Game Review: Mega Man II
| ||Mega Man II || |
Released: June 1989
Game Type: Action
Product Number: NES-XR-USA
Rarity: C (Uncommon)
|Box Scan |
They say you rarely get a second chance to make a first impression. One of those rare occurances is the Mega Man series. The first game didn't set the world on fire, but did do well enough for Capcom to put out a sequel, correcting the flaws of the original and introducing many features that would become standard in the series. Thus Mega Man II hit the streets and became a monster hit, providing the title that launched the series into the blockbuster franchise it is today. Many have hailed this entry one of the best in the series, and compared with its many sequels it still holds up as one of the top entries in the saga.
This second chapter of the Mega Man saga features your basic revenge plot. In the last title Mega Man was able to defeat the demented Dr. Wily and put an end to his plans for world conquest. However the mad scientist has returned seeking revenge against our hero. This time, instead of stealing robots from Dr. Light, he builds his own group of Robot Masters and sends them after Mega Man. Now Mega Man must defeat the robots then infiltrate Wily's Skull Castle to bring Wily to justice.
The gameplay works just like the first game, except it features two skill levels (the only MM title to do so): Normal and Difficult, where the enemies take more hits to defeat. Before he can face Dr. Wily, Mega Man must first defeat the eight Robot Masters, meaning he has to take down Heat Man, Flash Man, Air Man, Bubble Man, Crash Man, Metal Man, Wood Man and Quick Man, and he can challenge the eight stages in any order. In each stage Mega Man has to blast his way through an army of lesser robots and overcome many obstacles before he can do battle with the Robot Master at the end of the stage. Each time he beats a robot boss, he gets the boss's special power to use against the various foes he goes up against. The Robot Masters have a weakness against a certain weapon, so with the right weapon you can dust them easily. In addition to the special weapons, Dr. Light will help out by giving you one of three helpful Items after you complete certain stages: a levitation platform, a jet sled, and a wall walker. This game introduced several features to the series, such as the Energy (E) Tank that refills your energy when you need it. This was also the first MM title to have a password feature, letting you save you progress without having to start over each time you boot up the cartridge. After all eight Robot Masters are defeated, Mega Man gets to enter the six stages of Wily's Skull Castle for the final showdown. However the dememneted Doc has saved some of his best surprises for last.
The graphics are excellent, miles about the original MM. Most of the characters look great and have good details on them, especially the larger foes you face. The stages are a lot more detailed than the first game, and many of them have have cool background effects, such as the clouds in Air Man's stage or the waterfalls in Bubble Man's level. There is quite a bit of flicker that occurs when too many sprites bunch up, though. The games music is also well done. Each of the stages features a great background theme that fits the level and is fun to listen to. The themes for Quick Man and Flash Man stages are especially good. The sound effects are nice but nothing special.
The game controls work very well and aren't stiff at all. It's easy to move around and dodge obstacles and projectiles. Using the special weapons is also no problem, especially the Metal Blade, which can be fired in eight directions. Mega Man does tend to slide a little bit, which can throw you off at times. This can be a problem on narrow platforms, but for the most part it's not too bad.
Mega Man II features solid run 'n gun gameplay that's easy to play and very addictive to boot. There's also an element of strategy, as you have to figure out the bosses' patterns and weaknesses instead of just firing rapidly. The game's overall challenge level is pretty good and a LOT less frustrating than the original, with better stage layouts and fewer annoying enemies who fight relentlessly. Some may find the game to be a little too easy, so the two difficulty settings are a nice feature; the Normal setting is good for beginners while the Difficult mode wile give MM vets a good workout without getting too hard. (The passwords you get work the same in both modes.) There are still a couple of scenes that might frustrate you, but thankfully they're not as numerous as in MM1.
It's easy to see why Mega Man II launched the Blue Bomber into superstardom, as this is another great cartridge from Capcom, and tons better than the first game. Everything about this cart from the graphics to the controls are top-notch, and the game itself is definetly classic Mega Man at its finest. Many players have hailed this version as one of the best in the series; indeed few of the later entries were able to top this one. This game is also great for beginners who never played a Mega Man game before. Overall Mega Man II is a stellar chapter in the saga and without a doubt a must-play for all Mega-fans!
- Review posted on August 24, 2006