By Justin Guillou / September 19th, 2015
|Title||Mega Man X2|
|Release Date||January, 1995(NA), October 1995(EU)|
|Platform||SNES, PS2, Wii(U)|
|Age Rating||K-A (Everyone)|
Last year, we reviewed a few Mega Man X games. We did X1, X4 and X5. I am here today to fill in, or at least attempt to fill, in some of the gaps, starting with Mega Man X2. The cartridge is the first and one of two Super Nintendo games to have what is called a CX4 chip in the cartridge. This is actually a math processor capable of performing trigonometric calculations to allow the game to generate wireframe 3D effects.
Mega Man X2 picks up soon after X, six months to be exact. Commander X is called to investigate Maverick activity inside of a factory. He heads out with some of his allies and encounters a massive robot. X destroys it very quickly and, upon returning to the base, receives a message from a group of rebels known as the X-Hunters. These three robots claim to have collected all of Zero’s body parts and dare X to go after them. X, wanting to repair Zero, decides to set out and not only neutralize the Maverick activity in the area but also recover Zero’s parts.
As a follow-up to the excellent Mega Man X, X2 plays exactly like the previous one. Track down and defeat eight Mavericks, then survive four more levels and face the main villain. The game, however, has a few additions to shake things up a bit. You actually start the game with the dash ability this time, and this is also the first game in the series where you face a gigantic intro boss. This would become something of a tradition with the series. X2 also brings back the classic boss rush room from the classic series and the first version of the Giga Attack, which would also become a staple of the X series. The graphics are, in my opinion, improved from the first one. To me, the levels seem a lot more colorful. In any case, the bosses are well animated, and some enemies have very smooth scaling and rotational effects.
I felt the eight new Mavericks this time around are not as memorable in their looks in comparison to X. If I was not such a big fan of the series, I probably would not be able to tell you who Flame Stag or Wire Sponge are. They just do not have as much of a distinct and iconic style as say Storm Eagle or Chill Penguin. I will say, though, that, while their look may not be as cool, their fights are far more exciting and engaging than before. The bosses in X2 are nuts and often use the stage to their advantage. For example: Wheel Gator can swim in oil and creates spikes on the wall, Overdrive Ostrich will jump in and out of the background to attack you, and Crystal Snail will slow down time. A fun thing to do while fighting Crystal Snail: when you hit him with his weakness, he gets out of the shell, you can actually dash into it and bounce it around to room preventing him from getting back inside.
In addition to the eight mavericks you have three X-Hunters who are optional bosses that can appear in any of the levels. You have a limited amount of time to go after them, so you should do so sooner rather than later. Defeating all three will give you all of Zero’s parts and changes a scene later on in the game. Like the first game, the music is fantastic. This is the game where Zero’s theme from Marvel vs Capcom 3 comes from. Listen to the original version below:
Mega Man X2 was a great sequel. Yes, at first glance it seems like a case of “More of the same,” but it is not a bad thing as it took what made the first game good and expanded upon it by adding a few new twists. Even the X Buster in this game works a bit differently than the first one when you upgrade it. Unfortunately, like a lot of Mega Man games nowadays, getting a copy of the original release is really expensive. US cartridges go for at least $80 online with the PAL ones being even more expensive. The Japanese release is cheaper if you have a way to play it. Otherwise, it is available in the Mega Man X collection for PlayStation 2 or GameCube or on the Virtual Console for Wii and Wii U. If you liked Mega Man X, then pick this one up as soon as you can!
Review copy purchased by reviewer
CapcomCX4Mega ManMega Man X2platformerSNESX2