Hands On: Rockman EXE

Get the first details on Mega Man's Game Boy Advance debut.

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Mega Man's Game Boy Advance debut offers an entirely new take on the long-running series, as this game is very RPG-like in nature, with lots of walking and talking.

The game takes place within two different locations. The real world is where you walk around, talk to people in typical RPG fashion, and attend classes. The cyber world is where you play as Mega Man, fight enemies in random encounters, and more.

The battle system isn't like that of a typical Mega Man game, but it isn't like your standard turn-based RPG fighting system, either. The fights occur on a grid that's three spaces wide and about eight spaces from end to end. You can push the controller stick in any direction to hop from space to space and fire your weapon at will. A press on the L button brings up a menu where you can equip special weapons, such as a shotgun, sword, or pickax. The fights continue until either you or your enemies have been "deleted."

Graphically, the game looks really nice. The characters look great and animate quite well, and the backgrounds are full of movement.

Rockman EXE will likely be one of the Game Boy Advance launch titles when the system ships in March 2001. The game likely won't be for everyone, as its real-time battle system has already rubbed some Space World attendees the wrong way.

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