It’s still the only Mega Man game I’ve ever actually played through to completion, and it’s still a cult favorite among fans, and now it’s available for the iPhone and iPod touch. I’m talking about Mega Man II (iTunes Link), Blue Boy’s second adventure, originally released for the NES in 1989. Obviously, I had to download it as soon as I spotted it. And at $4.99, it’s not going to break the bank, either.
I’m only slightly ashamed to admit that I’ve already purchased the mobile version of Mega Man II for a my old LG Shine dumbphone. Capcom Mobile seems to have basically ported that version over to the iPhone platform, though they’ve implemented some device-specific changes, like the control interface.
Speaking of which, I’m afraid the controls feel rather clunky overall. You get an onscreen joystick and “R” and “L” buttons, which control jumping and shooting, respectively. For my largish digits, the interface feels cramped and even getting Mega Man pointed in the right direction is at times challenging. That said, I breezed through Flash Man’s level, and only really felt the control limitations when I got to the boss battle, which I still managed to win without much trouble.
I probably managed the victory because the game has had its difficulty rebalanced for the iPhone port. Enemies are easier to kill, you take less damage, and you can jump higher and further than on the original console version. That might not please the more traditionalist gamers in the crowd, but in my opinion it renders the game playable, whereas it would not be with the game’s original balance left intact. Metal Man felt pretty quick as well, but I was playing on easy, so higher difficulty levels probably offer more of a challenge.
Game saving isn’t exactly perfect, since exiting doesn’t save your state, but it does at least remember which bosses you’ve cleared automatically. Just choose “Continue” after you’ve selected “Start” from the main menu, and your stage cleared status will be restored.
There are a few caveats you should be aware of before you go buying this game. You will become frustrated with the controls, and the screen size used for the actual gameplay portion of the app might have you squinting to see what exactly is going on. Despite those failings, the game is very playable, barring some big headaches when jump-or-die platforming comes into play. Just like the version I had on my dumbphone, however, I predict Mega Man II for iPhone will prove amply distracting on those long subway and bus rides.