For some reason, Mega Man X2 feels like a forgotten member of the Mega Man X series. Obviously, it’s not the first title. It lacks the rarity and options of the third title. The graphics don’t pop as much as they do in the fourth, fifth or sixth titles. Thankfully, it’s nothing like the seventh title. In fact, I think it has more in common with X8 than one would normally think: both X2 and X8 seem to be the least talked about. And, this may be a bit of a stretch, but both X2 and X8 feel somewhat rushed. Of course, both are great games and any fan of Mega Man should check them out. This review is about Mega Man X2: a forgotten but still worthy entry in a great series.
Mega Man X2 takes place a few months after the events of Mega Man X. Zero is gone, peace is starting to get restored and X is now in charge of the Maverick Hunters. Conversely, three diabolical Reploids named Serges, Agile and Violin form the X-Hunters are going to stop at nothing to destroy X and the peace he and Zero worked so hard to restore. Furthermore, the X-Hunters have enlisted the help of eight Mavericks. It’s on, folks. Mega Man X is back and ready for action. Like the first game, the story is slightly darker than the normal Mega Man title. Depending on how you progress through the stages, certain events will be altered. It’s a nice touch, but for the most part this is a classic story that can be overlooked due to the wonderful game play.
Taking control of X is just like it was in his first adventure. The only difference is that he starts with the dash upgrade. After the introduction stage, you will be able to pick one of eight Maverick bosses to face. Each one has a unique level to traverse and each one is filled with secrets such as Energy Tanks, Heart Tanks and upgrades to X’s capabilities. His upgrades are different from his last quest, but the best part of it is that he gets the ability to perform an air dash. As usual, each boss is weak to another boss’ acquired weapon. The weapons X earns from these enemies consist of a fire wheel, a grappling hook and a bubble blaster that looks like it wouldn’t harm a fly. In certain stages, one of the X-Hunters might show up. Defeating them will grant you a part of Zero. Finally, some stages have vehicles that X can hop on in order to progress. The challenge, familiarity and combination of platforming and blasting make X2 play like a dream. The minor downside is that it’s been done before in the first game and the new features are minuscule.
I find Mega Man X2 fun to play, but one thing that needs improvement is the music. Unlike most games in the series, the soundtrack for X2 is disappointing. It’s simply not memorable. While the game looks as great as ever, the music and sound lack the amazing quality featured before. To me, this is the biggest upset because bad music in a Mega Man title is like having bad coffee in the morning. The adventure is still worth it, but don’t enter this game expecting a rocking soundtrack.
Depending on your level of skill, you can finish Mega Man X2 easily in a couple of hours. Less experienced folks will have to put up with the password system to pick up where they leave off. Like any Mega Man title, figuring out the weakness of your enemies takes some trial and error. However, once discovered, it will make the game become easier and easier. While it lacks some of the finer features of other entries, Mega Man X2 is still a fun game and should be played. Whether you hunt for the SNES cartridge, check it out as a digital download or find the Mega Man X Collection, Mega Man X2 provides more fun for all fans of the blue bomber.
Overall, 7/10: Aside from the upsetting music, Mega Man X2 is more of the same you’ve come to expect.