Review by FenixHalcyon

"A lackluster finale to a tired series."

What is there to say about this game as an introduction? This is the kind of game that, if you have not already gotten into the series by now, you are most likely not going to play this one. That aside, I'm pretty sure anyone reading this review is familiar with MegaMan Battle Network.

Graphics:

This game's graphics look like something along the lines of what you may have seen early in the SNES era. Often colorful yet simplistic sprites populate the isometric environments of the overworld. The problem with them, however, is that they barely animate, which is especially noticeable in cut scenes. Is Capcom getting lazy? Are the sprites in this game reused from the past three games? (the answer to both is yes) Battle sprites show more animation, but still just enough to get the job done. Despite that, it actually serves to give the battles a fast paced feel.

Story:
MegaMan Battle Network takes place in a futuristic network age and focuses on Lan Hikari and MegaMan. In this game, Lan finally moves to a new home in Cyber City, and with that move, he is forced to adjust to a new school with new friends. Meanwhile, the WWW, the primary villains of the series, have returned, after having been absent for two games.

Now the story as a whole, and in the way it's structured is virtually identical to all previous games in the series. Using a sort of villain of the week formula as you progress through the story towards the climax. This is by no means a bad thing, as each scenario and villain have their own unique style that make it fun to play through. The story's weakest when they re-use past plot devices that have been seen throughout the series. Fortunately, the new characters and settings take center stage over old plot devices, and so we get probably the best story since the third game in the series.

Gameplay:
MegaMan Battle Network has always had a unique gameplay style. Combining elements from a card game with old school MegaMan action. This game is no different from the others in the series in that regard.
What does make this game different is what they call the Cross System. Basically, MegaMan can take on the likeness of another character, and gain their powers, much in the vein of the original MegaMan. This affects what battle chips you may want to choose, among other strategies. Add to that the Beast Out, powers gained from the Cybeast that represents your game version. Beast Out literally turns MegaMan into a beast, giving him awesome powers for a limited time. You can also combine Cross and Beast Out to get the Beast Cross, which possesses both attributes in order to elevate you to god-like status.

Now, all this is pretty fun, and makes this game stand out from the others because of the differences from the Cross Beast systems, however, overall it's really still the same as the Soul Unison system that was set in place in the fourth game.

Sound:
This series has always relied on a sort of old school techno soundtrack to accompany the action. When I say old school techno, I mean, mixes sound effects from the original Game Boy synthesizer with some GBA sounds to produce some nifty tunes. Overall the music is fine, and fits the situations just right. However, you can't help but wonder what it might sound like with a more modern soundtrack, with some more dramatic rock tunes, like those used in the MegaMan Zero series. Still, probably the worst part about the music is simply that the crisis theme never stops once you reach the end of the game. You just keep hearing everywhere on the overworld. Other than that, music is pretty good.

Multiplayer:
This game has basically the exact same multiplayer features as all the previous games. They let you and a friend battle via link cable or wireless adaptor, trade battle chips, compare collections, or trade NaviCust blocks. I suppose if you can get your best friend to play this game too, this will greatly extend replayability as you and your buddy try to build the perfect deck to blast each other. However, if you don't have an equally obsessive friend, this feature won't make that big of a difference.

Overall:
Well.... this is reported as the last game in the MegaMan Battle Network series. I'd like to say it went out with a bang but.... it didn't. Battle Network 6 seems like a great entry in the series at first, but once you finish it, you realize it was very much just a barebones game. Its main story is shorter than any other game in the series. As far as sidequests go, there weren't that many in the japanese version, and thanks to North American localization, those extra quests really aren't worth your time. (Who wants to fight Bass AGAIN!?!) Graphically, this game doesn't give us anything new or interesting to look at that we haven't seen before in some fashion in the series. Gameplay wise it's still the same gameplay, however it's been rather simplified and streamlined, and not even as in depth as previous games in the series. Sadly, the series which I had loved so much comes to a lackluster end.

Recommendation:
If you're a longtime fan of this series, play this game to see how it ends. Then go back and replay Battle Network 3 to see where the series SHOULD HAVE ended. For those who haven't played this series.... go play Battle Network 3!!!


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 07/05/06


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