( / NES)

Mega Man 2 ( / NES)

Game Review

Mega Man 2 Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Can Mega Man save the world again?

Surprisingly, the original Mega Man (or Rockman, as the series is known in Japan) did not perform very well. Initially reluctant, Capcom allowed its creator Keiji Inafune to create a sequel as a side-project in his own spare time, however, and with the effort of a few colleagues and a lot of time, he created Mega Man 2: a much bigger and better game than the original.

This time, there are eight Robot Masters instead of six, which has remained the standard for every game since. Instead of designing them himself, Keiji Inafune asked children around Japan to create their own designs and send them in. Out of these, he picked Metal Man, Air Man, Bubble Man, Quick Man, Crash Man, Flash Man, Heat Man and Wood Man.

The original Japanese release only had one difficulty mode, which was extremely hard; if you thought the first game was hard, try this! Thankfully, for the American and European release, players could pick between "Normal" (easier than the Japanese version) and "Difficult" (the same as the Japanese version).

Unlike its predecessor, in which all Robot Masters had a clear weakness to one of the others' weapons, Mega Man 2's a bit more open-ended. Most Robot Masters can be killed with the Mega Buster with no trouble. Some have more than one weakness: Metal Man's is his own weapon (obviously you can't use it on him until you battle him again in the final stages), and if you use the Crash Bomber on Heat Man, you refill his health!

Alongside the Robot Master weapons, there are also three special items (conveniently called "Item-1", "Item-2" and "Item-3") that create platforms for you to stand on so that you can reach high ledges and cross gaps more easily. In various stages you can also find a blue box with an E on it — the E-Tank. Using this item at any time completely refills your life.

This time you're unable to revisit Robot Master stages after clearing them, although this would be useless anyhow, as there are no secrets here. There's also a password feature, so that you can continue where you left off — though of course, this should not be needed with the Virtual Console's suspend feature. After clearing the eight stages, just like in Mega Man, you battle through five stages of Dr. Wily's fortress, facing new and old bosses until you finally have a showdown with Wily himself.

Conclusion

Mega Man 2 is generally noted as the best of the series, and for many good reasons. It's the only Mega Man with a difficulty setting, meaning both new players and veterans alike can enjoy it, and the Robot Master weapons and level designs are also quite good. But the thing most people love the game for is the music: each and every stage has an unforgettable 8-bit tune. If you want a good platformer, look no further than this, this is classic Capcom platforming action at its very best.

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User Comments (20)

Lurch

#1

Lurch said:

wait, Megaman 2 and 3 not getting a 10/10 rating?
i guess you have your reasons, and a 9/10 is still very good.
But somehow i feel like it is still a bit underrated by you.
Anyways, it's an awesome game.

Big_A2

#2

Big_A2 said:

I'd give it a 10, and the PAL verison a 9 becuase of the music that's slower than it should be even with PAL slowdown.

And the ladders. Especially the ladders.

slangman

#3

slangman said:

I actually don't really like this game. The game is way too easy and when you get to the end, it is really cheap. Plus the slow PAL music doesn't help.

ness

#4

ness said:

@ Review: I can't read any negative points, and you say "platforming action at it's very best."

So why did it not get a 10/10?

@ Music: I find the music in the PAL version better because for me the music in the NTSC version is too fast.

DrakeStaff

#5

Drake said:

Because there's no depth, mostly. It's very fun, but very simple.

Cally

#6

Cally said:

@Drake: I actually consider Mega Man complex, when considering how it seamlessly tows the line of platformer and shooter, not being weak in either department, with often both happening at the same time.

What's more, it has a bit of an adventure feel too, since there is character growth of sorts with new weapons and a character that isn't quite as easy to kill as most platformer or shooter heroes.

I can hardly fault Mega Man 2 for anything, except maybe this: almost nobody is going to beat Heat Man before Air Man--the meanest disappearing-platform section ever that's actually hurt by the inconsistent timing of platforming. Oops.

The shooting, platform, and exploration elements come together without compromising each other at all. It's definitely in the "platformer genre," since jumping is a thing of progression and not just strategy for combat. So loaded with ideas, every part of every stage in this game is unforgettable in its own right. Bubble Man's water high-jumping? Quick Man's nasty beam-avoidance? Metal Man's conveyor belts? And yet all the time, even when some of the platforming seems frustrating, it's just fun to be Mega Man, blasting stuff with such an amazing arsenal of weapons; it truly gives you the feeling of playing as a powerful character, without also being as pathetically fragile as in most shooters OR platformers (this is where Mega Man 9 dropped the ball) Weapons are both completely amusing and completely practical, as are the navigational gizmos. There are so many ways around situations--especially by experimenting with the arsenal--a choreography this isn't.

In my opinion, the very best, layered (jump+shoot) romp through platform innovations. Mario met his match, here. Even Mario games falter in the department of Boss fights--as most platformers do--where Mega Man is memorable.

Lurch

#7

Lurch said:

"Because there's no depth, mostly. It's very fun, but very simple."

I am sorry Drake, but i have to contradict.
As Cally already pointed out, there is lots of depth in the game, gameplay-wise.
but one mustn't forget the depth that can be found in the story and characters. I mean Mario Bros. 3 has a story that is almost as simple as the one found in MM2. You play a guy in both games that's supposed to stop an evil guy, and, if you ask me, the way megaman implements the story is superior in comparison with Mario 3. The characters itself shine a lot, meaning they show a lot of personality by their respective looks and mimics.
You might see that the wave of fanboy-pledges for a 10/10 rating won't stop, and honestly spoken by a non-fanboy, this game is a 10/10 due to all the points mentioned already.

Shinnok

#8

Shinnok said:

Mega Man games have terrible stories, just like Mario games. But sometimes, I guess a complicated story is unnecessary.

Cally

#9

Cally said:

@ Lurch

I agree with the storytelling point. Especially when I think of that last stage--very trippy, kind of wondering where you are. And the last boss was just a cool narrative, turning out to be a holographic image by Wily. You get to see snapshots of Mega Man's home in the wilds, where he takes off samurai style (once again suggesting his retirement from heroism). It's all visual and abbreviated, but that's videogame stories and their own unique way. The varied aesthetic (with that awesome music) . . . yeah, with all this good stuff I put this ahead of even Mario's epics. Once again, the ending's music theme expanded on the intro theme, which is another narrative technique that comes up in the first two games. 10/10

Gizmo

#10

Gizmo said:

When I look at the other 10/10 games:

Maybe it gets no 10/10 because it's not a Nintendo game?

;)

Pastry

#11

Pastry said:

Can you save? It doesn't really matter, I'm just wondering whether you can.

Looks like a good game, I'll probably pick this up soon.

Gizmo

#12

Gizmo said:

@ "Can you save?":

Not really, you get a password after each successful stage. But I think you know that you can just stop the game at any point by returning to the Wii menu.

Knux

#15

Knux said:

I am playing this game for the first time,and it is one of the best games I have ever played!
This game derserves a 10!

CaptainN

#20

CaptainN said:

The first game I downloaded on my VC. Simply put, this is one of my favorite games of all time. Great music, fun Robot Masters, and great power ups make it the best Mega Man from the original series. I highly recommend!

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