Review by Psycho Penguin
"Every intitution fails to find its way."
Enough already, Capcom.
I somehow managed to pick up a copy of Mega Man 2 for Game Boy a month ago, and I just sat down and played it for a few hours. The sentence typed above this paragraph were the exact words that came out of my mouth after I turned it off. It's absolutely amazing Capcom did not go out of business with the amount of Mega Man crap they produced. The NES games were fine, the SNES games (X series) were fine, etc. But they made SO many remakes of games that didn't need to be remade.
There, I got my one paragraph of ranting and raving out of the way. Mega Man 2 for Game Boy is not a BAD game, don't get me wrong. It's just not terribly original, and the boss selection was poor. See, Mega Man 2 is just a remake of Mega Mans 2 and 3 for NES. Capcom took 4 bosses from each Mega Man in their GB games.. hence the 5 GB games and 6 NES games. The problem is, they took the wrong bosses too much, and this game is no exception. Of the 16 bosses they had to choose from, they chose Air, Wood, Clash (Clash? WFT?), Metal, Hard, Top, Needle, and Magnet.
I liked some of these bosses, like Metal Man and Top Man, but the boss selection was still poor, and I don't get exactly why they renamed Crash Man to Clash Man. Was Capcom sued by the Incredible Crash Test Dummies or something? Well, anyways, onto the actual game, and it's just like any other Mega Man game. The stages are pretty much identical from the NES games with some changes. You will be surprised with how similar the stages are, but Capcom actually spent some time to change little things here and there to make the stages seem fresh.
Air Man's stage, for instance, now appears to be longer, and has more big headed creatures and screens. Wood Man's stage has more of those fire breathing cats and is harder, and Magnet Man's stage also has lots of little improvements. The stages definitely feel fresh, but the bosses still act the same, and the enemies are still stupid, and that's a little disappointing. It is fun to finally be able to slide in Mega Man 2's stages, though. I think that was the best part about the game, now being able to slide underneath that damn fire the fire breathing cats in Wood Man's stage spit out at you.
Another thing I disliked, though, was the fact you had to fight the 4 Mega Man 2 bosses and beat all of them before fighting the 4 Mega Man 3 bosses. Why can't I fight all 8 at one time? I guess the Game Boy cartridge (or screen, I haven't determined it yet) couldn't handle a screen with 8 robot masters on it. However, that's what scrolling up and down is for, or even right and left. Plus, I disliked how the names didn't show up under the bosses in the stage select screen. Sure, it's a minor nitpick, but it's still something I feel should be addressed. It made it feel like even less of a Mega Man game.
So, the game has an odd blend of bad and good points that makes it pretty average in terms of gameplay. The stages are longer and more varied, but everything else just falls flat, and the stages no longer feel as fun. I get the feeling of ''deja vu'' a lot. Why couldn't they have just made new bosses or new stages for the bosses? I get that they were trying to sell games, but why would I want to play the same stages and bosses I already faced many times before? The portable element has nothing to do with it, because I never have a pankering to conquer Top Man's stage when in the car listening to DMX on my CD player, I can assure you.
The controls are better then decent, though. Mega Man still doesn't have the ability to charge his weaponry up all the way, so it's still just simple bullets, but the ability to slide in Mega Man 2 stages was a definite welcome addition. Plus, the control layout seemed perfect. I would like to note that I played this game on the Game Boy Advance, and have never played it on the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, or GBA SP, but it controls just fine on the Game Boy Advance, so I am going to assume it controls well on the other systems, as well. The control layout is logically, and despite the lack of the mega buster, it still has fine controls.
The graphics are pretty much like they were in the NES games, but slightly dumbed down for the translation. The lack of background designs is a definite disappointment. No longer do you get the unique flavor of the stages, instead replaced with drab and dreary white screens and poorly placed designs. The enemies look the same for the most part, but the game just seems too boring now. One of the best things about the Mega Man series is the unique look of the stages, and Mega Man 2 for Game Boy has none of that. The energy bar and lives is now in a line on the bottom of the screen, instead of on the side, which was alright. The game just looks dreary and mediocre, which is a definite disappointment.
The thing that pissed me off most about this game was the shoddy music Capcom used to replace the classic music in the NES games. I understand that perhaps the Game Boy couldn't handle the MIDI sounds of the complex and advances NES, but there's no need to replace classics songs as Magnet Man, Top Man, and Metal Man with the garbage Capcom decided to include. Every song sounds almost the same, and has none of that unique appeal or flavor. Magnet Man's song sounds like a magnet is being attached to the game boy and frying the insides of it, for instance. I don't get it. Plus, the sound effects are pretty stupid, as well. I don't like the sounds at all, and I was sorely disappointed.
There is absolutely no reason you should play this game for more than 5 minutes, and chances are, you wouldn't want to. I hated playing through it, and I seriously doubt I will ever play it again. The stage designs are drab and boring, and the music is so horrible that you will wonder why this game was even made. There's no secrets, and there's no fun in fighting 4 bosses at a time. With so many portable Mega Man games out there now, I seriously doubt you will ever find yourself wanting to play this one.
Plus, this game is beyond easy. It is possible to beat it without dying if you felt like it. The enemies take away less damage then usual, and the stage designs are just custom made for lack of challenge. The bosses all have the same patterns as before and can all be beat using the Mega Buster. The final stages are beyond easy, and Dr. Wily may be the most anticlimatic final boss of all time. I mean, I beat him without even getting hit. I was sorely disappointed with the challenge, but I kind of expecting it, seeing as how Mega Man 2 is the easiest NES game of all time, as well.
It's official... every intitution fails to find its way. That's a line from a great song I'm listening to right now, and kind of fits this game perfectly. Capcom obviously had this idea to release Mega Man games for Game Boy. That was a terrific idea, and I'm sure they had good intentions. However, I didn't appreciate them wasting my time (and money) with a shoddy port of a good and great Mega Man game. Making the stages somewhat dumber and easier and putting horrible music in them isn't exactly my idea of a fun walk in the park. I know you can do better than this, Capcom, and I hope that the next 3 games in the series are better than this. (I hear the original is worse, so I refuse to buy it). We shall see, but for now, it's fair to label me as disappointed with Mega Man 2.
No wonder everyone always complains about the Mega Man series and Capcom: they deserves it sometimes.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 06/22/03, Updated 06/22/03
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