The successful and fun Mega Man Battle Network
RPG series strayed heavily from the original Mega Man formula when it was first launched on the Game Boy Advance back in 2001. If you thought that game series departed from the action-platform genre, wait until you get a load of the latest Mega Man
game. Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge
is obviously Capcom's attempt to capitalize on the increasing popularity of the card battle games like Yu-Gi-Oh!
, but despite trying to create an original design for the genre, the game is a dreadfully dull creation, and is barely even interactive in a videogame sense. The only thing it's got going for it is originality, and even that's a stretch; Battle Chip Challenge
is quite possibly the worst game to bear the Mega Man
Battle Chip Challenge
- Six playable characters
- Link cable support for two plyaers (multiple cartridge)
- Cartridge save (two slots)
- Only for Game Boy Advance
is based around the futuristic, Net-centric Battle Network
universe, and features many of the same characters as well as an extension of the plot developed in the RPG. Instead of having direct control over the game's central hero Lan and his Personal Electronic Trainer, players choose from a list of characters and assume their role and their PET. But here's the difference: this isn't an RPG, nor do players actually "control" those characters. The characters/PETs they choose are the player's persona during the Battle Chip Challenge, a strategy game where players put their collected battle chips against an opponent to see who can create the more powerful deck. The choice in characters also determines the storyline of Battle Chip Challenge
's single player mode.
What made Mega Man Battle Network enjoyable was its battle interface. Though the game featured random battles throughout its adventure, it wasn't in a traditional Japanese RPG sense where players simply attack in basic turns. Players actually had physical, if just a little limited, control over Mega Man during battles, and could attack and counter with a wide range of weapons during combat. But despite Battle Chip Challenge's focus of branching out Battle Network's design, it's a massive step backwards in combat design and entirely unfun to play.
The game play in Battle Chip Challenge is essentially this: players buy, win, and trade Battle Chips, and attempt to use strategies to assign the best chips for combat. Players have a grid in which to place active chips based on "rounds" in battle; the first round uses two chips, round two uses three, and the last round uses four. At the start of any battle, the computer randomly works through the grid and selects which chips will be used for battle, so obviously the first round chips have a fifty-fifty chance of being selected, the second round one in three, and the third one in four. If players don't like the computer's original selection, he can choose to have it reselect, but that means the other player's choices get reshuffled as well. Once the "path" is chosen, the computer simply plays out all of the actions and does all the calculations versus the opposition's choice.
That's right, the actual combat is pre-determined and controlled entirely by the computer. The only control players actually have during battle is what's called "Slotting in." Two chips can be used at the user's discretion at any time during battle with varying success. If "slotting in" is successful, then that attack, a mystery to the opponent, will affect the battle. Other than this interaction, everything else is done by computer, leaving players to simply advance the battle by rapidly tapping the A button until the battle's over.
And it's clear that this game design was a quick development for Capcom, since much of the game presentation lifts about 95% of its graphic and sound assets from the past Mega Man Battle Network games. It's a shame that the development team didn't lift the "fun" out of those RPG titles, because this game is just flat out bad. There's some strategy and lasting play to be had, but only if you can stand rapidly pressing A for most of the time the game's plugged into your system.
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