NOTE: Sorry about the delay for #7. It’s been a busy week.
In recent years the Megaman game series has taken some serious hits in quality. Need proof? Look at this game.
I’m a big fan of the Megaman Battle Network series. I think they’re a great balance between action and turn based RPG games, and they have a great twist on some of the classic bosses from the original Mega Man series.
In the Battle Network series, you play as Lan Hikari, a boy who lives in a futuristic world where everyone has a device calles a PErsonal Terminal(PET) that has a cyber Navi inside that acts as an alter ego of sorts. Lan’s Navi is Megaman.exe.
You would explore the Cyber-world, which was closely tied to the real world and things you did in the Cyber-world would affect the real world. For example, at one point in one of the games you enter the water company’s network because the water is frozen in their pipes. In the Cyber-world there are cyber-pipes that are frozen. Thaw the cyber-pipes, and the real pipes also thaw.
Megaman Starforce follows this pattern, except that your character is a depressed kid named Geo Stelar, and he gets pseudo-possessed by and alien named Omega-Xis, transforming into something that is supposed to be Mega Man.
The story is your typical low-budget story. Emo kid secretly gets powers, fights, makes friends but can’t tell them about his powers. Earth gets threatened, he saves it, Everyone won’t stop talking about the powers of love and friendship. Ugh.
Now if all that wasn’t bad enough, the battle system takes what was, in my opinion, the best aspect of the Battle Network series and just destroys it. In the BN series, you would fight on a 3x6 grid of squares, divided between your squares and the enemy’s squares.
Attacks would have a shape associated with them. Swords cut directly in front of you, cannons shoot in a line, bombs that you lob will explode in a pattern. This, coupled with fast turn-based card-based action made a lot of really fun battles.
Starforce ruins this by making the playing field instead a 5x3 grid, with only one row for you, and four for the enemies. That’s right. You only get one dimension of movement. Most of the rest is the same, but the lack of movement makes the battles quite lame. Sure it’s 3d, but no one really cares about that anymore.
Mega Man Starforce is an excellent example of what happens when a company just takes a series of games and makes too many changes to the formula. It has excellent roots, but unfortunately, it went the wrong direction with it’s ideas.