Worthplaying Review: Mega Man Star Force 2


''How much can you change a good formula without ruining it? If it's the Mega Man series, the answer is, "so much that the word 'ludicrous' becomes an understatement." With Mega Man 9 just announced for the download services and literally going back to the formula of the oldest NES releases, it is startling to see just how much has changed in each iteration of this series. Mega Man X took the original formula and added more detailed and precise controls. Mega Man Legends took the series to a 3-D open-world style long before it was popular and added many RPG elements. Mega Man Zero mixed and matched some elements of Legends into the X gameplay and threw on heaps of difficulty, while Mega Man Battle Network concurrently went for an action-TCG style and even more RPG elements than Legends. Mega Man Star Force for the NDS took the style of Battle Network and twisted the camera to an over-the-shoulder viewpoint and was more like a traditional TCG.

Indeed, the grand tradition of this 20-year-old series continues with Mega Man Star Force 2, which is pretty much an incremental upgrade, new story, and new bosses on top of the previous iteration, and it's just fine and fun, not in spite of that, but specifically because of it.

The basic gameplay premise in Mega Man Star Force 2: Zerker X Ninja is much the same as the previous iterations of the series. Run around as Geo Stelar, then wave-change into Mega Man to run around as him. When Mega Man's in play, random and scripted viruses will attack you, at which point you will go into 3-D, over-the-shoulder combat, during which you can dodge from side to side and shoot enemies. However, the real power comes from your battle cards - 30 cards that represent your primary attacks, allowing you to use more advanced and powerful weapons, summon other characters to use their specials, and generally wreck fights. This combat remains simple, yet consistent and surprisingly tactical, especially as the various wrinkles start coming into play.''

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