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   Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge - Staff Review  

Two Buttons
by Derek 'Roku' Cavin

BATTLE SYSTEM
INTERACTION
ORIGINALITY
STORY
MUSIC & SOUND
VISUALS
CHALLENGE
Easy
COMPLETION TIME
5-10 hours
OVERALL

1.5/5

Rating definitions 

   With the popularity of the Megaman Battle Network series, a card game spinoff based on battle chips wasn't a real surprise. In Megaman Battle Chip Challenge, players assume the roll of Lan, Mayl, Dex, Chaud, or one of two brand new characters in order to win the tournament for various personal reasons.

   Since almost the entire game takes place during the tournament, the battle system is naturally the key focus of the game. Players can purchase and win battle chips to customize their Navi's fighting style, element, and abilities. Customizing the deck is the best part of the battle system because battles themselves suffer from a very serious flaw: they are almost entirely random. The player only has the ability to alter the course of the battle by pushing two buttons to unleash special chips at critical moments. Each button can only be pushed once per battle and there's a chance of failure. As a result, most battles end up randomly playing themselves out without any player interaction whatsoever. Were it not for the ability to strategically customize the chip folder, the battle system would be a complete loss.

Players can select their character Players can select their character

   As battles are almost entirely random, one would think that they would be fairly difficult. As it turns out, this is not the case. Before each battle, new chips can be equipped and the player's Navi of choice can run simulations of the battle. This means that victory can almost be completely assured without even knowing what the enemy is equipped with. With elemental weaknesses taken into account, most battles can be won without even breaking a sweat or even pressing one of those two buttons.

   Considering battles have little player input, it should be little surprise that Megaman Battle Chip Challenge has poor interaction. The interface itself isn't bad, but it is horribly underused. The localization, while not bad, is also far from ideal.

   Despite being a spinoff, one thing Megaman Battle Chip Challenge does have is a decent amount of originality, especially in its battle system. A heavily randomized battle system relatively devoid of player interaction is a rarity, though the reason it's rare becomes painfully clear as the game progresses. Though most of the characters and chips come right out of the Megaman Battle Network series, there are still enough original rules and new characters to keep the game somewhat fresh.

   Though a few new characters have been added, the story is very minimal and does little for them or for the characters that have been around for several games. Aside from moderately unique introductions for each character, players win only small bits of story for each part of the tournament they win. Though it is a side-story, it could have certainly been developed a lot more than it was.

It's all random It's all random

   The lack of story and content certainly becomes apparent when compared to how long the game actually is. The entire game could be easily completed within about five hours, though there is an extra level that can extend this slightly. Even if the player tries to collect every single chip, it probably wouldn't take more than ten hours to do so. Of course, the game can be played through for all six characters, but given the lack of storyline there really isn't a reason to do so.

   The two best parts of the game are sadly the music and visuals. The music is pretty much all brand new to the series, but it's generally of average quality. At least it doesn't become repetitive given the short nature of the game. The sound effects also do their job, but aren't anything special.

   The visuals are good, but almost all of them, with a few exceptions, have been pulled directly out of previous games. They are still of good quality, but the lack of new visuals shows an equal lack of effort.

   With a battle system almost entirely devoid of player interaction, a minimal story, and only a few hours of gameplay, the only saving grace Megaman Battle Chip Challenge has is the battle chip system. The battle chip system is enough to keep the game interesting enough to play for a while, but it isn't nearly enough to make up for the game's other substantial shortcomings.

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