Whenever people ask me what my favorite game of all time is I’m never able to really give a solid answer. There’s just too many games I personally find to be some of the best ever created. So I wanted to make a series where I just choose some of my favorite games, new or old, and try to do my best to explain why it’s one of my favorites. Maybe at the same time put you guys onto a game you’ve never thought about trying before. This way whenever someone asks me what my favorite video games of all time are I can just point them to this. Remember to keep in mind that this series is based on games that I love. If you don’t like some of the games I mention that’s ok, your entitled to your own opinion. After all, it’s just video games. So let’s get started with the first game on my list of games that I love, Mega Man Battle Network 3.
The Mega Man Battle Network series was developed by Capcom for the Gameboy Advance and were released between 2001 up until 2005. Between those years six titles in the series had been made. However, with this first installment of this series I wanted to focus on the third title in particular. Mega Man Battle Network 3 is arguably the best game in the series and most fans of the games would probably agree. It was also the first game in the franchise to release with two separate versions of the same game with minor differences a la the Pokemon games.
The battle network series takes place sometime in the future where people carry around devices called Personal Terminals or PETs for short. Much like the smartphones of today PETs serve multiple purposes such as making phone calls, sending emails, and surfing the web. For all that there is still one major difference, PETs also contain a Navi. No, I’m not talking about Link’s annoying fairy friend, though they do serve similar purposes. The term NetNavi is shorthand for Internet Navigator. Basically, a Navi is a sentient artificial intelligence that is made to assist the operator of the PET. Additionally, the Navi can also be connected to various computerized devices where it can interact with programs or even other Navi’s. This is referred to in the game as “jacking in”. After jacking in NetNavis can fight against viruses on the net or even challenge other operators Navis to a Net Battle. NetNavi’s are more than just programs you run on your PET, they usually have unique personalities of their own. Combined with its own sentience the operator and Navi are able to form strong bonds between one another.
Without revealing too much of the main plot of the game players take control as both Lan Hikari and his NetNavi Mega Man, just like every game in this series. Months after the events of the previous game the evil organization World Three or WWW for short, led by the mad scientist Dr. Wily, is back and up to no good. This time World Three plans include resurrecting the original prototype of the internet that was sealed away after going rampant devouring both programs and NetNavi’s alike. In order to revive this prototype world three must first track down several tetra codes, so of course, it’s your job as an eleven-year-old boy to stop them. In my personal opinion, Mega Man Battle Network 3 has one of the best if not the best story in the entire series.
So now that I’ve given you some background about the game let’s dive into the reasons as to why this is on my list of my favorite games of all time. When it comes to the gameplay side of things the combat in the battle network games has always been something that stood out to me. It can be both fast-paced and challenging but at the same time feels rewarding when you manage to just barely defeat a boss. Much like most RPGs when you’re jacked into the cyber world as Mega Man there are random encounters that happen as you walk around and explore. Once engaged in battle each turn you choose to equip yourself with randomly selected chips from a pre-made folder that you use to fight with. You can acquire these battle chips throughout the game from different vendors and random drops after winning a battle. There are plenty of chips to choose from with different effects that can change completely if used in a certain order. So it really benefits the player to hunt down and try out different chips as particular ones can really save your ass in certain boss fights in the game. Being in the heat of the battle hoping to get that one chip that can turn the whole thing around was always something that I loved. It kind of reminds me of Yu-Gi-Oh in the sense that you could be losing a duel but you could draw that one card that could turn the tides in your favor.
Something else I really love about this game is the overall art design. All the NetNavi’s you encounter in this game all have a totally different look. You can tell the artist that designed them really put in the effort to make each one stand out. I would even go as far to say the character design in Battle Network is on par with the design of the characters in the Mega Man Zero games. The world composition is also something I’ve always enjoyed. Running around the cyber world as Mega Man with the cascading backgrounds and brightly colored environments adds a certain flair to the game that really sells the idea of being in this digital space. Each new area you discover is completely different from the last. Combine this with the awesome soundtrack of the game and I really feel immersed.
Which brings me to my final point, the music. From the second you boot up the game you’re engulfed with energizing sounds that pleasantly embrace your ears and get you excited to continue where you left off at. Obviously, we’re talking about a Gameboy Advanced game from early 2000’s but as far as GBA soundtracks go you can’t tell me this isn’t top notch. The soundtrack is really something that can make or break a game for me and I feel in this case Capcom did an excellent job in that area.
So, in a nutshell, Mega Man Battle Network 3 has fantastic gameplay, the original cast of characters, an engaging story as well as a wonderful soundtrack. All of which are reasons why it’s one of my personal favorite games. If you never played the game maybe go ahead and give it try if anything I said here peaked your interest. Hopefully, you enjoyed the discussion and be on the lookout for the next game I cover in this series.