Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection First Impressions

About 22 years ago, Mega Man Battle Network came out on the Game Boy Advance. I didn’t play it, or any of its sequels. Looking back on it, that seems weird. I always really liked the Mega Man and Mega Man X games, I had a Game Boy Advance, and I really liked RPGs, which Battle Network happens to be. But for whatever reason, I didn’t pick it up back then, and that means that today’s release of the Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection contains a whole bunch of games that might as well be new to me. Do these games hold up so many years later, especially for someone who doesn’t have any nostalgia for them?

The collection contains all six Mega Man Battle Network games. The later games in the series released with two different versions, kind of like the Pokémon games, and both versions of those games are included here. It was released on two volumes, with the first three on one and the second three on the second. However, if you buy the physical version, you just get both volumes. Thankfully, unlike previous Legacy Collection releases, both volumes are actually on the disc or card, no need to download the second.


As I’m completely new to the series, I only played the first game. I knew going in that it was a RPG with a grid-based combat system, but very little else. When you first start, the game doesn’t do a whole lot to tell you what you’re doing. You find your PET, which stands for Personal Terminal, and is basically a smart phone before we had those and some battle chips, but what actually are those and what do they do? Thankfully, you don’t actually have to wait that long for an explanation. After talking to your mom and having a quick breakfast, you run off to school where you learn the basics of how combat works.


When entering a battle, you’ll see a grid that’s six blocks wide and three tall. The left half is colored blue and the right is red. The blue half is your half and you can freely move between those blocks while your enemies move around theirs. You’re given a random selection of five battle chips which all can be used to create different effects. Each chip has a letter assigned to it, and you can only pick to bring in chips with the same letter assigned to them. A meter fills up while you are fighting, and when it’s full, you can pick from the chips again. You can also choose to wait, which will make you wait for the meter to fill up again, but when it does you’ll be able to choose from ten chips. You can repeat that for a total of fifteen. Doing this allows you to bring in more potential combos. This sounds complicated while writing it, but it’s actually pretty simple and easy to figure out when you see it in front of you.

Like most RPGs, you’re not just battling, there’s also a focus on story. In this game, you play as a young boy named Lan who controls a Net Navi, a little digital avatar, named Mega Man. Basically everything in the world is connected to the internet, which was a weirder concept in 2001. A terrorist organization called WWW is trying to take over the internet, and thus the world. You’ll be using Mega Man to enter various internet enabled appliances to fight off the WWW’s viruses. In an early story scenario, you start hearing rumors of ovens spitting fire. You come home to a repair man checking out your system and telling you it’s fixed. However, that night, the oven starts spitting fire. It turns out the repairman is a WWW agent and you have to beat his Net Navi, Fire Man, to fix the problem.


When you enter the internet, you take control of Mega Man. You run around in fairly minimalist environments and get into random encounters. Most of the fights are very easy, with enemies who barely move and have low hit points, but will reward you with new chips and money. Boss encounters, like the one against Fire Man, are much more interesting. The bosses have much more complicated attack patterns that you have to react to and are generally very fun.


I had a very good time with the first Mega Man Battle Network. Obviously, some people probably won’t enjoy a Game Boy Advance game in 2023 if they weren’t around for that generation, but I found that the gameplay held up very well and the story is silly, but entertaining. I’m not sure how likely it will be that I actually play through all the games on this collection, but I definitely want to keep going with this

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