Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection FAQ and Impressions

After spending some time with Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection, we're excited to share the juicy details you've been eager to know. How does the collection measure up? Have there been any unannounced changes or alterations? Are there any secrets? You can find the answer to these questions and more below!

General Questions

How do the games feel? Is there input lag? Music quality? Save states?

I didn't notice any significant input lag. All six games felt responsive, even during intense and chaotic battle scenes. I had the original GBA cartridges running on original hardware beside me; everything felt right by comparison. 

However, there were a couple rare occasions where MMBNLC froze for one to two seconds right before the Custom Screen appeared at the start of battle. I first noticed this in Battle Network 2 and again in BN4. It did not impact my experience in any significant way, though. 

There is a noticeable delay when the BGM transitions from map to battle screens as well. It's brief but it's present in all six games. Additionally, moving to a new area triggers a subtle"fade" effect between songs, which wasn't present in the original GBA versions. This does not appear to be a bug; it just might be the way the collection (in its current state) loads music. It really didn't bother me too much, though. I think those who are new to the games may not even notice it.

Pixel shimmering happens to appear exclusively in Battle Network 3's smaller Computer areas. Changing the game's display settings doesn't remedy this. This small hiccup is by no means a deal breaker, but it's something I hope to see ironed out in a future update (nothing has been announced at this time).

The new "hi-res" font isn't great. I thought I would get used to over extended periods of play, but it's very jarring. It clashes with the sprites and looks very in-authentic. There's no option to revert back to the original font, unfortunately.

Battle Network Legacy Collection does not feature save states or a "rewind" feature. Speaking as an experienced BN player, the absence does not bother me. But if you're feeling rusty or just new to these games, you might see this as a deficit. Buster MAX mode is very handy, however, and you can enable it any time. It's extremely helpful if you're wanting to blaze through redundant areas or BN4's New Game+ variants. 

Did Capcom remove or edit any of the "questionable" dialogue?

The English script for Battle Network 2, as well as for every game in the collection, remains unchanged in terms of crude and suggestive language. However, Capcom did include an "insensitive content" warning when you boot up the collection, followed by a message assuring players of the company's commitment to positive inclusion and referring them to the privacy policy for further information.

So the English scripts are the same? What about the Boktai scenario in BN6?

The scripts for all six games are exactly the same as their GBA counterparts, right down to iconic typos, mistranslations and errors. "Legs go, Lan!" and "Load Chaud" chief among them. Some minor edits were made here and there, such as Z-Saver being correctly changed to Z-Saber and SpoutMan as AquaMan. 

The Boktai scenario in Battle Network 6 has not only been restored but received a brand-new translation. Fan-made patches addressed this issue years ago, but now we have the opportunity to officially experience it in English for the first time. The new translation includes a small mistake that's kinda funny. I won't spoil it here but keen-eyed fans will notice it.

Does the 3D MegaMan do anything significant on the PET main menu?

Yes, indeed! I was pleasantly surprised by how lively and interactive the guy is. Pressing the L1 button cues MegaMan to "speak" to you, much like how he interacts with Lan in the games. MegaMan provides fully voiced dialogue and commentary, a performance admirably delivered by Andrew Francis of NT Warrior fame. Some of MegaMan's dialogue can only be heard under certain conditions and even at certain times during the day. For instance, if you're playing late at night, he'll suggest you go to bed, while a "good morning!" greeting awaits you at sunrise. 

If you leave MegaMan idle, he'll strike a few poses and even amuse himself with the Mr. Quiz theme. He even congratulates you every time you beat one of the games too. There's a lot of fun dialogue that, from my observation, differs slightly between Volume 1 and Volume 2. 

If you're not a fan of Andrew Francis' take on the character, you can easily change the language from the options menu. No English subtitles, however.

All in all though, the 3D MegaMan is incredibly endearing and brings back nostalgic childhood memories of pinning for my very own Net Navi. You're gonna love it.

Gallery Mode Questions

How's the Art Gallery? Any secret art like the Mega Man 11 teaser in Legacy Collection 2?

No teaser artwork this time. But I'm happy to report that the gallery is extensive and includes several pieces of old art that's been rarely, if ever seen. No spoilers here - you'll have to check it out for yourself.

Do note that while the artwork is mostly concentrated around the six games in the collection, the "Mystery Data" section includes pieces from the side games. In Volume 1, there's artwork from Operate Shooting Star and Battle Chip Challenge. Volume 2 includes EXE 4.5 and the mobile games!

What's the deal with the "Download Chips"? 

In the gallery, you have the option to "download" 15 rare Battle Chips to apply to your in-game Folders. These chips can only be downloaded once per save file, per version. All download chips are considered legal in competitive online play as well (more on that in a moment). The only real restriction is that you can only have ONE Gospel Battle Chip in your Battle Network 2 folder. 

How's the music player? Are the new arranged themes good?

During our session, several Legacy Collection-exclusive arranged tracks were missing or not readily unlockable. However, there are at least three new themes in the menus that sound great, and vibe with what you'd come to expect from Battle Network. The original GBA themes are accounted for with the only noteworthy exclusion being the Crossover Battle 2 theme from Battle Network 6. 

You can pick any track from the music player to become the "default" menu music as well. A nice touch!

Are any Trophies tied to online play? Because I suck. 

Nope! There are no Trophies/achievements tied to online battles. Buster MAX doesn't affect Trophies/achievements either. Go wild, fella. 

Online Multiplayer Questions

Do my Folders, Navi Customizer parts, Styles, etc. carry over to online battles?

When you go online to battle other players, the collection will use whatever Folder you currently have equipped in single player. Same for your MegaMan's current stats, armor, Style and Navi Customizer load-out. 

HOWEVER, if your equipped folder violates regular battle rules but complies with Patch Card play (for example, if you have multiple Giga Chips due to a Patch Card ability), the game will prevent you from participating in online battles until you either select Patch Card rules or edit your current folder to comply with the rules. 

Is there really no cross play with other consoles?

As previously confirmed by Capcom, cross play is not supported. If you play online on PlayStation 4, you'll only play against other PlayStation 4 players, for example. If you and a friend both intend on buying the collection, make sure that you're on the same page about consoles. And yes; you can battle players worldwide who are playing the collection in a different language.

How is the online? Smooth sailing or laggy? Is there rollback netcode?

Uh, kinda hard to answer with the time constraints we were presented with. We'll all find out together soon...

The Games Themselves

Here's a summary of our observations from some of the games. While there are no major changes or additions, you may find these details noteworthy. 

Battle Network 1
  • Operate Shooting Star's quality-of-life tweaks are entirely non-existent. This is the GBA version through and through.
  • As the games are based on their original Japanese versions, it's important to note that the neutral Battle Chip icon is represented by a "/" symbol, rather than the "dot" symbol used in the original English version.
  • Mystery Data drops can still be exploited through save scumming.

Battle Network 3
  • The Jack-In and Navi Customizer animated sequences have been restored! These were previously cut from the GBA English version. 
  • The Mario and Pikachu references in Yai's house are left untouched.
  • FlameMan's abbreviated name "FlamMan" is the same.

Battle Network 5
  • As to be expected, there's no content from Double Team DS.
  • As there is no Battle Chip Gate support, the game no longer checks for connectivity, resulting in the title screen booting up normally without any connection-related checks.
  • Bass Cross MegaMan is accessible via Patch Cards. Bass XX can be fought via Patch Card as well.
  • A previously removed Comp area from the English version has been restored. 
Battle Network 6
  • The map boards scattered about the Cyber World have been restored!
  • SpoutMan's name has been corrected to AquaMan. SpoutCross is now AquaCross as well.
  • EraserMan's name was not restored to KillerMan. 
  • Boktai trader is available from the start. 
  • The Link Navi icons in the Custom Screen have been redrawn in HD!
  • Beast Link Gate is not supported in any fashion. The Navi Change table in Aster Land (even in the Japanese version) does nothing. At this time, there is no known method to upgrade a Navi to their the SP version. 
  • Various areas cut from the original English GBA release have been restored.


Taking it all in, the only real gripe I have is the hi-res font. It would be fantastic if Capcom took inspiration from the upcoming console versions of the Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters, which feature an alternate font that closely resembles their original pixelated versions

The addition of new HD art directly in Battle Network 6 was a pleasant surprise... one that I wish extended to the Battle Chips. We do get treated to fantastic, hi-res Battle Chip illustrations within the collection's different online features. But it would have been awesome to see them in the actual games. 

Speaking of the games, I'm definitely hurting from the lack of Operate Shooting Star's QoL changes and additions to Battle Network 1. Those really made the game that much more enjoyable. To the Legacy Collection's credit, Buster MAX does help where applicable. For example, although you can't willingly run from battles without an Escape Battle Chip, you can easily wipe out a virus horde swiftly. Unfortunately, Buster MAX only marginally alleviates some of the frustration with the late game Power Plant area. 

It would have been great to see some of the Twin Leaders content included in Battle Network 5 as well, even as an option. Sol Cross MegaMan, the Party System and Transport Chips are sorely missed but the game is still enjoyable without those extras. 

All that aside, Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection sets a new standard for the "Legacy Collection" line with its attention to detail and thoughtful additions, especially for content previously unavailable outside of Japan. Eguchi and his team have demonstrated an amazing level of care in creating this package. From the interactive 3D MegaMan.EXE to the inclusion of online battles and trades, there is something here for every type of Battle Network fan. 

Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection launches worldwide on April 14th for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PC/Steam.

Special thanks to ShadowRock and LBD_Nytetrayn for the assistance!