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  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • The fight with Violen in the X-Hunter Base, at least if you fought him in the main stages before. He uses exactly the same pattern as he did then, just now creating a couple of blocks in the air to change the bouncing patterns of his flail (not that it followed much pattern before). If you could beat him in the first part of the game with your limited power-ups and health, coming here now likely with a fully upgraded X makes him laughably simple to defeat.
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    • The fight with Agile in final stages is rather bizarre. Agile decided to turn himself into an inanimate saucer and just darts back and forth at the top of screen dropping platforms on both sides of himself to try and hurt X. With his weakness, Magnet Mine, he's a breeze to defeat for such a late boss. Also, the secret Shoryuken move from the very same stage is a One-Hit Kill.
    • As truly epic as the fight is with the music and story, the fight against Zero has him suffer from a very predictable attack pattern that is easily avoided. It's perfectly possible to beat him just by climbing the wall to avoid his triple shot, then drop down to fire off a charge shot you charged during the climb, the act baiting him to repeat his triple shot. Repeat until he's defeated.
    • The final battle with Sigma was clearly designed under the assumption that the player would be coming off the above battle immediately beforehand low on energy and Sub-Tanks, as the battle is by far the easiest of the three SNES game finales. Sigma's first form goes down with just a few charged Sonic Slicer shots, while his second form also serves as a Mook Maker, with the enemies that he creates providing a ready supply of life and weapon energy power-ups when you destroy them. Couple in also that it moves rather slowly and its sole offensive attack besides Collision Damage is easy to avoid, and the final boss is just a complete curbstomp for you.
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  • Contested Sequel: In many ways, X2 is a Mission-Pack Sequel to X1. Some portions of the fanbase are fine with this, and feel it ultimately means that this game can be described as 'X1 but better', while other portions feel that the lack of innovation in this title (aside from minor things like introducing air dashing to the series) make it inferior.
  • Disappointing Last Level:
    • The X-Hunter fortress stages are collectively easier than Sigma Palace in the first game. Also, with the exception of the relatively impressive boss in the second stage, the bosses are also anticlimatic.
    • Finally, there's no reason for the final level to just be physically the first third of Magna Centapede's level.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
  • Franchise Original Sin:
    • The Ride Chaser was introduced in this game, but its main purpose — to get the Heart Tank in Overdrive Ostrich's level — could easily be circumvented with a dash jump/charged Speed Burner combo, and the game didn't force you to use it. Later games (with the exception of X6) had Ride Chaser levels as a staple, which are some of the most frustrating platforming segments in the entire series.
    • This is the game where Zero started to become more prominent in the series, with a sidequest to put him back together and hints about his origin. It gave the series more depth and a recurring character, but it also led to Zero's eventually overshadowing of X as he continued to get pushed to the forefront, which would culminate in X getting shafted from the lead role in X7.
  • Game-Breaker: The X-Buster upgrade is astonishing, allowing you to place two charged shots in reserve. This 1-2 punch even bypasses the usual Mercy Invincibility of many bosses, letting you take a large bite out of their life. The main con is the time needed to charge up two balls, but the payoff is potent. What's even better is that you can access the capsule using Strike Chain and a well-placed wall dash jump, meaning you can obtain the part in your second stage. If you want it even sooner, you can actually do it with no items, and very precise jumping. Which means you can get it before beating any boss, and you can break the game in about your first 20 minutes of gameplay. Granted, it's one hell of a challenge doing it.
  • Goddamned Boss: Wheel Gator spends a lot of time hiding in his arena's oil pool, and he cannot be damaged until he surfaces. Using his weakness, the Strike Chain, causes him to immediately resubmerge each time he is hit. It's much quicker and efficient to defeat the maverick with just the X-Buster.
  • Good Bad Bugs: In Bubble Crab's stage, on the floor underneath the subtank, it's possible to dash jump and reach the subtank without using Bubble Splash.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: When Zero easily defeats a copy of himself, he boasts to Sigma that "There is only one Zero!". Jump 100 years later, and his body is used to wipe out around nearly all life on Earth.
  • Memetic Badass: Green Biker Dude is a Red Shirt who rides with X to the Mechaniloid factory that serves as the intro stage. His Ride Chaser is shot and as he and the bike explode, he pops a wheelie. Fans knew him for a whole 5 seconds, but will never forget him. X8’s voice actor for Zero was interested in voicing this character, hoping he would get in a Gaiden Game of some kind.
  • Memetic Mutation: Pop a Wheelie and Die, Green Biker Dude!
  • No Budget:
    • Violen's mandatory fight; The fight is barely different from the optional fight and X's upgrades hopelessly outclass him. Contrast with Serges who at least pilots a unique, huge vehicle, and can pose a good challenge to new players.
    • Agile's mandatory fight; Agile is now a hover ship with his head in the middle, and zigzags left and right at the top of the screen. They drop platforms on both sides to try and crush you. It's more amusing than dignified and they're not even animated.
    • Finally, the last stage is simply a mod of the beginning of Magna Centipede's stage, with a duel that can skipped with all three of Zero's parts.
  • Older Than They Think: This was the first Mega Man X game to imply that Zero was created by Dr. Wily, and that Wily was still around somehow, but due to the "Blind Idiot" Translation, most American players missed it.
  • Shrug of God: Regarding the Serges speculation:
    Keiji Inafune: "I get a lot of people asking me if Serges is Wily. I always give them the same answer, 'He might be...he might not be.' (laughs) I think this is one of those things that is best left without an official comment. As creators, one of the fun things we get to do is plant seeds of imagination in our players and let them come to their own conclusions."
    • Dialogue from the Japanese version of X2 and its manga adaptation implies that Sagasse/Serges is Dr. Wily.
  • That One Attack: Magna Centipede's viral infection, which slowly debuffs and disables X's abilities for the remainder of the fight with each consecutive infection, until X can no longer charge his buster, can only fire one buster shot at a time, and has drastically reduced jump height and dash distance. The attack is also unavoidable and requires furious Button Mashing to get out of before the actual infection happens. Fortunately, if you have Silk Shot, it will destroy his tail and render him unable to use it.
    • Violen's ball and chain flail is quite obnoxious. After Violen throws the weapon, it bounces erratically six times before returning to him. The ball doesn't follow a discernible pattern, and it's the boss' most damaging attack.
  • That One Sidequest: Getting the Heart Tanks in the Desert Base and the Crystal Mines is an exercise in frustration. One requires you to traverse a pit full of spikes on your motorcycle, but (and this is the big one) turn around with frame-perfect timing so as to grab the upgrade at the far end of the pit, but without crashing your back end into the wall, which blows up the bike and kills you. The other entails you having to make a huge Leap of Faith involving a Ride Armor, the Air Dash upgrade, and the Strike Chain, the last of which hopefully latching on to the platform in time.
    • You can always revisit Overdrive Ostrich's stage after getting the Speed Burner, the Leg upgrade, and the Buster upgrade, as the charged version of Speed Burner is an upgraded dash. However, if you're making an armorless run, you're out of your luck.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: The X-Hunters were interesting characters who could have easily rivaled both X and Zero further down the road from within the series itself, but unfortunately, all three of them are Killed Off for Real at the end of the game.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Its predecessor set a high bar and is considered one of the finest action games on the SNES. This game is widely considered good too, if not better, but too much of the same and lacking innovation, meaning it's either an example of this trope, or a victim of it.
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