Mega Man 2 (1988)

4.26 from 74 votes
The evil Dr. Wily is back with eight new menacing creations, and it's up to Mega Man to foil his new plans for world domination! Known for bootstrapping the long-running series, the game also introduces passwords, helpful items (such as Energy Tanks), and the series standard of eight bosses.
First released
Dec 24, 1988
Rockman 2 Dr. Wily no Nazo, Rockman 2: The Mystery of Dr. Wily, Rock Man 2
Mega Man, Mega Man Classic
Developed by
Published by
Capcom, iam8bit
Nintendo Entertainment System, PlayStation, Wii Shop, PlayStation Network (PS3), iPhone, PlayStation Network (PSP), iPad, Android, Nintendo 3DS eShop, Wii U, PlayStation Network (Vita)
Action, Platformer
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Community reviews

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Showing its age, but still a lot of fun.
As a guy who grew up with the N64 as my first console I missed out on all the SNES and NES games and am only now starting to play some of the classics. This is in fact the first NES game I have played. Enjoying playing as Mega Man in the Smash Bros. demo coupled with how much the guys from Radio Free Nintendo (my favourite podcast) seem to love the series is what inspired me to finally play my first Mega Man game. From what I’ve heard on the various podcasts I listen to and the general concensus on the internet Mega Man 2 is the best one, closely followed by 3 and X. With Mega Man 2 being available on the 3DS virtual console for just over £5 I decided now was the time to finally break my Mega Man duck, and I’m glad I did.

I enjoyed the game a lot, although it certainly wasn’t an entirely fun experience for me! My main gripes with the game are really due to the NES’ lack of power (I’ll get into those later) but I have to say considering how old the game is it actually holds up surprisingly well. For those that don’t know Mega Man is a basic 2D platformer where you run, jump, and shoot enemies. It’s very fast paced and requires pretty quick reflexes to play well. It’s also damn hard at times (mainly towards the end) and I was infinitely grateful for the ability to use a save state on the virtual console version without which I likely would have lost patience with the game after 30 minutes or so!

I liked the structure of being able to tackle each of the first 8 levels in any order you want before moving on to the fortress and i think it’s cool that different weapons are effective against different bosses. Some weapons are so effective against certain bosses however that they pretty much remove the challenge of the battle entirely, which is a bit of a shame as I thought the bosses were generally well designed and fun. The levels are just as well designed and there’s a decent variety of interesting enemies, with each boss’ level having a unique theme. Where the game really shines though is the soundtrack, which is an 8-bit masterclass and really gives the game a huge level of charm.

As I mentioned before my issues with the game are mainly caused by the NES’ lack of power although this is not exclusively the case. My main issue was the fact that enemies respawn as soon as they are off screen, as the screen doesn’t take particularly long to cross this means you can often have killed an enemy then backtrack a little a second later and they’re still there which I found to be pretty frustrating. Another issue is the fact that the game stops for a few seconds each time you move to a new screen to load all the enemies on that particular screen. I felt this kind of interrupted the otherwise fast pace of the game. The password ‘save’ system also feels pretty dated but the addition of save states in the virtual console edition thankfully means this isn’t much of an issue.

My main gripe with the game is the 4th fortress level which I think is poorly designed. The fact that the boss is practically unbeatable unless you complete a certain task (I don’t want to spoil things too much for those who haven’t played it yet), die, and then complete the entire 2nd half of the level again to take the now weakened boss on again, coupled with the fact you can only use one specific weapon and need to have full ammo for it to even have a chance of beating the boss seems like a poor design decision to me. This level nearly led me to give up on the game entirely but I’m glad I persevered and thanks to (very frequent) save states I finally made it to the latter stages, and finally completed the game.

In conclusion I can see why Mega Man 2 is such a loved game, the levels are well designed, the platforming is great, the bosses are fun, and above all the music is splendid and really adds to the games’ fun factor. The areas where this game hasn’t aged particularly well in however and the poor design choices outlined above can make some of the game a rather frustrating experience however for someone like me who has no nostalgia for having played this in their youth. Overall I’m glad I downloaded this, it’s given me a valuable history lesson while providing me a good few hours of fun (mixed in with some frustration). I’ll certainly be trying other Mega Man games and feel this is one of those series I’ll begin to enjoy more the better I get at it, and right now I admit I’m not particularly good!
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314 users have this game in their library 22 users have this game in their wishlist 65 users love this game 2 users are playing this game 116 users have completed this game