Mega Man X2 Review
Posted by Marcel van Duyn
A mega effort
Capcom has really been on the ball with the Wii U Virtual Console — in just about one year, it has managed to release every single Mega Man game that saw the light of day on the Wii Virtual Console — and more — with Mega Man X2 being the latest release.
Much like the original Mega Man series before it, the X series doesn't seem to really change all that much between outings, so if you've played the first Mega Man X, don't expect a lot of surprises here.
Taking place just a few months after the last game, X2 sees a new team of eight Maverick Hunters appearing to wreak havoc, and it's once again up to you to run, jump and shoot your way to their lairs and stop them. As per tradition, these eight bosses and their stages can be tackled in any order you want, with each one you defeat allowing you the use of their weapon, which is the weakness of another — making most boss fights trivial if you know the correct weakness chain. After conquering these stages, you move on to a fortress with another couple of stages.
One of the things that set the first Mega Man X apart was the amount of stuff you could do compared to the original series. Mega Man — err, sorry, X — himself is a lot more flexible in terms of movement, being able to wall-jump and dash, in addition to retaining the charge shots introduced in the later "classic" entries on 8-bit. On top of this, there are plenty of hidden upgrades to find which grant you even more skills, such as mid-air dashes and an item radar, which allows you to more easily find the returning heart and sub tanks.
As stated, there aren't really any huge changes to the formula this time, though there are a couple of small additions to keep things feeling fresh. Perhaps the "biggest" is that a few of the levels now contain secret rooms with optional bosses to fight. They can be quite challenging, but completionists will definitely want to search them out, as defeating them alters the ending. There's also the introduction of another vehicle in the form of a hoverbike — which spices things up a little — and another secret power-up, which is the perfect counterpart to the last game's Hadouken.
One interesting thing about X2 is that the game seems to have a bit more of a focus on platforming elements. There are a lot less enemies compared to the first game, but a lot more spikes and pits — expect to fall into them a couple of times. Needless to say, you'll have to make good use of your wall jumps and dashes to get by unscathed.
As you might expect, there's not much of a change in the graphics department — X2 came out only a year after the original, lest we forget — but some might argue that the soundtrack is a bit weaker this time around.
Just like the games before it, Mega Man X2 doesn't really do much in the way of innovation, but there's not really any need to. Mega Man X was a great game, and while it's obviously a bit less original, X2 is also a very solid experience and comes highly recommended to anybody that enjoyed the previous title.