Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge
Oh how the mighty have fallen. As a kid, I remembered being totally enamored with the Mega Man series. The Blue Bomber captivated me with his enjoyable side-scrolling action and I bought each incarnation, one after the other. Well, that is until I realized that after almost ten titles in the series, each title was essentially like the last. And now, I look at what the Mega Man series has become: a popular fifteen-year old franchise that lost its roots and its willingness to revolutionize. Unfortunately, Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge, a spin off of the Mega Man Battle Network series , does little to alleviate this major problem.
Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge isn't your conventional side-scrolling action game ' in fact, it's a Mega Man game by name only. Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge, is a card game set in the Mega Man universe and much like the Pokemon titles, you traverse the world to find competitions and battle with your card deck, gaining more cards and notoriety along the way. Sounds like a decent setup, right? Problem is that instead of letting you control the fights, the game does it by itself in a random fashion.
Here's how it all goes down:
1.) Setup your card deck and start the battle.
2.) Press B, put down the Game Boy, and return five minutes later.
3.) See whether or not you won the battle. If so, proceed to the next battle. If not, then rearrange the deck and repeat step two.
During the battles, you don't actually do anything aside from occasionally subbing in two special cards on the fly 'but really, you don't even have to do that. During battles, the game just goes off by itself, leaving you to simply watch the aftermath. Needless to say, the stripped down interactivity makes Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge a huge bore.
However, it's not all bad as there is strategy that can be used. For a brief moment, I felt a twinge of satisfaction as I switched around some cards in my deck to beat a tough boss, but that twinge left as soon as it came when I realized that lady luck played a greater hand in the outcome of the match than I. Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge's greatest challenge it seems is for the player to get past the fact that everything is beyond their control and left to luck.
Technically, Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge is all sound since it draws upon the sharp visuals of the Mega Man Battle Network series, but you have to wonder where the designers got some of their inspiration. For one battle stage, there's a pink backdrop with rubber ducks floating by. I'm still not sure what to make of that. The music is upbeat and happy ' appropriate in most ways.
Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge is better at playing itself instead of letting you play it, and when that happens in a video game, the entire point got lost somewhere along the way. If there were some major changes to the fundamental gameplay core, then Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge could be a lot of fun. However, as it stands now, its just a cash-in that weakens the already impaired franchise. Recommended only for the die-hardest of die-hard Mega Man fans.
Download Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge
Fans will appreciate being able to play as a number of different characters, and the visuals and sounds are up to the series' high standards. But unfortunately, the actual battles aren't that great; they're a tedious exercise in repeatedly pressing the A button to advance dialog boxes. It's fun to set up your Battle Chip deck, but the strategy halts once a fight commences. You can't do much besides watch it play out as if you've set up a trail of dominoes, hoping they'll trigger the right way. You're not completely helpless--you have two customizable slots for chips you can plug in for backup anytime--but it doesn't make you feel like you have any more real control over the matches. Kids who dig real-life card games will likely derive some strategic pleasure here, but their fingers won't appreciate the repetitive stress injuries."]
Battle Network followers could be in for some major culture shock with this game. The peppy go-go music and pop-art visuals are still there, but the card-based gameplay is completely different--and, regrettably, not quite as engaging. The reason? Everything from using chips in battle to buying new ones is decided randomly for you, so it never seems like you're really in control. This design means that advancing in the tournament requires more patience than talent, since later battles drag on and on with no input required. Perhaps this would've been better as a real card game....
Let the broken record play on: The biggest problem with Challenge is that the battles just aren't all that fun. Since all the strategy takes place before the fight, the bouts themselves are long, boring sequences in which you do nothing but repeatedly tap A. Despite this, I found myself slowly becoming involved in the game, thanks to the cool characters. It's definitely not in the same league as the legendary Card Fighter's Clash tor Neo-Geo Pocket, but it's not terrible, either.