Finally played Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge, and honestly… I like it.? Quite a bit, actually.? Seems to have a nice BN feel with lots of characters from all over the series in it.? Inticreates(guys behind the MMZero series) did pretty good with it.

The gameplay, what there is of it, isn’t too bad… I find it to be perfect for short spurts of portable gaming, somewhat like Wario Ware, though not as addictive.? It’d be great if you’re out somewhere and waiting for your friend to get out of the can, or waiting for a bus or something.? Unlike the regular BN games, though, I don’t think it works as well for a long-term gameplay.? That sort of works for and against it, as it can prolong the game over a greater length of time, though if played consecutively, it probably wouldn’t last much longer than many other games.

Graphics are pure Mega Man Battle Network, too, though the animation in a lot of parts is rather cheap, like when using Roll.? I wish they’d given her more of a standing sprite, and better attack animations.? Put her head on Mega Man’s body and recolor it if you have to, sheesh.

I like getting to play as other characters for a change, it’s something I wish would be used in the regular series more(I still think BN4 Red Sun should have featured Chaud and Protoman as the stars, while Blue Moon could have Lan and Mega Man.? Show different sides of the stories, and I bet more people’d be willing to shell out for both versions).? Kai and Turboman are natural faves of mine, though I’ve been kicking most ass with Chaud and Protoman.

The sound is good, classic Mega Man, in more ways than one(like the sound of a Navi receiving critical damage), or the remix of the Mega Man 3 stage select music.

The stories so far are fun, too… they seem to be more like “a day in the life of…” more than the other BN titles, but still fun fare if you like the characters(which I do).? Since it doesn’t seem to play off of the other series’ storylines too much(if at all), it makes for a great starter point for people who might want to get into the series.

Getting chips is more fun than I thought it would be, as you get them at random.? So far, my favorite is the yo-yo Battle Chip.? After seeing it in Axess, I had a feeling it’d kick ass.? My gripe there is the memory allowance that seems to always come up just a bit short of what you need to fill everything in.? And I’m still trying to figure out those, the slot-in chips… it’ll let me use some there, but not others… I thought it was a memory thing, but it’ll still let me add some there when I’m maxed out, but not others.? Strange.? And I still haven’t used the Navi chips yet, either.? Maybe I should look into it, as I understand it lets you essentially play as other Navis, thus upping the character count in gameplay, if not in story.? Even standard-style Navis are choosable, which is cool.

One of my favorite parts, though, is “SLOT-IN!!!”

I just like the pics that go with it(especially Mayl’s… she looks cute when she’s angry.? Wish her dialogue image looked more like that… all of them, actually), and it’s even more fun when the opponent’s slot-in backfires, though Red tells me they can really kick your ass with DOUBLE slot-ins… it’s crazy stuff.

Still, it does seem to harken to the trading card game way of playing(though I admit I’ve never played a video game CCG)… the interactivity is sort of there, but not a whole lot…

Another plus: the game feels a bit more even-handed to me than the regular BN games; it feels more like you’re on equal par to your opponents, as everything seems more even.

Overall, I recommend Battle Chip Challenge to CCG and BN fans strictly as an on-the-go game that’s to be played inconsistently, should a convenient time on the go arise.? It’s not as bad as all the reviews tend to make it sound, though they aren’t inaccurate in their assessments, either.? I just think they were looking for the kind of game you play through a day or weekend off, and that’s just not what this one is good for.? Again, like Wario Ware, it’s essentially twitch gaming, but with more strategy involved.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to see about getting a pic of BN Celeste in a slot-in pose…

LBD “Nytetrayn”