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Mega Man 2 (NES) artwork

Mega Man 2 (NES) review


"Mega Man 2 filled me with so much hope as I first put it in to my NES. After hating the original Mega Man, Mega Man 2 just seemed like a huge change for the better. There was actually a story in the game this time (although it's pretty crappy), there were difficulty levels to choose from, and there were three more stages. ''Looks like Capcom turned their act around!'' I said aloud to my imaginary friends. Then came actually playing the game. Besides the addition of a couple ..."



Mega Man 2 filled me with so much hope as I first put it in to my NES. After hating the original Mega Man, Mega Man 2 just seemed like a huge change for the better. There was actually a story in the game this time (although it's pretty crappy), there were difficulty levels to choose from, and there were three more stages. ''Looks like Capcom turned their act around!'' I said aloud to my imaginary friends. Then came actually playing the game. Besides the addition of a couple new ''extra'' abilities, and a shift to a little more concentration on the action there was nothing new about the gameplay at all. The gameplay that had gotten stale near the end of Mega Man was being completely re-used in the sequel!

If you've played Mega Man then you'll know exactly what to expect here. Shoot, jump, shoot, jump. You'll be doing a lot of B button mashing, followed by overly difficult jumps. Rinse and repeat. There are only a few actual changes to the gameplay, but none of them are that big at all. One of them is the new abilities you gain when defeating bosses. One of the main appeals of the Mega Man series is that you get to absorb your bosses’ abilities. The use of these abilities is limited though, and you will usually find yourself just using them against bosses. This makes it so the inclusion of these new abilities just isn't a big deal.

Two more extra abilities were also added into this game. In the first game there was an extra ability to make platforms. The problem with this was if you didn't find it you couldn't beat the game. Now all the abilities come after beating certain levels. The two new abilities allow you to climb walls easier, and go long distances without touching the ground. The use of these abilities is also limited, not making it a big change.

The other small changes are, you can now get Energy things, which restore your health when you want it. There are also two difficulty levels now. Both these additions are welcomed, and help keep the game from getting too difficult like in Mega Man.

Other than that everything remains the same. The way the game works is simple. First you pick a stage out of the 8 available. Then you go through it before reaching the boss. The stages themselves are disappointing. While the environments look varied, and nice from stage to stage the puzzles used in each stage are similar. One of them is the infamous disappearing blocks puzzle from Mega Man that appear in several stages. In this frustrating ''puzzle'' of sorts, the platforms you must jump on keep appearing, and reappearing. Sometimes a platform appears right above your head, unless you knew about it ahead of time you are going to die from it, as you must jump to the area where a block will appear before it appears in some situations.

This is one of the problems with Mega Man 2. The way they made the game you must sometimes die before you can find out the way to get past a part. For example, in one level you are on a ledge. You can choose to jump off on the left or right side. I chose right, and flew down a few screens without facing enemies. I gloated at my smart move seeing how the left side was ridden with enemies. Then out of nowhere... SPIKES! I'm dead. It's things like this that get frustrating with Mega Man 2. A lot of times you are dead before even getting to the boss because of dumb things like this in the stages.

Once you get to the bosses though, you are just about set. They are surprisingly easy compared to Mega Man. The problem with Mega Man was that you just about needed some bosses abilities to beat other bosses. This time however, they end up being a bit to easy. Most of the bosses come at you with a predictable foray of attacks, and you can easily dispose of them with your standard weapon. On the bright side though, the bosses themselves are shockingly different from the bosses in Mega Man. After they re-used the gameplay from the original I was expecting the same from the bosses. I'm happy to say they didn't do that, although it doesn't do much for the game in the end.

So the gameplay basically sucks. That sure doesn't take away from the graphical enhancements that were made. There are some impressive backgrounds this time around, especially compared to the lack of backgrounds in Mega Man. There are lots of new sprites, and they all look pretty good. The bosses also look better. Mega Man himself doesn't look that much better though. There is also some slowdown in areas with lots of enemies, but this doesn't damper the stale gameplay too much.

No real improvements were made on the sound though. There wasn't much they truly could do though, as the Mega Man series as a whole contains some of the most oddly appealing music on the NES. They also did a good job of having the music fit with the type of stage. The sounds are also impressive, each weapon has it's own distinct sound, and there aren't any annoying sounds like in most NES games.

Like most NES action games though, the game doesn't have a lot in playing time. You'll get about 3 hours of gameplay after playing through both difficulty levels. I see no reason at all to replay since the gameplay gets very repetitive. Constant mashing of the ''B'' button doesn't exactly end up as good replay value material.

Capcom made some changes to Mega Man. Pretty much for the better too. Where the flaws in Mega Man 2 come though is in the changes not made, rather than to those made. If you got bored with Mega Man don't expect anything different with Mega Man 2

Rating: 4/10

icehawk's avatar
Community review by icehawk (January 16, 2004)

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