img_0220If you ask someone for a list of the best platformers of the 8-bit era, or really, best platformers of all time, Mega Man II [App Store] will undoubtedly be on that list somewhere and likely near the top. Mega Man II had it all-- Highly refined controls, an excellent difficulty curve, and a significant improvement on the then-revolutionary system seen in the first Mega Man that allowed players to harness the abilities of bosses.

The original release of the Mega Man II port for the iPhone was plagued with controls that made the game nearly unplayable. Also instead of porting the original NES game, Capcom ported the version that had been retuned for cell phones, making the game significantly easier.

After hearing the cries of countless disappointed gamers, Capcom revisited Mega Man II and released the significant 1.5 update. The first improvement made is the inclusion of "Classic Mode". Once enabled, Mega Man II plays much more similar to the original version of the game, but sadly, most of the control problems still persist.

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In addition to the terrible portrait mode virtual joystick controls seen in the original, Capcom added an optional landscape control method that can be toggled by turning your iPhone to the side, or by locking the game in to landscape mode in the options. This secondary control method is significantly better than the first, but still due to the limitations of virtual buttons on the touch screen it is extremely difficult to jump and shoot at the same time.

img_0224However, the addition of this new control method at least elevates Mega Man II in to the realm of playability. It's now possible to make it through a few of the easier levels, but I still have no idea how given the current control scheme of the game you would ever make it through Dr. Wiley's castle.

Thankfully, Capcom recently released Mega Man II Lite [App Store] which will allow fellow nostalgic gamers the ability to sample the control schemes before deciding to shell out the $4.99 for the full game.

Until Capcom can figure out how to further improve the controls, I would still recommend sticking with any of the other Mega Man II ports that exist on nearly every other platform. In the meantime, if you're looking to take care of some Mega Man nostalgia, there is a ton of great fan-made Mega Man-inspired music on YouTube between The Protomen and Brentalfloss as well as a huge catalog of remixes on Overclocked Remix.

App Store Link: Mega Man II, $4.99 - Mega Man II Lite, Free

TouchArcade Rating

  • Vende

    Holy crap, I played the light version and was shocked at how bad it was. And that's AFTER the update????

  • Postalp

    They really should put a (A&B) button in the bottom corner (like Nes.app)

  • FinalGamerAC

    Ive always been awesome at megaman games in general but i must be way better than i thought because i beat this game on hard mode before the update(i forgot to add that to my completion post..). I thought the controls were wonky but still in the realm of playable.

  • Steve

    Works perfectly on the 3GS. Great frame-rate and very usable controls. I'm halfway through Wiley's castle.

  • http://www.leafbound.com Dang

    I downloaded the Lite version the other day and played it on my 3GS. The controls aren't the same. It is really off and lagged. I guess they updated it right after I deleted it.

    I love the Bubble Man OC Remix. Playing it right now!

  • Jim

    I have not had a problem with the controls and I am pretty picky about virtual D-pads. I think it is a pretty great port (since the update.) Try the lite version and decide for yourself, I guess. You might actually like it.

  • 5ku112

    The controls are cinch to fix just modify the buttons for rollover between the A and B buttons like in the NES.app where you can hold and and slide over each button instead of doing the "DXchain grip" on your iDevice.

  • ataru

    I was foolish enough to buy this blind on first release. This update is better, with controls which are now just awful instead of completely unusable. The frame rate is better too - previously it was a spluttery mess, but it's now able to run at 60fps every now and again. Mostly though it runs at 30fps and the game plays in slow motion. (this is on an iPhone 3G)

    I also don't understand why Capcom didn't include an option to scale the render target to full screen. Playing it at 1:1 may look sharp, but it's also ridiculously tiny.

  • athom

    I would like to see a Mega Man game like the ones on the GBA, I loved those, if they would make that for the iPhone, then I'm going to buy it, not this one. This is just a cheap emulation of the original game, some might like it, but according to what other people say, I have to believe that controls are terrible.

  • Skip

    its not in the japanese itunes store yet :(