December 27, 2019 at 6:46 PM #836
Mega Man Legacy Collection
Rating: 1.0 – Terrible
Terrible. Just terrible.
Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 is a bundle of games released from 1987 – 1994. I got the physical version, which includes the case, disc, a bag of stickers, and a robot cheat sheet (tells you the boss order for each game and their weaknesses). The cheat sheet is something that should’ve been included as something digital for each game’s in-game menu for added convenience, and I don’t know why MMLC2 comes with no physical goodies at all, or any form of cheat sheet.
This is where the good tidings end.
Frank Cifaldi (CEO of Digital Eclipse, the company that developed this release) has a GDC talk called "It’s just emulation". In it, he makes a wisecrack about Nintendo’s VC being Nintendo just selling ROMs they downloaded off the internet, back to you. How did he find this out? VC titles have an "iNES" header in their code, and iNES headers are used by one group of people – the people that do those initial ROM dumps, so that it can then be read in a PC emulator.
Every Mega Man release in this bundle, that’s 1 – 6, has an iNES header in its data file.
This is just a bundle of ROMs downloaded off the internet, being sold to people in a custom emulator. It is not a standard emulator – in that same GDC, Frank Cifaldi details that his company had to build an emulator that emulated an emulator in order to get Capcom on board with the project (even though emulation isn’t illegal and has been proven as legal in US Courts, Capcom apparently still had some cold feet about selling ROMs in an emulator just because of the grey space it exist in in the average gamer’s mind).
These ROMs weren’t adjusted in any way. What that means is the immense slowdown and flicker many of these games frequently employed in their initial release on that extremely dated NES hardware, is still here. There are sections of the later games (3 – 6) that are unplayable due to the game having so much slowdown from the system being pushed too hard, that it will just fail to recognize inputs sometimes. Even if it does recognize input while the game is chugging along at 1 – 2 frames per second, that is a totally unacceptable state for a game to be in as a modern repackaging for those games. I understand preserving history, but these are games. They could have worked in a toggle to play with the Legacy slowdown and flicker, and also had a mode where the game has no flicker or slowdown at all.
In fact, the existing PS1 versions (Rockman Complete Works) of these same games have no slowdown or flicker, because that’s exactly what Capcom did with those releases. They also have the music and sound effects on seperate tracks in those PS1 releases, so that sound effects don’t interrupt parts of the music track that are playing (which still happens in every version of this re-release). The downside is that the PS1 version had lower-quality audio, but this is 2017, best of both worlds could have been found, and would have made these games actually fun to play.
As it is, 2 is the only one worth suffering through, which is still beaten by the vastly superior 9. 1 and 3 – 6 just kind of feel there in comparison to 9, but if all games had been cleaned up to not have the extreme slowdown or flicker and occasional outright inability to recognize inputs, they would have at least been worth playing here and there. As it is I can’t recommend this to anybody. It even has audio cracks and pops, something the originals didn’t. So not only does this release have all the negatives the original releases had that may have been OK in the time but now just play like a broken and rushed Ubisoft release, it adds more. Brilliant work, Digital Eclipse, just brilliant.
Challenges, sound test and an art gallery are OK trimmings, but come on. I paid to play the base games (and I’m glad I got it for dirt cheap). Slopping in some extra unnecessary modes to have more to sell when the main draw is an absolute hackjob doesn’t save the project. Thankfully MMLC2 was done by Capcom Japan and isn’t just ROMs in emulators. Hopefully the upcoming X re-releases are done in-house by Capcom as well. Disney Afternoon Collection was done by DE as well and it has all the same issues MMLC1 does, the upcoming Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is being done by DE as well which upon learning that immediately killed what little interest (because it’s missing the PS3/360 "Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix" release, which is the best SFII has ever been) I had in that package as well. MMLC2 had some TLC put into it, perhaps out of genuine interest or maybe just to save some face after marketing MMLC1 as "not just ROMs in an emulator" and then having it uncovered that that’s exactly what it was. MMLC1 is a lazy cash grab.
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