Following the Original Mega Man, Capcom went to work on Mega Man 2 the following year with a small staff. Mega Man 2 added a lot of new features to the Mega Man series, and is considered one of the best games, not just in the Mega Man series, not just on the NES, but of all time. That’s a damn broad statement, and I’m gonna find out how the game holds up and compares to the original.
Mega Man 2 added several new things to the Mega Man formula. First off, there are eight new robot masters in this game, compared to the six in Mega Man 1. Also, I’d like to apologize for not mentioning the Robot Masters in the previous article. The robot masters in Mega Man 1 are Bomb Man, Guts Man, Cut Man, Ice Man, Fire Man, and Elec Man. In Mega Man 2 we have Flash Man, Quick Man, Wood Man, Metal Man(who has the greatest weapon in the game), Crash Man, Heat Man, Bubble Man, and Air Man. You can pick any order to face them you want, but most people pick Metal Man first. Metal Man’s Metal Blade weapon, which you get to use once you defeat him, is incredibly powerful against almost every boss and enemy in the game, especially if you’re not playing on the American hard mode, which is the normal mode in Japan. Along with these new weapons, there are also new weapons that give Mega Man abilities, that help him through stages. There are three of these items, one that makes platforms, one that acts as a trampoline, and one as a hoverboard, all helping Mega Man get to locations he couldn’t before. Along with new items that help Mega Man get through levels, Mega Man 2 also introduces a Mega Man series stape: Energy Tanks. These Energy Tanks, or E Tanks as fans of the series call them, are found throughout the game, and when used, refill Mega Man’s health all the way back. E Tanks are very useful in boss fights, especially the ones near the end of the game. Almost all of the robot master stages are incredibly fun to play through, and I can find nothing inherently wrong with the gameplay, besides a few difficulty spikes in certain stages. Quick Man’s stage has you going through corridors very quickly with these instant death bars coming at you, and if you make one mistake, you’re dead. This is the only super hard part I can think of in the robot master stages. There is one boss in Wily Castle that contains the largest flaw in the entire game. There are barriers that need to be destroyed with Crash Bomb, but you run out of ammunition for Crash Bomb before all of them are destroyed, even if your accuracy is perfect. You have to die and get more ammo to beat this boss. That is some pretty questionable game design. Besides those two issues, I have a blast when playing Mega Man 2, and think the majority of the gameplay has held up. The controls are almost the exact same from Mega Man 1, but they fixed the momentum issue! The controls are almost perfect in Mega Man 2.
The music and graphics are also stepped up. The graphics are similar looking, but with a bit more detail in the level design and boss sprites. The music to Mega Man 2 is arguably some of the most famous video game music of all time. There are so many amazing tracks in this game, with Wily Castle 1 being the most famous track in the game, and arguably on the entire NES. The music and graphics have held up very well.
When comparing this game to Mega Man 1, Mega Man 2 is a huge step forward. Mega Man 2 removed the points system that was in Mega Man 1, fixed the momentum issue, added two more Robot Masters, making eight the standard amount, and set the standards overall for the Mega Man classic series. I would say Mega Man 2 is a much better game than Mega Man 1.
Mega Man 2, man what a game. Many say this is the best classic Mega Man game, and while I won’t say what my favorite is right now, I will say that this game is up there for my favorite. I have no issue saying that Mega Man 2 has aged very well.