Somewhere in the not too distant future society has become even more dependant on technology to the point where everyone has a cyber personality that lives and traverses throughout the Internet
carrying out tasks (such as delivering e-mail
and retrieving information). These cyber personalities, called NetNavi
s, are contained in small Palm Pilot
-esque devices called PET
s are sentient to a certain degree, a more advanced ones act as friends and companions to their operators. This is all well and good, but a mysterious faction led by a madman
is out to control the world by turning the dependency on technology into mankind's greatest weakness. By recruiting certain key individuals, this faction (known as the WWW
), is using rouge NetNavi
s to cause havoc on and off the Internet
. This is the setup behind Capcom
's 2001 Game Boy Advance
game Mega Man Battle Network
While the title may lead you to believe otherwise, this game is not a traditional Mega Man game. The game is essentially an RPG with action elements. Puzzles must be solved, and then during battle sequences a quick trigger finger is necessary. Obviously Capcom is looking to expand on the Mega Man license once more by adding in a twist of Pokémon, and this is the result.
Mega Man exists as the NetNavi of an eleven-year-old named Lan Hikari, the son of a local NetNavi scientist. Lan's father created Lan's NetNavi, a program called MegaMan.EXE (or simply Mega Man). After becoming involved in the WWW's evil plot Lan and Mega Man try to repair the damage to the Internet and stop the WWW.
The game takes place both in the real world and on the Internet. In the real world Lan searches for clues to the crisis, makes contact with other people, and collects battle chips. From time to time Lan is able to "jack in" to the Internet through various wired appliances and systems. Once jacked in, Mega Man becomes the playable character. Mega Man navagates mazes and solves objectives while battling evil computer virii and evil NetNavis that are based on characters and robot masters from the Mega Man universe such as Guts Man and Proto Man.
Battle is made possible with the use of special battle chips that provide Mega Man with a wide variety of moves in addition to his traditional blaster. Special moves include the ability to shoot large cannons, remove pieces of the floor, and 173 other maneuvers. Chips can be earned by defeating enemies quickly and with minimal damage, plus Lan can beg, borrow, steal, and buy new chips in the real world.
The game is played in a 3/4 isometric view both in the real world and the Internet. Battle scenes take place on a 3x6 grid with each character having the ability to move along a 3x3 grid.
Overall the game is a bizarre but successful combination of Mega Man and Pokémon, containing both blasting elements, puzzle elements, and "gotta collect them all" elements. Capcom obviously has high hopes for this series, having already released a sequel to the game and the company two more in development (with one being for the Nintendo GameCube).