|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Capcom Production Studio 2||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Capcom||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 24, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1, 2 Online||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Graphically, Mega Man Star Force 2 is a real underachiever. The visuals look like they were stripped straight from the Battle Network games (which, in case you forgot, were on the GBA). When we're getting games that look as good as Metroid Prime Hunters, Phantom Hourglass, and Final Fantasy III on the DS, the kind of graphical laziness present in Star Force 2 is really inexcusable. The sound is also poorly done, but at least you can turn it off.
As with all the Battle Network series of games, Star Force 2 comes in a number of different flavors (this time around it's two). If you must buy this game (please, don't), the differences are negligible and it's certainly not worth buying both. The crazy subtitles (Zerker, Saurian, Ninja) are references to story elements that I won't spoil for you; essentially, however, Geo gains the ability to transform into these beings and use elemental powers associated with them. It's another cool mechanic, but unfortunately one that you'll probably overlook while trying to deal with the game's bigger problems.
There is some online functionality geared toward people who care enough to play and finish Star Force 2. Online, you can battle other people as well as trade cards. As I mentioned earlier, building your ideal deck is one of the more fun and addictive aspects of the game, so being able to trade online is definitely a plus. After finishing this fairly lengthy adventure, I highly doubt you're going to want to do any more battling -- if you do, though, there's a somewhat limited online community waiting to duke it out with you. Online is definitely a positive aspect to Star Force 2, but it's disappointing most people won't have the patience to get far enough into the title to fully take advantage of it.
If you happen to be a huge fan of Mega Man and you can proudly claim you've played and loved every Battle Network game, go ahead and buy Star Force 2. If you can get over the repetitive gameplay and constant random battles, there is some fun to be had here. If you're on the opposite end of the spectrum and have never played a Battle Network or Star Force game, then Star Force 2 will be somewhat enjoyable. But for the rest of us, who are somewhere in the middle (maybe played a game or two and thought they were okay) there's no reason to bother with Star Force 2. Once Capcom bothers to include some original material in these games, they'll be worth playing; until then, however, you're better off spending your money on some of the better DS summer releases out there.
CCC Freelance Writer