Rockman Battle & Fighters

Neo Geo Pocket

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 9

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 6


If all Capcom ever wanted to do was release a Mega Man game for every console made since the series inception, they'd be awfully close to completing that goal. In Japanese arcades, it was the Power Fighters, a one-on-one contest set up against the bosses of the original series. On the Neo Geo Pocket, it's the same game, now called Battle & Fighters.

mmbattle1ngp.bmp (589878 bytes)It's wonderful to see the classic Mega Man sprite make a return. That's what you'll control (albeit it far more animated) in this arcade translation. Some sprites have been edited or tweaked, but for the most part, you've likely see these characters at some point in your gaming life. There's nothing wrong with that, and in contrast with the beautiful backgrounds, they stand out.

It's best to think of the game as a survival/endurance mode. The difference is the choices are varied. The first game on the cart is made up of bosses from the first three Mega Man titles. As the classic gaming icon, you'll take them down one by one, gain their powers, and move on. It's a little faster paced action (and without the stages to run through), and the Neo Geo Pocket handles is smoothly no matter how many projectiles end up on screen.

The title does say Battle & Fighters, and it's plural because there are two games on this cart. The gameplay remains the same, though the addition of new playable characters (like Bass) prevents feelings of repetitiveness. There are minor tweaks like collecting health power-ups after a boss is defeated instead of it being given, but that's about it.

mmbattle2ngp.bmp (589878 bytes)Crucial problems reveal themselves as the game drags on. There's not much in the way of technique anywhere in this game. It really shows how the stages before the bosses enhanced these struggles. The shoot out style gameplay wears on the player quickly (charge, shoot, dodge), and you begin wishing for something to vary the game up.

Even with two games, the cartridge can only allow for so much data, and while it's great to hear the classic themes recreated for the hardware, it's not fun an hour later given how few there are. The same goes for the backdrops.

Before the games showed up on the Mega Man Anniversary Collection, this was the only way to play these obscure entries without an arcade cabinet. Even then, you had to import. The cost of that easily outweighs the entertainment value. It's hardly an awful game, just one that needed more attention and variety.


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Last updated: Sunday, December 04, 2005 12:41 AM