Developer: Capcom Production Studio 2
Genre: 3D Action Adventure
Platform: Playstation, PC, Nintendo 64 (Mega Man 64)
NA Release Date: August 31, 1998 (Nintendo 64: January 10, 2001)
Hardware limitations and developers’ inexperience with using 3D polygons during the PlayStation era left many games looking drab and uninspiring. Characters would often have blank stares and basic animations, or alternatively 2D character portraits, to visually represent themselves during cutscenes.
Mega Man Legends is a different story. It has a lot of personality and charm thanks to its visual style. The game has a simple look, using basic shapes, shading and details with the aim of capturing a more anime aesthetic. It feels like an early attempt at a look similar to cel-shading, before games like Fear Effect and Jet Grind Radio.
Mega Man Legends is probably one of the earlier instances of well-done facial animations on 3D character models. They have mouths that animate when they talk and it’s really easy to read a character’s emotions thanks to their exaggerated expressions.
While I’m not much of a stickler for graphics, this is one of the few games on the PlayStation that would still be easy on the eyes if you simply upped the resolution, some shaky textures aside. Although, when it comes to gameplay and structure, it definitely feels from the era. It’s like a game made from a handful of ideas thrown on a table and taped together.