MEGA MAN X2 / Capcom / SNES
After 8 or 9 (or however many, I don't even keep track anymore) releases, Mega Man X has become yet another of Capcom's hackneyed franchises milked to the last possible drop. When it first came out on the SNES, however, it was a pretty exciting prospect. It seemed like just the thing to reboot the already stale Mega Man franchise, and I guess what we were hoping was that it would build on the gameplay innovations and exploration aspect in future releases.
Well, what we got was Capcom's usual Rehash Rut, a direction which was immediately apparent with X2. Still, even the boring and rehashy Mega Man games are better than 80% of the action/platformer/run-n-gun games on their platform, and X2 is no exception. It's really solid, pretty fun to play, just not as inspired or exciting as you'd like.
Part of the problem with Mega Man X2's reception was the inclusion of an enhancement chip called the "Cx4." The only purpose this chip served was to add a tiny handful of ugly, low-detail 3D wireframe polygon boss enemies and effects. Considering how infrequently these effects were used, and how unimpressive they were, the chip seemed like a total waste and made the retail price of the game higher than the average Super NES cartridge.
Not the high point of the villain roster
The Cx4 lameness doesn't really bring the game down in any sense except the original retail cost, however. If there's a major problem here, it's that the enemies are kind of lame and uninspired (a sponge and a moth among them), the levels tend to be short and really easy (with the exception of a few instant-death traps that are almost unavoidable until you've been killed by them at least once), and the cool feature of levels changing in MMX based on who you'd already beaten is gone now.
On the plus side, the gameplay is still the same rock-solid style seen in the first game, but with a couple of new tricks like a mid-air dash. I thought the level layouts were by and large pretty good, even though they did seem too short and easy for the most part, and there are some very nice-looking backgrounds. The bosses also have a unique animation and battle effect when they are hit with the weapon that is their weakness. I've seen a lot of people complain about the music - it can be weirdly atonal and a little odd at times, but I actually liked it for the most part and thought it suited the game. And the sound work is Capcom's usual solid job, though largely recycled from the previous game.
Judged in terms of being a Mega Man game, it's a little disappointing, but judged in terms of being an action game on the SNES, it's really one of the better ones on the system and not a bad pickup at all.
The raw unbridald powars of the Cx4 chip!!!1!
* Boss guide
* Item guide
* Gameplay Video