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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"The Blue Bomber Strikes Back"

This is the second review in a trilogy of the Mega Man X games for SNES. We'll focus today on Mega Man X2.

If you see this intro on your TV, prepare to have your face rocked.

Mega Man X2 was developed by Capcom and released in both Japan and America in December of 1994. It's one of my favorite games for SNES, and probably of all time. A lot of the reason why I love it so much is nostalgia, but it's also just an all-around well built game. Let's jump in X-buster first and see why.

Story: 10/10 


I've already explained the backstory for the Mega Man X series. This game takes place six months and 13 days after the fall of Sigma in Mega Man X. X is now the leader of the Maverick Hunters. Even though Sigma has died, the Mavericks still continue to wreak havoc everywhere.

Three Maverick leaders, Serges, Violen, and Agile (the X-Hunters), establish a base on the North Pole. They claim to have all of Zero's parts (since Zero was destroyed during the first game). They split up the three pieces of his body, taunting X with them, hoping to lure him out and destroy him once and for all. The big question: do they have Zero's control chip?

Zero, X's equally badass partner.

This game was a little bit more story-heavy than the last (in-game, at least), which I think was a welcome change. As I've said before, I really love the story throughout both the Mega Man and Mega Man X series.


Graphics: 9/10


This game uses the same graphics engine as Mega Man X; as such, it looks just as beautiful. The huge difference is that this one seems to have a lot less slowdown. I think this is mostly because of the developers making the enemies more evenly dispersed and having less fast sequences like the mine car ride in MMX1.

This game is notable in that it uses the CX4 chip, one of only two games to use it. The CX4 was added to every cartridge for Mega Man X2 to help quickly perform general trigonometric calculations for wireframe effects and sprite positioning and rotation. It helped them make some really slick-looking sequences you can see towards the end of the game. The carts all still have the option to view the wireframe debug scene by holding down B at startup.

It looks so much cooler in motion...much cooler than, say, a Vectrex.

Gameplay: 10/10

The gameplay in Mega Man X2 is much the same as in X, albeit with a few minor tweaks. You run and gun through a level until you reach the boss room. When you beat the boss, you get his weapon. Every boss is weak against another boss's weapon. Finding the right order is half the fun.

Always start with Wheel Gator, then Overdrive Ostrich. Trust me.

Instead of having to find the dash this time, you start with it. The capsule system is still present, but the upgrades are different. One allows you to dash in midair. The helmet upgrade lets you search for hidden passages. The armor upgrade lets you absorb shots from enemies to fill up a meter; when it's full, you can use a super explosion 9000 attack, hurting everything on screen quite a bit.

Capcom put in another hidden capsule when you find all the others and all the heart tanks and E-tanks. This one's just as hard to find as the one in Mega Man X, but instead of Hadouken, this time you find Shoryuken, the uppercut move used by Ryu and Ken in the Street Fighter series. Like the Hadouken, it's a one-hit kill on any enemy and almost all of the bosses.



Sound: 10/10

Mega Man X2 had, in my opinion, one of the best soundtracks of any SNES game. Definitely top 5, at least. The sound effects were largely the same as Mega Man X, but the soundtrack is much better. It has more of a metal vibe the whole way throughout, with the exception of a few stages like Crystal Snail and Bubble Crab. Like usual, rather than talking about it too much, I'll just post a song. This is the opening song from the first introductory level, the Reploid Factory.



Here's one more, the music for Flame Stag's stage. This is what I mean when I say the soundtrack had a more metal vibe. Still a lot of the old Capcom electronica you've come to expect from the Mega Man series, though.



Replay Value: 7/10

Sadly, this game has about as much replay value as Mega Man X; not a whole damned lot. The big pull is the same as MMX: go back through and get every upgrade and get the Shoryuken. The other big things to try are playing through with no e-tanks/hearts, and if you can do that, try a game with only the X-buster. It's hard, but it's completely do-able. The only thing that might give you trouble is the final boss.

If you're seeing this screen on your TV, your face has been successfully rocked.

Trust me, though, you will come back to this game at least once. I tend to beat through it once every few months. I'm a bit of a nutbar, so I don't imagine most of you will play it once every few months, but it truly is a great game.

15 comments:

  1. im remember me about this game ^^

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  2. ahhh... memories of my childhood! lol

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  3. i loved those games, recently i got an emulator and beat them again

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  4. I haven't played this in years, maybe I should give it a try. I'm not very good at platformers, but I could stand to get better.

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  5. My heart always has a pocket for this series. :D

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  6. Holy shyt the memories of this game, awesome review wish i can play this game again.

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  7. Ugh... Must get into this series! I keep telling myself that, but I'm not making much effort towards it. :X I suppose I'm not such a big fan of megaman.

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  8. MegaManX series was awesome. Insanely hard but fun. Finding all the upgrades and just trying not to blow up.

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