Rock and Roll.
Megaman / Rockman has been around forever. The little blue guy was first released
on the NES way back when 8-bit graphics and side scrolling gameplay ruled. There
have been innumerable versions of Megaman and his friends over the years, including
Megaman X, Megaman (Rockman) Racing, and tons more. But there still has yet
to be a three dimensional Megaman.
is especially surprising considering how long people have been doing 3D on the
PlayStation and Nintendo 64 and just how popular Megaman is. But now, finally,
with Megaman Legends, Capcom has taken Megaman into the third dimension
with good results.
First of all, traditional Megaman fans should know that Megaman Legends isn't
your normal Megaman. It isn't really a three-d version of the two-d side scroller.
In fact, Legends is more of an adventure/RPG. In this game, Megaman is a "Digger",
or an adventurer searching for the "Mother Lode" treasure.
Diggers the world over are looking for the treasure, and Megaman hopes he can
be the first to find it so that he doesn't ever have to work again.
The planet that he lives on is covered by water though, there are only a few
small patches of land, so you have to fly around from place to place. Lots of
the game takes place traveling between different islands.The story sets up a
good RPG, and the large fully explorable world is perfect for an adventure game.
Megaman Legends combines the two genres well.
Megaman Legends also doesn't look like old-school Megaman either. Instead
of the anime appearance from before, Legends has a highly stylized polygonal
look. It's not futuristic, nor is it dark. The graphics are bright like Mario
64, but they are way more blocky. However, in Megaman's place, this isn't
half bad. The blocky graphics actually create a great sense of style that is
consistent all the way through the game. One of Legends' high points are the
graphics, and deservedly so - Capcom has done a great job.
in Megaman Legends is a little odd - the D-pad works like Resident
Evil while the L1/R1 buttons allow you to strafe left and right. The R2
button works as a enemy lock-on, a welcome function in the 3D world. It would
be incredibly hard to actually hit enemies without this feature, and the way
the camera works would certainly create confusion. While the controls aren't
the easiest to learn, after you master them, they allow for some precise maneuvering.
Just like the old Megamans, Legends also has great control.
The gameplay of both regular combat, fantastical bosses, as well as RPG and
adventure fit the Megaman franchise well.
The sound also makes a good impression. Unlike too many RPG's, you dont have
to read miles and miles of text, all of the main characters have voices! It
makes the game more immersive, less annoying, and is something all games should
do nowadays with CD consoles.
The maps that you travel around in are laid out in a manner that allows for
much exploration but is also pretty straight forward so you don't get lost.
If you ignore every little nook and cranny you can still beat the game but you
will not find every item and upgrade. The way that Capcom created the levels
to hide secrets shows their mastery of level design - something they were also
extremely successful at in Resident Evil.
There are some rough edges though - the game is too hard and frustrating at
points and the gameplay can become repetitive if you can't figure out what you
are supposed to do. But for the most part, if you like Megaman or like adventure
games - Legends is a solid pick.