|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Capcom||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Capcom||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 7, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1 (Online Trading)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
Mega Man Star Force marks a return to the Mega Man series. We've seen just about every genre configured to the series including action, shooting, strategy, turn-based, real-time, and RPG elements. Star Force is similar to Battle Network, but not so similar that gamers will be crying foul. It retains RPG elements, but it's got a streamlined combat system that really kicks butt. The gameplay is fast and intense, which comes at the expense of some depth, but you'll be too busy having fun to notice.
Mega Man Star Force is available in three flavors: Pegasus, Leo, and Dragon. Each game plays virtually identically with the exception of your elemental affiliation. This affiliation will allow you to execute an exclusive special attack. For instance, Pegasus is associated with ice. Your "Star Force Big Bang" attack will freeze your foes. Leo is associated with fire, and the Dragon is associated with the color green. The green attack turns the grid into grass, which hinders the enemy's moves. Although these elementals respond differently to the collectible Battle Cards collected in the game, the gameplay is so similar I would only recommend getting one of these games. You can share cards with friends who have the other two elementals.
Mega Man is no longer an avatar. He's not controlled by another virtual character. The character actually becomes him. Although he's controlled in the third-person, you're one step closer to being Mega Man. With all new characters, new gameplay elements, and an interesting storyline, Star Force does the series proud. It's familiar, but possesses enough new elements to satiate rabid MM fans. The gameplay is relatively short if you just want to blast through it. Collecting items and undertaking the various side quests will add plenty of replay value to the game should you decide to purchase it. A rental is recommended at the very least. There is a Wi-Fi component, but it's not true multiplayer in that you can only trade and share online and not engage in head-to-head battles.
Geo Stelar, or Rob Zombie as I call him (you can rename him), is the principal character. He's a good boy and you're made to feel sorry for him after you discover his father was killed in a space station explosion. Eventually, you find out that it wasn't an accident, but the work of aliens from the planet FM. Upon meeting one of the good aliens, whom insists you call him Mega, a union is formed by a system called the BrotherBand which assimilates the two life forms into one. Thus Mega Man is born.
This adventure encompasses two realms: the real world and the virtual Wave World where you will do battle with the aliens. In the real world, you will travel to different locations conversing with people, exploring the environment, and looking for items to collect. Random battles are plentiful and will require that you enter in the Wave World. In place of Chips, you use Battle Cards in combat. These cards will give you various powers, which you will use against your enemies. These cards give you special attacks, increased power, weapons, and health. During battles, you will sometimes face more than one enemy. Combos are available that will allow you to target two enemies at the same time. More cards will be accumulated as you progress. There is a good assortment of cards, but you don't have to use them all if you don't want to. You can bring your favorites into battle with you as you customize your deck.
Unlike Battle Network, the grid system is more restricted. It's only three-by-five, and not three-by-six. You can only move on the grid line closest to you, but you are able to lock on to enemies as well as shoot at them from anywhere on the grid, as long as you have the right ability engaged. Mega Man stands in front of you as you activate the Battle Cards. Weapons such as the Sword will drain the enemy's power, while bombs, rockets, and missiles will help compound the destruction. Other abilities include recovery power, which comes in handy when your enemy comes on strong. A great addition to the weapons list is a shield, which can help you block most attacks. It's virtually indestructible and will withstand all but the most powerful of attacks, as long as it's activated at the right time. It can only be activated for a few seconds. After that, you better have some recovery cards on hand.