Review: Mega Man Starforce 2 Zerker X Ninja/Saurian



Mega Man Starforce 2 Zerker X Ninja is the first new Mega Man game I’ve played since I rented Mega Man X for my SNES many years ago. That means I never played any of the sequels to X or played any of the portable versions. That also means I never heard of the alternate Mega Man time line where instead of robot technology reaching ascendancy, network technology took the developmental lead. This is the setup for the Battle Network series of games released for the Game Boy.

Two hundred years after the events in those games take place – in the year 220X – a new hero will take up the moniker of Mega Man. His name is Geo Stellar and that, not the fact that he’s in fifth grade, should be your first hint that the story in this game is going to be directed squarely at a preteen demographic. In fact almost every character, location and plot point in this game has the intellectual complexity of an arithmetic test using only one digit numbers presented in a true/false fashion.


Zerker X Ninja X Saurian = OVERKILL

Geo becomes Mega Man after he encounters an alien entity known as Omega-Xis in the original Mega Man Starforce. Omega is an EM creature so he isn’t visible to normal humans, but when Geo and Omega bond together they become the new EM entity known as Mega Man.

The game’s story doesn’t hold much water. Dr. Vega lost her lover in a war, so she became a scientist to holographically recreate her lost love, but when it turns out to be a hologram she decides to resurrect the ancient continent of Mu instead to bring him back and then destroy the world with Mu…. I don’t get it either.

Since this is clearly a game for the thirteen and under crowd the game attempts to pass on some good habits and philosophies you’d want any child to learn. Of course there’s always the ancillary lessons learned from the game that seem to directly contradict their previous moral positions. The game ostensibly encourages friendship through the Brother Band system but can also limit you at times for not being popular enough. It promotes road safety by only letting you walk in the crosswalks of roads but actively encourages you to talk to strangers.

The game does allow you a lot of room to explore your environments as far as interacting with specific objects but most of your wanderings will be across the same maps over and over. Not only that, but often you will be sent on an unnecessarily circuitous route for something mundane. There’s no added challenge for having a longer windier path, only wasted time.



Surprisingly the battles were one of my favorite parts of the game. I say surprisingly because I am a Mega Man purist and I’m not a fan of card-based games. Combat takes place on a narrow 3 by 5 grid and you can freely move left and right at the front of the screen. Before you actually engage your enemies you can pick up from two to six cards depending on the six available that turn. Once picked those cards can be used only in the order you chose them. You can shoot with your standard weapon at all times and you can also deploy a shield to defend you against most attacks.

Typically you’ll be using your attack and healing cards the most but they also come in other varieties. The most mundane of them enhance the attacking power of another card, the brother cards give you the ability to Tribe On and turn into an enhanced version of Mega Man (either a Zerker or a Ninja depending on your preference at the beginning of the game) and the legend cards allow you to repeat your best combo from a previous battle.

While I can’t recommend this game to fans of the original Mega Man franchise it has the makings of a great beginners RPG. It would have benefited most from a less insipid story and a willingness to take more risks. More of the anime style cut-scenes they use before boss battles would have been welcome, too. It all feels too safe and sugar-coated for my tastes, like a cheesy Saturday morning cartoon.

The last thing I feel I have to mention is that Mega Man is a much stronger character when he’s helping humanity fix the problems they created themselves. The addition of electro-magnetic space aliens plotting to put a ski resort out of business does more than cheapen the franchise, it mocks it. Mega Man Starfoce 3 is currently in development.