In 2015, Capcom released the Mega Man Legacy Collection which bundled the original first six Mega Man games. Since then several collections have released containing everything from the Mega Man X games to the vastly underrated Mega Man Zero/ZX games. But one series has been quiet during this time until now, the Mega Man Battle Network games.
If you’re unfamiliar with the franchise, the Battle Network games are a series of RPGs released for various Nintendo handhelds including the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS. They follow series protagonist Lan Hikari, a young boy in a semi-futuristic society with the strangest version of the internet ever. Almost everyone has a customizable avi called a PET to “jack in” or interface with cyberspace allowing their “PET” to run around online looking for information for them.
What starts as a cute premise quickly amps up as Lan and his PET, Megaman, are thrust into action battling viruses, network bugs, and even alien life forms.
One of the coolest things about this series is it was one of the very first RPGs to use the “deck builder” method. Instead of traditional Mega Man gameplay, you build a deck of cards, and every turn you can use a certain amount of energy or create a combo of cards that allow you to play them without expending energy. At the same time, you’re also moving around a grid-based platform dodging enemy attacks.
Personally, my favorite bit about the series is the design. Over the course of several Battle Network games, almost every character from the Mega Man series gets their own PET version and their redesigns are absolutely stellar. Especially in the clean, crisp, anime style the series has.
Here are the main characters next to their PETS.
Normally I’d be really upset about someone giving Roll and Proto Man a redesign but those looks are so goddamn great. I even ended up getting the Battle Network art book just so I can look at some of these designs and silently weep that I’ll never come up with anything as cool.
My own personal struggles aside, the Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection bundles the Megaman Battle Network Legacy Collection Vol.1 and Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection Vol. 2. In total, it contains 10 games:
- Mega Man Battle Network
- Mega Man Battle Network 2
- Mega Man Battle Network 3 Blue
- Mega Man Battle Network 3 White
- Mega Man Battle Network 4
- Mega Man Battle Network 5 Team Colonel
- Mega Man Battle Network 5 Team ProtoMan
- Mega Man Battle Network 6 Cybeast Falzar
- Mega Man Battle Network 6 Cybeast Gregar
- Mega Man Battle Network 7
If you’re wondering why there are two 3’s, 5’s, and 6’s it’s because for a while they debated doing something like Pokemon where they’d release two versions of the same game with minor story changes so that players would either need two copies or hang out with someone with the other copy if they wanted to get all the in game content.
The collection will also have a number of bonus features, such as a gallery of concept art and music, a music player containing over 100 songs, and a challenge mode.
The game is available right now for pre-order at $39.99 and will launch April 14th, 2023 on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Jack in and stay tuned for more info!