Friday, September 30, 2011

Megaman Battle Network 2

Mega Man and Lan Strike Back!

 The original Mega Man Battle Network was interesting in its own way. Sure, it was an RPG, but a very special kind of RPG. It had a very innovative battle system. Now, the sequel is out and actually improves on the first. 

GAMEPLAY: Basically, you control the main character, Lan in the real world. Many people have little robots called PETs. Lan's PET is Mega Man. He performs important tasks in the real world which eventually gives him a reason to jack-in to various electronic equipment, including personal computers, which is like a main hub of sorts that leads to the other places, and other little things such as a telephone and even a doghouse. After jacking-in to anything with a jack-in port, you take control of Mega Man, which then basically explores whatever appliance or computer he is in. Eventually, he encounters random enemies in random battles, like many other RPGs. However, the real kicker is the innovative battle sequence. Gone are the traditional menus... replacing it is an action sequence where you must actually finish off the enemies using repeated pushes of the buttons. 
I will go a little more in-depth with the battle system now. The battling takes place in a 3x6 grid. You get half of the grid, (specifically, the first half) and the enemies get the second half. Your main weapon is the blaster, which is activated by the B button. By pushing the B button repeatedly, you can shoot multiple blasts at your opponents. However, each time you hit an enemy with the blaster, it will only take off 1 hp. The blaster is mainly used as a stall though, since once your charge meter at the top of the screen is filled up, you can use chips, which are special attacks such as cannons and cross shots, which do 40 and 30 damage to the opponents, respectively. Also, since both sides can just keep on moving around their side of the battlefield, it can get hard to aim and dodge. The enemies are also each interesting in their own right. They have different attacks which can mess up your chances for victory greatly. Luckily, by visiting various netdealers which are placed in various spots around the personal computer, you can buy useful items such as powerups that boost your strength, HP, charge meter, and speed. An added element for the sequel is that you can now have different styles of Mega Man such as aqua and fire style. They suit you accordingly to how you are playing. That's how the game plays like, repeatedly switching between Lan and Mega Man whenever necessary.   

GRAPHICS: The graphics are very nice this time around. Lan moves around in a way that makes it feel like it's 3-D despite the fact that it isn't. Plus, the battle sequences are very cool to see. Everything looks very nice and colorful here. This game proves that many 2-D games can still look great. 

STORY: While playing the first one will give you a little more knowledge of who the main character and his friends are, you could play this game without having ever played the first one. Basically, you are Lan, who has a PET named Mega Man. The main story for the first was a group of bad guys (WWW) threatening the internet world. This is also like that except with a new bad group. (netmafia) Most of the story involves Lan doing an everyday thing like going camping and visiting friends' houses. Usually, it then turns out that the netmafia has used a Navi (which are basically the bosses) to somehow break in some electronic device and manage to screw the thing up one way or another. Also, throughout the story, you take tests which gives you various licenses. The higher your license, the more bragging rights you have. The story isn't too deep, but manages to stay interesting, especially near the end. Once again, even if you have never played the first one, you should understand this game just fine. 

SOUND: There isn't much in the way of sound. The text noise whenever a character is talking can get annoying, but shouldn't take away from the overall experience. Overall, the sound effects are only a little over average, but still sound true to whatever it is making the sound. While the music that plays when you are playing with Mega Man is pretty ho-hum, the tunes that play with Lan are very catchy. They are great pieces of music, especially the main theme and the music in your hometown. You may find yourself humming along to these tunes. 
REPLAYABILITY: Like most RPGs, this game eventually comes to an end. Before that end though, you can expect at least 20 hours of gameplay. However, unlike most RPGs, this game lets you keep going where you then eventually find hidden secrets that I won't reveal in this review. Also, it can take a while to get every single chip. So, they managed to make this RPG last longer than it should have. 

OVERALL: Definitely buy this one! Action and RPG fans alike should enjoy this one! Everyone else should enjoy this one! This game's a keeper. 

SYSTEM: Game Boy Advance 



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