days — and Mega Man was one of the first franchises I wanted to return to. The resulting podcast is nearly two hours of discussion centered basically around the NES Mega Man games and Mega Man Legends, my two favorite iterations of the wide-ranging series (we'll get to X and other spinoffs in a later episode). Even though I've played the games in the Legacy Collection to death at this point, I'm looking forward to revisiting them on a big screen with more faithful visuals and emulation. Plus, I want to check out more of Inafune's pudgy character sketches. Check out the episode here or on Retronauts.com and share your thoughts!
Jeremy and Bob are joined by Capcom's Brett Elston and Greg Moore to revisit a topic near to everyone's heart: the Mega Man legacy. (And also the Mega Man Legacy Collection, due later this year.)
Thanks to Brett and Greg (and Capcom) for joining us this week and making our show about 25-year-old video games surprisingly topical and timely. You can check out their work at Capcom Unity. And! As always, Retronauts continues to exist as an independent project funded through Patreon — please consider supporting us so we can ramble on for several hours at a time about other old games we love (or want the excuse to learn more about). Thanks for listening!