The original Megaman Battle Network was the start of a reinvention for Capcom’s Blue Bomber. While Megaman Legends took the series into action RPG territory, Megaman Battle Network went whole hog, creating a brand new series (and look) with card based, real time battles.
Despite it being on the GBA and later the DS, the Battle Network series doesn’t get a whole lot of love. At least not on the level of Megaman Legends or the X series. Thankfully, that’s not stopping Capcom from gathering all 10 games of the series and releasing them in two volumes (or as a set depending on how you buy the collection).
I got my hands on with the first game in the series and can honestly say that it’s like going back in time.
Thankfully, the TGS demo can be toggled to have English text so I was able read along instead of playing by rote memory. I only managed to play the first game in the series (though the others were available to try too) but it’s exactly as I remembered it.
For those who’ve never played the game, it’s a real time action RPG where you use cards (called Chips in the game) to execute actions. Battles are played on a 3×3 grid (one side for you and another for the enemies) and you can freely move around your side to dodge incoming attacks or execute your own. All the while, a meter slowly fills up, which allows you to use your Chips in battle.
Chips can heal, have offensive capabilities or even destroy (or steal) parts of the grid you fight on. While the battles are easy in the beginning, once you’ve amassed a sizeable Chip collection, a hell of a lot of options and customization opens up.
There’s a deceivingly deep depth to the Battle Network games, and it’s more than enough to hook in even the most resistant.
The TGS version, I’m proud to say has controls that are snappy, the action fast and furious and the humor…well, it’s still childish.
There are new visual filters in place for those who don’t like the original pixel art but I immediately turn it off. The GBA’s pixel art is still top notch, even viewing the game on a HD monitor. It’s a shame to cover it up with filters that only make the game look blurrier.
There’s not a ton to talk about the games (they’re being ported as they were on the GBA) so apart from the visual filters, there’s not much in the way of new content being added. I saw the Art Gallery and Music Player options but didn’t have time to peek inside, so I have no idea how extensive they may be.
Despite that, the allure of being able to play the Megaman Battle Network games again is still a major draw for me, despite the lack of new updates. Hopefully the series sells well enough in 2023 that Capcom makes a new game in the series.
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