Rockman EXE Impressions

Whether he's called Rockman or Mega Man, Capcom's Blue Bomber knows his RPG stuff.


Rockman EXE Phantom of Network

TOKYO--The display area between Street Fighter II and Biohazard: The Stories isn't exactly prime real estate for a mobile game on the Tokyo Game Show floor. Nevertheless, Rockman EXE saw more traffic than either of these hot tickets, suggesting that Japan's mobile gamers yearn for a Rockman experience to call their own. Capcom's mobile version of Rockman EXE (known as Mega Man Battle Network in the US), a clever port of the GBA game of the same name, looks like it will fit the bill nicely.

Rockman EXE was the first member of the Rockman RPG family, which has since grown to Malthusian proportions. It established the core tenets of the Battle Network style of gameplay, which combined a simple RPG framework with a fast-twitch combat system based on pattern recognition and item management. The mobile version of the game doesn't rock the boat: You're still playing as a lonely little boy's virtual buddy; the two of you still go on lots of adventures, fighting strange mechanical baddies that have been plucked from the other Rockman/Mega Man games; and you still have access to all your combat chips, which give you the capability to beat said baddies senseless with swords, grenades, guns, and even special guest robots.

This type of game seems to be ideally suited to the mobile platform. Rockman EXE's graphics, which were never complicated to begin with, have been virtually duplicated on the mobile screen. However, the game doesn't seem to run quite as fluidly at this stage as it did on the GBA, leading to a few problems on Rockman's 2D combat grid. Hopefully Capcom will tune up this aspect of the game, which looks marvelous in all other respects.

For more updates, be sure to check GameSpot's coverage of Tokyo Game Show 2004.

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