by theory C In 1998, MegaMan Legends changed everything you thought you knew about the iconic Blue Bomber. No longer were you limited to two dimensions, no longer did you get to choose your levels in the order you liked, no longer were jumping and shooting the only things that mattered. In fact, Capcom changed just about everything that had made the franchise a success. Some purists stuck their noses to the heavens and refused to acknowledge the 'MegaMan' printed on the cover jacket as representative of the inside product. Yet, others embraced the game for what it was, and found in it an addictive little game full of fun and charm that would come to earn the game a place in gamer's hearts. And now the groundbreaking (groundbreaking for MegaMan anyways) new series is receiving its first sequel. But does the sequel retain the features that made the original so enjoyable? The answer is a resounding "HECK YES".
The game takes place shortly (about one year) after MegaMan Legends. Legends 2's storyline is almost completely non-reliant on the story in the first game, although there are plenty of threads that will be easier for you to pick up on if you've played the first game. Legends 2's story is far more prevalent to the series as a whole; in Legends the story only affected one small island, whereas in Legends 2 the fate of the world is at stake, and you'll need to traverse several islands (and even another planet) to discover the mystery behind the legendary Mother Lode, which is said to be the answer to the world's energy shortages. Along the way, you'll encounter the Bonnes, the ironically lovable air pirates from Legends 1, along with several new groups of pirates who will try to come between you and the Mother Lode. Also, you'll discover clues to whereabouts of Roll's (MegaMan's adoptive sister and spotter while on the underground expeditions known as digs) parents, as well as MegaMan's origins. The story is surprisingly deep and enjoyable for a MegaMan title, which tend to be painfully simple and repetitive. The storyline will keep you engaged from explosive opening to the cliffhanger ending, and will stick in your mind along with the memorable cast of characters for a long time to come.
The graphics have received a significant update. Everything is tightened from the original; character models are more detailed, jagged lines are far less severe and frequent, and scenery is more expansive and varied. At the same time, the charm of the original's distinct anime style is fully intact and stronger than ever. Everything runs smoothly, and the details will have you running around the multiple towns just for the fun of being there. Meanwhile, the music is fairly subtle, but serves the purpose quite well. The voice acting is superb all around, easily the best in any MegaMan game released before or after Legends 2. Oddly, all the voices were kept from the first Legends except for MegaMan's. His voice is now more high-pitched, which has irked some fans. However, it's not anywhere near as high as the voices in MegaMan 8, or even X4, and fans really have nothing major to worry about.
The controls are identical to those in Legends 1, and feel as good as ever. If this your first venture into the Legends universe, it will take a little getting used to, but after romping through the brief tutorial, you should have no problems whatsoever for the rest of the game. Perhaps the game's single flaw in terms of game play is the lock-on feature. It has been greatly improved from Legends 1 in that you can you can now move while being locked onto an enemy instead having your boots glued to the ground. However, there is still the issue of the auto-lock locking onto enemies that you don't want to lock onto. For example, there may be an enemy 10 feet in front of you, and an enemy lurking behind the corner. There are instances in which it will lock on to the unseen enemy rather than the enemy in front of you. This is not a disastrous flaw by any means, but it is certainly an annoyance. Overall, the game play is near perfect. And the scope of the levels is quite astounding as well. The game takes place over several islands that you can fly between in your flutter via an over world map. Because of this, the areas are far more varied than in Legends 1. However, this also requires the sacrifice of the single universal dungeon in Legends 1, but it is understandable considering the trade-off made.
In summary, MegaMan Legends 2 improves on just about every aspect of its predecessor, making this what some fans will consider the best game in the entire franchise. It doesn't matter if you prefer the 2D games. It doesn't matter if you don't like the 2D games in the first place. It doesn't matter if you've never picked up a MegaMan game in your life. This game is a treat, and one that you should not allow yourself to miss.