The year is 1987 and Keiji Inafune created what would be one of the greatest action games of all time for the Nintendo Entertainment System, which gave the player the choice to tackle levels in whatever order they want. The game was praised for its tight game play mechanics and the ability to absorb boss’ skills after you defeat them. The praise that Mega Man garnered Inafune was unbelievable; especially when a year later he would release what I consider his magnum opus under the name of Mega Man 2, one of the best sequels in gaming history.
The year is 200X and Dr. Wily has created a fortress with eight robot masters to cause havoc on to the world; however, Dr. Light sends in Mega Man to save the day once again. This is usually as complex as stories would get on the Nintendo Entertainment System with certain exceptions (Ninja Gaiden, Final Fantasy, etc.). Mega Man 2 put the series on the map and had sequel after sequel releasing with tons of spin offs as well. Mega Man became an iconic video game character that many love for the game’s high difficulty, great soundtrack, and amazing layout of levels. Mega Man 2 is the definition of an amazing sequel.
Mega Man 2 perfects the formula of the first entry of the series by adding an additional two levels from the get go giving players the opportunity to choose what order the bosses get taken down; however, any Mega Man fan knows the true way to begin the game is to defeat Metal Man for his Metal Blade, which can be shot in every direction and gives the player a much needed advantage in nearly every level. Mega Man jumps and shoots from the beginning and he absorbs the skill of any boss he defeats. This mechanic is basically the series’ gimmick. This game mechanic is great as you will have an arsenal of different types of ammunition to choose from towards the end of the game, which gets brutally difficult especially if you’re a new comer to the series.
Mega Man 2 continues to look phenomenal no matter what console you choose to play it on. The major difference is the hardware’s power for each different iteration of the game, which doesn’t change the graphics but does alter the game’s way of playing as the NES version of MM2 has constant slow down when multiple enemies and shots are present on screen which makes up for some cool moments in slow motion. Not only does the game look great, the sound track is easily one of the best of all time. The opening sequence is just a taste of how amazing the game is and luckily, the game never slows down as the entirety of MM2 is a constant joy to play from beginning to end.
Mega Man 2 is the first amazing sequel in gaming history. Not only did it put Mega Man on the map, it pushed other game developers to make great action titles for the NES and it spawned off an amazing series under the name of Mega Man X which pushed the Super Nintendo Entertainment System’s limits. Mega Man might have been a good start for the blue bomber but his gain in fame came from his first sequel with awesome new boss battles to the brutally difficult Wily stages. Make sure to play Mega Man 2 in whatever way possible as it’s nearly playable on every console ever produced over the last 15 years.
*This review was written prior to playing Mega Man 2 on the Legacy Collection but it also applies to that collection as that version of the game is a perfect port of the NES version.