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Megaman Battle Network

Megaman Battle Network was the first Megaman game on the Game Boy Advance. Released almost 8 months after Japan received the game, Battle Network is truly a new breed of Megaman game. Its not the typical side scrolling shoot em up game that dedicated fans of the series (like myself) are use to, but rather an RPG featuring the main character as a grade school student named Lan Hikari. Hearing this many fans would dismiss this series as stupid and not “True Megaman” but it truly is an amazing game, and more than well worth a try.

Battle Network takes place in a somewhat futuristic society where most everything is based off of the net or is connected in some way. Everyone has what’s called a PET terminal, basically a handheld computer device used to connect to the net from most anywhere. Inside these PET’s are Net Navi’s. The Net Navi’s are programs with personalities that interact and become friends with there owners. Megaman is the main character Lan’s Net Navi and best friend. The stories premise is there is a terrorist organization trying to take over the net using viruses and evil Net Navi’s, and as Lan and Megaman you must try to stop them at every turn.

Fans of the series will be happy to know that although this is an entirely different Megaman, several familiar names return such as Gutsman. The battle system was a breath of fresh air as well compared to the typical turn based RPG of its time, instead taking on a real time grid like approach. You and your opponent each have a grid of 9 squares on which to move and attack from, but these can also be damaged or destroyed limiting your movement options. Battle is fueled by your Battle Chips. Each chip is a different attack that will damage your enemy, heal you, give you a power boost, damage/repair the field, or other such things. You can chain these together for much more powerful combos as well depending on the chip type, and with over 175 different Battle Chips the player has a wide variety of strategies to employ.

As you wander from “Real” world to “Virtual” world throughout the game, you will find many battle chips and upgrades for Megaman and many terminals and networks that he can explore. The GBA link cable makes this interesting employing a Pokemon type trading aspect, allowing you to trade battle chips with friends who also have the game. Gathering every chip in the game is a huge feat, but necessary for the “Seven Star” 100 percent completion. The battles within the networks are the typical wander around until the random encounter occurs, which at times can be annoying but is in no way a detriment to the game.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised at the first Megaman game to be introduced to the GBA. The game does have a kiddy type feel to it, but its mechanics and game play more than make up for it. So to wrap up this short and sweet review, definitely would recommend this to any RPG or Megaman fans alike. 7 out of 10

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