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Feb 21, 2014

Mega Man Network Transmission Review

The chips that give you your powers.
Wage web war! The blue wonder's latest is yet another slice of disappointment and mediocrity...

If it ain't broke, don't fix it, as the saying goes. So quite why Capcom decided to 'fix' the Mega Man Battle Network series by dumbing down the RPG-style sections, and replacing the wonderful battle system from the GBA version with some idiotic 2D platforming sections, is anyone's guess.

It's a shame really, because the basics of the game are all present and correct. You play the part of both Lan (a boy in the real-world) and Mega Man (a program that can be uploaded into various networks in the game) with the task of ridding the World Wide Web of corrupt viruses and suchlike.

In order to do so, you need to collect and organise battle 'chips' - items that enable Mega Man to use special attacking or defensive moves. Part of the game's strategy is knowing what chips to use, and when. You can only hold five different chips at a time, which can then be replenished after a gauge at the top of the screen fills up. Select the wrong ships, and you could find yourself in a world of trouble.
NETWORK TRANSMISSION TAKES THE FORM OF A BASIC PLATFORMER AND WHEN WE SAY BASIC, WE MEAN REALLY BASIC
The 3D backgrounds are nice for...
Unfortunately, although the idea worked very well on the GBA adventures, it's all fallen rather flat in this PC version. Rather than employing the use of the interesting action/strategy battle grid on GBA, Network Transmission takes the form of a basic 2D platformer - and when we say basic we mean really basic. The controls are clunky, enemp placement and movement patterns are frustrating, and any semblance of considered strategy soon gives way to you simply using the same battle chips over and over - for nothing more that survival.

Even more depressing is the fact that the adventuring around the town - that made elements of the GBA version so charming - has been stripped down to simply moving a cursor around a map screen. Another fatal decision on Capcom's part, and another reason to give this a wide berth.

A good GBA game turned into a very mediocre PC game by the omission of everything that was great about it in the first place. Shame.
Verdict: 59/100
The cut scenes are actually quite nice.
"Getting the hell out of here, idiot!"

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