Tag Archives: Side Scrolling

Another Mega Man Legacy Collection on its way soon

Could we be seeing a second collection of Mega Man games on Xbox One soon? It looks like it!

The Korean Ratings Board has outed Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 for Xbox One, with the description telling us that it’ll include Mega Man 7, Mega Man 8, Mega Man 9, and Mega Man 10 – according to gematsu.com‘s translation. Nothing official from Capcom as of yet.

We’re excited at the prospect, considering how much we enjoyed the first Mega Man Legacy Collection, reviewed back in August 2015.

Mega Man Legacy Collection review

Capcom have a habit of pulling on your nostalgia heart strings, earlier in the year an HD re-release of Resident Evil took us back to Nintendo’s Gamecube days and now an enhanced collection of Mega Man games takes us back to Nintendo’s very first home console, the NES. However, does the Mega Man Legacy Collection trade on nostalgia alone or do these classics still hold up today?

Marvellously Mega Man can fairly comfortably sit amongst todays platforming elite. With the Mega Man series being such a huge influence over the genre, much of it’s legacy survives in modern titles anyway, allowing the Blue Bomber to feel right at home in a new era. Moreover, the recent explosion of indie developed, retro stylised titles also aid in the battle against incongruity.

However, the Mega Man titles deserve the lion’s share of the credit for holding up against contemporaries, these are platformers that have been expertly crafted with outstanding level design and enemy placement, built around challenging the player consistently and fairly throughout their adventures. There’s a reason these titles are considered timeless and beloved. For the uninitiated, the Mega Man formula follows the Blue Bomber on a side-scrolling platforming and combat adventure culminating in boss fights against fellow robots. Each stage can be attempted in any order, and once you defeat that stage’s particular robot master you gain their weapon.

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The Mega Man Legacy Collection includes the first six Mega Man titles, all of which are greatly admired and remembered. Here they return in all their original glory, despite a subtle crispness added to the sprites these are precisely the same games that shipped all those years ago. This includes bugs, instances of slow-down, screen transitions and general oddities. The collection is running on a new engine that houses the original code completely intact and unaltered, a move that for lesser games would prove risky, potentially alienating new comers and disappointing returning veterans blinded by nostalgia, but with Mega Man’s timelessness this simply reinforces their quality.

However, the new engines does add some new tricks better suited to modern players. With the press of a button a menu screen appears allowing you to remap the controller, switch between widescreen and the original aspect ratio, as well as add CRT filters to really emulate the games’ original forms. However, the key addition is the ability to save anywhere and reload from that point. Each title offers up a stiff challenge that takes practise and patients to master, the ability to save and reload rather than lose precious lives and continues is a wonderful addition as well as a relief.

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Additionally each title has a collection of concept art you can peruse, as well as a juke box of all the iconic chip-tunes from the series; it’s a real celebration of the Mega Man brand. Leaderboards and replays are also present, allowing you to compete against friends and foes for best completion times, as well as witness the playthrough themselves via the replay feature. Finally, a comprehensive set of challenges are also available that pit you against a timer and/or a finite set of lives as you work your way through different levels from each of the games strung together under a theme. It’s overflowing with content.

Indeed this collection is a testament to Mega Man. The quality of the level design, the platforming and combat, the catchy chip-tunes and the charming 8bit visuals, alongside the title’s bugs, glitches and oddities all perfectly preserved, make this a collection any fan must own. New comers are in for a stiff challenge but also a fascinating look at a bygone era of gaming that set the scene for many of today’s greats. Certainly they’ll be some put off by the difficulty, and some may question the reasoning behind keeping elements such as the slow-down when things get hectic, but it’s precisely these things that make Mega Man the experience that it is, Capcom clearly respect the original games and their fan base, resulting a wonderful collection of superb platformers.

Thanks to Xbox and Capcom for their support 

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OlliOlli review

Having started out as a PS Vita exclusive, OlliOlli has now made its way over to Xbox One, and don’t let it’s minimalist, austere aesthetic fool you, this is a meticulously crafted and compelling, twitch reaction romp in the guise of a skateboarding game.

OlliOlli’s 2D, side-scrolling perspective, washed out colours and 8 bit style are a seldom seen scene for skateboarding games, but it all comes together spectacularly. It looks understated and tame but hides a devilishly difficult experience that’s hard to put down.

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It all seems so simple: You’re goal is to complete each short course, stringing together tricks and grinds to finish with the highest score you can, but achieving this is a remarkably tricky task. Tricks are pulled off with the usual quarter turns and so forth of the left analogue stick, meanwhile, the trigger buttons let you spin, however, jumping and grinding is also tied to the analogue stick, where holding a direction activates a grind and releasing the stick performs a jump. The A button is reserved to achieving a smooth landing, which is the only way to bank the points you may have accumulated through tricks and grinds. It’s an odd control system that feels supremely alien for the first 30 minutes or so. You need to relearn how to use a controller, and how to read obstacles on-screen. To begin with the strange controls dull your reaction times considerable and makes for dozens of failed attempts.

It does eventually click but it’s a humbling experience before it does. Tricks feel risky and intractable; it’s a gamble to try pulling one off in the limited time you’re airborne. And landing becomes crucial, not only because it dictates your score but also because falling off your board resets the level for you to try it all over again. You have one life, so to speak, per run, and you can feel the dread of failure and the presence of mortality far more so than in many other titles on the market. It’s a peculiar feeling but absolutely a welcoming one; OlliOlli feels unique and intense.

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Restarting the level after a fall is practically instant; additionally you can reset yourself at the press of a button. It shares similarities to the Trails titles, in that it’s built upon a high score setting mentality with fast paced skill runs. Where it greatly differs is with its visual austerity. Backgrounds are basic and washed out; meanwhile, foreground objects aren’t much more prominent. It works well at keeping you focused, providing enough visual cues for you to performs your jumps, grinds and trick but not distracting you with superfluous animations. It’s very well designed. This is also evident from the make-up of each level, whether you’re grinding through the streets of an urban environment, a port, junkyard, or neon city, the placements of obstacles, jumps and grindable surfaces are like a single, flowing track rather than a collection of separate objects.

50 levels over five locations make up the primary mode; however, reaching the end of each level in one piece isn’t your only concern. Each level also challenges you to complete specific objectives, these involve performing certain tricks, achieving a specific score, or stringing together a certain combo length, and so on. Complete them all on a level and you’ll unlock the pro run challenge, complete that and you unlock and even harder Rad run. Furthermore, Spots mode challenges you to perform the highest score you can on individual, specific sections of the levels against an online leaderboard. Finally, Daily Grind pits you once again against online adversaries through a leaderboard at achieving the highest score on a randomly chosen level. You can practice on this level as much as you like but once you commit to a ‘real’ run then that score will be uploaded, with no chances to submit another. 24 hours later and a new challenge awaits.

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OlliOlli is a difficult game that plays you against risk vs. reward expertly through its tight mechanics, controls, and level design. The Daily Grind asynchronous multiplayer is a great way to encourage replay even after you’ve mastered the 50 levels, and the chasing of higher and higher scores is a compelling experience. The achievement list is a bit on the small side and it can get frustrating during your initial time learning the controls, but when it all clicks it’s remarkably hard to put down.

Thanks to Curve Digital for supplying TiX with a download code

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