Title: Mega Man Legends 2
System: PSOne Classics (Playstation 3, Playstation Portable, Playstation Vita, Playstation TV)
Release date: 4/5/2016
The main game/story
Taking place a year after the events of Mega Man Legends, (and a short time after the obscure mobile phone spinoff, Five Island Adventure) Mega Man Volnutt and his friend Roll are off on another grand adventure, traveling between islands in search of the Mother Lode keys, which will bring them closer to the fabled treasure, and perhaps some secrets along the way…
Keeping the cel-shaded visuals from the first game intact, Mega Man Legends 2 gives things a slight upgrade, from a revamped menu system, better looking environments, along with better character models, which help the game age much better visually than its predecessor from three years prior.
Music and Sound
Yet another area that got a boost in quality. Not only does this game have a bigger variety of songs compared to the original, but a lot of them are well composed and are much more memorable than most of the themes from the first game, although a few older tracks make reappearances in bonus areas. Some tracks in particular like the Flutter theme are so good that I would honestly call them worthy of being put on your MP3 player, if you can find a copy of the official soundtrack for sale.
The Mega Man Legends series is known for having a gameplay style that’s similar to an odd hybrid of Zelda and Metroid, and while it sounds like a combination that’s bound to cause trouble at first, it thankfully executes it surprisingly well. While the first game mostly focused everything on one island with a giant maze of underground labyrinths to connect everything together, this sequel takes things a bit further, expanding the world of the game to multiple islands, each with their own dungeons to explore!
While this does unfortunately make the game feel more linear than the previous game, mainly due to the fact that all optional dungeons are short and two of the three require completing a tricky sidequest to access, the level designs of the story dungeons are vastly improved compared to the dungeons from the first title. Unlike the previous game where you could easily complete a dungeon in under ten minutes if you knew how to complete it, the dungeons in Mega Man Legends 2 offer a lot more variety and take longer to complete as a result. One dungeon may have you search for a way to repair a bridge to the other side of the top floor, while another may force you to find a way to weaken a boss’s energy source before you can even damage him. This makes the game feel a lot closer to The Legend of Zelda series than the Metroid style of the previous installment, but it manages to pull things off at a fair, balanced pace, with no boss or area feeling cheap or irritating.
Regarding the controls of Mega Man Legends 2, they have also been improved from the odd control scheme of the first game. While you could get used to the controls in the original game with practice, it was rather difficult to focus your attention towards certain enemies, with questionable shoulder button camera controls that you would constantly use for turning. In Mega Man Legends 2 however, not only does it support the analog controller and rumble, but it also allows you to use the right stick to rotate the camera around, reducing the use of those shoulder buttons to make things feel more comfortable. This helps aiming feel more precise, which is very helpful considering the constant need to be on the lookout for enemies.
That being said, there is one disappointing downgrade compared to the first game. In the original Mega Man Legends, you could use the back triggers to lock onto an enemy and fire at them, although you wouldn’t be able to move upon doing so. Mega Man Legends 2 on the other hand does allow you to move while targeting, similar to the 3D Zelda titles, but unlike those games the targeting system has an irritating habit of switching to nearby enemies, which can be frustrating when you’re trying to focus on a boss only to have the reticle suddenly focus on something completely unnecessary. Thankfully this can be somewhat remedied by manually aiming at enemies, but to see the targeting system get downgraded from a game that didn’t even have analog support, it just seems like a bizarre design choice.
In conclusion, upon playing Mega Man Legends 2 to 100% completion, I can safely say that it was well worth the ten year wait for a rerelease. The game has aged significantly better than its predecessor, and also saves you quite a bit of money compared to the original Playstation CD! With an interesting story, great soundtrack, fun gameplay and an art style that holds up better compared to most games from the PSOne era, I can easily recommend Mega Man Legends 2 to any fan of action-adventure titles. You’ll certainly get your money’s worth if you decide to go for 100%, and especially if you want to try out the three hidden difficulty modes as well. If you have a system that can play this rerelease, I strongly recommend you go to the Playstation Network and download this game right away, you won’t regret it! Now, will the long-awaited finale finally come out from the depths of cancellation? Hopefully if this rerelease sells well, it’ll earn the Legends series some new fans and convince Capcom Japan to give the series the ending it deserves.
I give Mega Man Legends 2 a 9 out of 10, and encourage it to all fans of games like The Legend of Zelda, or for those who just want to experience a great story!