When it comes to the original Mega Man games for the Nintendo Entertainment System, the second installment in the popular franchise has held up remarkably well over the years and manages to be a fan favorite even today with its perfect mix of solid gameplay, engaging characters, and memorable music. Blue bomber fans everywhere would probably relish the opportunity to carry the game around in their pockets for some quick Metal Man mayhem on demand, but the recently released version of the game for Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch is not the way to achieve this goal. IGN's Mark Bozon reviewed the game and came away thoroughly disappointed.
The core design is the same, offering the Eight Master Robots, the blue bomber himself, and some of the similar music and sound effects, but the gameplay has been completely screwed with, including everything from control to jump height, frame drops, and complete inconsistencies between this and the original NES source material.
On the control front, Mega Man 2 uses an on-screen joystick and two buttons, all done via touch. Unfortunately the control stick is far from accurate or intuitive, making moving, climbing, or – I shudder at the thought – boss fights nearly impossible. If you thought Quick Man's stage was tough on NES, imagine it with control suddenly going chaotic and losing your point of contact. The jump control has completely changed as well, now allowing Mega Man to jump about 75% or so across a standard play screen in one bound, and also jumping higher in the process, allowing for access to areas he shouldn't be able to go, or bypasses of pull platforms completely. It's a complete mess. Enemy spawners pump out two, three, or four baddies at a time at random intervals, holding down fire can automatically spew a continuous stream of bullets onto the screen, and all the while you deal with small frame pops and slight slowdown, complete with missing audio for seemingly random sound effects.
This isn't the first pathetic traditional Mega Man game to crash land in the market, but the surprising thing here is that this port of Mega Man 2 is actually a Capcom-designed production. There's no blaming Hi-Tech Expressions this time. What happened, Capcom?