Megaman Legends 2 (PS1)

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Introduction

Professor Barrell, Megaman and Roll’s grandfather, and his old colleague Von Bluecher are making another attempt at landing on Forbidden Island– I know it’s dangerous but with a name like ‘Forbidden Island’ it’s just asking for people to explore it. A place where the Mother Load is said to be. Roll’s parents attempted this expedition and were never seen again. Barrell and Bluecher’s last expedition nearly cost them their lives. Megaman and Roll watch the proceeds on television, Roll’s dreams of finding the Mother Load are basically shattered. But, a woman who looks like Roll’s mother and a strange Reaverbot damage the engines on Bluecher’s ship. Sending it slowly into Forbidden Island anyway. Megaman and Roll have to use Roll’s father’s designs for a drop ship to get to Forbidden Island and save gramps– and all the other people on the ship, them too! Run, jump, and shoot in this stunning sequel.

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I’m not sure which is more striking, Roll’s adorable pajamas or seeing Megaman in an apron.

History

There’s not much to say about the development of Legends 2 that wasn’t already said about Legends 1. That being said there was supposed to be a Legends 3. When asked about it after this game’s release Inafune said he wanted to do it but couldn’t at the time. Cut to 7 years after his games release, on September 29, 2010, all of the Legends fans rejoice at the announcement of Megaman Legends 3. Legends 3 is put on hold so that Capcom can test the waters by selling something called Megaman Legends 3: Prototype Version, stating that if Prototype Version sold well enough that they would release Legends 3.

On July 18, 2011 it was announced that the whole project was scrapped because, “it was not felt that the Mega Man Legends 3 project met the required criteria”. What does that even mean? Did the game fail to complete on time on its budget? Did it fail to meet some sort of weird requirement? Did you think it wouldn’t sell? I dunno, what I do know is that it’s a low blow to ask a game’s fans to buy another game to get the game they want to be finished or released. It’s just a manipulative tactic that’s not cool to use.

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Pictured here was the fanbase’s reaction to Megaman Legends 3 getting cancelled.

Megaman Legends 2 was released on August 3rd, 2001. It’s competition was Max Payne (PC), Final Fantasy X (PS2), Silent Hill 2 (PS2), and Ico (PS2)

Nostalgia

Manuals, I love them. Nothing like getting all this background information that might not show up in the game but is cool to read about anyway, amirite? Well, the Legends 2 manual took a detour somewhere in translation hell. Character’s names are mistranslated all over the place so it’s hard to keep track of who’s who. I had wondered if perhaps there was something wrong with my manual and I was the estranged owner of a misprint manual but that’s not the case, they were all messed up. I’m curious why though, how a translation error like this happens. I guess I’m just glad that the game doesn’t suffer from translation problems, it’s engrish-free.

Gameplay

Like its predecessor this game is all about the jumping and shooting. Unlike its predecessor this game has other islands to explore. It’s basically the first game but with more. More about reaverbot mysteries, more pirates to fight, more ruins to explore, better animation, better load times, better mechanics. It also provides a satisfactory explanation for why Megaman doesn’t have all the gear he had in the first game, Roll pawned it all so she could fix the Flutter so well that it would never break down again. It’s sort of lame for there to be no bonus for owning the previous game, but true to her word the Flutter doesn’t suffer any sort of malfunctions.

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And considering how far that ship’ll have to fly, I’m pretty grateful.

The Bonnes have teamed up with Glyde of the Loathe gang and two veteran pirates named Bola and Claymore. Without the Gesselschaft the Bonnes have had to rely on a fleet of smaller flying machines to get around. They’re still as crafty as ever. Glyde has superior firepower and stronger foot soldiers in his Bird-bots. But his birdbots are far more lazy than Tron’s Servbots. Bola and Claymore flex their veteran muscles by fighting Megaman in one on one fights, typically when the Blue Bomber is running on fumes. They present a much greater and varied threat than the Bonnes alone could.

There are 5 islands and another spoilery area to explore in this game. Ranging from frigid climates of Calinca to the deserts of Saul Kada from the jungle of Manda to the refurbished reaverbot ruin of Nino. Each area presents a totally different atmosphere and setting. It’s also really interesting to see more of this world covered in endless water. That being said, the map has kind of a lot of land for a world covered in endless water. It’s time to solve they mystery of the Mother Load.

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SNOW! Also, characters sport new accessories. Behold, Roll’s winter coat and Megaman’s uselessly small but infinitely large backpack.

The Gush

The Bosses in this game are really fun to fight. Between fighting giant robots that barely fit in their rooms or fighting the whole pirate gang in a weaponized train– with an infinitely long track apparently.

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Oh… uh… hey Punch Man. This guy is also more agile than you’d expect.

I love Bola and Claymore. Maybe it’s because I just wanted them to get a little more screen time, maybe it was because I was interested in how they amassed their fortunes, maybe it’s because I wanted to know what they looked like under their armor, maybe it’s because their theme music is just so catchy. I was just taken in by Bola’s cool demeanor and Claymore’s near indestructibility– defeated only because he throws his back out.

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Just look at these guys! The only thing that could have made them better is if there was a fight against both of them at the same time.

Everything about this game is improved over the last one. The game is overall smoother. Megaman can move while he’s locked on now, loading screens are shorter, menu surfing is smoother. It’s the way a sequel should be.

Although the dungeons aren’t all interconnected they’re much more inventive. Between water physics and all the cool stuff that brings and the new and improved reaverbots Megaman’ll tackle it’s overall really cool.

The mega buster has better parts and the special weapons have become a little more niche. It’s difficult to express but special weapons aren’t just boss killers anymore, they’ll be helpful in beating the tougher normal enemies.

The Kvetch

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These are Appo and Dah.

And they’re annoying as hell. They run around, need to be escorted, and shout all the goddam time. Not a second goes by with this guys around that they’re not shouting, “Over here!” or “This way!” at the top of their lungs.

I dunno what happened to Gramps between this game and the last one. In Legends 1 he was an uproariously proud and boisterous digger who was too old to put on the armor and go into the field. He was always full of life and energy. In this game it sounds like age caught up with him really fast. He speaks in a low grumbling tone. It’s still warm and kind, but that energy is gone and it was something that I looked forward to in the character.

The test to get the Class S digger license is a load of bull-honkey. It’s hard as hell and locks off a really cool water dungeon with lots of valuable loot inside. When I say hard as hell, I mean that it demands a nearly perfect run from the player to complete properly. What exacerbates the problem is that Megaman’s upgrades and special weapons are limited to what the exam gives him so the player can’t rely on their more impressive equipment.

Manda island sports a pretty good school for a jungle village. Megaman can take quizzes at the school to earn items. They’re 10 questions long and include topics ranging from brain teasers, to obscure music trivia. Doing the three base quizzes reveals a 100 questions quiz. This quiz sucks, they’re all pretty frustrating. What got my goat is that each quiz has a limited question pool so I’d see a question I had answered correctly before but couldn’t remember the answer to now.

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Oh man, only 47 questions left.

Megaman got a new voice actor that kind of makes him sound like a girl. I know that he’s a 14 year old boy in this incarnation, so having a female voice actor isn’t unfeasible. I mean, Bart Simpson has a female voice actor and he sounds like a young boy. Megaman’s voice from the first game seemed to sound like a young boy more. Maybe I just hate change, maybe I’m just crazy. Drop a comment if you agree or you think I’m crazy.

This game is more transparent with its karma system than the last game. If Megaman does good things the his armor turns a brighter shade of blue, if he performs cruel deeds like kicking rabbits then his armor turns a darker shade of blue. This seems like a sort of silly thing but there are some merchants that will only sell to Megaman if he’s good or if he’s evil. How are you supposed to figure this out? I have NO CLUE! But some of these merchants sell incredibly useful items, from which special weapons can’t be crafted without.

So… there’s no Megaman Legends 3 and… at the end of the game SPOILERS Megaman ends up on the artificially created moon. So… Megaman is trapped on the moon. And until there’s a sequel he’s stuck there. That’s kind of a bummer.

The Verdict

I know the Gush section was much shorter than the Kvetch in this case but it’s just easier to condemn something than it is to laud its praises. And because this game still does all the things that he first game did right. I like this game a lot more than the previous game because it keeps things fresh by making them quicker. If you like the first then definitely play the second.

Next Week: The Misadventures  of Tron Bonne (Because completion)

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