After ten years, it's nice to see Mega Man branch out. In Rockman Battle & Chase, the crazy blue guy enjoys his newfound freedom by turning his dog, Rush, into a car and taking him down to the racetrack. A lot of Dr. Wily's bots have built cars as well, and they're ready to race. The stakes are high - losing a race means losing some car parts to the victor. Who will end up with the fastest car and who will end up with a car that looks like it spent the night on the side of a freeway? That depends on the speed of your car and your trigger finger.
After picking your racer from a roster of classic Mega Man friends and foes, including Protoman, Ice Man, Guts Man, Treble, and others, you are given a choice of tracks and the rivals that inhabit them. If after racing five laps you win, you get to take a part off of the track owner's car. Some of these parts are utter dogs (pun intended), but a few of them, when used in the right combination, can make your car nearly unstoppable. The ultimate object of the game, then, is to strip all your opponent's cars as clean as though you were running a virtual chop shop.
The actual racing in Rockman B&C is similar to Mario Kart 64, except that it's much more combat-oriented. Each racer is equipped with a different ability, ranging from Mega Man's Mega Buster to Guts Man's special move that allows him to toss a giant rock your way. Cones and other obstacles litter the tracks, but instead of avoiding them you should run them over. Once you run over ten obstacles, you get a special item that works much in the same way the items do in Mario Kart.
The graphics in B&C are very good. All of the graphics are polygon-based, and they move at a very smooth rate. The cars sport a large amount of detail, and you can even see the drivers' heads sticking out as they cruise around the track. The lower portion of the screen is used as a broadcast window of sorts - it shows different perspectives and angles throughout the race. The sound is also a standout, the main feature being the continual announcing and running color commentary.
Since all the text and speech in Rockman Battle & Chase is in Japanese, squeamish gamers might want to avoid it. That said, however, the import isn't that difficult to figure out with a little guesswork. Either way, this is one of the coolest Mega Man games released. Period.