This series takes place many years later after the Mega Man Battle Network series. People still use mobile devices, but these no longer use a retractable cable, and NetNavis are largely obsolete.
Enter Geo Stelar, a young boy who lost his father in a space accident, causing him to be incredibly alone and paranoid. But all changed when he was looking at the stars from Vista Point, a location a little outside Echo Ridge (Geo's hometown)
Boom! A fleeing electromagnetic (EM) alien collides with Geo, and since Geo wore special glasses (called a Visualizer) he could see the alien. The alien calls himself Omega-Xis (or Mega for short) and forces Geo to take care of him as a refugee, claiming that he knows something about the fate of Geo's dad. Through EM Wave Change, the two fuse to become the EM Warrior Megaman, and the two strive to defeat the evil coming their way.
Star Force adopts a lot of things from the Battle Network series. As Geo, you could navigate in the real world and the Wave World (replacing the Net World of BN), fight viruses Wave Battle and take on extra side-quests either for fun or for goodies.
The battle system, however, is tweaked up a little. The battles are now presented in 3D using an over the shoulder perspective. However, Geo is only being able to move left and right. Megaman is able to lock-on to enemies, making close-range attacks like swords still effective. You use battle cards (replacing battle chips) or your trusty Mega Buster to wipe out the enemies on the screen.
A feature that isn't from BN is the BrotherBand. That's when 2 players form a connection to give up bonuses, such as extra HP or favorite battlecards of the partner. You can have up to 6 brothers. The games can be completed without using this feature at all. In fact, the games typically have an NPC character form a BrotherBand with you as part of the BrotherBand tutorial.
The Star Forces series has received a lot of criticism for two things: The borrowing of so many concepts from the Battle Network series and how little these concepts are changed. Other complaints also include lackluster graphics that identical to the Battle Network titles on Game Boy Advance titles. Certain reviews also cited the extremely high randomly triggered encounter rate as a flaw.
Whereas Mega Man Battle Network spanned 6 titles (even more if you count spinoffs and remakes) there were only 3 Star Force games. The story was concluded with the third Star Force title which was released in USA in 2009 and the series has since gone dormant.
Mega Man Star Force
- USA Release: 2007
- Platform: Nintendo DS
- 3 versions: "Dragon", "Leo", and "Pegasus"
The debut of Mega Man Star Force which came in three variants. Each version is essentially the exact same game, but features a different unlockable power form. Releasing 3 different versions was perhaps intended to promote the BrotherBand feature.
This is the origin story of Geo meeting Omega and becoming Mega Man. As a result the game takes a while before you actually become Mega Man. Once you do, the story involves Geo finally opening up and making friends. However, one by one his friends fall victim to the FM-ians, an alien race of electromagnetic beings who prey on loneliness.
Being the first in the series, the game elements and battle cards are the most straightforward. Additionally, Mega Man's powered up form only come later in the game, and even then is only accessible at random due to it being a battle card.
Mega Man Star Force 2
- USA Release: 2008
- Platform: Nintendo DS
- 2 versions: "Zerker x Ninja" and "Zerker x Saurian"
In Mega Man Star Force 2, Geo must save the world from a mysterious new threat, and save his friends. Whereas in the previous Star Force involved invaders from space, this time the world is threatened by an ancient civilization being awakened.
The entire game takes place in the physical world (across multiple continents, even) and not once can Mega Man enter a compspace, helping to set Mega Man Star Force series apart from the Battle Network series.
Interestingly, both versions of Star Force 2 comes with two versions instead of one. (Essentially making there 3 versions in all, across only 2 carts.) When you start the game, you actually are presented of a choice of which you want to play, essentially meaning that everyone has a copy of Zerker, adding replay value to those willing to brave the game a 2nd time.
Mega Man Star Force 3
- USA Release: 2009
- Platform: Nintendo DS
- 2 versions: "Black Ace" and "Red Joker"
Mega Man Star Force 3 is the conclusion of the Star Force saga. It restyles several aspects of the series, possibly in an attempt to renew interest in the series, or to go out with a bang. For instance, Mega Man has been redesigned, the game uses a new title logo, the presentation has more stylistical elements (battle cards appear almost strewn about the bottom screen rather than being lined up evenly, etc) and Geo can now once again enter compspaces (now called "Cyber Cores") like he could in the first Star Force. The game also has improved audio compared to the first two Star Force titles, as well as the best soundtrack of the Star Force series.
It is also the most ambitious Star Force title -- Whereas Star Force 1 and 2 ultimately offered three power forms each (which can be combined, bringing the number of combinations up to seven), Star Force 3 features the "Noise Change" system with over a hundred forms, each with their own unique attributes in battle. Furthermore, the player's form continually evolves and changes throughout the game, as opposed to being limited to only a single form and having to start the game over to choose a different one.
Despite all these changes, Star Force 3 still suffers from randomly triggered encounters. On top of this flaw, Star Force 3 suffers from even several instances of poor design. (such as boss encounters triggered without warning, losing your progress when you are defeated, and lastly, at certain points in the story being unable to proceed through the game until the player presses A on nonexistent objects he/she must find, in order to access secret passages called "Noise Waves", which are mandatory.)
Rockman EXE: Operation Shooting Star
Operation Shooting Star was touted as a crossover between Mega Man Battle Network series and Mega Man Star Force series. Ultimately however it is little more than an port of the first Mega Man Battle Network upscaled to Nintendo DS's resolution. The main addition is the fact that Geo Stelar (the Star Force series Mega Man) makes an appearance as an optional boss. The player can also unlock the ability to play as Geo.
Operation Shooting Star was never released outside of Japan.