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Mega Man Classic Series

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Mega Man 3
Mega Man 4

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Mega Man 9
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Mega Man (Game Boy)
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Mega Man IV
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The Power Battle
The Power Fighters

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The Wily Wars
Mega Man (Game Gear)
Complete Works

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Battle & Fighters
Anniversary Collection
Powered Up

Page 12:
Wily & Right no RockBoard
Mega Man Soccer

Page 13:
Battle & Chase
Super Adventure Rockman

Page 14:
Tiger LCDs
IBM PC Games
Rockman & Forte Wonderswan

Page 15:
Rockman's IQ Challenge
Rockman Gold Empire
Rockman Strategy

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Mobile Games
Panic Shot! Rockman
Street Fighter x Mega Man

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Unreleased Games
The Krion Conquest

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Cameos
Other Media
Legacy

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Mega Man Battle & Chase / Rockman Battle & Chase (ロックマン バトル&チェイス) - PlayStation, PlayStation 2, GameCube (1997)

Japanese Cover

European Cover

The kart racer genre is a standard go-to game for many a license and popular video game IP. An extreme racing TV show is giving away a 10 million Zenny grand prize to the winner and there's nearly a dozen robots up to put their metal to the pedal to come out on top. Hopefully a certain mad scientist isn't dastardly enough to cheat them out of their victory...

Chest, Plum, & Ripot

These 3 robots assist in the races. Chest describes the courses on the selection menu, Plum interviews the opponent at the start of the race, and Ripot signals the start and hands out the prize at the end of the grand prix. Plum & Ripot also commentate on the race in gameplay. Sadly, most of their onscreen time and all of their audio was axed when the gmae was released overseas.

Winning a race in 1st place against each track's opponent earns you a piece of their ride. Each kart part has their own unique strengths, divided into four interchangable slots: wheels, wing, engine, and body. Each opponent can be challenged again with a harder difficulty to earn another part, with the body chassis exclusively saved for the fourth and final acquisition. There are ten default racers with two more hidden away, and they are a decently well-chosen mix of heroes, villains, and fitting favorite classic robot masters (though why Spring Man of all candidates?). In total there are 11 tracks in the Grand Prix mode with 4 more available in Time Attack and Vs., though they are relatively simpler unfancy bonus courses. The major spin on the genre, other than earning parts from fellow racers, is how items are gained. They aren't strewn across the track waiting to be picked up, they are only given at random after blasting or running over enough baddies that wander or lie in the way - the bigger they are, the more points they're worth, like an E-rated Carmageddon.

Besting Wily in a race earns an ending for the character chosen. Each ending showcases a unique way the winner celebrate or spends his or her hard-earned cash prize. They're simple-- sometimes rather benign-- little artwork stills, but some have a humorous tinge to them, like Spring Man buying too many weights for his body or Guts Man getting booed out for his painfullly sung enka tune on karaoke. There are a few interesting twists on characterizations; Ice Man is portrayed having a crush on Roll as he made an ice scuplture of her and him together in the South Pole, and Quick Man strives to challenge his rival: former champion Turbo Man (why wasn't HE in this game?). A flawless run as Roll grants the player a special added ending song for her: "Kaze yo Tsutaete" sung by Yoshino Aoki. "Kaze" would become Roll's theme song in various later games and spin-offs.

Kaze yo Tsutaete - Roll's Theme

Battle & Chase was ready to be released in the US in April 1997, a month after landing in Japan. It even recieved print ads for the upcoming release in gaming magazines. Unfortunately, Sony of America pulled the plug on the basis that too many mascot kart racers were clogging the marketplace already. Though the height of the genre's popularity wouldn't come until a few years down the line, only to bring the largest glut of mediocre licensed sludge, Battle & Chase wouldn't have done much to break the kart racer cash-in stigma. Mario Kart 64, Diddy Kong Racing, and Crash Team Racing it ain't. Hell, it's not even Konami Krazy Racers.

The racetracks are fairly simple and basic with many of them sharing the same boring themes of a city or an offroad dirt rally with only a few stages including any interesting gimmicks like ice, conveyor belts, or switching activating floors. Also, considering the effort to obtain items, they are either overly tilted in your favor, greatly hinder you, or are too difficult to use effectively to be worth the risk of going out of your way to earn them. Considering that the roaming enemies and obstacles are highly likely to turn into exploding mines at any point even if you focus on driving due to the AI obtaining the Bomb Switch item can make the experience as cheap as any blue shell on your tail. The balance of each racer's car abilities and special moves is very off-kilter, leaving certain characters' parts like Guts Man's or Ice Man's situational at best, taking out most of the fun of cobbling pieces from other racers together. Worse yet, the difficulty of each course skyrockets after the initial duel with each racer, forcing you to perfect each turn or get lucky to edge out on top in order to recieve every part and unlock every track. The fact that you can't switch out your character in the Grand Prix mode without starting a new save file means you'll have to race the same bland courses over and over just to see every ending. The two unlockable racers, Dr. Wily and Duo, are equally broken in stats, though Duo is exceedingly hard to obtain. In the original Japanese release, Duo was only given as a save unlock from a CD packaged in an issue of Dengeki PlayStation. Later releases made him unlocked after earning all the secret Black Troop parts.

The main difference in the European release from the Japanese one is the removal of almost all context of the new characters Chest, Plum, & Ripot. No effort was put into translatng anything other than the in-game text, which is okay for the occasional line or special move call from the racers but difficult for the extended voice-overs from the sideline crew. Thus, there is no commentary, no pre-race rival interviews, nor any pre-race course descriptions.

Even though the game wasn't originally released in North America, it finally made its way to its shores as an unlockable bonus games in the Mega Man X Collection in 2006. This version is based on the Euro edition with no added enhancements other than a slight smoothing of the polygons. The games are technically playable with analog sticks, but steer with digital input nonetheless. The promo video included in the Japanese Mega Man 8 shows an earlier rendition of the game with missing polish like animated head icons and a changed special move for Roll, with her Beat kart having the ability to fly/hover for a brief period.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Designer:

  • Masahiro Yasuma
    Hayato Tsuru

Genre:

Themes:


Mega Man Battle & Chase (PlayStation)

Mega Man Battle & Chase (PlayStation)

Mega Man Battle & Chase (PlayStation)

Mega Man Battle & Chase (PlayStation)


Additional Screenshots


Super Adventure Rockman (スーパーアドベンチャーロックマン) - PlayStation, Saturn (1998)

PlayStation Cover

By the late '90s, FMV "interactive movies" were a tired genre that had retreated mainly to PCs. Why Capcom would try to resurrect such a dull excuse for a game in an action-packed series like Mega Man is anyone's guess, but they greenlit it anyway. It was developed at the outsource company Kouyousha, and the project leader abandoned ship suddenly near completion, fleeing a sinking ship like a rat sensing an approaching squall, according to claims by Keiji Inafune, who would then take over to finish the project.

The game is split onto 3 discs, each playing like a single episode from an anime OVA complete with an intro and "Next Episode" bumper. Much of the same voices from the Japanese Mega Man 8 return including the same opening and ending themes by Ganasia. An interesting addition is the inclusion of narrator at rare segments, voiced by anime & game veteran Norio Wakamoto. Rather than looking the same way and quality as the FMVs from Mega Man 8, the art style looks quite a bit cheaper, about on the same level as the educational Upon a Star anime. The story itself revolves around an ancient Mayan/Aztec-like ruins and temple in the Amazons (though the game points it around Panama & Colombia. This location named the "Lanfront Ruins" with its temple dedicated to the moon appeared out of nowhere and began sending out electromagnetic fields strong enough to cease any machinery nearby. Three years after the strange phenomenon arose, Dr. Wily investigates the area to help clear his name. Once in the Temple of the Moon he accidentally uncovers a powerful ancient orb deep inside that interfaces with his laptop and revives all the Robot Masters from Mega Man 2 and 3. Three weeks later, the field grows larger, affecting robots and machines around the world, including Roll. The mad doctor broadcasts his ultimatum to the UN and across the globe to wipe out every robot and machine and thus destroy the civil world in chaos. Thus, it's up to Mega Man, with help from the rehabilitatet Robot Masters from the first game, to save the Earth once again.

The majority of the game is spent watching video clips that go minutes at a time as the story progresses, each disc containing nearly a half hour of animated footage each. Every so often you're given a choice in the path, though there they have no bearing on the outcome of the game. These choices can lead to items or an ambush from an enemy, sometimes only given a quick time event or segways into the game's action mode. All the fighting is done in a first-person shooting gallery method, sometimes against grunt foes from the first three Mega Man titles but most of the time saved for the boss battles, to which there are plenty. All 16 Robot Masters from MM2 & 3 are accounted for, though in one of the few major game choices you fight either Bubble Man or Heat Man early on. It is only right at the end that any new opposition arises, and they are tough.

Ra Moon

A super advanced alien computer orb that landed on Earth 20,000 years ago and was once worshipped as a god by ancient humans. Working as sort of a more malevolent monolith from the Space Odyssey series, it bestowed upon prehistoric man hatred as well as technology to further heighten their violence against one another.

NWN-001 Ra Thor

A super advanced robot created by Dr. Wily with the help of Ra Moon. It has double the speed of Quick Man and is three times stronger than Wood Man and Hard Man. It betrays its human creator after being reprogrammed by the backstabbing alien supercomputer. [Weakness: Spark Shock]

This becomes the major fault of Super Adventure Rockman: the adventure is filled with long boring cutscenes that cannot be skipped (at least they can be paused). A lot of the game is focused on Wily and Ra Moon slowly showcasing the alien orb's powers and backstory. Meanwhile Mega Man walks along with Beat from locales. Beat adds nothing to the game or battles, merely serving as something for Mega Man to talk to out loud about the obstacles whenever Proto Man doesn't appear. Almost every boss battle is an ambush just like the baddies, serving no dramatic build-up to the fights and merely a quick intro for the fans. The lack of music for most of the game adds to the boredom, liable to cause you to miss the sudden QTEs after long stretches of inaction. The misses from not dodging a QTE attack leads only to a simple loss of health with the rare added save from a friendly Robot Master. Outside of an early alternate boss fight, there's no reason to replay for any branching path, since all roads lead the same way in the end, regardless of item pickup or wasteful enemy attack. The only missable items are extra E-Tanks that are used automatically anyway (via attaching to the Buster, it turns out) or extra chips that give enemy data and weaknesses in the menu.

As for the battles themselves, they're a button-mashing twitchfest. Your buster can be charged up, but the fast onslaught of enemy bullets and strikes give little time to power your blasts. You can switch to Special Weapons you earn from Robot Master defeats, but their attacks eat through energy like crazy, and there's never enough charges per weapon to bring down the bosses alone even is you exploit their weaknesses. You also have refills available on the menu screen during the fights, but they are limited with additions only granted after each episode disc is completed, so it's best to be frugal. Ultimately, once you earn the unmissable Proto Shield left by Proto Man at the beginning of disc 2, there's little reason to use anything else as it cuts all damage recieved down to a small fraction when it's equipped. It's a good thing, since one bad string of attacks from the enemies can leave Mega Man hurting in a very short time. This is compounded to the game sticking to using the D-pad to aim, which is slow and imprecise, so it's best to mash away nonstop on the fire button at everything with the standard buster. Prepare to have your thumb left numb and cramping by the final New Yellow Devil fight.

The game is surprisingly dark for a kid-friendly franchise with UN copters exploding with no parachuting pilots escaping and some of the boss deaths. The revived Quick Man has a change of heart after his fight with Mega Man, diving and taking a Shadow Blade in the back to save him, leaving his robotic corpse to be buried by the Blue Bomber later. Even the flashback Ra Moon speaks of shows the primitive tribesman visciously attacking one another with stone axes. Worse yet are the bad endings should you fail at any point, showing the whole world being destroyed with most of them having the added sad moment of Roll tearfully saying her farewell before she dies. It's a startling contrast to the series and the game's sillier moments. It's also strange to have more ties to the real world with the UN council and establishing shots of the powerless New York and Paris. It doesn't feel like the usual fun Mega Man romp.

The game never left Japan, which isn't surprising considering the sheer amount of spoken dialogue. If there's one thing this game doesn't need its laughably acted performances in line with Mega Man 8 or X4. It was released on PlayStation first and Saturn shortly after, with the video codecs used being the only difference. It's not a big deal considering most of the FMVs aren't fullscreen, stuck with the static border constantly onscreen until the shooter battles, even during the non-action talking segments. Considering the title's lack of content, it's far easier to just watch the game's video on Youtube if you're curious at all of the story. Actually, the American cartoon even might be more entertaining, and that's saying a lot. Inafune has actually publicly apologized for the existence of this travesty.

Quick Info:

Developer:

  • Kouyousha

Publisher:

Director:

  • Hayato Kaji

Genre:

Themes:


Super Adventure Rockman (PlayStation)

Super Adventure Rockman (PlayStation)

Super Adventure Rockman (PlayStation)

Super Adventure Rockman (PlayStation)

Super Adventure Rockman (PlayStation)

Super Adventure Rockman (PlayStation)


Additional Screenshots


<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Intro
Characters

Page 2:
Mega Man
Mega Man 2

Page 3:
Mega Man 3
Mega Man 4

Page 4:
Mega Man 5
Mega Man 6

Page 5:
Mega Man 7
Mega Man 8
Mega Man & Bass

Page 6:
Mega Man 9
Mega Man 10

Page 7:
Mega Man (Game Boy)
Mega Man II
Mega Man III

Page 8:
Mega Man IV
Mega Man V

Page 9:
The Power Battle
The Power Fighters

Page 10:
The Wily Wars
Mega Man (Game Gear)
Complete Works

Page 11:
Battle & Fighters
Anniversary Collection
Powered Up

Page 12:
Wily & Right no RockBoard
Mega Man Soccer

Page 13:
Battle & Chase
Super Adventure Rockman

Page 14:
Tiger LCDs
IBM PC Games
Rockman & Forte Wonderswan

Page 15:
Rockman's IQ Challenge
Rockman Gold Empire
Rockman Strategy

Page 16:
Mobile Games
Panic Shot! Rockman
Street Fighter x Mega Man

Page 17:
Unreleased Games
The Krion Conquest

Page 18:
Cameos
Other Media
Legacy

Back to the Index