Mega Man II
Review by Will Matson
|Note: At the end, I give some tips to help people get through the
game. If you don't like spoilers, don't view them.
Of all the Mega Man games I played, Mega Man 2 for the NES remains the best. I got it back when it first came out. To this day, it is one of the few NES games I can put in and play over and over again all day long.
For those who don't know, the Mega Man games feature the hero Mega Man. Mega Man, at least in the NES games, goes around in several worlds destroying a robot master at the end of each one. A villain named Dr. Wily is always behind everything and he waits for you at the end. Mega Man uses different tools to help him on his quest, including weapons he gets from destroying each robot. The robots in Mega Man 2 include:
Metal Man, Flash Man, Crash Man, Heat Man, Quick Man, Air Man, Wood Man, Bubble Man. This was before Capcom got desperate and resorted to names like Tomahawk Man or better yet, begging fans to help them decide.
The graphics looked great at the time on the NES. You can't ask for a game on that system to look much better than this. I left the score at a 9 because there are some NES games, including later Mega Man titles, which brought that little extra oomph out of the machine. The backgrounds and characters look great. I wish that Heat Man's stage could have been dressed up a bit but there isn't much to complain about. It is a very nice touch that you can go behind the clouds in Air Man's stage. Most game companies would have ignored it and Mega Man would drift by without going behind them. Capcom really put in a great effort here.
The soundtrack and sound effects, again, are great in Mega Man 2. My favorites are the Quick Man stage, the frantic music when you face each robot master and the Wood Man stage. Cool sound effects include Mega Man's gun, the lasers in the Quick Man stage and also the blocks quickly busting out of the wall during the Heat Man stage as you ride by on the jet sled. This was a 9 again because I have heard other great NES soundtracks besides this one.
The gameplay in Mega Man 2 is top notch, hence the 10 score. In regards to challenge, the game is the easiest out of the whole Mega Man series, which has led to criticism. However, it is fair enough that anybody can be challenged. Novices will be put to the test on the Regular (Easy) mode while experts can tackle the Hard Mode. The control is great and the interface is quite simple.
It is convenient when you want to change weapons or use energy pills. Anybody can pick up this game and start playing, it's that easy to figure out. The tough part, though, is making it through. The password system isn't as bad in most games either. The passwords are short and not that hard to remember. The only bad parts here is first: some light slowdown and flicker when a lot of stuff is going on at once. In the defense of Mega Man 2, a lot of NES games experienced that same fate. Secondly, even though there are eight robot masters and a large Dr. Wily stage, a veteran of this game can blow through it in no time flat.
This is one of the best games ever released on the NES or any system. It is also available on the original Game Boy However, I have never tried it so I don't know if it is changed from this one. This is a significant improvement over the first game. The first game was just the tip of the iceberg and is recognized for being a bit difficult. The games following Mega Man II lacked the creativity of this game, although there were some new innovations here and there in each one. For you young 'punks' who only have knowledge of Capcom through the Resident Evil style games, this is something from their previous years.
Here is the order I battle the robots in. While it may not be the easiest path, it ensures that you will recover every single hard-to-reach energy tank that is available. Lots of people recommend tackling Metal Man first, but you miss out on an energy tank and extra live. It also will help you win some extra lives, if you play your cards right.
1. Wood Man- While it is much easier to have Metal Man's or Heat Man's weapon, tough it out with Mega Man's standard gun. It can be a little tough but you can do it :) This is probably the hardest stage, just because you don't have any special weapons. Also, there aren't a lot of enemies here but the ones that are in this stage are tough.
2. Air Man- Stay in one spot and use the wood shield on the falling birds, which regenerate, over and over again to collect extra lives. You'll know what spot. Plus, you can use the Jet Sled, which I think is obtained here, to get energy tanks and other hard to reach stuff in other worlds. Wood Man's weapon works well on Air Man but it is a little slow. The Mega Gun (Mega Man's standard gun) works well, although it takes a while to wear him down.
3. Metal Man- Metal Man's weapon is one of the best in the game, even though it doesn't faze some enemies. It uses very little weapon energy. Use the jet sled to get a couple hard to reach items, one of which is an energy tank you have to jump down to get. The other item, I think, is an extra live which is on top of a tall ledge. You can gain extra lives by hanging around and destroying a lot of regenerating screws. Use the Mega Gun on Metal Man, but he moves fast.
4. Bubble Man- Metal Man's weapon works well here. Use the Metal Blade on the lobsters which regenerate. If you hang around long enough, you can gain some extra lives. Use the Metal Blade (Metal Man's weapon) on Bubble Man.
5. Crash Man- Try to avoid coming here without the Metal Blade. It works well when you are climbing ladders and have enemies coming from all sides. Use the Air Gun (Air Man) on Crash. Also, use the jet sled, if needed, to get a hard to reach item. When climbing the ladder, stay on the right.
6. Flash Man- Use the Crash Bomber (Crash Man) to break down walls for shortcuts or to get at items. Use the Metal Blade on Flash Man.
7. Heat Man- Use the Crash Bomber to make it easier to get around, without having to depend on the dangerous blocks as much. Use the Jet Sled to get over the lava pit. Use Bubble Man's weapon on Heat Man.
8. Quick Man- Use one of the elevators in your collection to get to the hard to reach items here. Use the Time Stopper to make it through the laser beams. Use the Time Stopper, if you have any left, on Quick Man or the Mega Gun.
As for Dr. Wily, you can make it on your own.
For people who want arguably the easiest route through the game, although you will miss out on hard-to-reach extras, and also the chance to do some light exploring (in the Flash Man stage). Here goes, in this order.
Metal Man, Flash Man, Bubble Man, Wood Man, Air Man, Crash Man, Heat Man, Quick Man.
GOOD WEAPONS TO USE ON EACH ROBOT ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Metal Man: Mega Gun or Metal Blade (you can use the latter the second time you face him, near the end of the game)
Air Man: Wood Man (for quick damage) or Mega Gun (for easier aim)
Flash Man: Metal Blade
Wood Man: Metal Blade or better yet, a fully charged Heat Gun (Heat Man's weapon), although it is very rare that anyone would actually tackle Heat Man before Wood Man. So use the Heat Gun against 'Woody' when you face him again near the end of the game. To charge Heat Man's weapon, hold down the fire button (B, on an NES controller), the longer you hold it down, the stronger your shot.
Bubble Man: Metal Blade
Crash Man: Air Man's weapon
Quick Man: Time Stopper then Mega Gun. I'm told by a friend that the Air Gun may work on him as well but I've never tried it personally.
Heat Man: Bubble lead
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