Mega Man X2 was released for the Super Nintendo in December 1994, before Mega Man 7, which came in March the following year, and was proving to be the new standard-bearer for the series.
The X series was designed to spice Mega Man up a bit, by giving him new powers and moves, and it certainly succeeded in doing that. The main thing is his ‘wall jump’, which comes in majorly handy throughout the game. In fact: there are sequences early on in where Mega Man is forced to use it to stay alive. It’s also extremely useful for jumping off the side of moving platforms, and also for saving a life when mis-timing a jump and falling into the abyss.
Mega Man X2‘s designers went for big, impressive scenes from the very start. There’s a gigantic (and very impressive) boss battle early on, where the huge robot you’re fighting turns to look at you during the battle. It’s subtle (and fantastic) animation like this that gives the Mega Man series an edge over rivals. And Mega Man X2 is packed full of these impressive touches. Graphically, I think this game is a work of pixel artistry from start to finish.
It’s also a very devious game, with some hellish traps in evidence, including stuff like sentry blocks that drop either side of you (from the ceiling) and hurt if touched (not seen in any previous Mega Man game to the best of my knowledge, and I should know: I’ve just sat and played all of them).
Mega Man X2 has motorbike sequences; sandstorms; underwater cities; and even giant robot suits (which you can ‘drive’ and do battle in). It’s a veritable smorgasbord of varied platforming and blasting!
The eight protagonists in this game are: Wire Sponge, Morph Moth, Flame Stag, Magna Centipede, Overdrive Ostrich, Bubble Crab, Wheel Gator, and Crystal Snail.
The Mega Man X series definitely revitalised the franchise back in the mid ’90s, and Mega Man X2 is arguably the best. In fact: all three SNES Mega Man X games are classics in their own right.
More: Mega Man X2 on Wikipedia