Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge

        As several of my previous articles show, I have a lot of love for the Mega Man Battle Network series, particularly its very unique style of combat. Today I’ll be talking about a spin-off game of sorts called Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge. Unlike the main games, you are not limited to just Megaman.EXE, and can play as several other characters- and more are unlocked in a fashion as you go on, something I always love to see.
        To begin with, you start by picking one of six characters- Megaman of course of course is the first, but you also can pick Roll, Gutsman or Protoman, his three friends, and finally Turboman and Ring, who appear exclusively in this game. Each of them have unique storylines, but playing as any of them wouldn’t be too different from another in most ways. Given how Megman works in the other games, having a charge shot and the rest of his attacks coming from battle chips, it makes sense that each character has their own unique attack, but with the aid of battle chips, virtually any strategy could be used. However, their unique attacks do tend to push a player in certain directions.
        I’ll get on that shortly, but first I have to talk about how battle works in this game. Unlike the main series, you do not directly control your character and attack. Instead, it runs on a turn based system of sorts where a deck you made before the battle is used. Every turn, three chips are picked out of the deck, then once those are used up your Navi will strike with their natural attack.
        The decks are made like this- first, you have two spaces on the first column. One of these two will be your first chip of the turn, meaning there’s a 50% chance that one will be used. From the chosen chip it moves to the next column with tree spaces, then the third with four spaces. The closer your chip is to the front, the more likely it will be picked, and the sooner it will be deployed. Your first chip will be used, then your enemy’s, your second, their second, third, and lastly both of you use your unique attack, such as Megaman’s Charge Shot.
        Unlike in the other games as well, battle chips have health and cost a certain amount of points to be used. Certain attacks, such as Sword chips, will not only hurt your character, but also one of their chips. If the chip’s health goes down to zero, you can’t use it for the rest of the fight. As for the point cost, if you exceed that, no more chips can be added to the deck.
        There are also “Slot In” chips. These have a separate point total, and operate differently. Rather than being in your deck, these can be used any time you wish with a press of the R or L button in battle. However, they can only be used once, and there is a gauge that fills up after every move in-battle, which determines how likely it is the Slot-In will succeed.
        Now that the mechanics of that are out of the way, let’s move on to our protagonists and their abilities. Each of them have a unique attack, done at the end of every turn, a different amount of health, speed, and so on, all of which does weigh on how you strategize. For instance, Roll, my preferred character, has the least health of the six at 400, with 450 being the baseline for most of the others. However, her attack is Heart Flash, which does 50 damage, and heals her for the same. This means she can dish out and take more damage than that total would suggest. In addition, she is pretty fast, and can dodge attacks better than some.
        However, her health cannot be ignored entirely- accordingly, my preferred method is to set up defenses and counter the enemy if I can, using chips that strip away theirs so they cannot attack, leaving them open. As for said defenses, the there are many in the game, and some of the best are the various ‘ball’ chips. These defend you from attacks both with their impressive health and elemental typing.
        For instance, Elecball can take up to 160 damage, but it entirely stops Electric element attacks, not being damaged by them. Further, at the end of the turn your character will unleash the ball, hitting the enemy with all the damage it took that turn. Accordingly, against an Elec Navi or someone who uses a lot of electricity in battle, this could be devastating, absorbing their blows and using them against them.
        On the other hand you have Protoman and Ring- both of their attacks do a fair bit of damage, and this damage hits the enemy’s chips as well. Protoman’s does more damage, but like all Sword-related attacks, it only hits the third chip the enemy is using, while Ring’s can hit any of them. Thus, for them it may be best to add on to these attacks by giving them more chip destroying weapons. The bomb related chips would be good- they tend to do low damage, but hit all of the enemy’s chips. And so on.
        Megaman, as you might expect, could use any tactic, because his Charge Shot does nothing but normal damage, so there is nothing to capitalize on. Gutsman is slower than the others, but has a massive 700 health, and his Gutshammer does 70 damage, smashing through any defense. Lastly we have Turboman, who does 20 damage with his attack- but it hits all chips, and does fire damage to boot, which can come in handy.
        As for the game’s plot, there isn’t much of one, just that there is a tournament that all of the main characters are participating in for various reasons. It has a much bigger focus on the character in question and their personal development throughout, such as it is, rather than any bigger narrative. Which is good, I think- you don’t need a huge reason for everyone to fight each other in a friendly competition.
        This tournament itself comes in the form of many smaller ones, all but the first having an entry fee. Beating enemies nets you more money, and potentially chips if you do well enough. Your last enemy is always the same for each, and beating them will get you their Navichip, generally, letting you swap your character for that one!
        This of course can change things dramatically, as this new character will a completely different attack, speed, and health, meaning you can plan things out differently. In fact, one of my favorites to work with is the late game character Magicman. He has the least health of all at 350, but his particular attack, Magifire, will delete a chip if it connects, making him perfect for a deck revolving around removing the enemy’s weapons. He is also a fire Navi, so giving him lots of fire chips is the best idea.
        All this actually does sum up the game fairly well- but the sheer amount of variety that comes from various characters and chips means there is a huge amount of different tactics that could be used and devised, and I personally rarely get tired of it. If you could, I’d highly encourage all of you to try this one if you can find it. I’ll see you next time, dear readers, and thank you!

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