Megaman X returns for another adventure in this sequel. It was also pretty fun playing through it because right now I’ve been playing through X2 on the Gamecube collection release. The manga really has a lot of incredible attention to detail here with the boss attack patterns and even a lot of little things about the levels like minions and such. It’s really cool what they have done with this series and I would even say X2 surpasses the original here.
The basic plot is that with the mavericks down for the count X was hoping he could rest a bit. Unfortunately that is not the case as more and more robots as going crazy. It would appear that either Sigma has returned or a new puppet is pulling the strings. X really doesn’t want to fight anymore. He leads a squad of maverick hunters but refuses to take out his buster or fight at all. When his squad is brutally murdered X is forced to step back into the fray. He intends to destroy all of these mavericks so he can bring us back into a world of peace.
You have to feel bad for X because it feels like no matter what he does, the world continues to grow worse and worse. As soon as X has saved the world it only takes a moment for things to go off the rails. Additionally the villains insist on making it personal. In the first chapter we have a maverick pose as a friend and then slaughter everyone before X can stop him. Part of why X is always wracked with guilt is because it seems like he is never in time to save everyone. This incident is really no different. Once again, everyone is being destroyed here. Just in the X2 manga there are at least 10 different people who get murdered before X can save them. You can add a few hundred to that if you count background characters when the mavericks are blowing up cities.
The manga continues to go all in with the disturbing visuals as well. X gets taken to a mystical graveyard at one point where he has to watch reanimated corpses of the X1 bosses just walking around. You have a trippy dream where X’s legs disappear and then reappear while Zero’s upper body is floating around. Then there’s the fact that X even sees his future death. Naturally these visions aren’t real and it’s all just here to psych X out and get him too shaken to fight back. X does a good job of seeing through these attempts. By now X has really come to terms with his mission as a hunter. He still does get very emotional and there’s at least one time where he thinks about giving up but ultimately he’s always someone you can count on.
X is put through the wringer here with a ton of injuries so it’s good that he was built to always be able to power up. Otherwise I don’t think this would have gone very well for him at all. X is really the only main character this time. Dr. Light appears as a hologram a lot to give pep talks and such but it’s not like he’s around to really help. Zero was presumed dead after the events of the first game although of course if you’re familiar with the game’s story then you’ll know if this is true or not right away but the villains quickly take this out into the open since they brainwashed him. I will say the villains are ready to use everything at their disposal here as always and are familiar with reanimating corpses. One of the big 3 villains is even presumed to possibly be Dr. Wily but that was never confirmed.
The three generals make for a good villain group to give X some trouble outside of the main villains. It was also a really good fight. You don’t get to see a whole lot of 3 v 1 fights so they’re always a lot of fun to see. That means X would need to have a lot of good strategies at the ready or he would be blown away. Each of these fighters are quite tough. Compared to the first game adaption it is fair to say that these villains get a little less character. Most of them are just straight up evil so they are just here to toy with X. In the first manga some of the mavericks either weren’t evil or were getting manipulated so this time they’re a little more one note. The villains are all still pretty fun though. I like how they handled the Moth maverick’s transformation here. As a junk bot the maverick was still tough but naturally transforming made a pretty huge difference.
Sigma’s role here is fairly brief but he looks good. I always liked the Wolverine type design they were going for here with the claws. He has a lot of speed so this makes for a pretty climactic battle with him, X, and Zero. His final plan was actually quite good. If not for some last minute magic which was a bit cheesy, he would have really had this one in the bag. Better luck next time I suppose but X and Zero are always ready. Zero also looked pretty good here. He lasted quite a while against great odds. He may not have been in his right mind for most of the series but he struggled quite well to regain control. Additionally his evil form also looks quite sharp. Zero works well as either a villain or hero. I do look forward to him supporting X from the start in X3 though.
It goes without saying but the artwork here is quite excellent. The battle scenes are very dynamic and the whole time you are pretty hyped for each battle. With 3 volumes here there is a good amount of time given to each battle. Expect each maverick to put up a fair fight so nothing is done with too quickly. The pacing is really on point here and the series also has a lot of replay value. It’s all just done really well and I look forward to checking out X3. So far each series continues to be one volume longer and this one is no exception as it will be 4 volumes this time around. All I can say is the more the better so this sounds really good to me.
Overall, Megaman X2 makes for a great adventure. it’s not surprising in the slightest though since the X games were always known for having a pretty good plot. Right from the start those games would always add a lot to the lore. In that sense the series always differentiated itself from the classic incarnation. X will always rank as one of the best versions of the franchise for that reason because the whole thing is just very grand scale. If you haven’t checked this one out yet then I would definitely recommend it. Where else are you going to get such quality Megaman action?