Maybe that's just me, but I think that the world seen in the Mega Man Battle Network series has evolved over time, and not for the best. This is not related to the quality of the games themselves: it's more related to how the world has been shown to work.
Way back when Mega Man Battle Network (1) was released, we were introduced to a parallel universe where pretty much everyone owns a PET, each unit equipped with a NetNavi (customized or not). That Navi can go online, send messages, take care of appointments... it's like some sort of PDA on steroids, along with a friendly personality.
In MMBN1, the Internet is some sort of large, empty place where you can move freely from area to area (as long as you have the required passcodes). Somehow, I felt that this version better represented how a real network is, unlike the sequels where you could find virtual trees and signs everywhere. A notable exception goes to MMBN2 and 3, which had the squares that hit close to the virtual communities we see today, even featuring message boards.
As the series moved forward, it's as if the developpers no longer cared about explaning stuff, or making it similar to our version of the Internet. For example, at one point, things turned silly when Battle Network 5 introduced cyber-ninjas. Everything could be excused with the concept of "cyber this", or "cyber that", like the curse put on MegaMan in Battle Network 4's scenario with Raoul. There wasn't as much abuse of that idea in the earlier titles. Back in the first game, MegaMan got stuck on a power surge in the school network, requiring Lan to run all the way and shut off the problematic piece of equipment! Of course, that's not to say that the earlier games all were perfect: the virtual ice blocks all over the net in Battle Network 2 sure were annoying, and weren't too logical since they happened everywhere at once.
Again, this isn't related to the quality of the games themselves: the battle system was at it's best in MMBN5DS, with more options than before. The quality of the music has kept itself high along the series and the plot remains at least somewhat interesting (with the exception of Battle Network 4's random scenarios...). What I have more in mind is the way the digital world is shown.
Do you have any thoughts on this, or other examples on how things got different over time?
(Note that I haven't played Mega Man Battle Network 6 yet, so I can't judge it.)
The admin formerly known as Dr. Cossack.
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