Digimon and MegaMan NT Warrior have a lot more in common than you might think. Both feature humans working alongside a digital partner (this version of Mega Man is a NetNavi -- a computer program instead of a robot, like his game counterpart), trying to save their home from destruction at the hands of a malicious virus. This is especially true of the recent Digimon reboot where the destruction (runaway trains, blackouts, etc.) is eerily similar to the havoc wrecked by World Three in NT Warriors. But in our current age of digital inter-connectivity, which of these companions would be the best one to have?
First order of business is establishing the criteria. Both the NetNavis and Digimon will be judged in three categories: 1. The practicality of the companion; what can they do in this electronic day and age that sets them apart from, say, a mere phone game. 2. The depth of the relationship with their partner -- which one's going to be a better friend? 3. Finally, you can't think of either franchise without thinking of some awesome battles. But if the two went toe-to-toe, who'd come out on top?
The NetNavi of MegaMan NT Warrior come out of the gate with a clear advantage in this category -- being designed as more of a digital assistant than anything else. They'll help you remember your piano lessons and wake you up to get to school on time. Most Digimon just can't compete -- Tentomon might be able to help you get around by flying but when it comes to organizing your schedule? Not so much. That said, Digimon isn't out for the count yet! Digimon Universe App Monsters has a plethora of helpful Appmon, like Navimon, who can find the quickest route anywhere, or Gatchmon, who can always get the perfect search results.
Unfortunately, despite the fierce competition the Appmon bring, each Appmon can only do one thing, depending on what app they represent. Not only can the NetNavis do it all but they're also independent enough to know when you're in danger and go for help.
This one is a close race. The bond between a Digimon and its DigiDestined is something that can't be faked, and the sacrifices both are willing to make for each other are always apparent. Their bonds are forged by not only saving each other but also spending downtime together too, talking around the fire and cooking together. NetNavis on the other hand... Their Net Operators (NetOps) have one major downside to interacting with their Navi -- they can't actually physically hang out. A NetNavi is strictly a program, and can only interact with the physical world through electronics. The only exception to this is when Dimensional Areas are introduced in MegaMan NT Warrior: Axess, and even then, if one of those is showing up, expect a battle, not a slic-of-life bonding moment.
Winning this category by a landslide, the Digimon have a much deeper bond with their DigiDestined, as equals and friends, rather than the more stiff "personal assistant" role the NetNavis were designed to occupy. Even if the NetNavis do form bonds with their NetOps, nothing is going to beat being with your friends in person.
Definitely the closest battle yet, both NetNavis and Digimon can show off some amazing feats of strength in their respective series. While Digimon can arguably grow much more powerful than NetNavis, what they don't have is versatility. Most Digimon tend to have a few attacks, and while they can get stronger through digivolution, it's usually the only way to do so, whereas the NetNavis have access to many different techniques.
The NetOp can make use of battle chips to provide their Navi with new abilities and weapons mid-fight that can turn things around. If that doesn't work, Mega Man himself has a few other techniques that are strikingly similar to certain digivolutions. His "Double Soul" ability that allows him to absorb another NetNavi is reminiscent of both DNA Digivolution and an Appmon's Applink ability. Mega Man even has his own form of Biomerging he can use in a Dimensional Area, known as Cross Fusion. Speaking of Biomerging, Digimon Tamers also made use of a similar system to battle chips -- the in-universe Digi-Modify cards that allowed a Tamer to give their Digimon a leg-up.
When it comes to fighting ability, the NetNavis just have that many more options -- from having multiple 'Digivolution styles' that aren't available to most Digidestined, to the ability to get a new weapon and make a comeback at any time. In addition, a loss simply means they have to return to their PET (PErsonal Terminal) instead of being reborn as a DigiEgg. It's a slim margin, but the NetNavis come out on top.
And so, at a score of 2-1, the NetNavis come out as the preferred digital companion of choice. Personal assistant, best friend and ready to protect your personal info from viruses, the NetNavis have that much more to offer these days than Digimon do. Don't get us wrong, we'd love a cuddy Gatomon as much as the next person, but when it comes to surfing the web, an interNET NAVIgator sounds like a good and strong friend to have.