Mega Man Battle Network the First came out, not long after
the initial release of Game Boy Advance, there was a smattering of
interest for the innovative Action-RPG battle system combined with
the ubiquitous Mega Man franchise. It featured a weak story-line,
oft corny dialogue, and occasionally frustrating visuals. But for
the sheer fun of it, it was a solid title. The battles were fun,
exploration challenging, and collecting all items, chips, armors,
etc., added a bit of the old catch 'em all craze.
Before you get excited about Battle Network 2, know this: there
is, as with most sequels, no fundamental change. However, Battle
Network 2 does offer some innovation. You still control Lan, the now
sixth-grade boy who seems to be more capable a NetBattler than the
professionals. You still control MegaMan.exe, your friendly NetNavi,
through the isometric maze that is the Internet, and viruses still pop
out to attack you. Doctor Wily is back and terrorizing the Internet.
For those of you that haven't played Battle Network, here's how the
game works. In the real overworld, you control Lan, who jets around on
his roller blades. You generally don't play much of the actual game
here, just moving about, and "jacking in" (that's the real term they
use) to the internet or various intranets through PET (PErsonal
Terminal) ports. The majority of gameplay is via MegaMan.exe.
The internet is portrayed as a network of inter-connecting platforms
that hover over an electronic abyss. You move about these, trying to
navigate the puzzle of each level. While you walk, like any other RPG,
you get jumped by enemies. They may come in groups of one, two, or
three. The end goal of every level is generally fighting a boss.
After defeating a boss, usually some technically competent henchman's
NetNavi, you get a chunk of change, depending on how well you defeated
the enemy (factors include how much you move, how many times you
shoot, how long it takes, how much damage you take, et cetera). After
having defeated the enemy, you can look through the internet to find
beefed up copies of that NetNavi. Defeating these copies sufficiently
will score you a NetNavi chip, the equivalent of a summon in standard
RPGs. Better versions of the Navi will show up later, allowing you to
acquire better versions of the chip.
The gameplay is all around fun. Utilize your standard buster (B
Button) to chip away at your enemy. When your Custom Meter hits full,
you can open a menu to access your chips, specialized, powerful
weapons. You can only select chips that are the same type or the same
Letter Code (A, B, C, etc., some have none and can be used with any).
Your buster can be increased by finding or purchasing Power Ups. A
Power Up can power your buster up in any of three ways: by increasing
the damage inflicted by each shot, increase the rapidity with which
MegaMan.exe can fire the buster, or increase the speed with which he
can charge the buster (at first he cannot charge, the first Power Up
dedicated to charge will simply allow him to do it). There is also a
multiplayer mode in which players can wager a chip on the outcome of
The game offers challenge in terms of puzzle-solving ability, quick
thinking and decisive action ability, and of course standard RPG
skills. It can be difficult, but not impossible for anyone. Hardcore
players should breeze through this one fairly easily.
One innovation from the last game is the armor system. Players can
acquire armors (that much is similar to the last), but this time they
actually have a look to them. They also offer new, powerful weaponry,
such as a powerful fire-blast or the equivalent for other suits (aqua,
elec, etc.) The downside lies in the fact that there is, otherwise, a
dearth of innovation. Minus a few technical changes to the battle
system, this game is much of the same. The environments are new and
different, as are the friends and foes, but that much is expected of
any sequel. Battle Network 2 fails to break any real ground, causing
me, at one point, to lose interest in the game, halfway through.
Sound and graphics are, however, again plusses. The music is new and
fresh, for the most part, and, up to Capcom standards, comprises
catchy tunes and fun beats. The graphics are, though similar to the
previous Battle Network, above average for the GBA, and very
appealing. A downside of the previous game returns in that the
isometric view of the Internet can be confusing.
- Cool battle
- Not too hard,
not too easy: just right
- Music and
graphics are up to Capcom and GBA standards
from the isometric view returns as well
- Too similar
to the first one
it's predecessor, a fun game. Elements from all over the place make
this one appealing to a wide variety, as does its safely average
difficulty level. The music is rock solid, as are the graphics. But
for those who have played through the first Battle Network, this may
be a touch boring a repetitive. Hopefully, Capcom will spice things
up with their next installment, but I'm not so hopeful.