Thursday, November 7, 2019

Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection - eReader Cards and DS Features

I know I'm behind on talking about this, but a couple of weeks ago Kellen over at Capcom-Unity (our old home) shared some news about how the upcoming Mega Man Zero/ZX collection will work, and thankfully it's as many of us had hoped.


For those of you who do not know, when Mega Man Zero 3 came out, things were a little different for it's western release. Putting aside the blood, the US version had all eReader features removed, which left us with an "incomplete" version of the game. Now this didn't stop us from finishing the game, but it did lock us out of a lot of cool extra features, that would've been nice to have back in the day. So, exactly what was this "eReader" and how did it work? Well....

While not everyone may remember it, the eReader was an add on for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance that many GBA and Nintendo GameCube games supported. It was a little scanner that had a slot to swipe cards, and different types of card packs were sold for the thing. Some card packs were NES games you could play, while others were used to unlock extra features like costumes in Animal Crossing. Heck even Pokemon Cards switched over to eReader for awhile, but this didn't last long. At least not in the west.

Although the eReader flopped here, the thing was a success in Japan, and many games continued to support it (especially games by Capcom). In Mega Man Zero 3's case, card packs were sold with nearly 100 types of cards to be collected from them. While some of these cards were only for collection purposes, around 80 of them were used to alter Zero 3. These alterations ranged from simple game modifications like changing the title screen, to changing the color of menus, to actual in game upgrades for Zero. Putting these aside though, many of the cards added new characters to the home base, or even altered existing characters to change their appearance and dialogue. There were also cards that added call backs to earlier Mega Man titles, and others that added smaller cameos to the game. In short these cards were a fun addition to the game, and gave fans a reason to seek out different ones. But again, this was only in Japan. (Unless you used an Action Replay.)

Thankfully with the release of the previous Zero Collection on the DS, these features were finally brought over to the US release as well in the form of unlockables, and it's this system that remains for the upcoming collection as well. But that's not all! As this collection also includes the two ZX games, the Mega Man Zero 3 and 4 features have been added for the original ZX as well. Back when this game first came out the Nintendo DS and DS Lite were the main models on the market, and both of them featured a GBA slot to play GBA games as well. While that was the main use of this slot, some DS games did offer bonuses when specific GBA games were inserted. Just like with the eReader, Capcom was one of the few companies that liked to support this feature, so of course Mega Man ZX used it as well. In this case by having either Zero 3 or Zero 4 in the GBA slot you could actually fight the bosses from said game. These bosses would appear in a special area of the game, and could be challenged once you gained access to it. On top of fighting these bosses, you could also unlock "Model O" which allowed you to transform into an alternate version of Zero. While it wasn't a huge addition to the game, it was still a fun extra feature, and playing as "Zero" was a lot of fun.


So yeah, if you haven't played these games before, I strongly recommend checking them out! This collection is a great way to get into the series, and it is packed full of content. As for those of you who have already played the games, then it still may be worth picking it up a second time. If not just to have all of these amazing games in one place, then do it for the extras you may have missed out on before.

The Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection will release on 1/21/20 for all major platforms.

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