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Thursday, March 5, 2020

Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection Music Player Review

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Great music, but the potential is limited by a feature-poor music player.

You should recall that a couple of weeks ago, Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection released on all major platforms. They made a big deal about the soundtrack going into this, with the ten Reploid Remixes DLC as a pre-order bonus.

I pre-ordered Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection despite believing that CAPCOM would later release the ten remixes as free DLC later on. I did it pretty much so I could have access to the entire series soundtrack in a portable manner (obviously I got the Nintendo Switch version). The games are good for their gameplay, too, and at $30, a collection of six high-quality action platformers is worth it. However, when I made the choice to buy it, I was planning to spend most of my time with Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection by treating it as a music player.

Therefore, how good is the in-game Music Player? That's what I'll be reviewing.

Mega Man Zero ZX Collection Music Player Reploid Remixes
Trap Phantasm is one of my favourite songs of any Mega Man game.

First, I should note the size of the soundtracks:
  1. Mega Man Zero: 25 music tracks
  2. Mega Man Zero 2: 37 music tracks
  3. Mega Man Zero 3: 40 music tracks
  4. Mega Man Zero 4: 32 music tracks
  5. Mega Man ZX: 32 music tracks
  6. Mega Man ZX Advent: 33 music tracks
  7. Mega Man Zero/ZX Collection: 9 music tracks
  8. Reploid Remixes: 10 music tracks

That's a total of 218 tracks, distributed across eight playlists. All of the songs are unlocked from the very beginning. The seventh playlist is music original to the collection, for things like menus and the new Z Chaser speedrunning mode. I'll note that the Mega Man Zero songs are the higher-quality DS versions from the Nintendo DS's Mega Man Zero Collection, rather than their original Game Boy Advance versions. That's the right choice.

You can press shoulder buttons to go up or down the track list per game, and press other shoulder buttons to toggle between the playlists. The tracks and games are always in the same order. The loop settings are no loop (goes to the next track when the song ends; once you're at the last song in the game's playlist, the game is silent), single loop (keeps repeating the same song), loop all tracks within the playlist (once it reaches the last song, it goes back to the first song of the game), or loop all tracks across games (once it goes to the last song of a game's playlist, it goes to the first song in the next game's playlist).

There is no shuffle/random option, and no option to re-order the songs. The order presented is pretty much the order that you encounter the songs in each game. If you want to listen to more than one song, you're either going to hear them in the same order every time, or you will have to manually go select different songs. There is a way to make a custom playlist (called My Music), but you're only allowed to fit three songs in it.

Mega Man Zero ZX Legacy Collection My Music player
Rejecting the Labo? Good for Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection!
(This is what happens when you try to register a fourth track.)

It's not immediately obvious to the player how you can listen to My Music—it's not in the Music Player, but in the artwork-filled Gallery. When you come to the Gallery, you can either listen to the music that was made just for the Gallery named E-Crystal for My Heart (contained in the Mega Man Zero/ZX Collection playlist in the Music Player), or you can toggle My Music and it'll loop through the three tracks you selected, in the order that you chose them. If you only selected one track, it'll just play through that one repeatedly. If your first My Music choice is E-Crystal for My Heart and you select Play My Music or Stop My Music in the Gallery, the already-playing E-Crystal for My Heart will stop and then start again from the beginning. Just an observation. (Obviously, choosing E-Crystal for My Heart as a My Music is pointless.)

The My Music selections are saved even if you turn the game/console off and pick it up another time.

Mega Man Zero ZX Legacy Collection Ciel Passy cyber-elf artwork gallery My Music
Ciel says: Happy International Women's Day!
(Notice the My Music toggle.)

One last observation. With the Reploid Remixes, there is a toggle in the Options sub-menu called Special BGM where you can select/deselect if you want the Reploid Remixes to play in-game or have the original music play. You can't actually listen to the songs from this menu, which is a missed opportunity for a better user experience. The songs are Crash (Mega Man Zero), Departure (Mega Man Zero 2), Trail on Powdery Snow (Mega Man Zero 3), Esperanto (Mega Man Zero 4), Green Grass Gradation (Mega Man ZX), and Trap Phantasm (Mega Man ZX Advent). These songs are either reoccurring boss themes or early-mid stage themes. The other Reploid Remixes are Music Player exclusives.

Mega Man Zero ZX Legacy Collection Special background music BGM option Reploid Remixes
The special arranged versions are all pretty good and worthy of being checked with a yellow hexagon.
It would just be a nice user-friendly thing to let you listen to the songs from this screen so you know what you're checking.

Overall, while Mega Man Zero/XX Legacy Collection is made up of six games with very strong soundtracks (with some additional pieces of music that are also strong), it misses out on the robust features that are included in games with truly good in-game music players, such as music shuffle/randomisation and real custom playlists/favourites.

I still recommend the collection for being made of great games, but even though Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection is widely considered to have great effort put into it by CAPCOM, they could've done more with the music player.


Ludwig actually has played a little bit of Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection besides listening to the music. He believes that the first Mega Man Zero is significantly improved with the new Save Assist feature, though he still detests the ranking system and the Cyber-Elf mechanics. He believes Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon has the best in-game music player of any game he's aware of, but that's the subject of an article that he was supposed to write years ago. It may still come some day!

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