The Nintendo Switch is probably the best video game console of all time (at this moment. If you’re reading from the future say hello from your mountain tops as I have surely drown on the coastline). It’s blend of high quality titles, backlog to older games, easy portability, and perfect handheld mode have put it above and beyond its competitors.
None of this is new. It has gotten tons of ports as well based on how well the system has sold. These ports come either 3rd party teams like the Digimon Cyber Sleuth games, Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Collections of Mana, and more. These have all found amazing success on the platform. They also got me thinking of the game series that I think would make the best sense for the Nintendo Switch. That series is Megaman.
I am not referring to the classic platformer series or its sequel series Megaman X, but instead the overlooked and under appreciated Megaman Battle Network and Star Force titles.
It may be weird to many, but Megaman Battle Network, and its TV series NT Warriors was my introduction to the blue shooting boy. I always thought of Megaman as a digital avatar that fights other avatars and viruses alongside his partner Lan (oh, I just got what his name meant. That is really bad and silly. I love it). That was what Megaman was. Now, with the times changing and people wanting the classic platform shooters back it feels like this old turn based RPG is being forgotten when it doesn’t have to be.
Battle Network and Star Force were the main Megaman titles for Nintendo’s handheld consoles, the Gameboy Advanced and DS. They each followed their own protagonist as they meet a blue friend and fight enemies. They also copied Pokémon by having two different versions of the game release that have swapped content and a different villains/powers. That should have been the death of it, but Battle Network classic got six games, and it’s sequel series Star Force got three (and had low sales, but that hasn’t stopped people from liking the game). It was a juggernaut.
The story and battle mechanics for those games were very original for the time. A game that focused on school kids with a digital partner fighting off cyber crime (that’s just Digimon. Shhhh, it’s cool cause it’s not Digimon) in an explorable world was great. The characters all had life and fun personalities. The grid and card based battle system was unique. It gave you the option to pick from a wide range of moves to attack your foes, but also gave you mobility. Star Force changed it up with a perceptive shift. Either way, those types of battle mechanics just were not common outside of those games. They were just so fresh and fun.
Battle Network evolved into Star Force as the team moved hardware. Those games are also still fun and unique. The avatar designs got crazy and cool in just the most edgy way. Even with that, and additions like internet connectivity they just did not sell and Capcom ended the series.
Only, Capcom ended all of Megaman, not just this sub series. That has changed however.
Megaman has been getting a lot of ports recently. In the last few years, and now going into this year all the classic, X, and ZX games have been getting collection ports. It’s time to add the handheld sweet heart to that list, and satisfy everyone because it makes perfect sense.
Megaman Battle Network and Star Force were handheld games. The data that could fit on a modern Switch cartridge would be massive. It would be easy to place a version of all Battle Network 1-6 onto a single cartridge for cheap and sell affordably. I could see problems considering many of those games have two versions. That would have to be accounted for in some way. In fact it has for Japan. In Japan a couple of the games, 4 and 5 got a completed version with the divided content put together. Using ports of those would be an easy solution. For the other games, I don’t like being caviler, but it would not cost too much space or manpower to have two versions on the same port.
The Star Force games might be trickier due to the dual screen nature that came from, but easy menu manipulation and tweaks could fix that. I’m not say that is easy, but it isn’t a total hinderance.
So, it’s is technically possible. But…
They also should be on the Switch because of their handheld history. They defined a generation of Nintendo portables. Their big pixel art, easy to grasp mechanics, and stop and start nature make them easy to pick up and go for any time like a good Switch port should have.
Finally, they should exists to preserve their history. Gaming at large has a problem getting people to remember, care, and keep older games. It does not help this series case that you can only play them legally through outdated consoles that are only sold second hand. They will not stick around if they don’t evolve and move (I know people love Golden Sun. I never played it, but that has a big fan base I’m sure they feel the same as I do) onto bigger things.
The main reason I got a smartphone (originally) was to get an app that emulated GBA games. That has since left the iPhone and I miss it. I want to be able to play these games as easily as I did when I first got them and would spend long car rides engrossed in that world. The Switch is the best place for that dream to be realized.
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