Review by BlueBomber94

"Best game in the Star Force series... But that's not saying much"

Mega Man Star Force 3 Black Ace/Red Joker
Nintendo DS
Written by: BlueBomber94

~ Before I start this review I would just like to note that while reviewing this game I have held aside all bias I have for the Mega Man series and have written this game from a reviewers point of view.

Introduction
Geo Stelar and Mega are back again in the third instalment to the Mega Man Star Force series. This game comes in two versions; Black Ace and Red Joker. Both games are extremely similar with only a few minor differences. Some Battle Cards can only be obtained on one version, some power-ups are easier to get in one version, etc. Which ever game you choose you are in for an interesting adventure through the Wave World.

Story
In Star Force 3 everything is run through what is known as EM waves, this creates a whole new world ready for exploration, when a Wizard (A digital helper) and a human form they can walk in this EM World also known as the Wave World. The Wave World is being filled with a mysterious substance called Noise which is being generated by Meteor G, a meteor that is heading for Earth. Meteor G threatens to destroy both the Real and Wave Worlds. And as if that isn't enough, while all this is happening Geo has to deal with the mysterious organisation known as 'Dealer' which is sending Wizards out of control and collection Noise. The story is much deeper and than the previous two titles and will keep you playing if only for the story.

Gameplay
The gameplay this time around hasn't changed much at all. The over-world gameplay is the same as the previous two games and the entire Battle Network series, you go about your daily routine until something goes wrong, enter some sort of main computer to sort it all out, work your way through while usually having to partake in a mini-game, beat the boss, go home and sleep. Same thing different location. It becomes so stale you can basically predict what is going to happen next. Random viruses that appear as you are in the Wave World are also very annoying, and make it hard to search and explore areas.

Battling is the same as the original two Star Force games except Mega Man gets a new arsenal of Battle Cards and over-the-top transformations and attacks. Around half way through the game Mega Man gains the ability to harness the power of Noise and fuse with certain Wizards you have battled throughout the game. Each Noise Form has it's own attributes, weaknesses, strengths and abilities. You can even fuse two of the Noise Forms together to make an even more powerful Mega Man, and with 11 different Noise forms that's a lot of different Double Noise forms.

You can choose to Wave Battle online with friends or with a random opponent. If you become friends with someone through a method called BrotherBand you can trade Battle Cards with them, share Noise forms and more. The BrotherBand feature can also be used through Local Wireless communications with your friends in real life.

Sound and Graphics
The sound in this game is just like any other Mega Man game, filled with great upbeat techno tracks. The boss theme and opening theme especially are amazing and will have you humming every time you hear them. This game also features voice acting and despite the amazing music the voice is really terrible. Mega Man's voice actor has no enthusiasm and sounds dull in many of the voice clips. The VA really lets the sound score down here.

The graphics aren't amazing but they are good by DS standards, the 3D is as ugly as it was in the original game. The art style of SF3 is good like games before it, but seems to focus more on the “Noise effect” around Mega Man.

Conclusion
If you are a fan of the Star Force series or even the Battle Network series then this is definitely the game for you. It's definitely the best in the Star Force series and you won't be disappointed. On the other hand if you disliked the Battle Network series of previous Star Force games don't bother with this, it wont change your mind. It's pretty much the same. If you haven't played any of those games before and enjoy RPGs then you might like this, it has a very different battle style to regular RPGs that the die-hard RPG will either love or hate. If you aren't all that interested in RPGs then either leave this game alone, or at least try it before you buy it.

Story – 8/10
Pretty interesting plot that makes you want to continue, but some of it is a bit cliché.

Sound – 7/10
The music is amazing but the voice acting is pretty terrible.

Graphics – 8/10
The game is fairly nice looking for a DS game

Gameplay – 6.5/10
It's fun at first but random virus battles while you are trying to explore can be really frustrating. Not to mention the whole thing gets a bit bland after a while.

Overall – 7/10
If you are a big BN/SF fan like me, you will love this game. To others though it really isn't that great.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 07/06/09

Game Release: Mega Man Star Force 3: Black Ace (US, 06/30/09)


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