Mega Man Legends 2 Preview

What looks like a Saturday morning cartoon and plays like a much-improved version of Mega Man Legends? Mega Man Legends 2, another promising sequel in development at Capcom.

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What looks like a Saturday morning cartoon and plays like a much-improved version of Mega Man Legends? Mega Man Legends 2, another promising sequel in development at Capcom. With any luck, gamers on this side of the Pacific will see it before the current PlayStation hardware fades into the past.

The original Mega Man Legends was reasonably well received in the US, but some initially awkward controls and camera angles made the game a tough sell for casual gamers. Legends screamed for analog support, and Capcom is responding with a variety of adjustable control schemes. We had a chance to play quite a bit of an early build of the game and can say that, hands down, the most interesting of these uses both analog sticks and the shoulder buttons in what could quite possibly be the best implementation of the dual-analog system to date. You walk or run in any direction with the left stick, while with the right stick you change the direction in which Mega Man is facing (or aiming) and the orientation of the camera behind him. Not only does this provide players with intuitive controls, it virtually eliminates bad camera angles provided you've mastered the way of the dual-analog. Jumping and shooting are handled with the shoulder buttons, and an improved lock-on system lets Mega Man move freely while keeping his enemy in his sights.

Using this or one of the more traditional control schemes, Mega Man embarks on a quest to save his friend/sweetheart, Roll, who has been kidnapped by the nefarious Tron Bonne and her Lego-esque servebots. Like its predecessor, Mega Man Legends 2 uses many RPG elements and exploration to supplement blowing up robots and upgrading your weapons. Navigating high-tech ruins and helping a girl catch her runaway pigs on the countryside are a few of the things you can expect to do. Judging from the demo, the environments are much larger than the original's (notably the countryside mentioned earlier), and the overall quest will supposedly be twice as long. Gameplay is always the heart of a game, but Legends 2 has a few other solid features as well. The game uses a bright cartoon graphic style similar to Ape Escape and incorporates some flashy effects for the weapons and explosions. Characters, especially the villainess Tron, are extremely animated and have extensive facial animations and gestures, which accompany their spoken lines.

The game may seem geared toward younger gamers as part of Capcom's family approach to the series, but while it may not be loaded with "mature content" it looks like the game should be able to prove itself more than a kiddy game and deliver--in terms of fun. We'll update the preview and give you more impressions in the coming weeks.

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