Megaman (also known as Rockman in Japan) is one of Capcom's most well known video game characters. His games are so popular that to this day they are still making sequels in the style of his NES adventures to download on the virtual console. The franchise is alive and well selling loads of units via spin offs such as Megaman X, Megaman Zero and Megaman Battle Network. Given how well liked the Blue Bomber is it's odd that he was omitted from the roster of characters in the recent Marvel vs Capcom 3. Perhaps they are planning to release him via downloadable content to make some extra cash (boo hiss.)
As I never owned a Nintendo console my first experience with a Megaman game was Megaman 2 on the Gameboy. As with most Megaman adventures our robotic hero has to save the world by foiling the latest scheme of his nemesis the evil Dr Wily. According to the manual Wily has stolen a time machine from the Chronos institute and travelled 37.426 years into the future (wow talk about an accurate figure.) Apparently Wily has returned to present day with a future version of Megaman named Quint. The villainous doctor has reprogrammed Quint with the aims of defeating our hero.
This all means that Megaman has to head off to Wily's fortress and put a stop to the madman's time travel plans of conquest. Along the way he will have to defeat eight robot masters that Wily has rebuilt. Now I may not be a scientific genius like Wily, but doesn't his plan sound really dumb? Why has he rebuilt robot masters that Megaman has beaten in the past? It's unlikely that they will fare better this time round. Also if he has a time machine why travel to the future? He could have gone to the past and destroyed Megaman whilst he was being built. Heck if Wily cannot beat Megaman how did he manage to capture and reprogram a future version of Megaman to do his bidding? Ouch my brain hurts.
Okay let's us not dwell on the plot, which has never been one of Megaman's strong points, and examine the game play. Like with most Megaman games what we have here is a side scrolling platformer. You make your way through a level jumping on platforms, avoiding deadly spikes and blasting enemies who get in your way. The controls are pretty simple. The d-pad allows you to walk left and right as well as climbing up and down ladders. One button fires Megaman's buster weapon and the other makes him jump. If you hold down and press the jump button Megaman performs a baseball slide which can get him under narrow passages.
When the game begins you are given a choice of tackling the opening four levels in whatever order you like. Once you beat them you get to tackle another four stages before moving onto Wily's fortress where you face Quint and Wily himself. Megaman fans will notice that the bosses and levels from this game are taken from Megaman 2 and Megaman 3 on the NES. Although I would have preferred to have an original game it is neat to get a mixture of levels from two NES titles as opposed to a direct port of Megaman 2.
The thing Megaman is known for is for using the weapons of the bosses he beats. When you complete a stage you'll get the downed robot master's weapon to use which can be a big help when facing future enemies. Using Metalman's buzz saw weapon for example chops up Woodman is mere seconds. All this means that if you are having trouble with a certain boss you can always tackle another level, get a different weapon and return to see if that makes things any easier. Be aware that unlike Megaman's buster the weapons you get from bosses do not have infinite bullets and should therefore be used sparingly. Thankfully regular enemies you beat sometimes drop powerups which recharge the weapons.
Dogs are man's best friend and Rush is Megaman's best friend. The robotic canine can help our hero in his adventure with the modules you get when finishing certain levels. Once acquired Megaman can use the modules to summon his transforming doggie. Rush can for example be called down to act as a trampoline which Megaman can bounce off to reach out of reach areas. Jumping on a pooch? PETA better not hear of this! Rush can also transform into a submarine which allows Megaman to travel underwater in certain areas or into a jet which can fly for a limited period of time (which I found handy for bypassing annoying areas with vanishing platforms.)
Megaman games are known for being a little tough, but this one isn't too bad. Initially you may have trouble getting through the levels, but after a few goes you start to memorize what is coming and adapt to avoid taking damage. As you make your way through the game you will find energy tanks that replenish your health which will make things even easier. I found the last boss to be pretty tough, but by using the tanks I had acquired I was able to outlast him in our final epic duel. If all else fails and you get a game over, don't worry you don't have to start from scratch. Megaman 2 uses a password feature that allows you to carry on from where you left off.
Graphically this Gameboy outing looks just as good as the NES games staring Megaman. The backgrounds are however lacking in detail which is especially noticeable as the handheld doesn't have a colour palette to help disguise the lacklustre backdrops. Another gripe I had with the visuals was that there was some sprite flicker in parts. Sonics wise the sound effects you hear when Megaman jumps or shoots are pretty poor. The music however was pretty good. The tunes that play during some of the levels and main menu are pretty catchy for fans of retro gaming.
I'm giving Megaman 2 a solid three stars out of five. For me it was a good introduction to the series. Anyone who just plays games at home would be better off getting Megaman 2 and 3 on the NES, but back in the day this title was good to have in your collection as it would allow you to play Megaman on the go. It certainly made long drives on family holidays pass much quicker. My mum would moan that I was missing out on the lovely scenery, but I didn't care. Although I'm sure the sights were picturesque I was too busy saving the world to admire them.
"Mega Man II" is a video game released for the Gameboy console in 1992 by Nintendo. It is a part of a long standing series of the same name. In the United States, the game received a rating of "K&A" by the ESRB panel which deemed the title suitable for "Kids and Adults".
While the game was released for the original Gameboy console, I have found it to be working on the later Gameboy Color with the display showing a slightly greenish tinge. The story remains similar to the first Mega Man title in that the prime evil Dr. Willy has escaped from confinement and is rebuilding the massive robots once serving him but were destroyed by Mega Man previously. Now it is up to Mega Man to once again destroy these evil creations. The game itself is a side scrolling action title with the player controlling Mega Man and must guide him through eight stages to destroy the robots using his "buster" gun. Prior to engaging with the title the player is able to select which stage he or she wishes to complete. There is no sense of sequential order and, in some instances, it is beneficial to the player to play out of order. With each robot defeated Mega Man will gain the robot's special ability for himself which include higher jumping and a better rate of defense. It is generally an easy game to complete as each boss robot shows one obvious fault. There is a specific target which must be hit to drain excessive amounts of energy from the enemy, and this enables quick and effortless play.
The graphics are generally very good in this title and show a high level of detailing throughout. Mega Man's face is particularly well animated with certain situations showing fear and surprise. This facial detailing is also applied well to enemies who are able to show rage and aggression. The background detailing in many areas is a series of line segments to denote rock, cloud or other features but seems appropriate for the limited technology at the time. The audio is of an acceptable standard but does feature very primitive compositions and effects.
Overall, Mega Man II remains equal with its original counterpart and makes little improvement. It is a solid play throughout though can become very easy to a more discerning player. Still, I would recommend this to a prospective buyer.