The Battle Network games are hybrid role-playing video games. Out of battle, gameplay is typical RPG fare. In battle, however, it is a unique hybrid of traditional action-RPG gameplay and a collectible card game. This battle system is the most unusual part of the Battle Network games, featuring a 6x3 grid, with each character initially controlling half of the playing field. However, this can be modified by Battle Chips and in Battle Network 5, the layout of surrounding tiles in Liberation Missions.
Like the original games, MegaMan has the use of his weapon, the MegaBuster, but in this series, additional weapons can be downloaded to MegaMan for one-time use through small computer chips held by Lan known as Battle Chips. A secondary objective is thus the collection of Battle Chips, and the organization of Battle Chips in such a manner as to augment MegaMan's powers to its maximum level. Some Battle Chips can also be combined in such a way to form a Program Advance, a sort of combo attack, while others are used to call other NetNavis for assistance. With the success of the collectible genre with series such as Pokémon, Battle Network games (beginning with BN3) were released in two similar versions, and had Giga Class Battle Chips, Style Changes, Soul Unisons, Crosses and side stories that were exclusive to one version of the game.
The fourth, fifth and sixth games in the series are also compatible with the e-Reader (in Japan; the e-Reader was discontinued in America). By swiping special cards, MegaMan can be given extra powers. The cards also allowed for customization of menu screens.
Battle Network 4 can also be used with the Battle Chip Gate (released only in Japan), another Game Boy accessory (made specifically for Battle Network), in which battle chips for the Advanced PET and Advanced PET II (a virtual pet-like toy with a Battle Network motif, based on the PETs found in Battle Network 4.) Subsequent PET upgrades include the Progress and LiNK PETs, which are based on the PETs in Battle Network 5 and Battle Network 6, respectively. The Battle Chip Gate is also compatible with Rockman.EXE 4.5 Real Operation, a Japan-only spin-off game in which the Game Boy Advance acts as the PET itself and Navis other than MegaMan can be used. Two upgraded gates were released in conjunction with the fifth and sixth games, under the titles of Progress Chip Gate and Beast Link Gate, respectively.
Furthermore, Battle Network 4 can be connected to Mega Man Zero 3 to obtain the Z-Saber, the sword used by Zero in Megaman X2~X6(and Command Mission)and the Megaman Zero series, as a BattleChip for MegaMan.EXE, as well as for Zero to face Battle Network viruses in Zero 3.
The fourth, fifth, and sixth installments of the series also feature cameos (effectively, a fictional crossover) by Django and Otenko of Konami's Boktai series, in which Django and Otenko are part of a sidequest that allows MegaMan to get the GunDelSol (a BattleChip based on Django's main weapon) as well as the PileDriver Program Advance. In the fifth installment, Django and Otenko NaviChips are also available along with a feature that actually allows the player to battle a friend who owns a copy of Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django. A second crossover battle was offered between the sixth game and the third Boktai game, Boktai: Sabata's Counterattack. This feature was removed from the US/PAL versions. The reason for this was because of Capcom US losing rights to Boktai.
MegaMan is also a secret character in Capcom's Onimusha Blade Warriors series, and in Battle Network 5 two BattleChips are based on Duel Masters, a reference to the double billing of movie adaptations of their respective anime series.
Battle Network 5 also introduces Liberation Missions, a mode that combines traditional NetBattling with turn-based strategy games. In Liberation Missions, MegaMan and a team of Navis enter a part of the Internet controlled by Dark Chip Syndicate Nebula in order to free it from their control.
Rockman.EXE 5 DS Twin Leaders (Double Team in the United States and Europe) has been released on the Nintendo DS system. It is virtually the same as the fifth installment on Game Boy Advance, except with an extra screen. Most player-influenced elements of the game are managed on the touch screen, and the base menu is made to look like Netto's PET from the Anime. Also, the Soul Unison function introduced in the fourth game is used more prominently. However, players can only obtain souls depending on which game version they have chosen.
Unlike the past Battle Network games, RockMan.EXE 5 Twin Leaders can connect to past games for chips and other extras. Depending on which game has been loaded into the Game Boy Advance slot, numerous secrets can be revealed. Such unlockable features include Sol Cross Rockman (SCR), which can be obtained through Boktai 2, and 3, and Forte Cross Rockman (Bass Cross MegaMan) (FCR/BCM). The attacks of Forte Cross Rockman vary depending on the game's save file. Playing the Team Colonel version will unlock a silver Forte Cross, with a charge shot of "Hell's Rolling"; a Team Protoman version save file will have a golden Forte Cross with a charge shot of "Buster Rake." Additional unlockables include the background music changing depending on which game was slotted in and other features like additional chip traders. However, inserting Megaman Battle Network 6 (either version) in will not change gameplay at all, as these games were released after Twin Leaders.
Capcom released RockMan.EXE 6, the final game in the RockMan.EXE series, for the Game Boy Advance on November 22, 2005. Like the past three installments, EXE 6 was released in two versions: "Cyber Beast Falzer" and "Cyber Beast Gregar". Lan and his family move to a new location, called "Central Town" and little will be seen of his old friends, such as Mayl, Dex, and Yai. He will however be meeting new friends, the most prominent of which is Iris. The Cross System has been introduced in this installment, with many notable similarities with Style Change and Soul Unison, such as the Link Navi's attributes and no time limit. Beast Out is another addition to the gameplay, and MegaMan takes on the appearance and abilities of one of the two Cyber Beasts. After the worldwide release of the game, Capcom eventually announced that they will be ending the series.
Read more about this topic: Mega Man Battle Network Series
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