GBA REVIEW: MEGA MAN BATTLE NETWORK 5: TEAM COLONEL

Mega Man Battle Network 5: Team Colonel and Team Protoman are the latest in one of the greatest swindles in videogame history. These games are unashamedly marketed to kids under the assumption that they offer something new. There hasn't been nothing new added to the series since it began five years ago.

Mega Man is a fine game, as far as the core gameplay is concerned, and it does have its legion of fans. But for those gamers that don't have mom and dad's credit card to fund their frivolous frolics, this is more of a warning than a review. Save your hard-earned money for something else. There are gamers out there that feel comfortable with this gameplay having invested a lot of time on it but a few new characters and some lame tie-ins don't constitute a new game for me. And that goes for you Yu-Gi-Oh freaks as well.

As in all Mega Man games, events take place in the future where everything is tied to the internet. People use avatars to access cyberspace and perform various functions - not unlike a videogame sprite. The title character is a boy named Lan who controls his PET, Mega Man to fight various viruses and enemies that would compromise the all-encompassing internet. As luck would have it another evil organization known as Nebula has infiltrated and infected the internet with the intent of taking it over. Lan and Mega Man get to work by combating the enemies employing a turn-based battle system.

A tutorial explains the gameplay mechanics and it's good for beginners, which is the only demographic that I would recommend this game to. The basic strategy is to determine which moves, attacks and abilities to use when going into battle. You use them as you would a deck of cards in Yu-Gi-Oh. The battle system is a glorified rock/paper/scissor style of gameplay that has some element of fun but it's just so overused that I can't imagine any hardcore fans still getting a thrill out of it.

Powers are upgraded as you defeat enemies. It's a simplified RPG format that manages to keep the gameplay somewhat dynamic. These new moves will build up your arsenal and let you take on more formidable enemies. You will also team up with other Navis that possess different abilities.

In an attempt to repackage this past-its-prime gameplay the developers have added some new features such as the Liberation mission which puts the breaks to the gameplay and grinds it to a screeching halt. You play this out on a chess-like grid which is basically an expanded version of the grid system that is normally used. It's nothing more exciting than playing the regular game in slow motion. Another ridiculous inclusion is the ability to compete via the wireless network with players that have the Boktai 2 game. It's real-time combat against turn-based. Who cares?

Both Team Colonel and Team Protoman use recycled characters, backgrounds, music, storylines and gameplay basics. If you've been with the series since the beginning you're throwing your money away since you've already played this game to death. Try something new.

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System: GBA
Dev: Capcom
Pub: Capcom
Release: June 2005
Players: 1 - 2
Review by Dean
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
2.0
GRAPHICS
3.5
CONTROL
3.5
MUSIC/FX
3.0
VALUE
2.0