Mega Man 2 (1988)

Mega Man 2

 

Mega Man Review

Mega Man 2 is a 1988 platform game published by Capcom for NES. It is a sequel to a classic 1987’s ‘Mega Man’ and is usually regarded as the best in the franchise for a bunch of good reasons.

The gameplay is absolutely amazing. It takes the concept from the original and even takes it to higher levels. You have the level select option which is absolutely spectacular. But what takes it to the next level is Dr. Willy’s fortress which is the last level or a world of levels to be exact. And what is there to say except that it is probably the finest finale ever in a video game, or at least one of the best. You have to defeat each of his henchmen: Air Man, Bubble Man, Metal Man etc. And when you defeat all of them, you arrive to this villain’s fortress. There awaits you not only another six levels, but also you have to beat all of his henchmen once again in order to progress to Dr. Willy afterwards. It is amazing, it was literally the hardest time ever I’ve had with a video game, it took me one whole evening to finish the last levels and bosses. It is one of the hardest games I have ever played, even more difficult than the original or even ‘Super Meat Boy’.

I like in the ending not only how difficult it is, but also how Mega Man 2 finishes off with a story, unlike its predecessor which was my chief complaint there. The story is simplistic, but it works for this genre perfectly and I like all the powers, fighting styles and designs of all the bosses. Those attributes distinguish them wonderfully. But what is even more amazing than the presence of a story and excellent design is definitely the incorporation of power-ups. Unlike ‘Mega Man‘, this video game lets you obtain a weapon’s power of each of the bosses you meet. And those powers later on have to be used in Dr. Willy’s fortress in the levels which cannot be finished without them. And although it makes it a bit too hard and convoluted, it is still a masterful feature deftly executed, especially for such an old game.

My only complaint here is the uneven difficulty which is present even more than in the original. Yes, it is great that the last level is so difficult and powerful, but it is still a bit too much, making it exceedingly frustrating to finish it. But the problem is how before that, I literally thought the game was too easy which just goes to show how uneven it is, starting easy and then suddenly going incredibly hard. And the final fight was too easy and compared to the previous bosses, Dr. Willy was too easy to beat. But those are just minor flaws that don’t prevent this game from reaching a masterpiece status in my opinion.

The level design is once again superb with at times seemingly impossible scenarios which is a testament to the makers’ great feel. And visually, Mega Man 2 is terrific. It never improved too much from the first one and it can be too garish at times, but the graphics are still excellent with some terrific character design, weapon design and a superb attention to detail. And the music is very good, but not quite on the level ofMega Man. It may seem like I too much compare it negatively to the original, but in those technical aspects, the original is better, but just slightly. However, more importantly, this is still a bit better video game in my opinion as it is more difficult and way too memorable and authentic with a lot of excellent choices you get to have.

With amazing level design, great incorporation of a story, different styles and weapons of the bosses and a terrific finale with a set of powerful levels, incredibly frustrating fights and a memorable conclusion, Mega Man 2 may be a bit weaker technically when compared to its predecessor, but it is still in substance a better game with so much more options at display here and a difficulty level which is just incredible. It is undoubtedly a masterpiece, an eternal classic and one of the finest platformers ever made.

My Rating – 4,9

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