The Mega Man franchise has been around quite a long time, over 35 years in fact. We’ve even done a deep dive of the best ranking mainline Mega Man games to celebrate its 35th Anniversary. Yet for a franchise that has been around as long as Mega Man, there’s lots of spin off titles many haven’t been able to fully enjoy. One such example comes to Nintendo Switch, Mega Man Battle & Fighters. A fighting game take on the Mega Man franchise, it was a set of arcade games brought to the NEOGEO Pocket Color back in 2000. Sadly, many didn’t get the chance to play them because, well, it was on the NEOGEO Pocket Color. Mega Man Battle & Fighters surprise released on Switch, and as a Mega Man fan, I had to check it out. The end package we get is a great set of games that got one of the worst localizations I’ve ever seen. Mega Man fans should check this out…with Google Translate nearby the whole time. 

Mega Man Battle & Fighters is the collection of 2 Mega Man NEOGEO Pocket Color fighting games, Mega Man: The Power Battle & Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters. Both games are one on one fighting games with, you guessed it, Mega Man characters. The structure of Mega Man Battle & Fighters is very close to how traditional Mega Man games go: choose from one of the available characters and work your way through a boss rush, winning power-ups that will help you defeat harder bosses down the road. 

The gameplay and presentation of Mega Man Battle & Fighters are absolutely top-notch. The controls are extremely tight, which is 100% a must-have in any Mega Man game. The animations are excellent, the graphics are eye poppingly beautiful, and the overall world design is fantastic. You quickly jump, dash and dodge around each boss’s attack patterns, quickly trying to learn the pattern to defeat them. You can tap-fire freely and charge up your cannons to release a large fireball or special attacks. These special attacks range from kicks to outright body slams.

The thing is, Mega Man Battle & Fighters has a glaring negative in its gameplay. The game uses a roulette-like wheel to determine who you are going to face as the boss, rather than a standard “this is the boss that follows this stage” sort of setup. I’m not saying it’s a game-breaking issue, but it’s hard to truly prepare yourself for a fight when you have no idea who you are fighting against. 

The collection is not localized in any way, shape, or form. If you were to look on the eShop page, you’d see it says this game supports Japanese and English. The eShop listing is lying to you. There isn’t any English language options in this game, which makes it completely impossible to understand what is going on. 

Remember that roulette wheel I mentioned before? Play through the game and get to the roulette wheel where it tells you which boss you’re playing against…except you have no idea what it picked because it’s only in Japanese. This wouldn’t be so bad if there wasn’t a lot of writing in the game. Mega Man Battle & Fighters is full of text on every single page. Even worse, the game includes a digital manual to “help” you navigate the game and menus. The problem? They didn’t translate it from its original Japanese, so you have no idea what it says. It’s one of the few games I’ve played in recent memory where I needed to have Google Translate nearby at all times just to get the slightest clue what was going on. The mind blowing part of this issue is that there have been a number of NEOGEO Pocket Color games released on Switch over the last year, all of them localized to some extent. Mega Man Battle & Fighters doesn’t even attempt to localize anything. 

So, should you play Mega Man Battle & Fighters? Yes…sort of. If you are a big Mega Man fan, then I absolutely recommend checking this game out. Mega Man Battle & Fighters feels right at home besides its console, mainline counterparts. The controls are super tight, the visuals are extremely pretty, and the boss battles are equally challenging but rewarding. Mega Man fans will feel right at home with this set of fighting games. That said, the localization is completely non-existent, making it pretty much impossible to understand anything in the game (including menu navigation). Deal breaking? No, but keep Google Translate open at all times. For people who aren’t fans of the Mega Man formula, Mega Man Battle & Fighters doesn’t do anything different that might pull you in. It’s a Mega Man-style game through and through, so if that isn’t your thing, you might want to look elsewhere.