Mega Man Network Transmission
I was really excited when I first booted up Network Transmission. Here it was, finally--a side-scrolling Mega Man in the style of the old games with the look and feel of the Battle Network GBA series. But despite great-looking cartoon graphics and heaps of old-school styling, NT is just too damn hard to be fun. I mean, there's challenge and then there's losing count of how many tries it took to beat FireMan, the first-level boss. On top of that, the Battle Chip weapon system (borrowed from the GBA games) doesn't fit an action game like this. Your battle chips are randomly selected, and you're completely screwed if you don't have life-replenishment or projectile-weapon chips when you reach a boss. Mega Man does have his trusty buster weapon that never runs out (and doesn't rely on chips), but in this game, that weapon is about as effective as trying to take out cars with spit wads. If you're not a superhumanly skilled hardcore fan of the blue bomber, skip Transmission.
Transmission kicked my ass three ways from Sunday. Now, I'm way hyped to see Mega Man back in an old-school side-scroller, and I'm also a fan of the GBA Battle Network games, but when you die so easily and everything is nearly impossible to kill, few gamers will persevere. Plus, CJ's right--the Battle Chip system is awkwardly out of place here. It's a shame, really--in between my swearing fits, I was kinda having fun.
Have my once-proud Mega Man skills atrophied to the point where I have to continue 20 times to beat a level? Nope--this game is just life-threateningly, perversely hard. (I know my skills are intact, because I got further than either CJ or Phil.) Seriously, this is the toughest game the series has ever offered, and the extreme challenge will annoy, frustrate, and ultimately eradicate nearly every gamer who attempts to tackle it. It's sad--the unfair difficulty utterly eclipses the colorful visuals, catchy tunes, and tight gameplay. Rent, rant, then return.
Download Mega Man Network Transmission
We know you're dying to find out what happened in between Mega Man Battle Network 1 and 2 (GBA). OK, maybe you're not. But regardless, the upcoming Network Transmission aims to quench that hunger, GameCube style. Taking place in the same universe as the GBA games, Transmission will mark the Blue Bomber's first GameCube foray. The gameplay itself is classic Mega Man. That's right--it's a side scroller all the way, brought into modernity by means of car-toon-style 3D graphics. What it draws from the Battle Network games, though, is what gives it some exciting potential. Remember the cool chip system in those games? No? Well, after killing bosses, you could steal their microchips, which were encoded with their special abilities. You could swap these chips in and out on the fly to customize your ability set. Same thing happens here, only you'll feel the effects more directly. Some make you jump higher, while others allow you to lob grenades, and more.