Review by Shirow
"Not as good as I had thought..."
Megaman X2 is, as you've probably gathered from the title, the sequel to the innovating X which set new marks for the blue hero ! There has been much improvement over the first title but the basics are still the same and the programmers haven't changed the principle in the least.
Like in X, Megaman has the enhancement parts but this time, there are lots of them and although similar to those we were used to, they have been improved to increase the gameplay in the game. This time though, the plot is more complex than before with a lot of mean robots seeking out to destroy Megaman or as they like to put it, to see 'if he's a worthy challenger…' These are the X-Hunters and are much more difficult than the usual robots which you fight against to take their weapon.
Megaman X2 has a lot of features and tons of cool secrets. First of all, the enhancement parts which you must absolutely see for yourself. Moreover, he can now charge the bonus weapons too provided he has the required part ! And don't fret yet after seeing how low your lifebar is at the beginning of the game. There is the possibility to find heart-tanks which will cause your life to become longer and these are a real pain to the ass to obtain but you' won't ever be able to beat the game without these. There are also tons of secret passages and to make things easier, there is now the I. Tracer which will show you those hidden passages and our blue bomber can also use his helmet once it's been properly upgraded.
Things also seem to get more difficult here since you have more enemies to defeat now. The X-Hunters won't ever let you in peace and you can even take on the frightening Evil Zero if you're daring enough (and have enough time to think of a strategy too…). And Sigma is so damn cheap ! However, the game has some major flaws though and I'll just move on to show you how it fares in the different categories.
Truthfully, I was very deceived with the graphics of X2. The characters may be flashy with good sprites and as for the animation, I have nothing to say against it…But really, it could have been way better ! They're a major disapointment for someone who's played 7 beforehand and I just hope that's not your case because otherwise, you're in for a major disapointment. The special effects are kinda nice with Megaman's new weapons and his advance outfit is great but still, I have things to say here ! Firstly, the enemies and bosses are badly drawn. And no doubt, they could have been way better…Some bosses like Bubble Crab and Overdrive Ostrich are really pathetic and I wonder how Capcom did to design these awful characters. The backgrounds are no longer so colorful. Sure, they have lots of details but still could have been better.
Another bad point in the game ! Out of the whole game, the number of good themes is sadly zero. Seems like Capcom haven't been able to come up with good tunes this time. The music is simply lame and turning it off would be a very good idea indeed ! The old stage select music is still here but has been remixed and the new version is awful to say the least. Nothing better to say for the sound effects ! The effects get annoying after some time and will get on your nerves. Most sounds are not so good just like Megaman charging up for some great damage.
Well, this is Megaman and the X series, i.e. tons of weapons, secrets and bonuses to look for. Thankfully, the game has a good gameplay and the difficulty is average although some parts are damn difficult and will see you buying new joypads to replace the ones you've just broken. And trying to get everything in the game is bound to take some time specially the upgrades which will see you doing the same level over and over again. However, it seems highly unlikely that you'll feel like playing the game again twice or thrice unless you're a hardcore Megaman-player.
The game is good and is well worth the bucks but like I said earlier, it could have been much better and it has some major flaws. And you're in for a good time in any case, so just go ahead and buy it should you see this somewhere. But it wouldn't be a good choice for a newbie though…Which makes me ask : Are there still Megaman newbies in this world !? ^_^
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 07/20/01, Updated 11/09/02
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