After the moderate success of the first Mega Man, Capcom went back to work on creating a sequel. The sequel would become the best selling Mega Man game on the original Nintendo, selling over 1.5 million copies when it released on December 24th, 1988. What makes Mega Man 2 superior to its predecessor? Let’s get that upgrade and launch into this Mega Man 2 review!
Mega Man 2 Plot:
The Mega Man series has never been big on changing up the formula or the plot, so as I review them you can expect the plots to revolve around Dr. Wily and his dream of world domination. After showing mercy to Dr. Wily during the closing events of Mega Man 1, Dr. Wily begins plotting his revenge. The first Mega Man, Dr. Wily planted a virus into Dr. Light’s robot masters turning them evil. This time, Dr. Wily decides he is better off constructing his own robot masters and creates Wood Man, Bubble Man, Crash Man, Air Man, Metal Man, Flash Man, Quick Man, and Heat Man. Dr. Wily also needs a new base of operations so he constructs a secret base and begins creating smaller robots and send them off to destroy the city with each robot master overseeing a portion of Dr. Wily’s robotic army.
Dr. Light calls upon Mega Man to clean up the mess that Dr. Wily has started. He defeats the eight robot masters and heads to Dr. Wily’s fortress to take on the mad scientist. The fortress is full of booby-traps and more killer robots but Mega Man makes it through and faces off against a flying alien. After defeating it, it’s revealed that Dr. Wily controlled the alien which was a hologram. Dr. Wily begs for mercy and Mega Man grants him it. A mistake that he will do over and over.
Mega Man 2 Gameplay:
Mega Man 2 is an upgrade in every sense. I noticed right away that the background of each level looks more sophisticated with gears turning, clouds covering the stage, water raining down and other small details that showcase the effort that went into crafting the stages. The enemies seem to be a bit more advanced too. It’s not just small enemies popping up from the ground and shooting pellets. You’ll have robot birds dropping eggs with dozen of tiny birds buzzing around you, giant fish unleashing swarms of shrimp on you or roosters that sprint. Each level has unique enemies, and you better prepare yourself and learn their patterns. If I was going to complete my Mega Man 2 review, I was going to have to practice!
Enemies were not the biggest threat of death to me in Mega Man 2. I can’t count how many times I cursed out loud or wanted to throw my controller down when the jumping sequences came. The disappearing blocks come back from the original which are a headache. It requires memorization, not skill. If you don’t jump at the right time you’ll land in lava or fall off a cliff. The toughest section by far was getting to the ladders that were too high up to jump to. After beating the robot masters you’ll get a few cool weapons from Dr. Light. You’ll get a helicopter board, a rocket surfboard and another small board that hoovers up. I must have tried 25 times to collectively shoot my helicopter boards in just the right location and jump across them to the ladder on the ceiling. It frustrated me so much that I had to take a break, but after coming back to it I was able to jump to the ladder on my first try.
Mega Man 2 in my humble opinion is easier than Mega Man because of how generous they are with replenishing your health bar. I’m not complaining in this Mega Man 2 review, I’m very thankful for that because without it, Mega Man 2 would be near impossible for me to beat. The robot masters weren’t too difficult to beat, especially when you had the correct weapon to take them down. Heat Man, Bubble Man, Metal Man, and Wood Man are generally easy. I had the toughest fights against Crash Man and Air Man.
The Wily stages are short but challenging, and the final Dr. Wily fights can be difficult as he shoots bouncing balls at you while you must be high enough to shoot him in his tank. The alien fight was the easiest but after slugging through his fortress, I didn’t mind an easier opponent.
Lots of gamers praise Mega Man 2 for its music, and while it’s better than the original, I don’t think much of it. The overall improvement comes from the gameplay and environments in my opinion.
With Dr. Wily’s defeat, you get some colorful credits with Mega Man working toward you. In the end, he places his helmet down in a grassy field. I always have enjoyed those small cut scenes in old video games, something about the simplicity pleases me. Mega Man would need that helmet however as Dr. Wily would soon be back.
Like the original Mega Man, I snuck Mega Man 2 into work when I was in college. My coworker and I would play it on my laptop as we “worked” in our private office. Mega Man 2 was so fun and we were able to beat it within a week. I’ve gone back to Mega Man 2 over the years and beat it a few times. I don’t know why either because it’s one of the games that know how to piss me off with those stupid timed jumps and disappearing blocks.
Mega Man 2 Review Score:
Mega Man 2 is superior to Mega Man 1, that much almost everyone agrees on, but is it the best on the Nintendo? That’s a tough choice and I’ll have to replay the other four games to determine that. For now, Mega Man 2 is a huge upgrade to the original. The blue bomber’s popularity really took off afterward.
Mega Man 2 scores an 8.2 out of 10.
What would you write in your Mega Man 2 review? When were you introduced to the Mega Man series? Who was your favorite Robot Master in the second game? What’s the most frustrating part of Mega Man 2? Let me know your thoughts and memories, I’d love to read them!
If you want to own Mega Man 2 for the Nintendo, you can purchase a preowned copy on eBay between $15-$30.