Mega Man Battle & Fighters was suddenly published on the Nintendo eShop yesterday with no marketing or noise-making of any kind by the publisher. So it naturally took a lot of people by surprise considering, I mean, it’s Mega Man. Typically there is something said to hype people up for it in advance when it comes to long established franchises like that. But no, not a peep at all.
In any case, if you were not already aware, Mega Man Battle & Fighters is actually a Neo Geo Pocket Color port of both Mega Man: The Power Battle and Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters and was released in 2000. These were the the two arcade Mega Man games released by Capcom in 1995 and 1996 respectively. They are combined into one game here with reworked graphics, design, and more.
Like the arcade games, Mega Man Battle & Fighters is a one on one boss rush sort of thing. You take on famous Mega Man bosses from Mega Man 1-7 and then ultimately fight Dr. Wily at the end. Some original story was added as well that lends to the Mega Man canon. The arcade versions of these games were actually just recently released on switch via Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium. Capcom surprised a lot of Mega Man fans by including them, myself included.
This is even more surprising though, somehow. More so because no one knew it was coming than because it’s a fairly obscure Mega Man game. Part of this may have something to do with the fact that is is published by SNK rather than Capcom. In any case, it came out of nowhere and I am delightfully surprised. Not because this is better than the arcade games. It isn’t. Though it’s not bad by any stretch. I actually love the 8-bit style graphics that hearken back to NES-era Mega Man. More becaues it is a historical curiosity and it’s good to have for that reason alone. I’d wager few people outside Japan have played this game aside from historians or hardcore Mega Man fans who had sought it out.
Now they can, and that is always a good thing! It’ll set you back $7.99 to experience this little historical gem.