Mega Man Battle & Fighters is a combination of two games that originally released in Japanese arcades but also found their way onto the NEOGEOPOCKET COLOR back in 2000. These two games have never stepped foot outside of Japan, so this marks the first time westerners can purchase the games on their local eShops. However, both games are still fully Japanese and offer no local language support, but that does not mean it is difficult to figure out.
So has Mega Man Battle & Fighters been ported to the Switch masterfully? Or are these two arcade games that should stay locked up in their original cabinets? Let’s find out!
Mega Man, known as Rockman in Japan, is a major iconic figure in video games, and is still Capcom’s most recognizable character. Back in the 1990s, Capcom worked with many developers to expose some of their games to a wider market, and Rockman: The Power Battle and Rockman 2: The Power Fighters were both created for arcades. Later on, both titles were combined for the NEOGEOPOCKET COLOR release, which is what the Switch version is based on.
Right off the bat, the presentation for Mega Man Battle & Fighters is excellent. Sure, some may be turned off by the limited screen usage, especially in handheld mode where things are significantly smaller, but considering this is a port of the NEOGEOPOCKET COLOR game, which had a tiny screen to play on, this actually is a bigger screen whether you are playing in handheld or docked mode.
As I mentioned in the intro, the biggest problem with this port is that no language support exists outside of the original Japanese, which can be problematic for those unfamiliar with the language. Thankfully, the Japanese is pretty limited in the first game, and you should be able to figure things out with little-to-no problem. There are even some parts, like earning powerups, that are written in English, so that is also helpful. However, in Rockman 2: The Power Fighters, there is a lot more Japanese for the campaigns, so that will be the toughest.
For those unfamiliar, both games in Mega Man Battle & Fighters are boss rush games, where Mega Man and his friends face an onslaught of bosses from featured Mega Man games. For example: In Rockman: The Power Battle, you can select Mega Man, Proto Man, and Bass, and you can choose to fight bosses from Rockman 1-2, Rockman 3-6, or Rockman 7.
In Rockman 2: The Power Fighters, there is one more playable character in Duo, and you can choose from three campaign (Search for Wily!, Rescue Roll!, and Find the New Parts!). In the sequel, each campaign is a series of boss fights that end in one of Mega Man’s more sinister Wily bosses, like Yellow Devil and Mecha Dragon.
Honestly, both games are a lot of fun and have that classic Mega Man feel with some uniqueness thanks to the different developers and initial release in arcades (Meaning they are designed for draining your coins). Mega Man Battle & Fighters is a great combination of little games to tickle your nostalgia while also providing quite the challenge, and the look and feel of it all is so adorable, too. As someone who lived in Japan for over 10 years, seeing the ロックマン titles made me smile frequently, and even the difficulty was a reminder of how Japan used to (And some times still does) design their arcade titles.
The graphics look about what you would expect for old arcade cabinets ported to the NEOGEOPOCKET COLOR. The gameplay is mostly smooth, although it does have the “classic” Mega Man damage lag and “too much on screen” lag, which was quite nostalgic. All of the characters and bosses look really good and move in fun ways to keep the fights entertaining. Not only that, but considering the size of the screen, the amount of detail put into each stage is quite impressive.
But the best part of any Mega Man game, especially Mega Man Battle & Fighters, is the absolutely amazing soundtrack! So many of the songs from the main series are here, and they are all still bangers all of these years later. For this review, I actually just kept some of the bosses paused to listen to their unique songs while writing, and I cannot get enough of the fantastic Mega Man chiptunes!
Finally, and probably what makes this package so attractive, we have to compliment the price. The Neogeo games that have been ported to Switch have all been priced well, but I think this Mega Man Battle & Fighters is the best deal yet, as this is something westerners have never played before and these are two solid Mega Man games with decent amounts of gameplay for each. Even if you do not play the games, just owning these is something special, and it only costs the same price as a fast food combo meal.
Mega Man Battle & Fighters is a really cool package that all Mega Man fans should jump on. The games within the collection are hard as nails and a reminder of old Japanese arcade games, but they are still fun regardless and will flair up your nostalgia buttons over and over again.
I honestly cannot recommend this enough, especially for hardcore Mega Man fans who are looking to add to their collection. This is a Mega Man experience unlike any other, and it is now available for a very low price on your Nintendo Switch eShop.
Classic Mega Man boss fights with unique twist
Lovely NEOGEOPOCKET aesthetic
Beyond affordable price
No language support outside of Japanese
Tough as nails
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My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.