The game that launched the franchise!
No, I am not mistaken. This is not only one of the best Mega Man games made, it is one of the best video games ever made.
"This reviewer lies," you say. "Never did such grace touch the Earth."
This is because you weren't there when the game originally came out. At the time, when you (or any of my friends when they came over) played Mega Man 2, the reaction was, "OH MY GOODNESS!! THIS GAME IS TOO GOOD!!" It is so charming that I would recommend this game to anyone who wants to experience the Mega Man universe.
So why was this game so darn good? Well, it took the strengths of Mega Man, made them better, cut out the bad stuff, added a password, and was extremely consistent with it.
Although it wasn't a save feature, it did allow the player to stop anywhere in the game and resume. The password would remember what bosses you defeated, how many energy tanks you had, and if you got the special items.
-8 Robot Masters-
The original Mega Man only had 6 levels and bosses. Now there were 8!
-Immersive and unique levels-
Each level was oh so very different, had its own theme, and its own twist in the gameplay. Let's go through them:
Bubble Man (The stage starts you off battling robotic frogs over waterfalls. For the rest of the stage, you are underwater where your jump capability shoots you to the top of the screen! Unfortunately, there are spikes on top of the ceiling so you must be careful. Mega Man battles a fun variety of aquatic themed robots from shrimp to giant fish.)
Air Man (As you would expect, this stage takes place in the skies. Flying enemies are constant and they are mostly robotic birds. At the end, you move through taking over Zeus-imitating robots' flying platforms.)
Quick Man (There are only a couple of enemies in this stage. This is the strangest stage in the game and, indeed, it emphasizes 'quickness'. Beams of light would fast shoot from the sides of the screen and you had to move through the area as fast before they would connect as one touch will kill you. You jump, fall quickly as you rush to keep ahead of the beams.)
Heat Man (For most of the stage, you battle fire monsters and hop over lava. The latter part of the stage returns Mega Man 1's dreaded appearing platforms. However, these are much less frustrating this time. You must hop from appearing platform to appearing platform across a LONG area of lava.)
Wood Man (Ahh, the most innocent of levels. Robotic chickens, bunnies, bats, gorillas, among others appear here. The level goes through a forest, goes underground, and returns to the forest again. This is as close to a *normal* level you can get.)
Metal Man (The infamous Metal Man stage!! The entire level is composed of moving belts that either push you faster in the direction you want to go, or pushes you in the wrong direction which you must struggle to outrun. The vertical flying drills and the dropping weighted spikes also add nicely to the level, as do the clownish robots on giant gears. This level is genius.)
Flash Man (This level is all ice letting Mega Man slide around. What is unique about it is that there are multiple paths through this level, some featuring nice item rewards avoiding some enemies while others do not.)
Crash Man (Crash Man's stage is completely vertical. You start at the bottom and go up, and up, and up. You must ride lots of platforms and ladders to get to the top. Thankfully, this stage is no where near as insane as Gutsman stage was.)
-Very Useful Boss Weapons-
In Mega Man 1, some of the boss weapons weren't too useful or practical. Gutsman's strength? Even Cutman's weapon wasn't too useful.
Each weapon in Mega Man 2 (except for bubble man and flash man) is extremly practical. Quickman's shortrange boomerangs give small range, fast attacks. Heat Man's fire ball could be held down and released, unleashing a larger fireball! Metal Man's blade was the best weapon of the game as you could throw it in 8 directions around you. Woodman's circular leaf attack could be used as a type of 'shield'. Airman's tornadoes could get those annoying enemies on the ceiling. The weapons were very practical and are used throughout the game more than the other Mega Man titles.
In addition to getting weapons from each boss, three bosses gave you an extra item. These were not weapons but were used by Mega Man to overcome obstacles. One is a platform that climbs walls. Another is a jet sled. And a third is a flying platform. These were required in several puzzle like areas of Wily's Castle.
This game is very... HAPPY. The music is very strong and draws you in. The graphics are very cartoonish, colorful, and shiny. The game never gets frustratingly hard (unlike Mega Man 1. Those who complain about Quickman's stage are wimps.) The sound effects are very crisp. But more important the game stays consistant. The game stays fun throughout the very beginning to the very end, never losing momentum. While Mega Man 1 became a cult classic, Mega Man 2 turned into a red hot blockbuster. It is the game that launched the Mega Man franchise.
Surprisingly little. There could have been more instances in the game when Flash Man's weapon was more useful. I really liked how they made Bubble Man's weapon useful by having it detect trapdoors (you would watch the bubbles fall into the spikes).
The game has quite a bit of content, yet you wish there was more because it was so good. There is nothing wrong with this title.
The Bottom Line
Just as some games reach a practical 'perfect' status such as Super Mario Brothers 3, Mega Man 2 reaches it with its consistant colorful fun that never wanes throughout the game.People argue that Mega Man 3 is superior. It may be, but it cannot be debated that Mega Man 2 is the most charming of Mega Man titles.