Chasing a Legend

I replay Mega Man Legends fairly often. Probably every other year, at least. I could likely even squeeze in more replays, as it’s a pretty short game. It’s an all-time favourite of mine, even as its age becomes more and more apparent with each subsequent run.

Despite this, I’ve only ever played the sequel once, and I didn’t even finish it, at that. The final boss was just too tough for me, and I guess I must have been distracted by some other shiny thing before I could work up the skill to finally conquer it. I’ve been in a very PS1 kind of headspace lately, so I decided last weekend that it’s time to right this long-standing wrong.

Mega Man Legends 2 just isn’t landing with me the same way the first game does. Maybe it’s because I don’t have the same nostalgia for it that I do for the original. I don’t know. It’s certainly a better game, in technical terms. The graphics are considerably better, the controls are less terrible, the world is bigger, the dungeons are more impressive, the voice acting is even wackier. I could go on.

What bothers me are just a few little things. Most of all, that the lock-on feature is a friggin’ idiot, quite commonly locking onto the enemy farthest from Mega Man, sometimes refusing to switch to closer threats. A lot of the time, it shows a strong preference to lock on to enemies that are around corners, which is never helpful. The solution, of course, would be to not bother using the lock-on, but it’s way too hard to aim manually at anything that isn’t stationary. So that’s a bit of a frustration.

I’m also not super crazy about the bigger scope of the story. Yes, of course it was going to build up to that, and it’s not that the plot really suffers for it. I just have a personal preference for the story of the first game, which focused on a single island and its many mysteries. In MML2, you’re hopping between all these islands, and the fate of the world is at stake, so on and so forth. That’s all fine, but Kattleox island had so much personality, whereas the smaller locales in MML2 haven’t been developed enough to have that same level of charm.

Lastly, the first dungeon boss was just insanely annoying. This stupid frog boss took me four tries to beat, mostly because the room is constantly flooded with things trying to kill you. For one, there are spike traps zipping around the perimeter of the room, and these little tadpole guys flopping about in the center, between the raised platforms that the boss jumps around on. The boss itself is constantly spewing out bubbles that track you until they hit a wall or you shoot them, and there’s a respawning dragonfly flitting around above the arena that exists solely to screw up your lock-on. You might have to see it to get a good idea of how badly this fight is stacked against you, but trust me. It’s rough.

But I’m only like a quarter of the way though as of this writing, so who knows? Maybe it’ll really start to click with me once I get a little farther in. I hope so. I feel giddy every time I play the original game, and it would be awfully nice if I found even half as much enjoyment in the sequel.

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