For whatever reason (youthful stupidity and ignorance, we like to think), the Mega Man games passed us by for decades. Even when we had a NES and a SNES, we somehow missed them all. Finally, about five years back, we finally got Mega Man 2 downloaded from the Wii U’s eShop. Would you believe it, the game is bloody fantastic? Well, yes, it is!
One of the legendary Capcom’s finest classics, this title hit she shelves in time for Christmas 1988 and became an immediate critical and commercial success. The series eventually spawned six games for the console in a frantic bout of creativity from Capcom, but most gamers will confirm this is the one – it’s enthralling, intense, uplifting, and it’ll always put a smile on your face.
Mega Man 2
Right, the plot. Keeping it simple (the best games always keep the plot concise), antagonist Dr. Wily has built a fortress and an army of evil bastards (including eight Robot Masters – the bosses you’ll face). Dr. Light, the creator of the robot Mega Man, sends his protagonist (you) once more into the fray to shoot stuff up a notch.
It’s standard stuff, in others words, but what Capcom did on the NES with this 2D platformer is still ahead of what many blockbuster budget modern day developers can achieve. From the confines of the limited technology, the company crafted a piece of glorious perfection.
The layout of the game is unique. You can take on any of the eight stages you want to first. Once you annihilate the end level boss, you gather the character’s power which you can then use in subsequent stages.
Let’s not waste any more time and state it here – as you’d expect from a NES game, it’s bloody difficult (if you do give it a go, the legendary disappearing blocks will mess with your mind). It’s riveting stuff, though, and one of the finest games on the NES; with its relentless pace, a stunning soundtrack, and sublime gameplay innovations, you’re ensured a brilliant time of it.
Having remained huge supporters and fans of the brilliant Shovel Knight, we’re now even more enamoured as it’s clearly been so heavily influenced by Mega Man 2. This has been the game’s impact – it’s helped shape some of this generation’s finest gaming moments and, by Jove, we’re glad we finally stumbled upon it.
As previously indicated, the soundtrack to Mega Man 2 is rocking and epic. It’s about as pulse pounding as they come and really helps draw you back into the game. No matter how frustrated you get, jumping in again and hearing those beeps and boops will liven your day.
Me Want, Me Want!
Unusually, this NES title is available on a range of diverse consoles. You can even get Mega Man 2 for iOS and give it a go. Anyone who baulks at the idea of a platformer on an iPhone, we tried out classic RPG Secret of Mana on our phone and have had a real blast with it.
If you don’t have a Wii U (you can get it on the eShop for a few quid/bucks), your best bet is to get the NES Mini which hit the stores last month. Along with Mega Man 2, you’ll get 29 other NES classics to work your way through. Give it a whirl, eh? Above is a slightly longer gameplay demonstration. Enjoy!