I've been so close to pulling the trigger on Battle Network for multiple years, can someone please either convince or dissuade me? I'm an RPG and SRPG girlie with a tiny attention span.
The battle system is a deckbuilding action RPG. You build a deck of chips you take into battle and battles happen on a 3x6 grid split in half between you and the opponent. At the start of each round, you select chips from your hand. Chips function like your typical RPG skills and spells: close range, long range, boosts, passive effects, and even summons. Once you've selected your chips, you enter the real time battle portion. Here you can obviously move freely around your grid to dodge oncoming attacks, fire Megaman's buster for weak damage, and use your selected chips. Accessing your hand has a 10 second cooldown but once that is up you can pause the battle and select a fresh hand of chips (you draw the same amount you took previously). Rinse and repeat! There is a good amount of complexity and strategy involved from the deckbuilding element, to the sequence of the chips you take and when you use them, timing your dodges and waiting for proper openings before attacking, there's an elemental system, you can alter the grid/environment, form changes, etc. It's not esoteric at all and you'll catch on pretty quickly as the learning curve is fairly generous.
Contrary to how often the action pauses, battles are very fast paced and can be bullet hellish. It's definitely heavy on the action portion of action RPG as you're going to be rewarded for your reflexes as much as you are on your ability to strategize in advance. It can get frustrating but incredibly fun. It's very rewarding when you finally get an enemy's pattern down and start figuring out some good chip combos.
Beyond the battle system you navigate the world/net as Lan/Megaman with various overworld puzzles and fetch quests put in your way (YMMV game to game). One frequent trope is exploring the real world and finding electronics to jack in (yes that is the official terminology they went for!!) to access the net. The characters and designs are fantastic, while the plot ranges from serviceable to pretty good.