Games like: Mega Man 2, Mega Man 3
Time played: 4 hours
Dr. Wily is at it again but this time Mega Man is 100 per cent out of commission. Infected with a crippling virus, Dr. Light decides to entrust his former enemies, the robot masters from Mega Man 2, to stop Dr. Wily and his plan to take over the world. It’s up to them and their collective powers to journey across the world to take down these new advisors and stop Dr. Wily once and for all. At least, until the next one comes out.
The Mega Man engine has been completely remade from scratch off the Game Maker development platform. All of the original assets from MM 2 and MM 3 are present and even some extras that were discovered on the Mega Man 3 rom make an appearance. Additions such as the ability to save and multiple checkpoints to return to from a death are avaliable. It plays like you’d expect from a Mega Man game. The developers paid close attention to the details and platforming of the original series and did extremely well in recreating the experience. There’s never a death you can’t blame yourself for and there’s no hidden traps that you’d find in other offshoots of the title.
If you are wanting to use a controller (and why wouldn’t you? It’s a Mega Man game after all) then your only choice is Joy2Key. Preferably an NES or SNES controller to really get that Mega Man feel. The J2K file I’ve included is for the Xbox 360 controller. Of course, if you have one for another controller please shoot me the link and I’ll be happy to include it. The buttons are assigned as you would traditional see for a Mega Man game. There are some hot keys that allow you to switch between the different robot masters on the fly, much like Mega Man X. But you can also press the start button and bring up a selection as you would in MM 3. There is a slight delay in switching to different robot masters because each one you pick, they beam in like they normally would if you were starting a new level. This can make the difference between life or death but well placed timing will aid more often than not.
Much like every Mega Man game, you start off with your choice of which level to start with first. There is a roundabout path to take to make your journey a little easier by using the weapon designed to defeat the boss at the end of the level. If you are a hardcore Mega Man fan, then you can basically tackle the levels in any order because you rock. But for the rest of us, we need a little hand up and using the weakness against the boss will prove for an easier time. I have created a list of which robot masters to tackle first. Use it wisely for there are many spoilers afoot.
Starting a level grants you access to a specific robot master from Mega Man 2. After completing the level, you will unlock the master to use in a different level by switching to them. This replaces the Mega Man ability of taking on their weapon. Instead of retrofitting Mega Man with your enemy’s main weapon, you become them. Pretty cool, right? Who doesn’t want to be the bosses? But they have added abilities as well. Bubble Man, while slow on land, is extremely quick in the water and can swim all over the place while the others will sink. Wood Man doesn’t conduct anything like regular metal would. So in Magnet Man’s stage, the floating magnet enemies have no effect on him. I guess he really is made out of wood. Heat Man using his flame dash just like in the original but now you can use it to get over gaps that a typical jump wouldn’t suffice or to reach a higher platform.
As powerful as these robot masters are, they aren’t without their limitations. Crash Man, for example, can only throw one crash bomb at a time. This can be an issue if you over or under throw the bomb leaving you waiting for it to explode to try again all the while trying to avoid danger. Some of the robot masters can’t even climb ladders requiring you to switch just to further the level. Metal Man has been toned down to shooting only three saw blades at a time. If they hit a wall, it has a spin wheel effect to it where the blade will climb the walls and ceiling killing anything in its path. Yes, the Metal Blade was overpowered in the original sequel, but that was one of things I was wanting. Just killing absolutely everything with Metal Man.
I didn’t run into too many issues surprisingly. Giant programs like this can be hit or miss and I’m pleased to say it’s extremely polished. There is one annoying thing where if you are climbing a ladder to reach a new area and the screen scrolls, holding up does not continue the climb. You have to press up again to climb once more. In terms of gameplay, there were a few times I was scratching my head wondering if the level just wasn’t designed correctly or if it was the fact that I wasn’t using the correct robot master. The robot master that comes with a certain level doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the correct one to use. So you have this trial and error situation and at points it just feels like bad level design. But maybe it’s the fact you haven’t unlocked the correct master yet to use that’s why it feels off. It’s an interesting concept because we haven’t played these characters before and many of us know every inch of Mega Man that it becomes an extension of yourself. But the developers had a chance to create a brand new experience with these “sort of” new characters and I’m thoroughly impressed with their decisions.
Another quick annoyance came from some of the robot master’s special abilities requiring you to charge your weapon to execute the move. You’ll be Mega Man-ing along (that’s a word. Look it up) smashing the fire button killing enemies and all of a sudden, you’ll start charging. I don’t know if this is just a glitch with the game itself or a design flaw. Rapidly pressing the fire button is a staple from the franchise and the game seems to have a difficult time deciding between the two. Many deaths were had due to this issue. Luckily only a handful of the robot masters have a charging ability.
On the hand of graphics and sound, it’s what you’d expect. This is a Mega Man after all and all of the sprites and sound effects are perfect. Even some of the new animations made for the playable robot masters look pretty damn good. Wood Man’s walking animation is a nice side view of him. Something I had to go back to see from Mega Man 2. I thought he walked around all the time, but he doesn’t. The music is all the tunes from MM3 and even showcase some of the new enemies that didn’t make it into the final product launch.
Mega Man: Day in the Limelight 2 puts you at the helm of something I’ve always wanted: the ability to control the actually robot masters from the series. In a strange turn of events, you take on the MM3 bosses with a line up of Metal Man, Crash Man, Bubble Man and more. Remixed level design, added abilities and a sweet new take on the series title, Day in the Limelight 2 is a beautiful entry into the fan creation of Mega Man.
Check out more pics from Mega Man: Day in the Limelight 2!
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