Mega Man X2
Box Shot
Mega Man X2
Platform: Super Nintendo
Publisher: Capcom
Designer: Capcom
Genre: Action
Players: 1
Published Date 1994
Reviewed by: Kurt Kalata

Yep, another Mega Man game. Capcom decided to continue the futuristic plotline of Mega Man X first (before going back to the original storyline a year later in Mega Man 7) and while I can honestly say I like the original a bit better, it's more than just a decent effort.

Sigma, the evil reploid of the first Mega Man X, has found his way into the scrap heap and unfortunately, X's poor partner Zero is still gone. The residue of Sigma's revolution is still abound however, and it's up to the Maverick Hunters to stop the rest of them. Just as they think that the evil reploids are done with, eight new badass robots pop out of nowhere. What's to be done?

To make matters worse, three new robots (named Violin, Serges and Agile) have appeared, calling themselves X-Hunters. Obviously from the name, they want Mega Man X killed, and have somehow retrieved Zero's body parts. Though Dr. Cain and X still have his memory chip, another robot with Zero's powers would be a horrible threat to humanity, so you'll also have to beat all three of these other robots to get Zero's parts.

The actual gameplay is pretty much the same as the first Mega Man X. After the intro stage, you get to choose from your typical list of eight robots. Like the original, the baddies are named after animals (Flame Stag, Bubble Crab, Wheel Gator, etc.) After you beat two of them, those X-Hunter guys show up on the map. They teleport from stage to stage, where they can be found in some hidden area. Beating all of these robots is not necessary, but it will change the outcome at the end of the game. You have to fight these jokers in the final stages again anyway, so it's not like you can play through the game and not encounter them. There's also a speed bike, as shown on the cover, but it only appears once in the game (the intro doesn't count.)

Of course, X is fairly weak at the beginning of the game, with a rather low life meter and not too many special powers (Capcom was nice enough to at least give you the dashing power right off the bat) and other power-ups are obtained at hidden points throughout the levels. Hearts will make your life meter longer, subtanks can be used to refill lost energy in the heat of battle, and there are capsules that give X some neat new powers (an air dash, exploding armor, a more powerful gun that shoots out two shots as well as powering up all weapons, and a neat feature that picks out hidden areas.) Most of these items are not easy to find fact, many of the hearts are impossible to get unless you have a special weapon properly powered up, and plenty of time to practice getting them. And just like the hidden Hadoken fireball of the first game, there's a flaming Shoryuken attack available for X to find near the end of the game.

Capcom developed a special graphics chip for use in the game called the C4. However, the results are just a bit underwhelming. All the chip seems to do is vector graphics...and except for the intro, one mid-boss, and the final battle, it's hardly ever used. Other than that, the rest of the graphics are just as polished and crisp as before. The music is in the same vein as well, although I personally like the old tunes a little more.

The game as a whole is just a little teensy tougher than before, which is bound to tick many hardcore Mega Man fans at the beginning when they can't blast right through it...but it's a bit refreshing actually. Some of the obstacles are a bit too annoying to navigate, but otherwise it's not too bad at all. The levels range from decent sized to almost obscenely short, but there's a fair amount of secrets to be found within.

Mega Man X2 seems to be a rather rare game, so it's going to be rather hard to find. It's also full of the fast paced action that makes me prefer the X series a bit over the original. But it's another great installment in the Mega Man series, and it captures the spirit almost perfectly!