Rebel #10 – Double digits!

It’s my turn already?! Feels like it’s only been a couple of days! …been a couple of weeks, though, UNFORTUNATELY. Anyways, as usual, I don’t have much to talk about, especially if it’s regarding my life. I’ve been doing schoolwork, and playing games. That’s pretty much it. Vesperia made me a Tales fan. Goddamnit, Vesperia! Having lots of fun with that game. Trying to slug through Fire Emblem, and trying to beat The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Sousuke wrote about it earlier! Great game. Fire Emblem… hrm… Such an awesome game, but I can’t bring myself to play it for some reason. SRPGS ALWAYS DO THIS TO MEEEE! Anyways, in this post, I’m going to review Mega Man Star Force: Leo/Pegasus/Dragon. No, not Earthbound! I’ll get to that eventually! FO’ SHO! Anyways, in the meantime, I hope you enjoy this review! I PUT MY HEART AND SOUL INTO IIT~!

Mega Man Star Force: Leo/Pegasus/Dragon Review (DS)


I’m pretty sure you’ve all heard of the Mega Man Star Force series; you know, the sequel to the Battle Network series? Being a sequel to a series (within a series with 7/8 entries itself), you’d guess that the Star Force feels like Battle Network… and the thing is, it does. Can playing such a similar game for the 8th/9th time be a blast, or is it a chore?

Graphics – ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10) // Good

On the left... battle. On the right... not battle.

On the left... battle. On the right... not battle. It's Star Force 2, though. Looks pretty much the same.... Heh.

Let’s be honest here; if it weren’t for the 3D battles, this game would look like a Gameboy Advance game. Hell, the sprites barely look like a step up from the GBA’s Battle Network. In some cases, I’d even say Battle Network looked better. Echo Ridge looks almost exactly like Lan’s hometown in Battle Network. The font this game uses is exactly the same as the GBA fonts… god, those fonts were so big. Character portraits are ugly. Not much to say about that. But it can’t be all bad, right? IF IT WERE ALL BAD, I WOULD HAVE GIVEN IT A 5 OR SOMETHING. The battles look pretty, there’s lots of colour, attack animations are cool, and there are a lot of (kind of detailed?!) character models. Also, albeit the game looking like a GBA game outside of battle, the game is still pretty. BUT TECHNOLOGY CALLS, CAPCOM, TECHNOLOGY CALLS!

Pros:
+ Battles are pretty, and lots of different battle animations spice it up.
+ Despite looking like a GBA game, this game’s sprite art can still impress.

Cons:
– It looks like Battle Network, through and through.
– Font is a pain to look at/read.
– Character portraits are archaic.

Sound – ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ (6/10) // Decent

Honestly, this game’s soundtrack is a mixed bag. It can sound great if it wants to, but it can sound pretty bad too. Like with graphics, the game sounds like an old Gameboy Advance game; hell, it almost sounds like an old NES game at points. The tunes are occasionally well composed, but it’s nothing to brag about even then. The music, for the most part, fits the atmosphere. The sound quality itself is pretty gross. What can I say? Don’t come into this game expecting a Chrono Trigger or a Final Fantasy IV. Errm… actually… don’t come into this game expecting much.

Pros:
+ Nice music that can occasionally put you into the mood of the game.

Cons:
– Sound quality is downright horrible.
– Soundtrack won’t make your ears bleed, but it’s a little subpar.

Gameplay –★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ (6/10) // Decent

Now to the meat and potatoes! Coming into this review, I really wanted to give this game a 3/10 on this section, but I actually kind of enjoyed it. This game unfolds like a daily life anime with action in it. Your day begins. It seems like a normal day, but something comes up! You, as the not-very-famous Mega Man, must save the day! So you finish a dungeon, and you save the day. Sometimes. But anyway, that’s the gist of the pacing of the game. Let’s talk about the dungeons. Each of the dungeons take place in a unique environment. For example, one dungeon takes place in a car, with cows in it. Another takes place in a jungle type thing. Another takes place in a junkyard. Basically, every dungeon has its own unique… activity? In the car dungeon, you tap your touch screen’s arrows in a certain way to prevent certain cow platform things from throwing you off. In the jungle level, you dodge poisonous snakes while collecting antidotes… that you can’t drink until you finish the activity (whittles down your hp D:.) In the junkyard level, you tap the touch screen to find Mr. Hertz (door opening things); kind of like gold detecting. I have to say, honestly, this game can get reaaal gimmicky and tedious at times. Didn’t stop me from finishing the game, but still.

Goodbye, cruel world!

Goodbye, cruel world!

While exploring the dungeons, you go into random battles. Battling is fun, but let me tell you, the encounter rate is not. In Battle Network, you could purchase an item that could lower the encounter rate. Not here, though! For some reason, the developers decided to take that out. Not sure WHAT reason, though… This game’s encounter rate is ridiculously high, and I (personally) hate it. Maybe it’s just me; I haven’t played a single game with an encounter rate THIS high before…

Now onto battles. Battle Network fans will find the Star Force battle system pretty familiar. Instead of the Battle Network system (3 x 6 horizontally, with 3 x 3 squares to walk), you now have a revamped system that takes place behind Geo’s back. This system allows for 3 panels of movement (the enemies get 3 x 5 panels of movement… :(). To compensate for the lack of dodging space, Geo has a shield that can protect him from projectiles. Projectiles, not physical attacks. Projectiles. Despite the point of view and system change, Battle Network fans will find themselves right at home. The Battle Chip system returns in this game… now called Battle Card. Not really much to say. You select cards that are either the same or are of the same colour (think Battle Network alphabet.) The emotion window is gone. This doesn’t mean that you no longer get bonuses from countering, though! Instead of full synchro, where your battle cards become two times more powerful, you simply get a new battle card. Countering while transformed is different, though! Countering while transformed will reward you with a “Star Force Big Bang” attack; unique to the player’s transformation.

Leos Star Force Big Bang; Atomic Blazer!

Leo's Star Force Big Bang; Atomic Blazer!

Sometimes, you’ll get a Shooting with your Mega Buster is easier now. No longer do you need to mash B to shoot and hold B to charge! Holding B has you firing rapidly, while just walking around without firing the Mega Buster has you charging up. There’s that standard stuff, like pressing L or R to select new cards after your custom gauge is filled. At the end of the day, the game feels like Battle Network, and there’s no denying that. The biggest flaw with the battling is the lack of variety between enemies. As a real-time-turn-based-ish RPG, enemy variety is a must. Most of the later enemies are just pallete swaps of old enemies with new colours. By the way, I don’t recommend running away from battle. You’ll never get away. Boss battles are kind of easy, and difficulty wavers. At one point in the game (second last boss or so), I only had 1 HP. Yes, I beat the boss on my first try… with 1 HP. Boss battles like those are kind of easy. However, there are points where enemies will completely and utterly destroy you. I can’t think of a specific point, but you get the gist of it.

Ganging up on poor Geo...

Ganging up on poor Geo...

A new feature is the “Brother Band” feature. The Brother Band feature is a feature that utilizes Nintendo WiFi. To become “Brothers”, or rather, Star Force friends with someone, you can add their friend code… not much to say about that. The benefits of this are… uh… Well, basically, you can put up your favorite cards in a set, you can share your transformation, and you can share stat upgrades (the upgrade depends on your level). Stat upgrades are automatically applied to battles, while your Brothers appear as Battle cards that randomly generate a card (a transformation card or a random “Favorite” card). I don’t know too much about this, except for the fact that you can battle your Brothers online and, perhaps, trade battle cards. I only have NPC Brothers! I DO know that you can have up to 6 brothers (including NPC brothers; you make 3 NPC brothers in the game, so you only have 3 slots until you delete those NPCs).

Pros:
+ Brother Band system is interesting.
+ Battles are fun.

Cons:
– Battles get really can bore after a while due to lack of enemy variety.
– Encounter rate is way too high.
– Dungeons are stale and dry.
– It feels like a step down from Battle Network’s 3 x 3 movement.
– Short game that is easy to complete (Phanir took 12 hours to complete this game in one sitting.)
– Difficulty wavers.

Story – (3/10) ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ // Ugh…

Have you ever played a game made for children with mature themes? Well, this game is one of them. This game deals with betrayal, the destruction and death, depression, and… lonliness? You’re Geo Stelar, a kid who lost his father, who went to space three years ago… and never came back. Geo is a very… depressed character. As the depressed character he is, he stopped going to school for 3 entire years. 3 years is a lot, for a fifth-grader! Anyways, Luna “Prez” Platz and her michevious friends, Bud and Zack, decide to nag at him non-stop for not coming to school! He usually turns Luna down rudely, and runs off somewhere. Anyways, one “fated?” day, he meets Omega-XIS, a so-called FM-ian…. alien.. thing, that can somehow enter the main character’s Transe– what’s a Transer? Some fancy gadget people wear. It’s like a PET without a Navi. Anyways, where was I? Omega-XIS, right. Omega-XIS can somehow enter Geo’s transer and merge with Geo, making him… a…. I dunno. Making him Mega Man; a… thing with the power to travel on EM waves. That’s pretty much the premise. It may seem (kind of) interesting in the beginning, but my god, Geo’s personality wears off real fast… He’s depressed all the time. He makes friends, but is depressed. His depression often gets in the way of the actual game (backtracking and pointless dialogue that doesn’t actually make you like the character… well, none of the characters are really likeable anyway…) Anyways, like I said in the first sentence, the game deals with betrayal, destruction and death, and depression. However, *start spoilers* the catalyst of the main character’s pain… Geo actually… makes friends with him?! *end spoilers*

Geo is never actually this happy.

Geo is never actually this happy.

Oh yeah, the game has a lot to do with friends. I can’t really delve more into the story, since it’s so shallow and… boring. There’s a ton of text too. If you’ve played Star Force 2, Geo was actually a decent character. Compared to Star Force 1 Geo, that is.

Pros:
+ Concept is neat.

Cons:
– The characters are horrible.
– Plot twists are really, really lame.
– Plot is very shallow, with no real element to it.
– I need to emphasize this; GEO IS THE LAMEST MAIN CHARACTER I HAVE EVER SEEN. EVER.
– …there is so… much… text… for a story you barely care about.

Overall – ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ (6/10) // Decent

I didn’t mention this before, but all three versions are pretty much the same. If you like dragons, go with Dragon, and so on. The only big difference is the transformation you undergo. I can’t seem to hate this game completely. It’s a decent game that feels dated in every way, but I can’t seem to hate it for that. If, as a Battle Network fan, can peel back the putrid layers of crap hiding this relatively small piece of chocolate, then you’ll enjoy the chocolate. But it’s still small chocolate, and you might not like it. What I’m trying to say is that… this game isn’t for everyone. Newcomers to the Battle Network series may find something to like about this game, but fans will be better off renting this game. Giving this game a 6 may sound a little harsh, but unlikable characters, weak visual/sound presentation, and derivative gameplay hurt this otherwise decent game. Besides, it’s still crap you’re digging through to find the chocolate. As a Battle Network fan, this game, personally, was a bit of a chore to play through, but some chores can secretly be fun, right?

Pros:
+ Decent well-rounded gameplay with a fun, strategical battle system.
+ Battles look very pretty.
+ Very, very addictive.

Cons:

– The game feels dated in every way; from graphics, to music, to gameplay.
– Nothing really makes the game stand out from the fray.
– Three versions play exactly alike.
– Incredibly lame cast.
– Feels like a step down from Battle Network.
– Boring plotline.

———————————————-
YES MACH! I FINALLY POSTED WHEN I SAID I WOULD FOR ONCE!


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One Response to “Rebel #10 – Double digits!”

  1. I STILL HAVE TO FINISH THIS GAME.

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