Mega Man 2
Though the original Mega Man started the series, it was it’s sequal that popularized it and set the standard for just about every Mega Man game to come. Several improvements were made in Mega Man 2 over it’s predecessor. Most notable: More robot bosses were added, more detailed graphics, energy tanks, and the password system. Mega Man was one of the very few series with an intuitive password system. It was a grid system that involved the placement of red dots, as opposed to writing down a 32 character alphanumeric string (lolz Faxanadu).
Mega Man 2 wasn’t as hard as it’s predecesor, but what it lacked in difficulty it more than made up in awesome level design. Not being frustrating and evil to the point of wanting to hurl your controller through the screen in NES rage isn’t a bad thing though (energy tanks good). It’s reasonably difficult for a notice to average player, but it’s not going to provide you with a Contra level challege. Either way, don’t let that deter you.
The graphics in general look more polished and sylish that it’s predecessor, and adds more distinctivness to the series. The backgrounds in Mega Man 2 are for the colorful and animated without being seizure inducing or distracting. There are a good amount of unique graphics, enough to give each stage a distinct feel. The sprites in this game are also very good. There’s a pretty wide variety of enemies, most of which are creative and well drawn.
Campcom, at least for the games that they made for the NES, set a high bar in terms of sound and music. Mega Man 2 is no exception, each track is memorable and catchy. I would even go as far as to say that it has the best soundtrack of all the Mega Man games. The Wily Fortress 1-2 theme has to be one of my favorite game tracks period.
If I had to make a list of my all time favorite NES games, Mega Man 2 would have to be pretty high up in rank (top 5 at least). It’s still a fun excellent game to play, even now. That’s pretty rare.