Review by dtm666

Reviewed: 01/22/10

What happened?

Mega Man: Dr Wily's Revenge was a fairly competent first entry of the series on the Game Boy, retaining the game's trademarks and high standards with regards to both the gameplay and presentation. Although it was a short game with six levels of play, it proved that Capcom was fully capable of bringing the intense action of the NES titles to the portable system and people were anxiously awaiting the next entry in the sub-series.

And then Mega Man II came along.

Let's reflect on history a bit: Mega Man 2 (the NES) brought many new features to what made the original Mega Man a solid game and ended up being one of the series' defining moments; lauded by many gamers as the absolute pinnacle in Mega Man gaming. While it might be naive to expect the Game Boy equivalent to be as groundbreaking, at least it would be able to add subtle improvements and bring it more in line with the NES entries.

Well, it didn't quite work that way.

The first sign of trouble came when I picked Crash Man from the Stage Select screen and he was listed as Clash Man. Now I understand that Clash Man was the name used in the Japanese Rockman 2 due to the L and R issue (a common example being Dr. Light in USA, Dr. Right in Japan), so it must be some level of laziness if one letter wasn't fixed for localization. But like I said, that was the first sign...

STORY: In his latest attempt to take over the world, Dr. Wily builds a time machine and uses it to steal a robot from the future so that he can destroy Mega Man. And of course, as per the course with the previous game, he revives eight bosses from Mega Man 2 and 3 to challenge the Blue Bomber... okay, this story is actually not bad, but they don't go into that much depth in the game itself. 5/10

GRAPHICS: Graphically speaking, this is a step-down from the previous title. While Mega Man looks alright (a little crooked in some cases, but alright), the various enemies look somewhat awkward. The new enemies that they brought over from the NES titles appear to have been scaled down poorly and enemies that appeared in the previous game look far worse in this entry. And then there are the stage graphics, which try to emulate the look of their NES counterparts but end up doing a shoddy job of it. On its own, the game looks fine and somewhat clear, but compared to the other Mega Man titles and especially the first Game Boy entry... not so much. 7/10

SOUND: Wow... this is horrendous. While the sound effects are remotely similar in quality to the previous game, the music in this game takes a MASSIVE nosedive in the worst possible way. Whereas the previous game offered neat renditions of classic boss tunes mixed with new tracks, this game contains completely new music and none of it is the least bit appealing or even good. This is one you'll want to play with the VOLUME tucked all the way down. 2/10

GAMEPLAY: Mega Man II is based on the gameplay of the NES Mega Man 3; you have your slide, Rush Adaptors (which you have to earn), energy tanks, and the utterly useless Top Spin. You also have to contend with robot masters from Mega Man 2 and 3, including Top Man. The premise is similar to the previous GB entry: you fight through four robot stages before entering the first Wily "stage"; which is a mere teleporter stage leading you to four more stages where the remaining robots reside. However, who you fight is a mystery until you reach the end of the stage, but longtime fans should be familiar with the stages.

Much to my pleasant surprise, the game actually plays like a Mega Man game, with all the mechanics associated with the series present and accounted for. The controls, for the most part, are responsive and pretty good. Even so, the game does feel a little off. Mega Man's a little more slippery than I'm used to and there are occasional glitches where I would just slide off Rush Jet for no reason. It doesn't happen often, but still... 8/10

CHALLENGE: Much like Mega Man 2 on NES, Mega Man II on GB is a bit on the easy side. Sadly, there doesn't seem to be any means of increasing the difficulty of the game. There are the usual tricky spots such as the disappearing blocks and segments requiring Rush Marine, but they're fairly easy to deal with and such moments are rare in this entry. 5/10

REPLAY VALUE: Despite being a Mega Man and despite the fact that this game has four more levels than the previous effort, there's not much reason to go back to this one once you've beaten it. You could try and challenge yourself, but chances are you'll want to play a better game instead. 2/10

OVERALL: What happened here? While Mega Man II has most of the elements that make it a Mega Man game, the thing feels like a third-grade science project. Everything from the graphics to the awful music is well below the standards of what an 8-bit Mega Man should be. But even with its major flaws and downgrades, it's still classic Mega Man at heart and it's still a fun, enjoyable entry in the series that should be given a try. It's not one of the series' high points, but then again, there are far worse games in the Mega Man series that should be avoided. This isn't far off. 5/10

Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Product Release: Mega Man II (US, 02/28/92)

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