Monday, December 2, 2013

GAME REVIEW: Mega Man II (Game Boy)

Could have been MUCH better.

For the 99.581% of you who don't know, I have been doing a Let's Play marathon of the Mega Man Classic series on my YouTube channel... well, everything before Bass' debut. Originally, I gave a short review of each game during the credits of each one I beat. This died out with the previous one I had beaten: Mega Man 4. I feel doing it this way would be a little easier (saving me the headaches from when Google decides to sign me out while annotating the videos).

Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge (MMI, for short) was good transfer of the Blue Bomber from console to handheld. It was difficult as all get-out, but it ticked you off just enough that you just wanted to keep going. Enemies from MM1 and MM2 were seamlessly carried over; some of the music even outshines the MM1 (in my opinion at least). It proved popular enough that it got a sequel.

However, for some reason, Capcom decided to get another company to develop it. 
MMI was worked on by Minakuchi Engineering; MMII would be done by a group called Biox.

It wasn't a very good move. The company didn't know much about Mega Man as they went into it and it garnered a pretty disappointing reception. Keiji Inafune himself doesn't like MMII because of Biox's lack of footing and actually went back to working with Minakuchi for MMIII through MMV.

According to TV Tropes, Biox had chiefly worked on Game Gear and Master System games prior to this. Among them was Tails' Sky Patrol.

Well here's a possible candidate for the future.

Biox, as far as I know, is defunct. Its website reveals that it hasn't been updated since 2004 and that its last known game came out during the PS1/Saturn era.

But enough history. Let's talk about the game.


Dr. Wily's broken into the Chronos Institute and has stolen an experimental time travel device -- the Time Skimmer. Unfortunately for old Al, it can only go forward in time. Jumping about thirty-seven years into the future, Wily somehow captures Mega Man and reprograms him into Quint to destroy Mega Man in the present. Now Rock has to face eight revived Wily-bots from his previous adventures, Quint, and the mad doctor himself. Will he survive?


Control's pretty much what you'd expect from Classic Mega Man, "B" to shoot, "A" to jump. Nothing much to write home about.

Level layout, however can be cramped and claustrophobic. MMI had a similar issue, and yes, I know it's necessary because of the Game Boy's small screen... but sometimes things get tight. There also tends to be bad enemy placement at times (such as those spring enemies in Metal Man's stage), on your part and sometimes the AI's.

TIP: Remember Friender from MM2? If you have Metal Blade, hold onto the ladder and 
spam the game's lone unit with it until it blows up. It won't hit you at all!


Normally, the Mega Man franchise churned out stellar music. MM1 had a number of great ones (the credits theme just makes you want to go jogging on a beach) as did MM2's and its successors. MMII's soundtrack, though, makes me think of a Tiger Electronics handheld crossed with an early-90's Santa Claus brooch that plays a high-pitched version of "Jingle Bells". Unlike MMI, where the Robot Masters' themes were remixed, here new songs were composed... and they don't sound very pleasing for the most part -- they get kinda screechy; other times, full of static (case in point: Hard Man's stage). Kinda sad, really. The compositions sound like they'd fit in with the rest of the series... it's the instrumentation that does it in.

Nothing much in terms of the regular sound effects sound that weird to my ear. The most obvious thing is the 1-Up noise, which now sounds like two Mario coin sounds strung together.


No obvious drop in graphical quality after the transfer from console to handheld. The backgrounds, this time around, haven't taken much of a step up from MMI, but they still aren't terrible. The sprites have been adapted well but nothing really becomes laughable until the final fight with Wily.

BAHAHAHA! Would you look at that! He's a shrinky-dink! Probably stands has high as Rock's thighs... at best!


Hey... wait a minute! DOES HE HAVE A SHRINK RAY?

That might explain the proportion issues at the end of MM3!


It's a rotten shame that the awesomeness of the Mega Man Classic series eventually produced this... but, like they say, even the big boys make mistakes. The music, which is usually one of the games' strongest assets is dampened by a poor choice of instruments. Other than that, Biox's lack of familiarity with Mega Man led to some pretty easy stages. I'll recommend it ONLY to people just starting to get into Mega Man, those in search of a challenge look elsewhere in the series.

I'm DLAbaoaqu. Full on!

Next video is Mega Man III... and BOY is the difficulty back!

  • Mega Man is owned by Capcom
  • Tails' Sky Patrol is owned by SEGA

1 comment:

  1. I wouldn't say that the graphics haven't dropped in quality from MMI to MMII. For example, the Air Tikis in Air Man's stage are too small and the Robot Masters all look hunched over. I also don't think this would be the best way to introduce someone to Mega Man, lol. It's a weird game. Alsoalso Quint is just ridiculous. Overall, fairly spot-on review.