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Creator / M2

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M2 Co., Ltd. (有限会社M2) is a Japanese video game company mainly centered around producing ports of various video games, most notably Sega and Shoot 'Em Up games. Although their origins can be traced back to The '90s, it wasn't until the late Noughties that their best-known works began to emerge.

Notable M2 employees:

  • Naoki Horii — Founder and CEO
  • Manabu Namiki — sound director

Games that M2 has been involved in:

Original development by M2:

Ported by M2:

Ports produced as parts of series

Other ports

Tropes in M2's works in general, as well as works of theirs that don't have their own pages yet:

  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • A lot of their ports have features to make the game more accessible to beginners.
      • Most of the M2STG releases have a Super Easy mode that takes out a lot of the harder elements and introduces an auto-bomb feature. Battle Garegga Rev. 2016 on Super Easy notably disables the rank system completely. There is also a Custom mode that allows the player to adjust various details of the game difficulty (for Garegga, this again includes determining whether to enable rank or not).
      • Sonic 1 and 2 backport the Drop Dash and have a Ring Keep mode in which the player always (re)spawns with 10 rings and taking damage (that isn't from a Bottomless Pit or a squish) will only remove a set amount of rings rather than all of them.
      • The M2STG releases and Darius Cozmic Collection allow the player to assign rapid fire on a per-button basis, and rapid fire has multiple frequency settings. Also using rapid fire will not disqualify scores from online rankings, so players don't have to suffer repetitive stress injury just to climb to the top.
      • Normally, changing difficulty settings will disqualify the player from a high score. However, in games without dedicated custom modes, changing such settings will still allow the player to rank in, just on a separate "All-Mix"/"Freestyle" board. Loading savestates still disqualifies scores completely (indicated with "out of scope" text) though.
    • In the SEGA AGES and M2STG port lines, certain important menu actions require holding down the confirm button, not just pressing it, mainly things like resetting the game or overwriting savestates, so that you don't perform these actions by accident.
  • Arrange Mode: Many of their ports, most notably the SEGA AGES and M2 ShotTriggers ports, introduce arrange modes that retain the main campaign but introduce modifications to the rules, often making the game easier to beat while putting more emphasis on Scoring Points.
  • Compilation Rerelease: Aleste Collection, Darius Cozmic Collection, Castlevania Advance Collection, and Kyuukyoku Tiger Heli each rerelease multiple games in their respective series.
  • Creator's Oddball:
    • Console and handheld games that feature M2 as their lead developer tend to be either shoot 'em ups, ports of classic games, or Retraux games. The Legend of Dark Witch 3 is none of those, being the third in a series of indie action-platformers released for the Nintendo 3DS.
    • M2 also developed and maintains the "E-mote" engine, designed for Visual Novel portraits of all things. M2 themselves have been credited as the primary developer for at least a couple of said novels, Tokyo School Life and Malus Code, while E-mote sees usage in the type of Visual Novels that nobody would expect M2 to have any sort of connection to.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first three M2STG ports lack a dedicated title screen, simply taking you straight into the game, and don't have Challenge mode.
  • Easier Than Easy: Many of the M2STG ports have Super Easy mode, which not only lowers the game's difficulty DIP switches to the easiest setting but introduce additional mods to lower the game difficulty even further, such as auto-bomb, removing any rank mechanics present, and increasing the player's attack damage.
  • Flawless Victory: In the Challenge modes of the M2STG ports, every time you clear a challenge you are awared a medal: Gold means you didn't get hit, Silver means you got hit once, and anything less (that isn't running out of retries) awards Bronze.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The M2 ShotTriggers label, with "ShotTriggers" being a play on "STG" or Shooting Game, the Japanese term for shmups.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Due to the retirement of the Wii Shop Channel, the ReBirth series of WiiWare games are permanently no longer available for purchase, or redownload if you did purchase them but don't have them downloaded onto a functioning Wii.
  • Last Lousy Point: In the M2STG releases' Challenge Modes, there are segments based on the non-boss segments of each stage, the bosses of each stage, and whole stages. Then there is the "All Play" challenge where you have to complete the entire game under Challenge rules. And no, the medal requirements don't change for All Play. If you want the Gold Medal, you have to complete the entire game without getting hit. And in Ketsui, without bombing; don't even try if you can't unlock the Special Round!
  • Loophole Abuse: Many of their ports with online rankings will disqualify your score from online rankings if you use a continue, even just the score you got on your first credit.note  This can be aggravating if you want to use continues just to practice the rest of the game. However, in most releases that do this, if there is a Quick Save/Load feature you can get around this. When the continue prompt appears, make a Quick Save then proceed to the Game Over sequence; this will upload your score to the rankings. Afterwards, load your save and you can safely continue without having your uploaded score withdrawn.
  • No Export for You: Roughly half of their M2 ShotTriggers releases remain out of official reach for non-Japanese players.
  • No Fair Cheating:
    • In M2 ports with savestates, using savestates or certain gameplay-affecting options will prevent you from registering your score/time on the leaderboards.
    • In the M2STG ports, you can view replays while paused in the middle of a game, but doing so will disqualify you from the rankings. That said, ain't no rule that you can't just look up a replay video online on a separate device.
  • Retraux: The ReBirth games, released in the late 2000s, are meant to replicate the style of 32-bit sprite-based games from the PS1/Saturn/N64 era.
  • Signature Style: Their shmup Arrange Modes seem to have a common pattern of having a low skill floor thanks to assists like auto-bombing and Super Modes and a high skill ceiling thanks to requiring full use of the mode's unique gimmicks to crank out the best scores. They also tend to have a special extra-hard mode that further boosts the player's score that is activated if certain conditions are met in stage 1, and which is turned off if the player is down to their last life.
  • Updated Re-release: Their ports don't just rerelease older games for modern platforms, they often bring a number of updates to the table, such as Arrange Modes, savestates, arranged soundtracks, and on-screen "M2 Gadgets" that show behind-the-scenes information. ESP Ra.De. Psi in particular even adds a brand new Final Boss.