As opposed to the 6 Robot Masters in the original Mega Man, Mega Man 2 had 8, which became the standard in the series. The score counter was gone, and the look of the drops (items) were altered. The gameplay was essentially the same, however.
The Quick Man stage, Bubble Man stage and Heat Man stage were among the hardest in the game. The Quick Man stage had instant-kill fire-beams that had to be dodged by quickly leaving the screen. The underwater Bubble Man stage was difficult because of the spikes on the ceiling and walls. Finally, the Heat Man stage’s disappearing platforms were quite a nuisance. Fortunately, this stage could be beaten relatively easily if you had the 3 special items in your possession (flying platforms, jump booster, etc.).
The Robot Masters were too easy on Normal mode, so I decided to finish the game on Difficult. I found that the Mega Buster was maybe too effective against the Robot Masters (especially on Normal mode). Nevertheless, Air Man and Wood Man were very challenging.
The Fortress Bosses were also extremely difficult, and one battle in particular required that your Crash Bomb was charged at full. Of course, you also encounter all of the Robot Masters a second time in Dr. Wily’s fortress. This made the first battle with Wily especially difficult because it usually meant you wouldn’t be going in at full health (even if you were, you would still have a tough time). The second encounter with Wily is less of a challenge, but you better have your Bubble Lead ready.
The gameplay, of course, is basically the same as the original Mega Man. A to jump. B to shoot. In the underwater portion of the Bubble Man stage your jump was enhanced significantly (as if in a low gravity environment), and this was a relatively new gameplay element in the Mega Man series.
I felt that the graphics were an improvement over the original Mega Man. While the backgrounds and environments were fairly plain in the original Mega Man, they were more developed and stimulating in Mega Man 2.
Sound & Music
The music was better than the original Mega Man, and I especially liked the Quick Man, Metal Man, and Crash Man themes. Of course, I am a big fan of all of the music in the Mega Man series.
Mega Man 2 was a really fun game, but also quite difficult. The fortress battles could cause many a headache. I’m not sure if I agree that it’s one of the best games of all time, but it’s definitely one of the better ones in the classic series. Check it out and see for yourself!