Retro Game Friday: Mega Man Battle Network

Michael Blaker
Game Industry News is running the best blog posts from people writing about the game industry. Articles here may originally appear on Michael's blog, Windborne's Story Eatery.


This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a series that I loved since I’m too young to have played the original Mega Man’s on the NES. It’s Mega Man Battle Network.

Plot Synopsis: Mega Man Battle Network is set in an ambiguous year in the 21st century (“20XX AD”) in an alternate reality to the original Mega Man series. Within the world of Battle Network, the Net has become humanity’s primary means of communication, commerce, and even crime. Users are able to “jack in” to the Net and other computerized devices, and explore their various aspects using program avatars called “NetNavis (Network Navigators)” as if they were physical locations. The Net and the inner workings of computers are displayed as a virtual world with which computer programs of all varieties, as personified in a humanoid form, can interact. Users often do so by accessing their NetNavis via a “PET (PErsonal information Terminal)” device. The plot of Mega Man Battle Network follows one such pair, Lan Hikari and his NetNavi MegaMan.EXE. Lan is a fifth grader in the town of ACDC. His father, Dr. Yuichiro Hikari, is one of the world’s top scientists and NetNavi researchers.

Plot: The plot for the series is fairly decent, at least it was for me when I was a teenager. Looking back it’s nothing amazing, but it’s not terrible either.

Gameplay: In a sharp departure from other Mega Man game’s this game isn’t a sidescrolling platformer. Instead it’s a “Tactical” RPG with a hint of Action instead of the usual turn based battles. I actually enjoy the gameplay for this series, because it’s actually very deep and is actually quite hard to master. You load up attacks using “Chips” and use them to attack the enemy, of course you can just use MegaMan.EXE’s classic buster attack to damage them, but it does pitiful damage and you are better off using it while waiting to unleash your chips at the perfect time.

Artwork: Mega Man Battle Network also departs from the “classic” Mega Man style, and adopts more of an “Anime” art style. That’s not a bad thing, as the game was very pretty for a GBA game.

Music: Like the rest of the portable games I played I rarely if ever had the music on, as I was usually on a plane when I played this.

Overall: If you enjoy RPG’s and/or Mega Man games you probably should give this a try.

For those who like: RPG’s, Mega Man, Decent Plot, Okay Characters, Great Gameplay.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.


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