I feel like I can be pretty fickle with Mega Man games. I almost can't explain what makes me like one and not another. But I move in mysterious ways.
I recently replayed Mega Man X for the umpteenth time and talked about how it remains a top tier game for me. It's easily my favorite Mega Man game of all time. It must be in my list of top ten SNES games (if I took the time to draft such a thing). It is pretty much a perfect game to me. And yet oddly, I missed out on the majority of the other X games. I did play X4 - and I loved that game to pieces. Not as many pieces as X1, mind. But still. That's a fantastic sequel. And then, I don't know. I played one of the bad PS2 games and it was bad.
But y'know, these Legacy Collections have had me jumping back into old favorites, and also finally getting around to experiencing some of the games I've missed. And so it seemed like X2 should make me happy. Reviews I've read from around the time the game was published all seem positive, with the consensus being that it's a lot like the first X game. And that might be the case on a superficial level. The graphics are great. Seriously great. Capcom was really pushing the hardware with these crazy vector things thrown in. And the music is good. But... something feels pretty off to me. I don't mean the controls, because those are just as tight as the first game. It's something less obvious.
Something - or rather, some little THINGS - seem to just not sit well with me on this one. It's like there's some great steps forward with the visuals, and the bosses here are pretty cool. Not quite as cool as in the first game, but there's good ones like that gator dude who hides in the water. But there's also some steps back. Some may praise this new abundance of story, but not me. I don't need a lot of story in my Mega Man games. I've been a fan of the series since the late 80's and never once have I cared about reading Mega Man comics or watching the anime. I just don't care. I actually think it's cooler to leave a lot of it up to the visual clues in the game. IE: how the original robot bosses were all functional worker units. But I don't need a bunch of dialogue.
Having said that, there was plenty of dialogue and story in X4, and I really enjoyed that one. But really, I enjoyed the GAME more than X2. The level design, the platforming and so on. X2 has so many sections that are insta-death and it bugs me. It starts to make the game less fun for me because it becomes about level memorization rather than adapting to the situation. At the beginning of the um... wire-robot-thing's stage there's a part where you need to keep jumping to these vertical platforms in a wind storm and they're over... SPIKES. So yeah, lots of insta-death. Then later in the centipede-robot-dude's stage there's these large blocks that can crush you. Then there's a stage with lava... eh, it's all blurring in my mind as a bunch of un-fun stages. They just don't have the same kind of stage design as in the first game where I had fun going back to them to look for secrets and upgrades.
I don't know. Maybe I'm just getting Mega Manned out right now so I'm being overly harsh. But yeah. I'm not into this one.