Well I’m basically out of classic Mario games till I boot up another console but there is still a lot of Megaman to go through, and some of those are good. (take that X3, 6 and 7. 5 has issues but isn’t entirely bad).
When we last left X he had defeated Sigma but the cost was high, that being his friend (and much better character) Zero sacrificing himself to weaken Vile (Vava for those in Japan).
The game starts out right in the action, X has been hunting down the remnants of Sigma’s forces and is now riding a hover motorbike with a new green ally… who gets killed right away (and thus ends the legend of, that green guy). After destroying a giant robot we see X is being watched by 3 individuals who are planning something and soon X finds that there seems to be more going on than just remnants of Sigmas forces.
After killing 2 of the 8 bosses (yes 8 mavericks just like the first) the 3 reveal themselves as the X hunters, 3 individuals who want to take X down in revenge for Sigma’s defeat, oh but that’s not all, they are also after the remains of Zero and plan to rebuild him to kill X. This adds an additional challenge as on levels that you haven’t killed the boss yet one of the 3 X hunters will appear in a hidden room. It shows on the world map if a X hunter is in there but it’s entirely optional though will change events at the final stage.
The controls are exactly like those of X one, except you now can dash right away. You still start out though with your health low and plenty of power ups to find to increase your abilities. This time though the armour upgrades are different. Rather than a boost that lets you dash (since as mentioned that’s default now so getting that would be redundant) you can now choose rather than dashing while jumping to do a dash in the air for, some use (mainly one of two other items) a helmet upgrade that lets you find hidden objects (just use google) a chest upgrade that lets you charge power for a screen nuke (only found one boss it was useful on) and a buster that can fire two charge shots aswell as charge up boss weapons ( once again more situational) so yeah armour upgrades are ok but not as useful as X1.
The levels were ok but I couldn’t help but feel some of them were being more dickish than X1s were, but that could be because I remember X1 better. X2s secrets for the most part did feel more clever and inventive (except bubble crabs one, any level whose secrets require me to complete the stage can burn in silicon hell, hello Red Dwarf fans). Also after getting more upgrades I felt much more unstoppable, though that brings me back to the question of the X hunters, since you can only face them on levels you haven’t cleared, do you ignore them and go down an optimal boss and item upgrade route or alter your boss pattern to face them and try to reclaim zero’s remains? It adds an additional level to replayablity as you tackle bosses in different orders.
And on those bosses, for the most part I liked them, some were really good, most I felt after memorizing patterns and realizing weaknesses, were rather easy though some boss fights like Wheel Gator and the rematch with Serges were… I felt they could have been done a lot better. The final boss fights with Sigma ( get used to it, he remains the final boss of the X series until 8, even in games where he had till then no involvement) though I felt were somewhat easier but also better done than X1s encounters. His fights felt more, mobile and interesting than repetitive and unimaginative, dull and cheap like they were in X1, there is an additional boss you face before Sigma but that’s only if you fail to get Zero’s parts (yeah it’s Zero). On an additional note, as Sigma “dies” he makes one statement about Zero that is the exact point that Zero becomes a vastly more interesting character than X, which isn’t me being a fan as the X series tends to from this point lean more towards Zero than X.
X2 is actually a good sequel, though compared to things nowadays it would be more of an expansion of the original, some things are done better but it still feels more like a continuation than anything truly new, but that’s not a bad thing since like X1 this is a good game. I’m going to be skipping X3 though as… it has issues.