The following is a part of my list of my Top 10 All-Time Favorite Games. There may be spoilers ahead, so read with caution. Please make note that I rated these games not out of quality relative to other titles but in the order of how much fun I had with each of them and how important they are to my personal gaming history.
The year was 198X…
My brother and I hadn’t had our NES for very long but we were burning through games left and right thanks to a local Mexican food store and their kickass game rental policy. Video stores were offering rentals at $5 for three days, but this place was doing five days at $4. Considering that my family shopped there all the time, it only made sense to stick with them out of loyalty.
Somewhere along the lines, we had gotten our grubby little hands on the first Mega Man game and we instantly loved it. The game was a master class in simple-yet-effective design and had a challenge that only the best could get the hang of. Between my group of close friend, my brother was the only person I knew who could finish the game back then.
Of course, when the sequel came out, we were all giddy and ready to (have our parents) buy this game at release. Sadly, because we were such strong renters, our parents never saw the need to really buy games so we were relegated to waiting for it to be available at the food shop. However, our friends – who also were brothers – were able to get a copy. They had arguments about who was going to play it first and how far the other could get before handing the controller over.
Once I was able to play the game, I was in love. It once again followed the same basic principles of design as the first game, but this time it had MORE bosses! I remember vividly that I first chose to face Air Man, which I later learned was a huge mistake. Still, I was able to defeat him and get his Air Shooter… which is a terrible weapon in the practical sense.
Stupid choice aside, I was still happy to see that the difficulty was slightly lowered, but not to a point where the game was a breeze to get through. Each boss had a set pattern that one can easily discern if they pay enough attention, and the joy of finding out which weapon was most effective against them was undeniable. Those discoveries put a smile on my face, and nothing was better than equipping the Metal Blade against Metal Man and discovering that it only took ONE HIT to defeat him.
The other great aspect of this game was its amazing soundtrack. Back in the NES days, a lot of games featured a ton of memorable music but, for whatever reason, Mega Man 2 always stood out as one of the best, in my mind. Even the intro song just ingratiates its way into your heart within 5 seconds, and then escalates into what is easily one of the most memorable themes in all of video games.
I replayed this game as much as I could before returning it to that store. Both my brother and I finished it within those five days, and the younger of our friends was the first of them to defeat Dr. Wily. Needless to say, the older brother wasn’t too happy about that. I think they fought over it.
Mega Man, your blue suit and giant eyes will always have a special place in my heart over the course of all your games but Mega Man 2 is easily the best of them all, making it my Number 10 Favorite Game of All-Time.