CGRundertow MEGA MAN 2: THE POWER FIGHTERS for Arcade Video Game Review

Uploaded by CGRundertow on 02.08.2012

See, what did I tell ya? Like clockwork, there’s a sequel. However, this being a very late
arcade release, I am to understand about five of these machines were available for play.
And that’s unfortunate, because it takes the stripped-down, essentials-only gameplay
of The Power Battles, adds that hulking whatchamajig Duo from Mega Man 8, and adds some semblance
of story, new robot masters, cleaner mechanics, more voice acting... they went all out, man.
Heck, there’s even a HUGE piece of story in this game - known to few and seen by fewer
before its re-release as part of the Anniversary Collection - that ties together the original
and X storylines. That’s pretty impressive. Doesn’t hurt that the game’s awesome,
After choosing your Power Fighter, you’re given a choice of three scenarios: either
hunt down Wily directly, search for the now-missing Roll, or try to recover the parts stolen from
Dr. Light. Each story has its own half-dozen bosses, drawn from all over the Mega Man canon
(though there are more than a few combatants returning from Power Battles). Rather than
choosing a stage blindly as in the predecessor, the full roster is here for you to contemplate,
with commentary and hints from Dr. Light. Even if said hint consists of “USE THE THING
THAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE.” The UI has changed drastically - you’ve now got a fighting-game-style
health bar at the top of the screen, with your current weapon energy underneath. Also,
health and weapon restoratives can and will drop throughout the course of the fight, so
keep your eyes peeled. That armless wonder Eddie might even show up and give you access
to a backup NPC character, providing extra firepower for Mega Man & Bass, or a Beat shield
for Duo & Proto Man. As usual, once these six bosses fall, it’s mid-boss time, followed
by Dr. Wily himself.
From the graphics to the sound to the layout design, this game keeps a couple steps ahead
of Power Battles at all times. And despite the occasional pandering self-advertisement
(just shy of backmasking “PLAY MEGA MAN EIGHT” in the audio), it’s one of the
best Mega Man experiences I’ve ever played. Rescued from the depths of almost criminal
obscurity, The Power Fighters is the series boiled down to its most pure, and dished out
in 25-cent chunks. It shows you just how good the series is, that even when you take out
the pixel-perfect platforming - one of its hallmarks in the NES days - there’s still
enough to keep you engaged. Even if you’re just wondering how they managed to make Pharaoh
Man even MORE badass.