Review by Rowan110
"Sadly Unfinished, Unpolished, and Unremarkable"
Megaman Legends 1 was one of the first games I got for the original Playstation, and I absolutely loved it as a kid. Everything from the art style, the voice acting, and the gameplay was just spot on. Essentially it played like an Ocarina of Time clone, but a very good one with a great sense of humor. However, if you also enjoyed the first one and are looking for more of the same, you may want to stay away from the sequel. More of the same? Yeah, a little bit...but around ever corner lurks disappointment, which will likely leave you feeling rather empty after each playing session.
First things first, let's talk about the GOOD stuff. And there is good stuff to be found here, which is why ultimately it's so sad that the developers didn't have the time or the interest to make a complete version of the game. The voice acting is quite good, which was one of the high points of the original. Corny at times, sure, but all in keeping with the general atmosphere. Megaman's voice has been changed to a more girly sounding one (it doesn't help that his first appearance in the game is wearing an apron an carrying a tray of fresh baked cookies!), but this isn't a huge gripe. Roll does most of the talking, since the "Gramps" character is rarely talked to throughout much of the game. She's good at the role, but as we'll see later there are still problems with incompleteness. Sounds in general are also good, though recycled from the first game, so no extra points there.
Finally, the characters themselves are MOSTLY well thought out and fun. Reading Roll's diary is cool, interacting with Tron Bonne is always a blast, and most of the townspeople and such are interesting enough. There's even a mayor of one town who is WAY too attractive for a polygonal figure...it kind of creeps me out. But unfortunately, there are a load of new recurring opponents who serve no real purpose and have little backstory. A clan of robotic ducks with a leader who's barely introduced before he disappears again, sans any kind of personality; random "pirates" who follow familiar archetypes but don't really follow through. I found myself missing the familiar rhythm of the first game where the Bonne's were the driving villains despite their lovability, each encounter with them bringing on a new, bigger and more clever robot opponent.
And here we start to get a glimpse into the incompleteness of the game. Characters are inserted at random, as if developers didn't have time to flesh them out or debate which should be included in the final version. We don't really get attached to anyone except Tron, and most of her appeal is leftover from the original game's antics. And even Roll has become somewhat annoying, as she is less helpful than in the original game (you can't call her to have the support car drive up instantly...why TAKE OUT a useful feature like this???), yet is always asking you for money to buy useless things like a new TV or refrigerator for the Flutter. I kid you not, if you're trying to do everything there is to in the game you will end up buying a ton of boring appliances for your home, rather than cool stuff from dungeons or whatever you might find in a BETTER game. Ideas seem to have been few and far between, and the result is a boring hodge-podge of randomness.
Now how about the gameplay? That's what we REALLY care about, right? Well, sorry to disappoint you, but it is even more lacking than the rest. The enemies that are recycled from the first game are generally "broken" in some way so as to make them less fun. The little buggers who always skate around trying to hit you are smaller and more annoying to target...the shielded enemies take longer to kill because they have such a long recovery time between hits. And the targeting system makes matters worse by always firing right where the enemy WAS a second ago...it's essentially useless for moving targets, whereas in the first game it would lead them for you a bit. Flying enemies? Impossible to hit without manual targeting, which seems more sluggish and inaccurate than in the first game. You'll find yourself hiding and using cheap tactics more and more to deal with these inadequacies.
The new enemies also tend to be a nuisance. Many are too short to hit without using the target button, which serves no purpose but to annoy you. Others just spam bullets everywhere with such reckless abandon and randomness that they can't be taken on in a fair fight. And you might be asking, "Well what about your special weapons"? What indeed. Most of the time you can't even use them, because A) you need to carry the Drill Arm around with you to get through walls, and B) you'll have the Vacuum Arm on the rest of the time so you don't have to go around picking up money manually. Yes, these were both features in the first game, but they're handled so poorly here as to work totally differently. You don't find good items in dungeons anymore, so money is at much more of a premium so you can go the store and BUY everything. Dungeons are a lot smaller, so if there are 2 walls to drill through, that's 2 rooms out of maybe 10 that you can't access without carrying around the damn Drill.
Did you hear that right? Dungeons are SMALLER? Damn straight, some are downright tiny. Since they don't even have any useful items for the most part (MAYBE 1, 2 at the most in the larger ones), you might as well skip the random ones and just do the 4 "Main" dungeons twice over to get the extra cash you'd find. Nothing's more annoying than going down a long, enemy filled hallway only to find a chest with "5000 Zenny!" in it, rather than something cool to attach to your blaster arm. Seriously, why not just put the items that the stores sell IN those chests? That would make the game better right there. I remember finding tons of ph4t l3wt in the original game, and that made exploring the lower levels of those dungeons FUN. Something that's hard to come by here.
So maybe I've rambled on a bit too much, but I think you can see the point. If you're absolutely desperate for more of the formula MML1 gave you, by all means give this a try. You'll have a little fun in the beginning before encountering all the same problems I've described. But you'll probably be mad at yourself for even trying the game every time you run into a random dead end in a small dungeon that serves NO PURPOSE but to fill up the map. You'll roar in frustration when you realize that the "Auto-Nav" option ISN'T a quick travel feature (which would be sorely appreciated with the long loading times and large, featureless landscapes to cover), but just puts a big ugly arrow on your screen showing you where you already know you're headed. Please just save yourself the agony, and find a better Zelda clone. Or better yet, pull out the first game and enjoy it all over again...that one was good.
Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 07/27/09
Game Release: Mega Man Legends 2 (US, 10/24/00)
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