While the Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 contains the four most cherished games in the series, Legacy Collection 2 holds the four most maligned titles in the series and is only worth a buy for the most hardcore X fans.
Legacy Collection 2 has Mega Man X5-8, rounding out the end of the PS1 era and ushering in the PS2 titles. Unlike the first collection where the quality of the four included games is consistently superb, these four games have highs and lows and can frustrate and baffle anyone who hasn’t played them before.
X5 is easily the best game in the collection and feels the most like a traditional X game. It has its share of frustrating design choices and has an odd Majora’s Mask style time limit, but the game is mostly solid and actually has my favorite Sigma fortress in the entire X franchise.
X6 is where things start to get rough. With aggressively bad level design and annoying, wall-hacking enemies who appear in every stage, you wouldn’t be blamed for skipping this one. You can tell they started running out of ideas for animal-themed Maverick bosses here because one of them is an actual dung beetle. X6 does have some great music though, so there’s that.
X7 is the worst game in the franchise. 2D side scrolling is largely sacrificed for slow and awkward 3D levels that awkwardly transition in from dimension to dimension. The stages don’t make sense here. Some of them are divided by loading screens into tiny sections that feel like they should’ve been cut altogether. X7 also boasts voice acting so bad it makes the original Resident Evil look Oscar-worthy. All of this makes X7 a strange gem in the collection, as its one of those “so-bad-it’s-good” games that you can laugh at with your friends.
Luckily, X8 brings a huge sigh of relief as it’s actually not a bad game, mostly. It brings X back to a 2D plane and most of the levels are traditional side scrollers, but there’s still the excruciatingly long snowboard level and the strange Metal Gear style stealth stage. Still, compared to X6 and X7, X8 is a solid game in the franchise. It actually has good voice acting too, with a cast comprising almost entirely of G Gundam alum.
That same cast is back for the Day of Sigma anime included in both collections. In fact, most of the bonus material from the first Legacy Collection is the same including the challenge levels which pit you against two bosses from the series at once. These trials are tough and a great twist on the challenges from the original Mega Man Legacy Collection which focused more on stage remixes. They also boast remixed boss music from the franchise, though it’s a shame that the games proper don’t have remixed soundtracks as well. For Playstation users, one of the best inclusions is a fully fleshed out trophy list with a Platinum (!!!), something the original Mega Man collections didn’t have.
Mega Man X Legacy Collection
Legacy Collection 2 is a roller coaster of emotions. Only about one and a half of the games in the box are actually good, but it will also complete the X series and fulfill hardcore fans. If you don’t care about any of that, save the $20 and just get the first collection. Or, buy collection 2 and laugh at X7 with your friends.