During today’s Nintendo Mini Direct, Capcom announced the Megaman Battle Network Legacy Collection. This is the 4th Legacy Collection released (not counting separate volumes), and focuses on the Battle Network series of games for the GameBoy Advance. Let’s take a look at what Battle Network is about and what the Collection has to offer!
What Is Mega Man Battle Network
Battle Network is a series of spin-off Mega Man games released for the GameBoy Advance starting in 2001. Unlike most of the Mega Man series, which consists of action platformers, Battle Network games are Tactical RPGs.
The series takes place in an alternate universe to the mainline series. Rather than focusing robotics, the scientific world instead focused its resources on computers. Most people log into and navigate the internet using programs called Navis.
You play as Lan Hikari (it was the early 2000s, the Internet was just taking off) and his Navi, MegaMan.EXE (Navi characters have their name end in “.EXE”), a.k.a. Mega Man. Throughout the games, you’ll bust viruses and fight other Navis, all while trying to prevent Dr. Wily from destroying the cyber world.
Fans of the mainline Mega Man games will recognize some of the characters from Battle Network. Many of the Robot Masters from these games appear as bosses here. Aside from Mega Man, there’s also a Roll.EXE, Dr. Wily is again the villain, and Dr. Light (here named Tadashi Hikari) is the main characters’ grandfather.
As mentioned, Battle Network games are Tactical RPGs. You’ll run around the real world as Lan, interacting with various characters. Meanwhile, Mega Man will go into the cyber world to bust viruses and battle other Navis.
What sets Battle Network apart is its combat. Battles are fought on a 6×3 grid, and the player can usually only move on half of it. You can freely move around the grid, avoiding enemy attacks and firing back at them. You can also give Mega Man various chips to increase his power or use special abilities.
Each game in the series after the first also comes with its own unique mechanics. Battle Network 2, 4 and 6 each introduce a way to change Mega Man’s weapons with those of defeated or allied Navis. BN3 allows you to customize Mega Man’s programming to an extent, and BN6 lets Mega Man turn into powerful beast forms.
Main Games in the Series
Technically speaking, there are 6 Battle Network titles. In practice, there’s 10. That’s because, starting with Battle Network 3, there were 2 versions of each game, Pokemon-style. Here’s the main games in the series:
- Mega Man Battle Network
- Mega Man Battle Network 2
- Mega Man Battle Network 3 Blue/White
- Mega Man Battle Network 4 Red Sun/Blue Moon
- Mega Man Battle Network 5 Team ProtoMan/Team Colonel
- Mega Man Battle Network 6 Cybeast Gregar/Cybeast Falzar
Plot-wise, the different versions of the games are identical or nearly the same. However, there can be differences in the chips you have access to, the bosses you face, or even the aesthetic of the game.
Aside from the main series, there’s also a number of spin-off games, most of which didn’t make it out of Japan, as well as an anime series.
We finally arrive at the newly announced Legacy Collection. This version of the game will be released sometime next year, on PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Steam. There will also be physical versions for the two consoles. No mention of the PS5, but it’d be odd if the game didn’t work on it.
The physical version contains all 10 mainline games, while the digital versions are split in two volumes. Vol. 1 contains Battle Network 1, 2, and both versions of 3, while Vol. 2 contains both versions of 4, 5, and 6.
Warning: Physical versions of past Legacy Collections for Switch are known to only have the first Volume on the cartridge, with the second volume as an additional download. This might be something to consider if storage space is an issue.
The Collection also includes a “High-Resolution Filter” (from what we’ve seen, it applies anti-aliasing to the sprites), an Art Gallery, and a Music Player so you can listen to the game’s soundtrack at your own leisure.
We don’t know anything about price, but we can make an educated guess. Mega Man X Legacy Collection was also released in two volumes, with each one going for 19.99 and a physical combo for 39.99. We can expect Battle Network to have the same price. However, Vol. 2 contains 2 more games than Vol. 1, so we might see them go 15/25 rather than 20/20.
Other Collections on Sale
We don’t know if it’s a coincidence or if Capcom planned it this way, but the other Mega Man Legacy Collections, as well as Mega Man 11, are part of the Steam Summer Sale. Some of these are at an all time low, too, so now’s as good a time as any to get them. Here are the games (prices are displayed in EUR):
- Mega Man Legacy Collection for 9.94 (67% off) as a bundle, or Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 for 5.99 (60% off) each.
- Vol. 1 contains Mega Man 1-6, while Vol. 2 contains Mega Man 7-10.
- Vol. 1 seems to be cheaper than Vol. 2 in the US region, both at discount and base price
- Mega Man X Legacy Collection for 15.98 (60% off) as a bundle, or Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 for 7.99 (60% off) each.
- Vol. 1 contains Mega Man X1-X4, while Vol. 2 contains Mega Man X5-X8.
- Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection for 14.99 (50% off)
- Contains Mega Man Zero 1-4, Mega Man ZX, and Mega Man ZX Advent
- Mega Man 11 for 9.89 (67% off)
- Latest entry in the Mega Man franchise, released in 2018
Mega Man isn’t the only one that’s gone on sale this season! Check out our other highlights to find the best deals for you:
- Steam Summer Sale – Sandbox Game Deals
- Steam Summer Sale – Horror Game Deals
- Steam Summer Sale – Action / Adventure Game Deals
- Steam Summer Sale – City & Settlement Game Deals
Are you excited for the new Battle Network Collection? Which series do you hope to see next? (our money’s on Star Force, but we’d also like to see Legends return). Let us know in the comments below!