Review by Ender

"Every bit as good as the original"

Ah, the joy of sequels. The simple idea of continuing the story of an original work is ingenious. In design it is supposed to not only give people what they loved about the original but it’s supposed to give them more. It’s supposed to push boundaries the original never pushed go places it could never go. Sounds great doesn’t it? Isn’t sad that’s not always the case? Sequels rarely live up to the original and even worse too many sequels can kill the fun of the original.

I’m sure that many are tired of Mega Man by now. It’s been given sequels like there is no tomorrow. And yes, Mega Man was starting to get stale. Then something came along that revived Mega Man. Something that made it fresh again. That was Mega Man X. A game that took us into the future of the original series starting out with a new cast including a new robot based on Mega Man, a Mega Man 2.0 if you will; Mega Man X. Now we have a sequel to that game. Is it as good as the original? Does it kill the fun? I’m happy to say that that is not the case with Mega Man X 2. While it doesn’t manage to surpass the original it manages to be an equal to it. And that’s a good thing.

Our slightly more story heavy game begins six months after the events of the original. Maverick activity has been detected in an abandoned warehouse and our hero, X, is sent out to hunt down the leaders and put an end to it. But this time the hunter becomes the hunted as this new group of Mavericks formed of loyalists to Sigma is watching X’s every move and plans to destroy him. If your any fan of these games you should be able to tell by looking at the summary above that this is not an average Mega Man story.

While the story is different from the Mega Man games of the past the game play really isn’t. X2 sticks with the idea of being able to play any of the eight levels, that features a mean boss waiting at the end, in any order; but there is any order to go in to make it the easiest for you as each boss will give a special weapon after beating them, that also happens to be another bosses weakness. X2 also keeps the new ideas that were introduced in the original game. The dash feature is there as is the wall-climbing feature. You start out with little health but can gain more by collecting heart tanks. Capsules with new armor that give all new special abilities are hidden in four levels. Basically most every game play element that was a part of the original makes a return appearance here. But there are some new elements this time around. A new hover bike vehicle (along with a new model of the originals robot armor) makes an appearance; hidden bosses have been added, bosses gain more abilities after losing a certain amount of health among other things round out the additions to this game.

Sound wise the game is pretty much on par with the original. The sound effects sound just as good as they did in the original. The music is also quite good it has a slightly more electronic feel to it but still manages to rock as much as the originals did. I’m slightly disappointed that the sound and music test options in the options menu were removed as they allow one to listen to the music and sound separated from the game which I believe allows for better judging of it but really that’s more of a nitpick.

Graphically X2 manages to surpass the original title with a little help from the C4 chip. The game is clean looking, the bosses feature more detail, and the levels and background details have been expanded upon. Probably the most interesting addition is that of 3D wire frame bosses. They look interesting and stand out from everything else since they look so different.

All in all X2 is a nice sequel that does just what a sequel should do. It expands upon the original while keeping all that was good about it too. Mega Man X2 rates a 9 out of 10.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 09/14/01, Updated 02/24/04

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