Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Virtual Console Verdict: Mega Man X2

4:00 PM on 01.16.2014 // Chris Carter

A must-have Mega Man

[Virtual Console Verdict is a short column that highlights some of the gems released on 3DS and Wii U eShop marketplaces. For a full list of Virtual Console releases, check out the weekly Nintendo Download series.]

Capcom is taking its sweet time releasing the Mega Man franchise on the Wii U Virtual Console. They're still missing the fifth and sixth iterations of the original Nintendo series, and now, almost a year after bringing Mega Man X to the Wii U VC, X2 is ready to go.

As you may have heard, I played every Mega Man X game in the franchise last year, and had a few things to say about X2, but I thought it would be good to take an extended look at the game and see if it's worth picking up on the Virtual Console.

Mega Man X2 (Wii, Wii U [tested])
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Released: January 2, 2014 (Wii U)
MSRP: $7.99

Mega Man X2 sports a strong selection of levels that aren't too challenging, but aren't overly simplistic either. From the desolate deserts of Overdrive Ostrich to the flying neon base of Wheel Gator there's a lot of variety here, and plenty of room to stuff secret upgrades and optional boss gates. While I wouldn't say that the actual level design is on par with some the other games in the series, X2's stages are without a doubt some of the most charming and the most colorful, as they reflect their boss character's personality to a tee.

A Mega Man game is sometimes only as strong as its bosses, and in the case of X2, there are some questionable choices that indicate Capcom was reaching towards the bottom of the barrel. You have a sponge, a moth, a stag, a centipede, an ostrich, a crab, a gator, and a snail. Most of the fights are drawn out and not as intuitive as some of the other confrontations in the X series.

One of the exceptions is Morph Moth, who is one of the only Mavericks or Robot Masters in the entire franchise that has two forms to blast through. Thankfully, most of them have unique animations when attacked with their weaknesses (Wire Sponge even splits in half at the end), which is a nice touch. Just like the levels, these bosses may look odd, but Capcom put a lot of effort into them to make them really shine.

As with any X game, the upgrades can make or break the experience, and thankfully, things are looking pretty good on that front. X's armor now does more than merely guard against damage, as it can initiate a "Giga Crush" technique, which is particularly effective against Serge's first form in the last set of Sigma stages. X's arm cannon is about the same as it was in the game before it (when fully upgraded), offering up a secondary charged shot that can chip off a major amount of damage when used carefully. True to form, weapons can also be charged up and used as "super" attacks as well.

The dash boots are probably the best upgrade to the game mechanically, as you can now dash directly in the air. Starting the game with the ability to dash on the ground also makes this an easy experience to get into out of the gate, as many speedruns get the boots last -- a true testament to the mobile versatility of X in this sequel. The only downer is the X2 helmet, which allows you to "search for secrets" -- but only if you queue up and use the radar ability built into it. After playing the game once, it's completely useless and remains a weird design choice.

Another odd choice is the placement of certain upgrades within stages. Although it's entirely possible to beat Mega Man X with minimal backtracking (since most of the upgrades are cleverly hidden earlier in levels), X2 thrives on making players go back deep into levels to grab everything. Strangely, a good number of upgrades require a sub-weapon from Wheel Gator to access, making him an obvious candidate for an early visit -- and also punishes you for visiting him late. Other upgrades are obtusely placed, like the requirement of beating Bubble Crab and going back to his own level to grab the E-Tank.

It isn't a huge deal, but it doesn't feel as smooth as its predecessor, and continued runs can be confusing and convoluted if you don't have a patented method down. Having said that, X2 throws in a few more surprises that make the game stand out on its own, most notably the Shoryuken power-up move found near the end of the game, and the ability to rebuild Zero -- who "died" at the end of Mega Man X.

If you choose to bring back Zero by defeating optional mini-bosses littered throughout the game (that are easily the biggest challenge in X2) he'll help you out at the end  -- effectively creating a "second ending"). But if you ignore him entirely, you'll have to face him in one of the toughest boss fights in the series. Either way it's a cool addition, and opens up a "Zero parts" or "no Zero parts" distinction for playthroughs, whereas most games just have the same story progression every time.

I would argue that Zero was handled much better in X3 however (where he was partially playable), and in X4 and beyond, where he was completely playable in his own unique storyline. To top things off X2 also has a time-saving "E-Tank filling" cheat, found in both Overdrive Ostrich and Bubble Crab's stages, which is a godsend if you're trying to take on some of the final levels in the game.

Many Mega Man fans would argue (myself included), that X2 isn't as well designed as Mega Man X, which is considered to be the pinnacle of platformers. But even still, X2 is completely worth your time if you're a retro fan, as it's not only one of the best Mega Man games ever made, but one of the best in the entire genre.

Chris Carter, Reviews Director
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Public service announcement: Marry an orphan. It makes the holidays so much easier when you don't have to deal with pain in the ass in-laws.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
So... how long is it until we get the inevitable Colonial Marines or Ride to Hell: Retribution PS4/Xbox One re-releases?
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Screw Bloodborne. I finally managed to overcome not tearing up while listening to the entirety of Never More. Git gud! [youtube][/youtube]
NYCpunk avatarNYCpunk
you know what's not okay? scalpers with 10 copies of fire emblem fates SE on ebay for $200+. and no one is saying anything.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Fallout 4 wouldn't be Fallout with ridiculous glitches and shenanigans. Here are a few I've run into - [youtube][/youtube]
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
I've never earnestly went drinking before so it's cool to know I'm the slow, sleepy, impaired type.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Got to admit I didn't expect to find a mewtwo amiibo at my bookstore of all places...
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
My cousin found out I slept with his girlfriend and is pissed. Understandable. I am totally sick of the angry phone calls though. It reminds me so much of playing Call of Duty online. The screaming 11 year olds suck on there too.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Huh. Apparently even Japan has a Black Friday sale going on on PSN right now.
Lawman avatarLawman
Yes, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, I know that somebody has 2,625 more medallions than me. No, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, I don't really care.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
This fucking Bloodborne DLC, jesus. I'm on new game+, about level 90, and shit just tears my dick off. I don't know if I want to start another guy just to avoid NG+ and level him up, etc. sigh....
Shinta avatarShinta
Wii U, top selling black friday item on Take that you anti-Wii U people.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I am pretty hyped for when I get a laptop because I'll be able to have a good enough connection to stream XbOne/soon PS4 games to it along with natively rendered Steam games. Hype!
Avoclefo avatarAvoclefo
Got a PS4 that came with SW Battlefront this week, and planning on picking up the FFX/X-2 remake. Hype is through the roof, especially for FFX. If I were to get one other game, what should it be?
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Did a google maps search around my parents house for bars and there isn't one in like 25 miles, so I picked up an Intel compute stick and South Park: Stick of Truth on Steam. That's more or less the drunken screaming I'm in the mood for at about the cost.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
Do you ever have that moment of clarity when talking to someone and suddenly realising: You're just a skull, and they're just a skull, with fucking eyeballs and a sac of skin being the only comparative difference between you visually? ..just me then?
Nathan D avatarNathan D
After quitting for two days out of frustration, I beat Ludwig on my first try of the night. I'm on cloud fucking nine right now.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
When I did my retail shift today, we were moving more Smash/Splat Wii U bundles and the Gears/Rare Replay/Ori XB1 bundles than Uncharted and Battlefront PS4s. I think Nintendo and MS have better value on their side this holiday. Sony got lazy.
Confuseddalek avatarConfuseddalek
I found this weird game called Samurai Heroes for 8 dollars today. Its not bad.
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
Got Deadpool, Arkham Asylum and BioShock 1 and 2 all for 30$. Not to bad for going Black Friday shopping late.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -