Reviewed For: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: SNK Corporation
Most American players, even Mega Man fans, haven’t found themselves playing the two Mega Man games included in Mega Man Battle & Fighters. Both Mega Man: The Power Battle and Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters are niche titles in the series, especially in the West. Both games were secret unlockables in the 2004 Mega Man Anniversary Collection, but there hasn’t been another reasonable way to access these titles. The only other console with them is the NEOGEO Pocket Color, which had single player arranged versions on it.
Now, these versions of the game are ported on the Nintendo Switch, with the NEOGEO console wrapping around the game. As a massive fan of the version I played on the GameCube version many years ago, this port is fine, but ultimately disappointing. This is a port without any new features, and that even includes the lack of English in both games. Yes, these games are both only in Japanese, and that includes the menus.
It can be frustrating for players to navigate Mega Man Battle & Fighters for the first time, but all is not lost. There aren’t too many menu options, especially because the trading option from the original is all but grayed out, unavailable on the Switch. Once players get into the game though, there is plenty of fun to be had.
Mega Man Battle & Fighters is essentially a boss rush mode, with players fighting boss after boss without any of the iconic stages. Fighting game fans will find these entries entertaining, as the entire thing sort acts as an arcade mode. There isn’t much depth, but that’s not what these little gems are about. The game plays great, with responsive controls and engaging bosses. Players can choose between three iconic Mega Man characters that don’t really change the gameplay, but look nice.
For the low price point, players will get plenty of value, but that value still comes with disappointment. Those who experienced Mega Man: The Power Battle and Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters on the Anniversary Collection might instantly lament that there isn’t any multiplayer here. In the arcade versions of these games, players can work together and team up against the bosses. It’s a novel approach to fighting games that doesn’t sound extraordinary, but adds tons of replayability to both entries. Without this, the formula can get stale quickly.
It’s a shame that this is one of the shoddiest ports on the Switch, because Mega Man: The Power Battle and Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters are lovely games that deserve more attention. If players want a look at this interesting piece of Mega Man history, this might be worth the $8, but most will want to wait for the more complete versions to hopefully grace the Switch one day.
Mega Man Battle & Fighters
Mega Man Battle & Fighters is missing tons of features, and this handheld version just doesn't have enough to make it worth navigating a shoddy port.