I'd hate to ruin any kind of original series stuff I've had posted since we did have a breakthrough with the PocketStation stuff last month. A breakthrough for me anyway. But it's only right since the time has come.
To start this story off. It took me quite some time to get into the EXE series. But when I did, I started needing to have something other than the PSX Rockman games to collect at the time. Since the first localized release. I hated waiting for those to come. Either bad typos or changes / removals, the delays were awful, especially for the second game. Until then, I started having to collect them in Japanese like I did with the PSX games. Up to this time, the games would release with one version. Until Battle Network Rockman EXE3 came along, it released in December, and in March a second version was slated for release. Before an announcement, many people wondered about these "extra" Giga Class Chips within plain 3. And a few people had found a Shadow Style within the game. Not to mention, with the Anime still shown during the time, and merchandising like the Card Game, and the Plug-In PET, it would release things called Lotto Numbers. Which are numbered codes within the game data to give out new prizes during each week or month to be released. 3 was supposed to the end the series I believe, correct me if I'm wrong. But sales were probably just good enough for a second version release, not to mention the merchandising again.
4 had been announced during the Summer of 2003, with smaller sprites / maps in over world view so they could show more on the screen. A simultaneous release for two versions, more merchandising and a new Anime would come as well to hype the game's release up with more and more news on the game every 2 weeks to a month of more CoroCoro Magazine info. I really loved the names of these versions though, it was something that must have stuck with a lot of people back then int the excitement for release.
This was when the ROM dumps came out. They released them while I was in school, I had my games on Preorder from NCS at the time. I had not known about backup / flash cartridges at the time so I had to use emulation if I wanted to view and play early. One of my good friends was with me, and I had gotten him into the series since a few of my other friends stopped playing at 2 and 3 so it was perfect. I was very excited about Full Synchro, it looked so cool. And Soul Unison was pretty neat over Style Changes, which was a nice change at the time. I thought it added more strategy to battles. And the BGM was glorious. The Title Screen Theme was on the Official Site at the time. Very excited though.
I will never forget that day. I remember I stayed home from my Junior year from High School, I couldn't even sleep the next day. Since I knew my copies of the game were coming in the mail. Usually shipment comes to them on Thursday, and I get my shipment from them the next day. I was playing Soldier of Fortune II Double Helix on the original Xbox on Live with some friends and family. I checked my status of where the package was while I waiting for the map to load, and it was delivered. Turned the Box off, went outside, got the package, and opened it. Everything was so cool about this. Both cartridges were colored, which was the best touch I thought. And most copies did come with Axess Series Battle Chips of MeteorRedSun and BlueMoonRay depending which version you bought. Hooked up the ol' GB Player, and it was wonderful. I think it was snowing that day too. So it was very fun. I would progress through my games like so since my Friends at school could play my other version, since they wouldn't be able to play it for half a yearish anyway.
I was kind of annoyed at the time by multi-playthroughs, it was a nuisance trying to keep up and make sure you've gotten every vital Upgrade or Chip. Not to mention, these games had a nasty habit back then of erasing save data, especially my Tournament Red Sun. And I needed to keep backups with my GameShark which a made a Action Replay V3 at the time. Half the time I would have to restart or do multiple attempts to get my save data back then. I just wish I knew about the Flash Carts and it's linkers back then so I could have avoided this.
Maybe it had something to do with game being huge in the end? Or maybe my hardware was dusty / faulty...
-Lotto Number (Anime, Books, Advanced PET, CD, etc)
-Card e-Reader+ (Kaizou System of Customization)
-Battle|Progress Chip / Beast Link Gate
(Operation Battle Mode [4&5], Team Battle, NDC Install , Chip Support)
-Rockman Zero 3 (Z Saber Mega Class Chip acquisition (4))
-Bokura no Taiyou (Cameo, Crossover Battle 1-2 (5&6))
This game would set the standard for years to come in terms of gameplay and the connectivity above for each future title. This game ended up being the best handheld Rockman ever to be sold in Japan, or probably worldwide. And the sales would die down after each year until they eventually stopped producing Action RPG Rockman titles in late 2009. With 2010, and there on never having another title again. I do have to say that I am disappointed by this. Especially since it was the best sold one for the handheld market. It's a shame that it's been so long, and that nothing has been done like a re-release / enhanced port anytime for this year. Yes, I would like a 3DS Cartridge of something like this. Make them single game carts, or split it into two cartridges for the whole series. Not Zero Collection bad, and definitely not a lackluster Virtual Console release. I actually favor this more than the SSR games, the 3D ruined the genre of these games, and it would get progressively worse until it wasn't interesting anymore. EXEOSS released as the final game counting each year. We did make it back to EXE though. I hope something happens with Capcom. Since this franchise never did them wrong, especially 10 years ago. And you might not like 4, while it might have been annoying for most people. Give it a try again, keep track of the things you collect in each playthrough. Especially without additions like the Kaizou System or Operation Battle Mode, this game is still fun to me. Some of these years have been a big part of my life next to the original series of games. And it's been a great 10 years if I say so myself.