Like every game in the series post-Battle Network 3 the fifth installment in the Megaman Battle Network franchise was released in two versions. Rockman.EXE 5 Team of Blues was released in Japan on December 9, 2004 while Team of Colonel was released a few months later on February 24, 2005 for the Game Boy Advance. Both versions were released simultaneously in North America on June 21, 2005 as Megaman Battle Network 5 Team Protoman and Team Colonel.
After Battle Network 4 there was nowhere for the series to go but up, and Battle Network 5 was a big step in the right direction. Not only did the series return to its original plot-driven nature and was deeper in its gameplay than its immediate predecessor had been, but a handful of new features were added to it, mainly the inclusion of SRPG elements where the player got a chance to operate Navis other than Megaman, a feature that hadnít been used yet in the main series. Thatís not to say it fully recovered, as there are still some characterization and translation issues plaguing this game, albeit not to same extend as in Battle Network 4, and the plot is executed rather oddly in places. Still, itís a very solid game overall, with lots of stuff to do.
The version exclusives in this installment are some of the most pervasive in the series, since the plot involves Lan joining a team dedicated to fighting the evil organization of Nebula, with the members and their special abilities being completely different, forcing the player to play differently depending on which version they have. Iím going to be playing the Team Colonel version for this liveblog for two reasons: I find the abilities of the Team Colonel Navis to be superior to their Team Protoman counterparts, and for the sake of continuity, since Battle Network 6 seems to go with that version as the ďtrueĒ one. Or at least, certain events will make more sense that way.
Another thing to note is that I wonít be playing the GBA version of the game, despite the fact that I do own it. Instead, I will be playing its Nintendo DS port, Megaman Battle Network 5 Double Team DS. Released in Japan on July 25, 2005 and in North America on November 1st of that same year, this portís main feature, in addition to a few new bells and whistles that Iíll mention as they come up, is that it has two save files, and both versions of the game on the same cartridge.
So let us meet the team (and two other guys):
Twelve-year-old Lan and his Navi Megaman. What can we say about them that we havenít before? For their fifth outing, they join an elite team of Navis and operators, friend and foe alike, to fight back against the Dark Chip Syndicate Nebula, as well as to save Lanís kidnapped father from their clutches.
The leaders of Team Colonel. Baryl is a high-ranking Official from Netopia who commands the team with a steadfast and calculating hand. His Navi Colonel is similar in nature and very powerful.
Returning from Battle Network 2 the former Gospel agent and princess of the nation of Creamland and her Navi join the team as the defense specialists. She must have also suffered brain damage from that fall she took, as her personality is much more pleasant and helpful than it was in that game. Not that Iím complaining, Knightmanís a useful asset to have.
Lan and Megaman have already tangled with Shadowman twice already (three times if you count Network Transmission) but now he and his elusive operator join Team Colonel as their scout.
A young, hot-blooded youth, Dingo joins the team to become a hero. His Navi is just as fight-happy as he is, and is a force to be reckoned with in battle.
ACDCís chip shop owner joins the team so that he can man up. Numberman may not be well-suited for battle, but his analytical abilities are unrivaled.
Another returning character, the DNN news reporter and her amphibious Navi join the team as the groupís support specialists.
Lanís father, one of the worldís top networking scientists. He spends most of this game captured by Nebula, who want to get some information out of him regarding something called the Hikari Report.
The leader of Nebula, responsible for the kidnapping of Lanís father, the proliferation of corrupting Dark Chips, as well as one of the main players in Battle Network 4ís craziness. Though his plan to take control of Duoís asteroid failed, as you can see from the picture he means business this time! Why else would he grow a Beard of Evil, hm?
As you can probably guess from that lineup, this game really likes referencing Battle Network 2.