Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection Review

I don’t mean to blow your mind, but I’ve liked Mega Man for a long time.  I reviewed the Mega Man X Legacy Collection and played a lot of the Mega Man Legacy Collection.  When I first heard about this collection, I was fairly apprehensive.  I did play the first Zero game but didn’t stick with the franchise after that.  My trepidation was all about trying to blow up a Gameboy Advance resolution game to modern television resolutions.  Well, I got over that hump, and while I did enjoy this collection, it is missing one thing.

Review: Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection

Mega Man Zero

Title:  Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC Nintendo Switch [Reviewed]
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Genre: Action Adventure
Players: 1
Release Date: February 25th, 2020
Price: $29.99 (USD)

The Games

To start with, this collection has six games included:  Mega Man Zero 1, 2 3 and 4 (all on the GBA) and Mega Man ZX and ZX Advent from the Nintendo DS.  I’ll start with the first four since they are very similar, and then talk about the other two after that.

Mega Man Zero

Mega Man Zero
Mega Man Zero/ZX Collection/ Capcom

Mega Man Zero was the start of a new franchise on the GBA, where you play as Zero. The game takes place a hundred years after Mega Man X where Zero is found in suspension by a human scientist and her rebel group as they try to fend off the forces of Neo Arcadia who are led by, surprise surprise, X.  Zero is an amnesiac but fights against the evil robots to protect the rebel base and try to rediscover what happened to him.


Zero plays a lot differently than Mega Man or Mega Man X games before it. You can actually equip two different weapons at the same time, as you begin the game with a gun and your Z-Sword. Later, the Triple Rod unlocks and that lets you attack in any direction. While also receiving the Shield Boomerang, which deflects enemy shots and can be thrown.

Weapons actually gain levels from usage. All the weapons upgrade this way. Initially, the gun can only fire three bullets on screen and have only one charge level.  If you keep using it, you can get to fire more shots on-screen or shoot with an even more powerful charge shot.  It gives you some motivation to stick with your preferred weapons but doesn’t help much if you are bad with other weapons. 

Mega Man Zero
Mega Man Zero/ZX Collection/ Capcom

As you play, you’ll also acquire Element Chips. You get Flame, Thunder, and Ice chips from a few different robots.  When you charge up a weapon attack, assuming you have the level two charge ability unlocked, the attack will have that elemental affinity.  Obviously, certain robot bosses are weak to certain elemental attacks and certain weapon types as well.

Cyber Elves

A new system in the game is the Cyber-Elf system and I’m not a fan of it.  Basically, you can find these sparkly items in the game from finding secrets or beating certain enemies.  These are Cyber Elves and they can bestow certain abilities to you.  There are three types of Elves available the Nurse, Animal, and Hacker.  Nurse Elves generally heal you or grant you a temporary shield.  Animal Elves can become temporary allies in battle or boost your abilities.  Finally, Hacker Elves generally seek out enemies, like making them give you items, or damaging enemies/bosses.

I’m really not a fan of this system.  The elves are disposable, so once you use one, it’s gone.  Also, some of the elves are asleep, so you have to raise them for them to be active, which require crystals, so you have to grind a lot to raise them.  Also, you can miss them, if you don’t know what they all are. I don’t think you can really replay levels either, unfortunately.  You can occasionally go back to them but the areas do change, so it can get really annoying.

The obvious influence here is Pokemon with a “Gotta catch ’em all” mindset, but then using any of them tanks your level rating and then deletes it from your inventory.  It’s very strange.

Odds and Ends

There are a few other things just to briefly mention. Instead of going back to just a level select screen, after you take care of a boss, you go back to the rebel base.  There isn’t a ton to do at the base, save for talking to a few NPCs.

One thing to mention is, aside from the GBA resolution, the graphics generally do hold up.  Zero animates well and there is some good definition of him and the world.

Lastly, I generally like the story.  It’s interesting to have (basically) the hero from the last franchise as the bad guy in this one.  Although, it’s not the true X, but it is close enough.

Mega Man Zero 2

So, for the last three Zero games, I’m going to just discuss what’s different in each game. So my thoughts won’t be as detailed as they were in the Zero 1 section.

First replaced the Triple Rod with a Chain Rod.  This lets you latch onto ceilings and can also grab objects from far away, sort of like a Hookshot.

There are also EX Moves and a Form System as well.  EX Moves are unlocked after completing missions with a high rank.  These are unlockable moves for Zero to use like the Tenshouzan (rising sword uppercut), Laser Shot, Energy Chain, etc.

Form System
Mega Man Zero
Mega Man Zero/ZX Collection/ Capcom

The Form System is kind of analogous to an armor system from some of the X games.  You unlock Forms by doing certain goals like picking up a lot of health at one level or reflecting 30 bullets back with the Shield Boomerang. Generally, a Form power-ups one weapon or skill while being detrimental to the others.  For example, the Power Form doubles the power of all of Zero’s attacks but halves his speed.   There are generally trade-offs with each Form, it just depends on your own style.

Mega Man Zero 3

The ditch the Chain Rod for the Recoil Rod.  These are basically Hidden Blade-like weapons (think Assassin’s Creed) that can be used to attack in any direction.  If you are attacking from the air on an enemy below you, you can recoil off it to get another jump.

Also, the Cyber Elf system was iterated on as well.  There are now Fusion and Satellite Elves.  Fusion Elves are the same as before.

Some Extra Things
Mega Man Zero
Mega Man Zero/ZX Collection/ Capcom

Whereas, Satellite Elves are actually useful.  You can use two at a time and they provide constant upgrades, and also don’t die when you use them.  There aren’t a ton of them but they can help guard against falling into a pit or having items spawn in every 10 seconds or so.

The Form System from Z2 is jettisoned for the Chip System in Z3. There are three slots head, body and feet and you can slot different parts into them.  So, if you want something that auto-charges your weapon, or gives you a double jump, you can add them.  This is also where the elemental attacks fall into. There are more changes as well, including Cyberspace areas, secret discs, mini-games, and more.  But this is already running on long enough.

Mega Man Zero 4

Finally, the last of the Zero games.  In case you haven’t noticed by now, these games are rather iterative and don’t have huge changes between each version. 

There are three weapons in the game, the pistol, Z-Saber and a new one called the Zero Knuckle.  This is a lot about what is new here.  If you kill an enemy with the Knuckle, there is a fair chance you can grab the weapon that it uses and you can use it yourself.  I think there is something around 50 or 60 different items you can use.  Some weapons have limited ammo and will be thrown away after you use it. Also, since the weapon replaces the Knuckle, you can throw it away yourself to get a different item.

Some Extra Things
Mega Man Zero/ZX Collection/ Capcom

Furthermore, there is a weather system where stages can be changed based on the weather to make it easier or harder.  If you beat a boss when it’s on hard, you get the EX Skill from it.

The Cyber-Elf system is changed, yet again.  Now, you only have one elf, and you can turn different abilities on or off.  If you go over the limit, your level rank goes down but just using it for low-power stuff is fine.  You can upgrade the elf with new abilities and by feeding it crystals.

Finally, the elemental stuff is gone, in exchange for more armor parts.  Parts can also have different levels, which increase their effectiveness.

Mega Man ZX

Well, to start with, you don’t play as Zero or X.  You pick between two characters, Vent (male) or Aile (female) who eventually stumble upon Biometal X.  Biometals can combine with regular humans giving them robotic appearances and abilities.

The two big ones are X and Z,, which give comparable abilities to X and Zero.  However, there are metals that can merge with the X Biometal giving different forms like Wind Mega Man or Ice Mega Man. These different forms have vastly different abilities, weapons and movement styles.  You can also Double Megamerge combining aspects of different metals, like say, X and Z (get it?) to get a hybrid form that is more powerful. You can also Overdrive your form, which gives you either elemental abilities or physical ones.

Some Extra Things
Mega Man Zero/ZX Collection/ Capcom

ZX is also much more of a story-based, open-ended game than the prior Zero games. There is a map to get from area to area, which has areas being linked together by ladders or doors, etc. A mission might be in area D1, but if you’re in C2 you have to figure out how to actually get over there.

Lastly, the touch screen (here, you can manipulate it with the right stick) is just generally used as a map or to alter a few of your abilities.  Nothing big.

Mega Man ZX Advent

Mega Man Zero/ZX Collection/ Capcom

Vent and Aile are replaced with Grey and Ashe.  Only there’s actually a difference here.  Grey’s shots are weaker but faster. While Ashe’s shots are slower but more powerful.  It’s not much, but at least there is some difference between the two.

There are a lot more forms to unlock and use in this one, due to more medals being in the game.  If anything, it is almost a pseudo-Metroidvania because the world is fairly large but you need certain abilities or medals to reach places.  The second screen shows this now, which is helpful.  There are some more incremental upgrades but at this point, as I said before, this is all iterative. Basically it is the same generally good gameplay as before.

New Bits

Mega Man Zero
Mega Man Zero/ZX Collection/ Capcom

For this collection, Capcom did add a few things but nothing mind-blowing.  You can swap between North American and Japanese games, with the Japanese games being more violent (and bloody).  There’s a gallery of concept art for each game, as well as a music player which is good since the music in these games is generally decent.

There is also a Z Chaser mode, which is basically a time trial mode to race the clock in levels.

Options also include a few graphical filters as well. It ranges from none, smoothing, and grainy.  Also, you have the option to turn on mid-level checkpoints, which can be a real godsend.

Lastly, where is Mega Man X: Command Mission?

This game was reviewed using a retail copy purchased by for review purposes.

Final Thoughts

This is probably about the last collection Capcom can do with traditional Mega Man. They could dip their toes in the Mega Man: Battle Network games.  The Zero games generally hold up well, they aren’t quite as iconic as Mega Man or X, but the action and gameplay remain the same.  There are some unruly systems in some of the games, but on the whole, this collection will keep you occupied for a while. Particularly, if you get it for the Switch so you can play it on the go, as they were made to be played.

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