Real Talk By: KJ
I remember playing Mega Man: The Power Battle (ARC, PS2, GCN, Xbox) inside a Dairy Queen of all places. This being many years ago. It was one on one play for me, with Mega Man against the highlight bosses of the series. Shoot, Jump, and Weapon Switch are the control options. I returned to the game again this year, but with a friend. Coop and Mega Man feels taboo, since this series is all about the single player platforming experience. Well, that exact style of play has been removed. Was it a strategy to make our hero more accessible to an arcade audience? If that was the goal, mission accomplished.
Mega Man, Protoman, and Bass are your playable characters. Take on Bosses in any order you see fit. Defeating robots still lets the player absorb their powers, using them against new foes. Bosses include Cutman, Woodman, and others with the ending fight taking place against Dr. Wily. There are three possible endings for each character, giving players a small incentive to return.
We noticed that once you learn the attack pattern of each boss, the game really isn’t that difficult. Maybe that is how this series always has been, but the other games present the platforming challenges chipping away at your life, making the boss fights way more intense. This game feels like someone hit fast forward. Capcom should have kept full levels, maybe increasing the game speed. A Metal Slug pacing could have worked. It doesn’t seem like Capcom beefed up the difficulty to accommodate another player on-screen. We only lost a hand-full of credits. Still, the mechanics feel solid.
The sprites look good for the time period, with some cool places to conduct business. The graphics are in line with a high-profile SNES/Genesis game. So there were better looking arcade titles for this era, but Power Battles is no slouch either.
This is actually one of the easiest Mega Man experiences you’ll play. Easy isn’t something usually associated with this brand, so this might throw some people off. However there wasn’t one time when I didn’t feel like I was playing a Mega Man game. A key element of the gameplay might have been removed, but the essence is still present. Not one of the best in this franchise, but certainly worth a look.
Mega Man: The Power Battle Gets
3 Out of 5
+Fun Gameplay Single or Coop
+Mega Man Powers
-Way Too Easy
-Just Boss Fights