Mega Man Network Transmission

Mega Man Network Transmission

Despite playing Mega Man Network Transmission years ago, I’ve struggled to remember much about it and couldn’t figure out why. Trying it again has solved the mystery: it’s a thoroughly bland title with intermittent difficulty spikes that halt whatever momentum it can gather. Its most interesting idea, combining classic Mega Man platforming with Battle Network RPG systems, isn’t a particularly good one, because Battle Network wasn’t just an RPG; it was a deck-building RPG. So Network Transmission gives only limited control over how you tackle any given obstacle, and the action is frequently paused to deliberate your options. The narrative style also seems to be a middle ground between the two series, making for a half-baked retread with twists that barely qualify as such.

Still, the combination isn’t completely without merit. The RPG mechanics give a satisfying sense of progression, and most chips have some niche to fill, even if some are more versatile than others. The more reasonable platforming sections and boss encounters can also be enjoyable if you can effectively use your semi-random loadout. Unfortunately, the classic Mega Man component is second-rate. The controls work, but they feel clunky, the level design is visually drab and often unfair, and many enemies are unnecessarily resilient. Those nostalgic for classic chiptunes will find some decent examples here, but the sound effects are usually inappropriate or annoying.

3.5/10
3.5/10

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