Mega Man Star Force 2 Hands-On

We team up with Mega Man to try and save the day yet again.

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Capcom showed off a number of classic IPs as well as some new ones at its recent Digital Day event, but it wouldn't be a Capcom event without Mega Man, would it? Of course not. So it's a good thing that Mega Man Star Force 2 for the Nintendo DS was on hand to make things official.

Chose your cards carefully before heading into battle.
Chose your cards carefully before heading into battle.

Mega Man Star Force 2 is poised to deliver an experience similar to last year's Star Force game and the Battle Network games that came before it. Once again there will be two versions: Zerker X Ninja and Zerker X Saurian. Both games will follow the same storyline, but each will offer a unique powered-up transformation of Mega Man with separate special attacks. In the "real world," you'll chat with NPC characters and explore towns. You'll do all your fighting in the virtual "wave world."

Battles are random, and combat is turn-based and takes place on a 3D 3-by-5 grid. Before a fight you select cards that you want to use in battle. Some will let you attack with your gun, whereas others are sword-based attacks. Not all of the cards are attacks, though; some will boost your defensive abilities and even your health. Each card has a point value assigned to it, and you can pick as many cards as you'd like until you reach the point value for your current level.

Once you've picked your cards, it's time to head off into battle. The action is viewed from behind your character, with your enemies at the other end of the grid, farther toward the background. Using either the face buttons or the touch screen, you attack with whatever ability or abilities you chose beforehand. If you kill everything in one shot, then the battle's over; a more likely situation is that you'll still have one or more enemies to deal with, which means you'll want to focus on defense, hopping from left to right to avoid attacks while your turn meter fills back up. Once your turn meter is full, you can select new cards. Picking new cards in midfight lets you tailor your choices to the enemies that are left, which gives you a greater chance of success. Once the battle is over, you're awarded with new cards and points to raise your level.

Using cards to fight is obviously one very important feature of Star Force 2, but equally important is how you acquire cards. You'll be able to go online to trade cards with friends. For those of you who don't know anyone else with the game, Capcom is planning on including an automated brother-band feature that will let you trade with the CPU as if it were a real person. But you'll still want to find someone else with the game because not only will you be able to trade cards, you'll also be able to help one another out in battles to receive stat boosts and other, not-yet-specified benefits.

Once you’ve picked your cards, it’s on.
Once you’ve picked your cards, it’s on.

Our time with Mega Man Star Force 2 was brief, but we definitely came away with the impression that Capcom is focused on creating an experience that's very similar to the first game, while at the same time trying to add enough new content to warrant a $30 purchase. We'll know this June whether or not the game delivers just that.

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