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December 2022

Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4
Genre: Role-Playing
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Release Date: 2023


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Switch/PS4/PC Preview - 'Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection'

by Adam Pavlacka on Oct. 3, 2022 @ 12:00 a.m. PDT

Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection will upload all 10 Mega Man Battle Network titles, including graphics filters and additional bonus content.

While checking out the Capcom TGS lineup, I spent 30 minutes with Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection Vol.1, which contains the first three games in the series. It's been more than a few years since I played the original titles on the Game Boy Advance, so I hopped into the start of the third game and ran through the tutorial before jumping into a few battles.

Despite the time elapsed since I last played, it was relatively easy to get back into the groove with Battle Network 3. I probably wasn't optimizing my chips correctly, but the early game battles are lenient enough that you don't need to be perfect. It's the later game where you have to get tactical about which chips you're using and when.

Although the gameplay felt good, the overall package left me wondering how much supplemental material we can expect to see in the final game. The preview build had a gallery option, but I didn't see any behind-the-scenes or museum-style options in the main menu. Developers like Digital Eclipse have been making a strong push toward the inclusion of comprehensive supplemental materials in retro collections, so it is becoming more of an expectation when it comes to classic game collections like this.

Retro collection buyers don't just want to play the games; they want to know how they were made. We want to play odd variants, like the Nintendo DS-specific version of Battle Network 5, and hear insider stories from developers. Publishers should think about retro collection releases as the equivalent of a Criterion Collection Blu-ray release rather than a budget box set. Solid emulation in a retro collection is the bare minimum.

Speaking of emulation, from my brief time with the game, everything seemed solid, though the "high resolution" visual filter option leaves something to be desired. The game looked clear and crisp with the filter disabled, if a bit pixelated. With the visual filter enabled, it just looked like the pixels had been blurred at the edges. It was more Vaseline than any sort of advanced upscaling.

The lack of an Xbox port for this collection is a bit confusing, especially since the prior Mega Man collections have been released on that console, but where the Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection is likely to find its biggest audience is on Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch. Given that these were all originally handheld titles, the portable nature of the Steam Deck and Switch is ideal.

With the core elements of Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection up and running, it'll be interesting to see how everything pulls together before its release next year. Here's hoping the final product has plenty of content to keep Mega Man fans happy.

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