Megaman Network Transmission wasn't great, but it does get better
I was expecting bad things out of this game. It didn't all come out smelling like roses, but I did overall enjoy it. The game started off way to hard, and that really sucked the fun out of the game, it wasn't until I figured out how to really use chips and get power ups until I started to enjoy this game.
The story was ok, but the overall nostalgia made me want to find a new stage or boss in the game. There was a stage where you had to dodge death rays like in Quickman's stage in Megaman 2, and then there was a stage that reminded me of Flashmans stage. There was a ton of bosses from the NES era, and even more sub-enemies as well. Dr. Wily is never in the game, although he is mentioned.
The game felt more like a short side game than an actually full on game. The stages were just to short and to easy to figure out. Otherwise, it was a fun experience.
Megaman Network Transmission is a traditional 2d Megaman Sidescroller with RPG elements tossed in. You can gain levels in this game, although I don't understand the point of them exactly. I had 99lvl by the end of the game, but I don't gain HP or strength from levels, so they felt pointless. I'm not even sure how my levels are even tallied. You gain HP and MP in the game by find Memory cubes, these cubes are mostly hidden in the game or just a little out of the way of your destination. You can also find a robot that sells you HP and MP as well. This same robot sells you Power Ups, you can find these scattered around as well. When you get a Power Up you can assign to the 3 abilities you can learn either Power, Rapid or Charge. You can get up to 5 Power Ups per ability. Charge is almost worthless until you get all 5 Power Ups for it, then it is very useful.
At the start of the game you start off with 20 chip pieces. These chips go into a folder and when you start a stage, you are randomly assigned 5 of the 20 you have in your current folder. You can get up to 131 or so chips in the game, so you'll have alot of extra chips you won't used in another folder collecting dust. You'll often have to change your chips to match what stage you're going to, say if you're going to fight Ice Man, then set Fire chips.
You can only use a chip so many times per stage, so to combat this they give you a "Custom Meter". When the Custom Meter fills up, you can hit the Z button and you'll get a new set of chips. If you use up a chip, you won't be assigned that chip until you jack out of a stage and re-enter it. This is annoying when you just want to use a Double Jump chip to get a cube and you already used it up, or if you can't seem to get that one chip you want and have to wait out the meter until you get it.
When you kill an enemy, they sometimes drop a chip. Each enemy has one ability to them, so if the one you killed was using a shotgun to kill you, then that is the chip it will drop. The boss battles will give you the best chips in the game, but you'll only be able to use them once per-stage though. You can't re-charge your chips unless you jack out.
You can get armor in the game, but it only protects you from elements. You can equip a Heat, Water, Electric and Wood armor in the game. They're very useful, but you'll be switching them often and that can be annoying.
You'll find Back Up chips in the stage. These chips will max out your life 1 one point. Each time you die in a stage you'll lose one Back Up Chip. If you lose all back up chips, then you'll have to start from your last save. The good thing about this (that they didn't explain to well in the game) is you can jack out of the stage at any point as long as you're not in the middle of a boss fight, or if you're standing on solid ground. So you'll NEVER have to worry about dying and losing all the Zenny coins or chips you earned in the game, as long as you remember to Jack out before your last life. Once you jack out and return to Lans room, your HP, MP, Chip status and Back Up chips are recharged.
The stages are very short, rarely exceeding 3 parts. The boss fights are always fun to battle once you get out of the initial hump of figuring out the game. Although once I maxed out my power ups, the whole game got way to easy.
----------Characters / Story----------
The game starts with Megaman killing WWW (which I assume is a boss from another Megaman game). Afterwards Lan and Megaman thank god all this evil is finally gone and they can go on about their lives. Lan eventually gets bored and gets an email from Mayl that Roll is stuck in a link. When Megaman goes to save her, he finds out that Fireman has gone crazy and started burning up the place. Short story even shorter, you find out that all the Navi's in cyberspace has caught the "Zero Virus" and Megaman and Lan must go out and stop it.
For what it is, the story was ok. I just hated how they just threw you in the middle of a fight with WWW and expected people not familiar with the GBA games and Cartoon to understand any of it. There was alot of stuff in this game I didn't understand.
The dialog was decent at best, there was plenty of characters, but Lan was the only human you actually saw in the game. The rest of the dialog was straight from classic J-RPG thought bubbles and Xenosaga style emails.
There's alot of familiar faces in this game though. You fight Iceman, Gutsman, Heatman from the first Megaman. Protoman from 3 is here. Roll has a big uh.. role in the game. Needleman, Quickman, Starman, and a bunch of there classics are here as well. Actually, there was only a couple bots in this game that was new to me.
The graphics are a mix of 3D and 2D, but it's to the point where you'll barely notice the 3D part of it. Something spin around, like your Zenny coins, or platforms will curve where you end up seeing most 3 sides of it. Otherwise this is a standard looking 2D side scroller that could of easily been made for the PS1 or Sega Saturn.
There’s a very short clip at the beginning of the game setting up the story. This lasts for about 10 seconds. Before each boss battle you'll be shown a similar clip of the boss jumping at you, they say some catch phase in Japanese and then the battle starts. The characters and enemies are cel-shaded, it shows up pretty well when the enemies have their intro, or bigger characters like Zero and Gutsman have on screen scenes. Megaman looks like crap though, theres not much detail and he's rather boring. He just looks like a blue stick figure.
The town looks like something off of the SNES version of Sim City, but with less towns and not as interesting. I liked how after defeating a boss, a little toy figure would show up in Lans room.
The music is very upbeat and peppy and a little on the techno side of things. The music is listenable but it doesn't bring back much noselga like the rest of the game did for me. The best song in the game is on Pharaohman's stage.
The voice overs are all in Japanese. I really wasn't expecting that when I put the game in for the first time. I thought I got some screwed up Japanese import by accident. There's not many voice overs in the game, was Capcom that lazy to get American voices on this thing? There is a cartoon of this show, couldn't they of got the actors from that on this thing?
The dialog isn't voiced out, but Megaman will scream stuff out during battle like when he jumps or fires or gets hurt. The bosses you have a short line before you fight them aswell.
There's only one map and one town in the entire game. You reside in ACDC Town, and you travel by link / hub points by putting your cursor over a link icon. Some links can take you to multiple places, like the Bus link will take you "out of town" to a Bank or an Arcade. The links are represented by 2 colors, a Blue one if you don't need to go there anymore (other than secrets and items) and a Red one that tells you where to go next, or if there’s been an update about the area.
There's one store in the game, although you can find bots hidden around the game that might sell you stuff or play a game with you. There's also an area where you can re-fight all the previous boss battles you've had. Just about every house has a link to it, all of them might but I just haven't unlocked them I guess.
----------Time to Complete Game (first run through, last save before final stage)----------
No reward for beating the game, just a short dialog session after the credits and says "To be continued on Megaman Network Battle 2".