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RockMan Battle & Fighters
  NGPCFightingJPN  
  opened by paleface at 04:18:56 02/26/04  
  last modified by paleface at 05:47:56 02/26/04  
  paleface [sys=NGPC; cat=Fighting; loc=JPN]
           
Ports of the arcade games "RockMan: The Power Battle" and "Rockman 2: The Power Fighters." I think these are the first ports of the games to any console, though they're about to be included in the GC collection released in the States. But I know almost nothing about RockMan, really, aside from having played MegaMan 2 some back in the NES, and a few minutes of a few of the PS1 and GBA titles.
 
So I won't try to go into details and names and things. These are fighting games where you can pick from three or four friendly robots to take on the bosses from, I guess, most of the previous RockMan platform games. Nifty idea, really, turning a ton of platformers in to a couple fighting games.
 
The "point" of these games confused me for a while because they don't save your progress through the ranks of enemies (there are a *lot* of bosses to defeat). Also, the last menu item clears game data, and I kept hitting that. Now though I realize that beating certain bosses with certain fighters unlocks entries in Dr. Light's "Database" thingy. These are just a character sprite and some hint text, I think, no big whoop. Apparently with a link cable you can trade them with someone else, I wonder if anyone living has bothered to do that.
 
The backgrounds are lush, and even if they're recycled for a few bosses per game, they still look nice. The sprites, of course, are nicely designed. Sound ain't that great, but it isn't that bad. Hm I'm kind of treading water here.
 
Okay there's slowdown, quite a bit in certain boss fights, especially when an unusual number of sprite projectiles inhabit the screen at once. Not only that, the sprites tend to turn semi-transparent-like, probably just rendering every other screen or something to save CPU cycles. Since the backgrounds are so bold and colorful this can make incoming projectiles very hard to see, and of course being a RockMan game the enemy patterns are so tight any slight confusion leads to pain.
 
Fortunately you have unlimited continues. So you really can just bash your way through this, which is what I tend to do. See, I've never learned the proper order in which to defeat the bosses so that you have the correct weapon that the next boss is "weak" to. I don't like that much, since there's really no way to know aside from trial and error. Bah.
 
The bashing itself could use more variety. Each fighter can shoot, and do a charge shot, and then slide and maybe do one other thing. Sometimes you get a powerup (this may only occur in the second game though) that gives you a barely-visible sidekick with some firepower for a little while. Of course you can use weapons gained from defeated enemies, although you can't just use them one after the other, you have to collect powerups knocked off the current baddie to power the weapon switcher back up, or something. And that's pretty much it, a pretty pathetic move list for a fighting game, really.
 
So it's kind of an odd duck. Not really a fighting game, too many sprites for the hardware, no real progress except relatively worthless data entries. What are you left with? Mostly nostalgia trips for die-hard RockMan fans, I suppose. Don't get me wrong, I have a slightly warm feeling for the game overall, something to do with the relentless bright colors, peppy animation and sound, and the impressive numbers of foes, I suppose. Smashing through some battles can be fun as long as I don't try to expect much else out of it other than some spritey blasting. There's more to be had for the patient, of ocurse: memorize the hidden weapon/boss combinations, memorize the boss patterns, and maybe you'll get the satisfaction of crushing the game without continuing. Unfortunately that's not the kind of thing I have much patience for, so I'll just bash in every now and then for a bit.
 
  paleface 04:27:40 02/26/04
           
Oh, I forgot something but just remembered it as I noticed the big, monochrome NGPC sprites in Big Bang Pro Wrestling: in order to preserve all the colors in the RockMan sprites on a system which really only supports something like four colors per sprite, Capcom had to combine multiple sprites together to form a single RockMan character sprite. This probably contributes to the frequent slowdown and sprite flickering. Really I wonder if the thing wouldn't have come off a bit better if they'd been willing to do proper low-color NGPC sprites instead, but at least it looks pretty in screenshots.
    
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