The 1996 sequel to the arcade game Mega Man: The Power Battle. Produced by Capcom, the game was only released in Japan but there is an "American" mode available that changes all the text in the game to English and calls the characters by their American names (i.e. Rockman becomes Mega Man, etc.). The graphics and sound follow in the tradition from Power Battle. All characters are drawn and animated in the same style as Mega Man 7, while the music consists of remixed versions of classic Mega Man level themes.

The basic gameplay is identical to the first game, although there are a few tweaks. The biggest change is that each defeated robot master's weapon must be manually acquired. After blowing a robot master to bits a blue sphere will appear in the level, and the first player to snag it gains use of the weapon. If nobody grabs it, then nobody gets to use it. From time to time robot masters also drop energy that can be picked up to refill your own character's life meter. The sequel also adds in new playable character to the mix. As in the first game you can choose from Mega Man, Proto Man, and Bass, but now you can also choose to play as Duo from Mega Man 8. Duo's move is a power fist instead of a traditional blaster. He is also the largest and slowest of any playable character.

Now, on to the robot masters. There are three different quests in the game: Stop Dr. Wily, Rescue Roll, and Recover The Stolen Machine. The quest that you choose determines which group of robot masters you will battle. Here's the break down:

After defeating the group of robot masters your character will face a guardian from a past Mega Man game, and then it's time to battle Dr. Wily himself. It should be noted that no matter which quest you choose to embark upon, you'll wind up completing them all before you finish the game. Each character has a customized ending that ties up the plot and, in some cases, leaves questions hanging. For example, Bass's ending ties in with the Mega Man X series by implying that Dr. Wily was the one who created a certain robot.

Overall I found Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters to be a more enjoyable experience that its predecessor. Finding it in the arcades is a near impossibility (especially in America), so if you want to take a crack at it your best bet is to pick up the Mega Man Anniversary Collection for the Nintendo GameCube or Sony PlayStation 2 which features this game as a hidden unlockable secret. Fight, Mega Man. Fight for everlasting peace!


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