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Megaman Battle Network (GBA)
Capcom's number one son does role-playing to perfection
By - James Fudge

A lot of people are confused about Megaman Battle Network. Is it an RPG? A strategy game? Action platformer? The truth is that this game is a combination of all these genres rolled into a cute little package that all ages can relate to.

In MBN you take control of a 5th-grader named Lan, who lives in a future where all things are jacked into the Internet -- from simple household appliances to the giant flatscreen monitors at school that serve as centers for learning. And with this mega advancement to society comes one serious problem: viruses and hacking.

The problem is so bad that young children are taught to battle this evil using devices they call personal information terminals, or PETs. It just so happens that Lan's PET is called Megaman.exe (our hero of days gone by), and he seems to be the only PET in town capable of combating problems on the 'net. So here's the basic premise of the game -- a hacking group (who we won't name so as not to spoil the game) has begun infecting everything connected to the 'net. It's up to LAN and Megaman.exe to take care of all the incidents that keep popping up.

Megaman Battle Network Stats

Game Type: Action
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Multiplayer: None
Min. Sys. Reqs: GameBoy Advance

Buy Megaman Battle Network now!
The reason that it's tough to classify Megaman Battle Network as a role-playing game is that you don't advance like you do in a traditional RPG. There's no experience to gain, no stats to grow from experience. You gain power-ups by collecting battle chips, getting power-up chips and data, and buying items from 'net merchants. Some chips come from NPC characters and others are available for purchase. So the real name of the game is collecting credits and getting battle chips. There are over 175 battle chips you can collect by either defeating enemies or by purchasing them at various locations throughout the game. You can also adjust three of Megaman's stats using power-up chips, including Armor, Attack, Rapid Fire and Charge. You can also get bonuses that raise your maximum hit points.

What also makes MBN feels like an RPG are the battle encounters. As is the case with most Japanese console RPGs, battles are completely random, happening while you travel through hostile areas. Finally, if you've played Breath of Fire III for the PlayStation, then you may recognize the ability to learn skills from your enemy (gain battle chips), but this occurs only if you can beat them in just a few moves. The rest of the game is a combination of strategic real-time combat on a 3X8 square grid, and adventuring in areas around Lan's hometown.

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