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Mega Man X2… The sequel to the game that started the X saga. While not an outright bad game, there are some big flaws that really bring this game down, but let’s get all of its positives out of the way. The game grants us a dash right from the get-go, which is a MASSIVE improvement, for obvious reasons. The level design is also not too bad, and the visuals looks quite nice, like Crystal Snail’s stage. The new armor is also really nice, and some of the parts expand upon the first game’s armor parts, such as the leg parts. The bosses are also pretty good, since they can (and will) put your moves to the test. Weapons are not too shabby, and can help quite a bit, and the soundtrack is still something I enjoy listening to. With all that said, the biggest problem is the item collection. Let me reiterate it: Most of the items in this game are hidden too well, incentivizing the player to use some sort of guide to find these things. The game itself tries to help with its head upgrade, but this doesn’t help at all because you can’t defend yourself when using this thing, and you’d have to know that the item is there in the first place. Weapons can range from awful (like Crystal Hunter) to great (like Silk Shot and Bubble Splash), and it’s amazing how they managed to pull that off. I’d knock up X2 over the original any day, but when I look at these games critically, X1 is the superior game. Still a good game, though.

Game Rating
Snufflepus Penguin

X2 is often criticized for not innovating like it’s predecessor, but I think this game is a strong successor. Never just blindly listen to a majority, and play it for yourself to really determine inside what you think about the game.

There are lots of things to love about X2, and one of these things are the nice stages. Each stage is memorable with some fun setpieces, such as mowing down Ride Armors in Wheel Gator’s stage, playing around the gravity belts in Morph Moth’s stage, or experimenting with the weather system in Wire Sponge’s stage. I love how the game tries to spice up the gameplay with unique gameplay elements, like Overdrive Ostrich having a bike rider section. I really love the little details like the opening stage showing the robots being made as you progress. I particularly enjoy Magma Centipede and how your actions impact the stage and the midboss in the stage.

I really enjoyed finding the hidden routes to the X hunters, and how your weapons help you, for example Crystal Hunter creating crystal platforms, which is a fantastic feature which evolved into the great concrete shot. You have to use some clever techniques to find the X-hunters, whether via a ride armor, deducing something is below an elevator, or luring a giant tusked beetle in the cliffside, you will be rewarded for finding them. Even if you can’t access the gate, you get some energy as your reward.

While the weapons are not as strong as X1, they are serviceable, and perhaps serve a much more unique function. For example, the Spin Wheel is great against bosses due to it hitting multiple times, while the Silk Shot is a powered up Dust Crusher. Secrets can be difficult to get, and may be frustrating to find, but don’t detract too much from the game. Secrets like the Shoryuken are well hidden but are placed late in the game to balance them out. This game also allows for E-tank farming with a certain weapon in a certain area, which improves on farming for pickups in X1.

The bosses really excel in this game, with many interacting with their environment. Whether Wheel Gator is biting bits of the wall off, Bubble Crab is raising the water levels, or Morph Moth bursts out of his cocoon as a moth, there is a lot to love about these bosses. Except Crystal Snail. We don’t talk about him.

End-game bosses are pretty fun, like Wolverine Sigma being a frantic fight, or Serges fighting in his giant wall mech. There are also a huge armada of minibosses of all epic sizes with cool attacks. Whether you tackle a crystal core encased in ice, a holographic sword, a giant wolf creature with upgradable AI, a giant sea fish or a mutant fly that inhabits giant robot corpses, you’ll be in for a real treat.

The X-Hunter stages, while not the best, I feel are fleshed out more than X1’s sigma’s stage. You bring back multiple routes into some of the stages, and have some beautiful, awe-inspiring music to go with it. I really like some of the ideas here, like the fire-pillar dodging sections, or using the crystal hunter to make you way across spike pits. The X-hunter fights are great, with the exception of Violen. We don’t talk about him. In either form.

The music of X2 is good. Not quite the level of X1, but it’s still very memorable in it’s own rights.

What can I say ? X2 is really an underrated gem of a game. It does have some problems like the cryptic secrets in areas, and some questionable stage design + camera panning, along with a few bad bosses, but this hardly detracts from the experience. If you enjoy X1, X2 is a great follow-up to the series. In fact, I dare say that X2 has better overall stage design than X1. X2 deserves more love from the audience of the Mega Man community.

Game Rating