Mega Man Battle Network 6
|FIMP: Mega Man Battle Network 6 [GBA]|
The Battle Network series has always been somewhat of a mixed bag for Mega Man fans. As a role-playing game that changes up the traditional blue bomber formula, it still leaves enough nods to the original titles to keep longtime fans pumping with nostalgia. The series’ gameplay has always been spot-on, if not entirely repetitive, while the graphics have yet to improve upon the original Battle Network game from 2001. For such a text-heavy game, the series has also been plagued with its fair share of translation difficulties and spelling errors. And, while each installment has tweaked the core mechanics slightly (from the incredibly useful Navi customizer to the monotonously tasking liberation missions), the core gameplay has remained relatively consistent throughout each of the thirteen various spin-offs and Pokemon-style dual SKU versions.
Mega Man Battle Network 6: Cybeast Gregar and Cybeast Falzar maintain the series’ track record competently enough. The story has improved to the point where players will actually care about reading through the entire script, especially as this apparent final entry in the series ties up a number of loose ends that began in the previous iterations. The gameplay has also been refined. Finally, playing as other Navis feels like more of a pleasure than a chore. The new Cross and Beast Out systems make switching characters on the fly easy and useful, rather than gimmicky and tacked on. Sadly, the graphics have remained the same as in previous games. They’re not bad to look at, but they sorely under-utilize the GBA’s capabilities.
It’s curious why Capcom didn’t choose to continue the Battle Network series on the DS, as the interface and extra map screen lend themselves extremely well to the role-playing genre. However, Battle Network 6 is a great entry from an increasingly short list of titles worthy of dusting off the aging GBA for a quick session on the go. If you’ve never played a Mega Man game on the Game Boy, Gregar or Falzar are great places to start. Both newcomers and longtime fans will get a considerable 24+ hours of gameplay at a value price.
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