Mega Man Legends Turns 15 today!
Today is the 15th Anniversary of Mega Man Legends, one of the all time best games that unfortunately, most people never played. Actually, the Legends series does have a lot of fans out there. This became pretty well known with all of the uproar that the cancellation of Mega Man Legends 3 bought on (will get to that in a bit). Still, Mega Man Legends never got nearly the recognition it deserved.
Gamers didn’t know quite what to think of Mega Man legends on it’s release. A 3D version of the ever so popular 2D series. I also didn’t know what to think, but there I saw it at Blockbuster back in 1998. I was on the fence about it, but thankfully my good Brother decided to rent it.
The game begins with Mega Man inside an ancient dig site. Mega Man and Roll are “diggers” searching forbig jewels known as Refractors (large energy crystals) and other resources along with defeating any Reaverbots they come across. While escaping from the dig site, Roll’s flying ship has engine trouble and they crash land on Kattleox Island: An island full of interesting characters, tons of underground ruins to explore, and lots of treasure to be found.
Another one of the reasons Legends is so high up on my all-time best games list, is the music featured in the game. It has a wonderful soundtrack, even featuring a couple of tracks from Chopin and Bach.
But it is the Characters that are a shining point of the Legends series. Starting of course with the boyish Mega Man Volnutt. Roll Casket, Barrel “Gramps” Casket, who raised Mega Man and Roll as his own, Data, a little dancing monkey who saves your games. Then there are The loveable Bonnes, who play the role of the antagonists: Tron Bonne, Teisel Bonne, and Bon Bonne. Along with the original minions, The Servbots, The Bonnes are a force to be reckoned with.
While Legends wasn’t overly successful initially, it was enough for Tron Bonne and her flying ship of pirates to get their own spinoff in The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, also on Playstation. A thoroughly fun game that I would definitely recommend playing after finishing Legends.
Then, just four months later, Mega Man Legends 2 was released.
Now…as for Mega Man Legends 2, I’m kinda “mehhhh” on the game. I would really like to play it again sometime as I only played it once and never really got into it, and frankly don’t remember much of it. I think another playthrough would change my stance on it. The game got started on the wrong foot when in the first scene, Mega Man walks out wearing an apron and speaking in what was clearly a Woman’s voice. As opposed to having a nice raspy teenage male voice in the first. Why they decided to have a woman voice him for Legends 2 I have no idea and I wish they didn’t. Anyways, back to the original Legends…
Two and a half years after Legends debuted on the Playstation, it got a second life on the Nintendo 64 as Mega Man 64. Mostly the same game with a few changes, including the always welcomed anti-aliasing, but also having some slowdowns when a lot of objects were on screen, some audio removed, and lower quality voices. Not long After Mega Man 64, Mega Man Legends came to the PC as well. Bringing the game to N64 and PC certainly widened their user base and made a lot of new fans in the process.
You might wonder why a game like Mega Man Legends, which mostly got average to bad reviews from the press when it was released exactly 15 years ago today, was successful enough to have a spinoff, a sequel, and be ported to N64 and PC? Well, luckily, not everyone bought into the bad press, and word of mouth got the job done. I really don’t know why Legends got a lot of bad reviews, but I would attribute it to people thinking a 3D Mega Man was somehow an abomination, something unnatural, upsetting to those who were used to and held a special place in their hearts for all the great classic 2D Mega Man games of the past. But, Legends wasn’t saying “3d is better than 2d! This is the new way!”, Legends was it’s own game.
At a Nintendo press conference on September 29th, 2010, nearly 10 years after Mega Man Legends 2 was released, Mega Man Legends 3 was announced for the Nintendo 3DS, to the joyful ears of the now many fans of the Legends series. Mr. Mega Man himself, Keiji Inafune did the reveal, and the 3DS seemed like a perfect fit to continue the Legends franchise. Perhaps you know the unfortunate ending here. In a sign of things to come, Keiji Inafune left Capcom a couple months after the press conference. 10 months later, Mega Man Legends 3 was officially cancelled. Very sad indeed for us Legends fans. There was a lot of outcry and effort from the fans to try and save it, including a large online petition, but it was never gonna happen.
Even so, we still have Mega Man Legends to look back on. If you are among the many who missed playing Legends, well, you know I’d highly recommend going back and playing it. Whether it be the Playstation version, the N64 version, the PC version, or emulated in some way…no matter how you choose to play it, just play it. I think you’ll be happy you did.
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