VC Weekly 330

Welcome to VC Weekly, N-Europe’s guide to the wonderful world of Nintendo’s download service. Written by Sam C Gittins

Capcom fans rejoice! For we have another excellent title from the company that currently seems to be on a roll with the VC titles recently. Anyway enough from me and on with the game!
Available for download this week we have...     

Mega Man Zero 2

Price: GB £6.29, EU €6.99
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Inti Creates
Released: 2003
System: GBA
With the first Mega Man Zero titles turning out to be a resounding success it shouldn't come as too much of a surpise that a sequel was released merely a year later to capitalise on the newfound momentum the franchise had picked up, naturally it wouldn't be amiss to think that this could just be a simple case of 'kerching!' but that thought couldn't be further from the truth. Indeed this iteration merely takes the building blocks of the previous title, then constructs more layers on top while giving the whole thing a good polish which results in something rather special; even the story interconnects as a year has passed since the events of the first game - play it if you want to see the ending - so catching up with Zero you get to see how  the Resistance has moved forward thanks to your previous efforts, however there is now a new robot in town.

Early on you are introduced to Elpizo who is the new leader of the pack which actually makes for a more interesting plot continuation - without spoiling anything - in addition to giving the player a new yet familiar enough character to play as, all of the solid controls have been retained thankfully as has the action-orientated gameplay which was so enjoyable originally. Weapons now fortunately don't take as much effort to level up so you don't feel obligated to grind as such, the Cyber Elves are now properly named so you can easily identify the little blighters plus they don't require feeding quite as many crystals any more; of course for all the improvements there was bound to be a letdown, which in this case comes down to the game world being broken up into more 'traditional' stages as opposed to having an interconnected game world even though it turns out that this isn't actually that much of a blow as it is a sensible compromise.

Stage design feels more refined bringing to mind some of the earlier Mega Man titles which had a fair challenge to them instead of quickly becoming masochistic due to sections which had been deliberately designed to annoy the player in the previous outing. Your characters weapon set has been improved too now including the Chain Rod which allows you to obtain items from afar in addition to bestowing the ability of crossing chasms by swinging from the ceiling, there are EX Skills this time around which reward the more proficient player with extra moves if you manage to earn an A/S Rank, this is a nice addition even if it's slightly superfluous, there are also different unlockable forms for Zero which you'll gain just by playing your way so if you prefer to just use the Z Sabre only then you'll surely be rewarded for such diligence.


All of this brilliance is brought together with enhanced aesthetics which takes on the charming style of the first title then just smooths it over a bit so you're left with all of the depth, bringing out the colourful, cartoon-like feels that the series remains famed for. Of course the soundtrack more than holds its own, managing to produce some simply spectacular sounds for you to blast along with in the background, further serving to accentuate the high-octane action further bolstered by the nicely sampled sound effects which are a staple of any decent Mega Man title.

To anyone considering jumping in with Mega Man Zero 2 I would advise that you start with the first game which is enjoyable in itself in order to appreciate not just the enhancements but the over-arching story as well, this is a series all of its own that is well worth investing some time in. If you've already blasted through the first game or if you're a long-term Mega Man fan then of course go in swinging as you should know to expect greatness from this highly regarded title; at only little over six pounds it's a decent investment too if you're merely wanted to experience it, hopefully the other titles won't be too far behind so that they can all be played in one place with ease.  
Verdict : Mega Man Zero 2 easily assures the series its worth within the collective universe.

That's it for another installment of VC Weekly which will return again soon. So until then, enjoy the rest of the week and Game On!

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