Gaming

We Ranked Every Game in the Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection

Introduction

Capcom recently unveiled the Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection during the June 2022 Nintendo Direct Mini. This compilation brings together 10 games from the beloved Gameboy Advance series, with Battle Network 3 onwards offering two versions, similar to the Pokémon franchise. What sets the Battle Network series apart is its shift to full-fledged RPG gameplay, departing from the side-scrolling format that Mega Man was originally known for. In this article, we will delve into the collection’s lineup and rank each game from worst to best, ensuring you can make an informed choice in anticipation of its release in 2023.

Mega Man Battle Network 4: Red Sun and Blue Moon

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The fourth installment of the Mega Man Battle Network series is often considered the black sheep. It falters due to its lackluster narrative, revolving around three main tournaments as an asteroid threatens the Earth. Despite the series’ heroes having already saved the world multiple times, they find themselves needing to prove their worth in these competitions.

Mega Man Battle Network 4 attempted to rein in the combat mechanics, introducing the Double Soul system. This system allowed Mega Man to borrow elemental powers from his allies, but with each Double Soul only lasting three turns, it fell short compared to the previous game’s Style Change system, which persisted for the entire battle. Additionally, players were required to complete three playthroughs to unlock all the game’s content. With twelve different Souls split between the Red Sun and Blue Moon versions, this demand became tiresome.

While not a terrible game, Mega Man Battle Network 4 falls short of its predecessors due to repetitive gameplay and inflexible combat. If you do decide to give it a go, the Red Sun version is the better choice.

Mega Man Battle Network

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Mega Man Battle Network, the game that started it all, follows the adventure of Lan and Mega Man as they uncover a series of crimes plaguing their town and confront the terrorist group known as WWW.

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This entry ranks lower primarily due to its age and lack of polish compared to later installments. Random battles cannot be avoided without specific Battle Chips, and the repetitive design of the internet areas hampers navigation. It can be compared to the original Pokémon games, which formed a solid foundation but improved significantly with subsequent iterations.

While Japan received a Nintendo DS remake of Mega Man Battle Network, which included a crossover event with the Star Force series, it remains uncertain if this scenario will make it into the Legacy Collection.

Mega Man Battle Network 5: Team ProtoMan and Team Colonel

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Mega Man Battle Network 5 stands as the most unique and divisive entry in the franchise. As Lan and Mega Man battle against the nefarious crime syndicate Nebula, they must prevent chaos from spreading throughout the real and cyber worlds using Dark Battle Chips that corrupt NetNavis.

What sets this game apart are the Liberation Missions, strategic RPG-like battles where Lan and his team aim to free sections of the Internet from Nebula’s grasp. Unusual for the series, players also gain control of other NetNavis besides Mega Man, with the Protoman and Colonel versions offering different allies.

While the Liberation Missions provide an enjoyable change of pace, they don’t reach the depth seen in games like Fire Emblem. Nevertheless, Mega Man Battle Network 5 offers a wealth of post-game content, including additional Liberation Missions and challenging bosses. The game’s soundtrack is also particularly outstanding.

Although the Nintendo DS version, Mega Man Battle Network 5: Double Team DS, would have been ideal, the separate Game Boy Advance versions still offer equally balanced experiences. You can’t go wrong with either Team ProtoMan or Team Colonel.

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Mega Man Battle Network 6: Cybeast Gregar and Cybeast Falzar

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The final entry in the series follows Lan and Mega Man as they relocate to a new city, only to face the revival of WWW and their ambitions to control powerful digital creatures known as Cybeasts.

Mega Man Battle Network 6 introduces the Cross system, which strikes a balance between the Double Soul of BN4 and BN5 and the Style Change of BN2 and BN3. Crosses persist for the entire battle, granting Mega Man enhanced abilities, but he reverts to normal if hit with an elemental weakness. The game also features the Beast Out mechanic, allowing Mega Man to tap into the powers of absorbed Cybeasts, enhancing his combat abilities.

After the mixed reception of the previous installments, Mega Man Battle Network 6 marked a return to form. Unfortunately, the international versions of the game had some content removed, including an extra post-game section. It remains to be seen if Capcom will restore this content for the Legacy Collection.

Mega Man Battle Network 2

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Taking place a few months after the first game, Mega Man Battle Network 2 sees Mega Man and Lan combatting a new evil organization called Gospel, seeking to recreate a SuperNavi and destroy society.

Mega Man Battle Network 2 represents a significant improvement over its predecessor. The introduction of central hubs in the internet and the ability to escape from random battles at any time enhance the gameplay experience. Lan can now alternate between three chip folders, and the game introduces the Style Change system, allowing Mega Man to adopt different forms with unique abilities.

Alongside these quality of life improvements, Mega Man Battle Network 2 features a compelling story with a sympathetic antagonist, solidifying its standing as one of the best entries in the series.

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Mega Man Battle Network 3: Blue Version and White Version

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The pinnacle of the Mega Man Battle Network series is its third installment. Facing the return of WWW, Lan and Mega Man must prevent the resurrection of the evil prototype of the Internet.

Building upon the improvements of Mega Man Battle Network 2, Mega Man Battle Network 3 introduces the Navi Customizer feature, which becomes a staple in subsequent games. This system allows players to collect parts and strategically fit them into a grid, granting Mega Man various abilities. However, strict rules apply, such as parts not overlapping and the risk of bugs if mistakes are made.

The game delves deeper into Lan’s family history, presenting a poignant tale of sadness and hope. While both Mega Man Battle Network 2 and 3 are highly regarded by fans, the sleeker user interface and exceptional soundtrack give Mega Man Battle Network 3 an edge.

When choosing between versions, the Blue Version is the superior choice. Exclusive Battle Chips and a powerfully overpowered chip called FolderBack only available in Blue make it the definitive option.

Conclusion

The Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection promises nostalgic enjoyment for fans and newcomers alike. While each game in the collection has its own merits, Mega Man Battle Network 3 stands tall as the pinnacle of the series. With its engaging story, refined gameplay mechanics, and stylish presentation, it remains a must-play experience. Prepare to dive into the world of Mega Man Battle Network when the Legacy Collection releases in 2023 for PC, PS4, and Nintendo Switch.

To learn more about OnSpec Electronic, Inc, the company behind the Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection, visit their website here.

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