Mega Man 2, a true NES classic. The original NES released six of these 8-bit gems. While the other five are good games, two is the one that has stood the test of time. Everyone knows two in the same way everyone knows Super Mario Brothers 3. Nerds like myself rate Mega Man 2 as not only one of the best NES games of all-time, but one of the best games of any system. Hard for me to disagree.
In 1989, my dad lost his job of 34 years. Money was tight in my household. I can recall living off of spam and off-brand food. With my birthday and Christmas around the corner, I didn’t expect to land a new video game. Lucky for me a local family owned video store went out of business. My mom picked out a game I knew nothing about. I remember opening up the gift and thinking to myself, “This sucks. Who is Mega Man,” as I had never heard of the first game.
To my shock, this was the best $9 game ever (price tag listed on the game). The levels were so colorful. Each stage had a different boss who had a hidden weakness. The game had jamming music you truly didn’t hear normally in 8-bit games. I spent countless hours in front of this game. It quickly became a favorite of mine.
A lot of new gamers always ask “What makes Mega Man 2 stand out from the other five,” and the answer is simple — EVERYTHING. The first Mega Man game had very stiff controls. The great music was there. Just below average controls. Part three also had a decent soundtrack. Lag, lag and more lag destroys that game. Four is great. Just average music and they went crazy on the difficulty level of game play. Five sort of suffers from the lag that three had, just not as bad. Six is awesome, my second favorite behind two. Only problem was the game simply seemed like a copy of the other five by this time.
Mega Man 2 got everything right. The controls are spot on. Think the game is too hard like one? Play and the learn the normal mode before trying the difficult mode. The music is my third favorite music of any 8-bit game, only behind that of The Legend of Zelda and Castlevania.
Finding the game online in original form can be pricey these days. I recommend if you own a PS4 or X-Box to buy the Mega Man Legacy. I caught mine during a sale and got the original six for $14.99. I believe it’s normally $19.99, still cheaper than the scammers trying to sell two alone for $35 on E-bay. If you are starting a NES collection or getting into retro gaming, Mega Man 2 is a must have.
Graphics 4.5 out of 5 – The game has great graphics. I will say this is where three through six does improve over two. Some of the graphics can be a little fuzzy during certain levels. Like one, there are some odd glitches in the graphics.
Controls 5 out of 5 – Very simple controls that respond perfectly. No stiff jumping, and very accurate like in Super Mario games. If you miss a jump, it’s 99.9% of the time your fault.
Music 5 out of 5 – To me, third best 8-bit music of all-time. Each level has different music, the boss areas has its own music and classic item music once you beat a stage keeps you fist pumping like a geek.
Gameplay 5 out of 5 – The game has eight boss stages, four levels of Dr. Wiley to defeat, a repeat of the robot masters and the final Wiley fight. The challenge is there. Once you master the normal mode, crank it up to the difficult mode. Since you can pick any robot masters’ level, try different combinations to add challenge to the gameplay.
Overall score 19.5 out of 20 (97.5%). Legendary game.