Original Release Date: 1988
The first Megaman was a decent enough game, but it did have some troubled elements, and the game didn’t initially sell very well. As a result, there may have not been any more games for the blue bomber. Fortunately, the developers were given the opportunity to create a sequel, ironing out the flaws of the first game and expanding on the things it did well. The end result, Megaman 2, a sequel that is a big improvement over the first game and is largely considered the best game in the series.
The same basic elements of the first game return. Megaman has to overcome a series of robot masters, and to do so he must beat their respective levels. Like in the first game, the player can play the stages in any order, and obtain different powers upon beating each boss, which gives the game a lot of replayability and multiple methods of solving problems. The smooth controls return, as does the good level design and the well-paced combat.
But Megaman 2 goes above and beyond what the first game did. Instead of six robot masters, there are now eight. While the weapons in the first game were pretty good, the ones in the second game are much better. All of them are fun to use, and all of them are actively useful, though some will be used more than others. The music, which was already good in the first game, is even better, and makes playing through the game an auditory delight.
And while each of the levels have a unique aesthetic like in the first game, the actual design of the levels is much better, and much fairer. Megaman 2 removes a lot of the cheap elements from the first game, significantly reducing the amount of trial and error and leaving only fair, reasonable, and fun challenges. In addition, the game introduces some extra items to allow players more freedom in how they get around the various levels.
There are a few minor problems. The game’s graphics do show their age a bit, and there is occasional sprite flickering. Also, while the game is mostly fair, there are some bad design choices with the Wily stages. The iteration times on the Wily stages can be a bit ridiculous, and the turret boss is really not well designed, either visually or from a gameplay perspective.
Overall, Megaman 2 is an incredibly fun and memorable game that stands the test of time with flying colors.
How well it holds up 3/4
Overall quality 8/10
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