Mega Man 2 – NES
Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System
Release Date (NA): July 1989
Nerd Rating: 8 out of 10
Reviewed by FrozenMallet
First there was Mega Man for the NES. That set the series in motion, but Mega Man 2… This was when the series really hit its stride. While the gamers of the time were mostly apathetic about the Blue Bomber’s debut, everyone was talking about this game. I remember the playground debates on which robot master was the coolest, who could defeat who in a fight, and of course what the best order was to complete the robot masters in.
Mega Man 2 takes everything from the first game and expands on it, even the story. The plot is exactly the same except that no one is shocked Dr. Wiley is doing something evil. After the events of the first Mega Man, Dr. Wiley builds a new evil fortress and builds eight more evil robots so he can be evil and take over the world. Once again Dr. Light sends out his creation, Mega Man, to take down the evil robots and eventually Dr. Wiley himself. Presumably to throw Dr. Wiley in prison or blow his head off or at the very least kick him in the balls.
The difficulty level has dropped dramatically this time around. Mega Man 2 is arguably the easiest of the Mega Man games on the NES. Not only are the stages themselves much more manageable but there has been some additions to the game to cushion the challenge. Most notably is the new password system which displays an updated password every time a robot master has been defeated or at the game over screen. This means that it is no longer required to play through the complete game in one sitting. This was especially useful when I was a kid and mom was yelling at me to go to bed for the fourth time. Just have to hope I wrote that password down correctly.
Also new to Mega Man 2 was the E-Tank. These blue items would allow Mega Man to completely refill his health once, whenever the player chose to use it. Having a hard time with one of the robot masters? Use this item right before death and refill that health meter in the middle of the fight. Who’s breaking who’s balls now?
There were also the new items. Named Item-1, Item-2, and Item-3. These give Mega Man the ability to use platforms for a limited time. These platforms vary in direction and style. Using these platforms give the player the ability to get Mega Man to otherwise unreachable areas. This could lead to finding items like extra lives or an E-Tank. These items could also be used to get my some challenging areas. Use Item-2 to get past the disappearing blocks above the lava in Heat Man’s stage.
For the first time Mega Man would face off against eight robot masters instead of the original six. This time he would fight Air Man, Quick Man, Bubble Man, Wood Man, Flash Man, Heat Man, Metal Man, and Crash Man. Moving forward eight would become the standard number of foes for Mega Man to battle before moving on to Dr. Wiley’s castle. Just like in my Mega Man review here is my personal completion order (which is not the only one, just what I like) Metal Man, Wood Man, Air Man, Bubble Man, Crash Man, Heat Man, Flash Man, then Quick Man.
The only aspect noticeably removed from the game is the scoring system which was removed because no one gives a shit about inconsequential points.
Mega Man 2 continues the series with a strong musical score. Each robot master has it’s own unique theme. I had my son play this game for the purposes of this review. I gave him no help. I gave him no pointers. I just handed him the controller and said go. A short time later I heard him humming along to the music in Crash Man’s stage.
The graphics took a strong step forward as well. The backgrounds are much more distinct from each other than the first game and each one is a better representation of the style of each stage. For example Metal Man’s stage takes place in some kind of factory and the background has a design of moving pulleys and sprockets in the background. This time around the enemies are much more diverse and better designed. When this came out in 1989 it was impossible not to be impressed with the giant fire breathing robot dog in Wood Man’s stage. Most of the enemies have a cute, cartoony look. Then the cute robots try to destroy you. Its a lot like the idea of evil clowns except that the enemies in Mega Man 2 aren’t a stupid cliché.
In short this game is just fun to play. The controls, just like in the previous game are spot on and the stages are well designed and have a diverse feel. In my Abadox review I mentioned the Metal Blade. This is the most powerful and most useful in the game. Almost every enemy in the game will be ripped to shreds by this and it can be fired in all eight directions. Even most of the robot masters will be annihilated. Right before facing Dr. Wiley you fight all eight robot masters in row Wood Man, Bubble Man, Flash Man, even Metal Man himself cannot stand up to the Metal Blade. Metal Man himself will be destroyed with one hit.
The perfect way to describe Mega Man 2 can best be summed up by my nine year old son. When I asked him what he thought after playing the game for a while he said, “I like it. Its good.” In the end that’s all we can really ask for.
Reviewed by Frozen Mallet
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