Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection review for Nintendo Switch, PS4, and PC

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also On: PS4, PC
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Medium: Digital / Cartridge / Blu-Ray
Players: 1-2
Online: Yes
ESRB: E10+

When most people my age think of Mega Man, we?re likely thinking of the NES and SNES action-platformers that were so prolific during the 80?s and 90?s. However, there?s definitely a whole generation of Mega Man fans out there that more likely than not associate the classic Blue Bomber with this series of games, Mega Man Battle Network. Debuting on the GameBoy Advance in 2001, this series re-wrote the book on what a Mega Man game could be, introducing RPG mechanics, new human and robot characters, and a whole new series of villains. Gone were the platforming shooting action bits that Mega Man was known for, replaced now by a grid like battlefield where you deploy Battle Chips to defeat enemies in a strategic fashion. 

While certainly a bit hampered in design due the series’ portable stylings, each subsequent entry in the series did a great job of building on the prior games, continuing with the same core cast of characters that were really well written and endearing for the time. While Battle Network might not be my favorite Mega Man series overall, I?ve been pleasantly surprised by how well the series holds up in Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection volume 1 and 2 available now on PS4, Switch, and PC.

It?s been a bit since Capcom made any of these titles available to the masses, with the last ports being on the Wii U Virtual Console. Volume 1 of Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection will net you Mega Man Battle Network 1 through 3, while volume 2 contains 4 through 6. Any of the later Battle Network titles that were split into two games Pok?mon style have now been combined, so entries like Battle Network 6 contains both Cybeast Falzar and Cybeast Gregar as one complete game. 

There?s not a lot of additional bells and whistles included in either volume, other than a kind of ugly smoothing HD effect that you can thankfully turn off, and a pretty useful MAX Buster cheat that you can toggle on that lets you blow through most standard battles by just using a supercharged version of the buster. Unfortunately there isn?t a lot of supplemental material other than a Gallery function, but on the plus side the online mechanics are available if you?re interested in battling against friends. I will say I had virtually no luck in matchmaking across multiple weeks since release, so if you?re wanting to play online, I?d suggest having other friends in tow instead of relying on random matchmaking. 

If you had to settle on only one of these volumes to pick up, I?d say going with volume 2 is your best bet. Starting with 4, the improvements made to battle and collecting chips for battles might be a bit slight overall, but are noticeable improvements over the first three. That said, all 6 games are worth checking out if you care about story, as lead character Lan and his group of friends are pretty endearing and the writing holds up fairly well. There?s no major plot points that you?re going to miss if you skip any game in the series, but despite being RPG?s none of the six games will take you an insane amount of time to complete. Also, if you?re not feeling the combat mechanics in the earlier entries, turning on the MAX Buster option allows you to sort of blow through a lot of that, so you can then focus on the deckbuilding and improved combat concepts in the later games. 

All in all, both Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection volumes are pretty fun representations of GBA era games. If you have any affinity for this series from back in the day, I can?t really see a reason not to check these collections out. If the series skipped you by originally I think these games are still interesting takes on the Mega Man series for newcomers to check out, but I?d also keep in mind that none of the six games are necessarily flawless. Whether it?s the lackluster battles of the first few entries, or some of the frustrating and annoying dungeon designs found throughout, there are definitely some archaic aspects that don?t mesh well with modern RPG expectations. Still, if you?re willing to look over some of the rough patches or have any love for checking out older classics, then you?ll likely find Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection is right up your alley. 

Note: Capcom provided us with a Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection Vol. 1 + 2 Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B+