Will Operate Shooting Star Come to the West?

It's the question which Battle Network and Star Force fans have been wondering ever since the game was released in Japan: will Rockman.EXE: Operate Shooting Star see a Western release? Things have not looked good for the title; no announcements were ever made, and normally, the title would have been released right around this time. Instead, Mega Man Zero Collection seems to have taken its place in the American release schedule, while E3 brought no news.

So finally, someone just brought the question straight to Capcom.

"Any plans, or are you guys passing this one up?" asked Jimb0, looking for a status update on Capcom Unity's Ask Capcom board.

"For the moment, no plans for a Western release," replied Christian Svensson, Capcom's Vice President of Strategic Planning & Business Development. Following further pleas from board members, he added "Sorry guys, there are no plans for this to happen at this time."

So there you have it. With that said, there is really no telling what other plans for Mega Man we can count on seeing over here (meaning Rockman Online doesn't count). Perhaps light will soon be shed on that Mega Man Universe trademark...

Rumor: OSS Multiplayer Coming to DSiWare?

Rumor has it that rather than risk sinking money into a DS port-plus version of Mega Man Battle Network in Operate Shooting Star, Capcom may instead simply lift the multiplayer mode from the title and release it independently on Nintendo's DSiWare downloadable video game service. The mini-game, known as "Star Colosseum," allows six players to battle wirelessly to collect stars using one copy of the game and a variety of familiar Battle Network and Star Force faces. The rumor also says there could be additions to the download version, such as multiplayer via Wi-Fi and perhaps one new playable character.

Capcom has yet to comment on this, but we'll keep you posted if anything more develops.

Source: Protodude's Rockman Corner

OSS Coffee Mug Available at Demo Event in Japan

OSS Coffee MugLater this month, Capcom is planning on hosting an event for people to try out Rockman.EXE: Operate Shooting Star. While it seems many of us have already tried out most of the game in 2001, there will be a little new content shown at the event. No, not a new gameplay feature. Instead, I refer to a limited edition coffee mug featuring the promotional art we've seen so many times through the course of the game's development. While the mug is currently exclusive to the Japan-only event, don't be too surprised if these pop up online later.

News Credit: Famitsu

Review: Rockman EXE Operate Shooting Star - The Case for Content

ossboxRockman EXE Operate Shooting Star, Capcom's "plus alpha" remake of MegaMan Battle Network for the Nintendo DS, was released in Japan last week. Having had the chance to play the game and try out its new features, I'm here to give you my impression of this title. I must warn, this review contains a fair bit of spoilerish information concerning the game. I'm normally not this candid about a game that has yet to release in North America, but considering the kind of game Operate Shooting Star is, it's hard to get around. Regardless, if you don't want to be spoiled you should not read on. Now, there's something I want to make clear right away about my impression of Operate Shooting Star. It is not a remake of MegaMan Battle Network. It IS MegaMan Battle Network, with some additional features thrown in. If you have played MegaMan Battle Network before, you have essentially played this game already. "Plus alpha" is a Japanese expression that roughly means "a little something extra," and in Operate Shooting Star's case the emphasis is on "a little." I can't say this is a bad game though, because I do like the original MegaMan Battle Network. But I cannot understand why this game needed to be made. It is truly disappointing just how little new content was put in this game when you consider the whole package.

Since the game essentially is MegaMan Battle Network, I'll only bother to discuss the game's new elements. The largest new addition, of course, is what gives the game the subtitle of "Operate Shooting Star." Capcom has made a lot of effort to hype the game as a crossover with MegaMan Star Force, a "dream collaboration" between both MegaMans. Star Force MegaMan, aka Geo Stelar, even makes a large, mysterious looking presence on the game's box design.

ossrev04In actuality, though, the Star Force connection this game has is incredibly weak. It amounts to little more than a side story about Geo needing to go back in time 200 years to stop ClockMan, an out-of-control experimental Net Navi who has kidnapped Harp Note. You first get the gist of this story in the game's prologue, which curiously is separate from the game itself - you can only watch it from the title screen, and return to the title screen when it's finished. Aside from that, this involvement only plays into a single additional scenario, where Geo finally does arrive in the past to stop ClockMan, who has taken Roll as well. The event itself is pretty fun and feels fresh, though it's fairly short. The banter between Lan, Geo and Omega-Xis is very entertaining. What's truly surprising, however, is that the event doesn't take place until after the ElecMan scenario, which is well three fourths into the game. By this point you've probably forgotten that this game had any connection to Star Force, especially since the previous scenarios are exactly the same. What's more, once the Star Force scenario is done, it's back to Battle Network as usual. The event makes no impact on the rest of the game's story.

Of course, after this event you can choose whether you want to play as BN MegaMan or SF MegaMan in battle. SF MegaMan generally has all his abilities from his own series. He charges automatically and rapid fires when you hold down the B button. Pressing Y generates his shield, and pressing X enters his lock-on mode, which lets him warp in front of enemies to perform chip attacks. This is way better than BN MegaMan, who doesn't have such an easy time with short ranged attacks, although using X to lock on is a little cumbersome. SF MegaMan's demerits are that he cannot use Program Advances, and if he's hurt in the middle of a lock-on attack he'll become paralyzed for a few crucial seconds. As much fun as he is to battle with, the game is nearly over by the time you get him.

ossrev01The other major new feature is the Star Colosseum minigame. This is also available from the title screen, and can be played with up to six people wirelessly using just one copy of the game. The main competitive mode of this minigame plays out in the style of the game's overworld view. Players, who can use either BN MegaMan, ProtoMan or SF MegaMan, compete to gain the most stars in either a free-for-all match or a team match. Stars appear on the overworld to be collected, but you can also steal stars from opponents by attacking them. The catch is, every player has a rock-paper-scissors attribute, and your attribute has to best theirs (i.e. if you have rock, you can only steal stars from people who have scissors). Aside from stars, other items appear on the field that can be activated with the B button. You can only carry one at a time, and there are items that can change your attribute, give you a temporary advantage, or set traps for other players.

Additionally, there is also a Vs. Bass cooperate mode. Instead of collecting stars, all players must work together to defeat Bass by using bombs on him. Bass is capable of knocking players out in one hit, though knocked-out players can be revived if another player comes to touch them. The game is over if Bass is defeated or if all players are defeated, but Bass is definitely challenging, as he continuously hunts players down, and becomes faster as his HP decreases.

I was only able to try the Star Colosseum mode with one other friend, but we both had a bit of fun playing it. We definitely enjoyed the Vs. Bass mode the most, and though we tried about seven or eight times we couldn't defeat him. The star capturing competitive modes are a little more complex but just as frantic. I don't think my friend got into as much, especially since he couldn't read Japanese, so he wasn't sure what was happening all the time. But it was still fun, and I imagine it can get extremely exciting and chaotic with six people. The matches are short but sweet, lasting roughly three to five minutes.

ossrev06There are other additional features in the main game of Operate Shooting Star. The internet areas now have maps in the lower screen which can be helpful, though personally I think it would have been more helpful to make different areas of the internet have a different visual style, as all the successive Battle Network titles did. The game's battle system takes a few elements from Battle Network 2, such as the inclusion of * coded wildcard chips, limitations to the amount of same chips in your folder, and the amount of chips you can gain with the add button. There are also a few new chips, a couple new program advances, and slight graphical updates here and there (mostly some new character mugshots).

All in all, though, Rockman EXE Operate Shooting Star is largely identical to MegaMan Battle Network of the Gameboy Advance, and I can't really feel that its new features justify the game's existence enough. The story is the same, the graphics are the same, the music is the same and unarranged, aside from the title theme (the Star Force event and Star Colosseum use music directly from the Star Force games as well). All this sameness makes for a rather tepid attempt at an exciting new game.

As far as I'm concerned, it's not a big issue that what they did use from Battle Network isn't updated at all. I can accept the same graphics and same music. Some believe they make the game feel dated, but I don't think this is a major concern. What is a concern to me is, since Capcom did just port over so much of Battle Network's content, why did they not very much new content? Why couldn't they throw in more new scenarios, or switch up the game's events a bit? Why couldn't they add more new Navis and new enemies? As I've mentioned before, enemy characters are one of the biggest draws to Mega Man games, and having more new Navis would have made this game much more appreciated. As it stands, the only new Navi really is ClockMan. And I'll give it to OSS that ClockMan is a pretty cool new character, if not very unique at the least (his personality is quite eccentric). But if you knew that Operate Shooting Star were to only include a single new Navi, would ClockMan really be your first choice? I didn't think so.

ossrev02There has been some comparison of this game to Ace Attorney on the DS. After all, it's the same game as the Gameboy Advance version, with the same characters, same graphics and same music, with a single new scenario and other minor new features. However, this argument is rather flawed. First of all, just because Ace Attorney does it doesn't necessarily make it a fine practice. But more importantly, before its DS porting, Ace Attorney was only available in Japan. While the new features in the DS port were to test features they intended to include in the series' fourth installment, it was also to see how well the game would sell in North America and Europe. Of course, the game was eagerly enjoyed in those regions, which prompted the more hasty porting of the second and third titles for the DS as well. Still, I cannot imagine Japanese consumers had much reason to purchase these ports (although the original port did have a new scenario, and an additional secenario in a game like Ace Attorney amounts to much more new content than does an additional scenario in a game like Battle Network). Since MegaMan Battle Network has already been released worldwide, it will not enjoy this same advantage the Ace Attorney games had.

Additionally, people have also argued that this is a typical Capcom "cash-in;" that it's a simply made game to maximize profits. However, I disagree with this argument as well. While I can't imagine this game did take a whole lot of effort to make in a year's time, I also can't see it being that profitable since I think most Mega Man fans will realize there's not much new going on here. Imagine this. Capcom could have instead made a brand new entry in the Battle Network series, with new characters and events, and still had a Star Force crossover and the Star Colosseum minigame. They could have still used many assets from the previous games, such as character and environment graphics, combat systems and other engines, and so on. But the game would be much more attractive for having actual new content. Such a game would not take too much more effort to create, but would easily be much more profitable because people ultimately buy (and don't buy) games for their content.

So I cannot honestly understand the purpose this game was made. It's hardly original. It's a poor excuse for a cash-in. And I don't feel Capcom had a need to make a game just to gauge how much people are still interested in Battle Network. The strong worldwide sales of Battle Network 6 should alone prove that. The only conclusion I can draw is that Capcom just needed to buy time as they work on the direction they really want to go for Mega Man's future. I can only hope whatever they're working on is worth it for this disappointing excuse of a remake. With the excitement that Mega Man 9 created in 2008, 2009 will look pretty pitiful in comparison with this being Capcom's only offering for Mega Man.

ossrev05In the end I can only recommend Operate Shooting Star to people who have never played the original MegaMan Battle Network, or to fans who are just really excited over Geo and other Star Force characters entering the game, however briefly it may be. And again, it's not like Operate Shooting Star is a BAD game. It's just hardly a new game, and I don't think it lives up to the hype Capcom of Japan drove up for it. I just want to make sure you understand what kind of game you're getting if you do decide to purchase it once it comes out in the western regions.

MegaMan vs MegaMan, Place Your Bets Now!

WARNING: There will be spoilers here for Rockman.EXE Operate Shooting Star. I advise hitting BACK on your browser now if you wish to avoid spoilage. Anyway, Operate Shooting Star has been out for a couple days now and seeing how it's almost exactly the same as Battle Network, you can bet it doesn't take long to progress through the game (the BN Guide written by Magnet for example helps tremendously when you don't know Japanese). That being said one of the most frequently asked questions has been when does the Star Force stuff happen and when do you get to kick the tar out of Geo Stelar?

After the ElecMan scenario actually, so it's almost right before the end for those keeping track. Following ElecMan's defeat Mayl is harassed by Count Zap and Madoi and calls Lan over. Some talking ensues and you Jack into the net and come across an imposter MegaMan that you gotta chase down through Internet-1 and 2.

Shortly past the Shop area you pin down Geo and...

After this some scenes happen and you get to use Geo in battle. Y Button brings up a shield, X activates the lock on attack on the first thing in your line of sight and your buster is overall weaker than MegaMan.EXE's. Random battle music is replaced with the Virus busting theme from Star Force while boss fights use the Star Force 2 Wave Battle theme.

I was kind of hoping for some Star Force 3 songs myself. Anyway this is as far as I've gotten, so I'll go back to slugging away at this now.

Rockman.EXE: Operate Shooting Star Brings GBA Deja Vu in More Ways Than One

An excerpt from an interesting piece at Protodude's Rockman Corner:

Guess the game I'm describing:

It's a DS "port plus alpha" of a GBA Capcom hit which spawned a successful franchise, marketed as a 'revival' of the series. In it, a blue-suited hero proudly wearing the symbol of his profession on his chest does battle in an unusual environment to protect the innocent. This DS update adds a new scenario near the end of the game where the main character comes in contact with a new villain. However, the graphics and music are much the same as the GBA version. Budget-priced, the game is clearly meant to appeal to the fans, and sells about 50,000 copies its first week.

As you might have guessed from the picture, the answer isn't as clear-cut as it may seem. In fact, it seems almost as though history is repeating itself.

Learn what it all seems to point to and mean by reading the full post at Protodude's Rockman Corner.

Nintendo Channel's Operate Shooting Star trailer

Here's the trailer for Rockman EXE Operate Shooting Star that's appeared on Japan's Minna no Nintendo Channel. It's some new footage mixed with old. Furthermore, if the trailer is to be viewed as the final product, this close to the game's release (it practically is out now), it seems they kept the majority of the game's music sounding similar to the GBA version of the game. Rather unfortunate.

News Credit: Gamersdag, via GoNintendo

Golden Mr. Prog Brings EXE Concept Art

If you check out Capcom of Japan's official website for Rockman.EXE: Operate Shooting Star and check out the "brain section," then there is a chance that you might run into this cheerful little fellow:

His appearance is random, but if you do encounter him, then he will reward you with a piece of Rockman.EXE concept art:

Click to enlarge.

Of course, now that it's been posted here, I suppose that all but destroys any impetus to actually look for the golden Mr. Prog on the official site...

News Credit: Protodude's Rockman Corner

EXE OSS sees original jacket bonus at select stores

pic_org_jacket1pic_org_jacket2 For what appears to be a mere remake, Rockman EXE Operate Shooting Star is getting a lot of special promotions. The latest reported on the OSS homepage now is a pair of special jackets you can use to place in OSS's box. There is a "light version" that features both MegaMans as well as Lan, and a "dark version that features Bass and other Navi bosses. The special jackets will be available in limited quantities at select retailers such as Toys R Us, Bic Camera and GameTSUTAYA stores.

Capcom starts OSS comic strip; groaner already ensues

osscomic_01 As another small, special promotion, Capcom of Japan's Rockman EXE Operate Shooting Star homepage will release eight yonkoma (4-panel) comic strips through November and December. The first is out now, which as you can see above I've mediocrely translated. I'm not much of a typeset guy, or very funny, as this one in particular required a little improvisation, so bear with me on these. This is definitely LBD's taste in humor though.

Now for the Japanese nerditry corner. As you can tell, this comic's humor is derived from wordplay. Net Battle, written in Japanese, is "netto batoru" (ネットバトル). However, we find out in this last frame that is is actually a "nettou" (熱湯) battle, which means boiling water. In Japanese it seems there's little else to pun "netto" with. But what's funnier than some wordplay and scalding your friend horribly with boiling  hot water? Though in fairness, I guess Mega and Proto aren't friends yet in this game.

Aside from "ket battle," the only other thing I could come up with was "wet battle," but that lacks the implication of hotness. Also it just sounds... disturbing somehow.

The next comic comes out on the 12th, OSS's release date. I can't wait.

Capcom, CoroCoro and Kids Station team up for OSS promotion + new footage

bnandsfCapcom, CoroCoro and Kids Station are teaming up for the "Double Rockman Present Campaign" to promote Rockman EXE Operate Shooting Star. What kind of promotion is it? Why, it's a scavenger hunt! Ten lucky participants can enter between now and November 30th for a chance to win a copy of Rockman EXE Operate Shooting Star and a sticker set. However, there will also be a second chance (hence the double theme) running from December 1st until January 4th. Of course, the promotion is naturally Japan only, so that probably stops a lot of you in your tracks. So how does it work? Well, you need to find a special letter on each of the participating websites. For example, on the Capcom page linked above, clicking on the Mr. Program reveals Capcom's special character. Next, head over to the CoroCoro website and solve this puzzle, revealing their special character. Finally, drop on by Kids Station and watch the video on the top of the page with the guy who's waaaaay too excited about his job. Incidentally, this video shows off some new footage from OSS, including the appearance of ClockMan. At the end of the video, crazy man sticks the special character to his head. Why not? He already has so many things stuck to him.

When you have all three, you can head back over to Capcom, accept their agreement for entering and then input the special character from each site. Incidentally, the special characters from each page spell the name Netto... but you'll have to see each page to figure out who provides which character! Or, you can just buy the game like I am.

Rockman EXE OSS trial play event coming to stores on Nov. 3rd

pic_trial_ss1Here's another one of those if-you-happen-to-be-in-Japan stories. How it begins... ah, yes. If you happen to be in Japan, specifically in the Chiyoda area of Tokyo, on November 3rd you can head to either Sofmap or Messe Sanoh for an "over the counter trial play" meet-up for Rockman EXE Operate Shooting Star. What's not specifically mentioned is what kind of trial version will be available for trying out (would be odd if it's the demo already available on the Everyone's Nintendo Channel). Aside from that, though, special sticker sets that were available at the Tokyo Game Show will also be given out at this event. In fact, the sticker set differs depending on which store you go to! 'Course, if you don't live in Japan, then uh... well... hey, did you check out this video with Turbo Man yet?

The "music" of Operate Shooting Star

Of all the discussion about Rockman EXE Operate Shooting Star, one of the biggest topics is how much of the original Battle Network material it uses. Yeah, the graphics are all ported over, but the music would be arranged at least. Or would it? Truth be told, from what was in the demo the music of OSS was sounding pretty identical too. Were they really just porting over the music directly from the GBA version? Well, have a listen to these recordings from the demo yourself. Internet theme (used as the title theme in the demo) Virus busting Boss battle

Clearly the music isn't straight GBA music, but seems to be "ported," as if the music were moved over to the DS infrastructure and given similar sound samples to replace the original GameBoy chip noise. Either way, it's definitely not what people would respect, given the likes of Battle Network 5 DS. However, I have a feeling this is all place holder music. Granted, I can't say the final music will be that different. What gives me this notion, however, is the internet theme, specifically the last portion of it. The synthy piano kind of part is completely flat, whereas in the original tune it had a little more shape. If you compare the two versions you'll see what I mean. This gives me the impression that the music was quickly thrown together for the demo (though it's probably something Splashman could explain better).

It's my guess that the final product will have more arranged music (after all, we have heard a nice rendition of the game's main theme in the message from Takeshi Horinouchi). But it's still a little uncertain until OSS is finally out. I just don't feel these tracks will be representative of that.

Rockman EXE OSS homepage updates

starcoloThere are some new and some not so new updates to Capcom of Japan's Rockman EXE Operate Shooting Star homepage. The first new section shows Star Force MegaMan's special abilities: his lock-on attack and shield. He also still has his rapid fire buster. He will of course retain these abilities in linked player battlers (and personally I believe it'll make him the better of the two).

The second new section explains Program Advances: super attacks you can make by selecting chips in a specific order. Powered Cann0n is shown as an example. The brand new PA Double MegaMan is also shown, and it's mentioned that one of the necessary chips is the SF MegaMan chip.

The third new page is all about ClockMan, and now his attacks are explained. He's armed with the Clock Slicer, a slow moving boomerang-like spinning set of clock hands, Clock Laser, a laser beam that fires from a warp hole, Calling Dragon, which makes ClockMan warp behind MegaMan and summon Mega Man Star Force 3's final boss Crimson Dragon, and Mega Clock Laser, a huge laser that fires from the clock floating around the battle field. So wait, he can't stop time?

The final new section is for the Mega Man Star Colosseum (and man do I love that artwork). The game's three modes are explained: free-for-all, where each player fends for himself, team battle, where players work together in teams, and Vs. Bass, where all players must work together to fight against Bass. Furthermore, points won in the Star Colosseum can be traded in the main game for Navi chips and other rare chips.

Additionally info about the game's scenarios has been updated. The scene with SF MegaMan and co. at WAXA will in fact be part of the game's prologue. Meanwhile, the new scenario where Roll is kidnapped and SF MegaMan appears to be the culprit appears to take place sometime after NumberMan's scenario.

EXE OSS demo goes live in Japan; footage and screens

As we reported just yesterday, a demo of Rockman EXE Operate Shooting Star was set to become available later this month. Well, today is later this month! Those with a Japanese Wii, primarily people living in Japan, can connect to the Everyone's Nintendo Channel and download the demo onto their DS. The demo is the exact same battle demo that was available at Tokyo Game Show, except cut short at the battle with Star Force MegaMan. You can see the extent of the demo in the video above, and also check out screens and info at Nigoli's Rockman Series Blog and COCOROG.

News Credit: Protodude's Rockman Corner

Updated: A little CoroCoro brings a little bit of info

715100 701170The latest info from CoroCoro is out on 2ch, but so far info seems a bit sparse.Here's a basic rundown on the facts:

  • A playable demo (likely they same one at TGS) will be available in Japan on the Wii's Nintendo Channel.
  • Bass will be an enemy character in the MegaMan Star Colosseum.
  • There is a Navi Chip for Star Force MegaMan, which is code S and deals 100 damage.
  • In the alternate issue of CoroCoro comic, which runs between the main monthly issues, they will begin running an OSS manga by Ren Takahara that stars an original protagonist instead of Lan.
  • Some kind of promotion for the game will be appearing on CoroCoro's website soon.

Edit: Here's another scan from PRC that I've cleaned up a bit, which gives some more story detail involving the crossover aspect.

osspageHere we learn that a bad Navi (likely ClockMan of course) has run off to 200 years in the past with Harp Note. Here SF MegaMan is at WAXA with his friends and Dr. Goodall saying he needs to go after them. Meanwhile, 200 years in the past, Mayl claims that Roll has been kidnapped by a blue Navi. Naturally, Lan and MegaMan EXE go to rescue Roll. This in turn seems to pin SF MegaMan as the criminal, which will likely lead to their battle. However (assuming at least from other scenes we've seen before), it's ClockMan behind the abduction of both, but to what end...?

e-Capcom offers special edition OSS drinking cup

A100019631010I've ordered Rockman EXE Operate Shooting Star already. I'll get it and probably enjoy it. But I did not order it through e-Capcom, so I will not be getting this special edition drinking cup which they are giving to people who preorder through e-Capcom. Sadness. The cup is equipped with a straw that can be capped. But what's even "cooler" is the double Rockman image on the cup that turns blue when cold contents are poured in. Definitely what you'd want to be drinking out of while busting some viruses in OSS. I, instead, will be drinking out of my Harkens Theatres 2009 value cup. Sadness. (Since LBD is out of town right now, this post will not be called 2 Rockmans 1 Cup. I apologize.)

Detailed account of OSS from TGS

Tokyo Game Show 2009 has come and gone, and to close up our coverage we have a report from MMN reader Fireman, who was fortunate enough to get to attend the event and try his hand with some of the Rockman EXE Operate Shooting Star demos on hand. So we shall tie up our TGS coverage with his first hand account of visiting the events and playing the demos. I have to admit, the details on the Rockman Star Colosseum make it sound like a lot of fun!

Three playable demos were available.  A four person battle in the Rockman Star Colosseum or the “Rock Colo”, the main game up to until Netto’s (Lan) oven goes wild, and the battle type game where Netto and Rockman meet Meijin (Mr. Famous) for the very first time, and Meijin summons viruses, Fireman and even Shooting Star Rockman to battle with Netto and Rockman to see if they have what it takes to protect the world.  I had time to play the Rock Colo and the battle with Meijin, as well as while waiting in line, had a chance to watch the main game being played.

Unfortunately the demo for the main game only contains material that was, as far as I can recall, the same as that in EXE 1, aside from, of course, the map and the slight changes in the system.  For the most part the system aspects of the game are closest to EXE 2’s rather than EXE 1’s.  Aside from the opening video, Shooting Star Rockman does not seem to appear in this demo.

The battle with Meijin is where Netto meets Meijin for the very first time (as these events are before EXE 2), and Meijin gives the option to hear the basics of Net Battling or not.  I was in a hurry and already knew the basics, so I skipped that part.  Meijin then summons simple viruses, after beating them he summons Fireman, who has 300 HP.  Lastly, Meijin summons Shooting Star Rockman, who actually appears on the overhead map as well, and although he has nothing to say, his mugshot appears as well, with his eyes not visible through the visor (different from any we have seen before).  Netto and Rockman are surprised to hear that Meijin calls him Rockman as well, and then take it as SS Rockman being a fake version of Rockman.  Meijin says they are wrong and that SS Rockman is a hero from 200 years in the future and such.  But to test if Netto is worthy of protecting the Earth from an impending crisis, Meijin wants Netto to face SS Rockman.  Netto believes even if it is the hero from 200 years in the future, they will not lose.  The fight itself is still fairly easy, but SS Rockman will use his shield and War Rock Attack and Beast Swing often, as well as Rock Buster rapidly and Charge Shot and deal more damage than most enemies in single attacks.  I tested the strength of his shield by summoning Gutsman right in front of his shield when he was using it, but of course it did not break it or do any damage.  Although SS Rockman does not have Air Shoes or Float Shoes is one thing I can say for sure.  Anyway, you defeat SS Rockman and he falls to one knee (during the battle scene) and then Meijin congratulates you on being so powerful, and with a flash, he and SS Rockman vanish before your eyes leaving Netto to wonder about the mysterious Meijin and the mysterious SS Rockman and the impending doom.

You cannot play as SSR in either of those demos.  You can, however, play as SSR in the final demo, the 3 minute action battle mini-game Rock Colo, which had its creation headed by one of the younger members of the staff of this game.  You can play with four people, and although on stage they announced it allowed up to 6 people, they only had four DSs to use.  Also on the stage, they had shown a team battle, in which the EXE team (all players as Rockman EXE faced off against the Ryuusei team (all players SS Rockman), but in the non-team mode which they had at the booth, it was a single battle.  Also, to make note, you only need one game to play this mini-game with friends.  Even if your friends do not own the game, if they have DSs you can play with the wireless download feature.  Anyway, the game starts and you choose your character (Rockman, SS Rockman, or Blues) and your element (rock, paper, or scissors).  In the final version there will be many stages in which to choose from, but for the demo it was a randomized stage.

The stage itself is much like those in the Ryuusei 2 Sky High Colosseum, except that sometimes pathways will vanish, making it unable for someone chasing you to follow.  Not sure if they can vanish while you are on them or not.  The object of the game itself is to collect more stars than other players.  To do this you need to either pick up stars   or attack other players, which I will explain later.  There are at least two types of stars fallen on the map: the big stars count for one point, or the little ones with a number inside which count for the number inside the star.  Sometimes the stars are inside ice blocks and other obstacles you can destroy by attacking.  There are also warp holes that appear randomly around the map.  If you enter a warp hole, you will appear somewhere randomly on the stage with your element changed.

Rockman and SS Rockman play pretty much the same by shooting a shot out of their Rock Buster with the A button.  Blues swings his sword for closer range attacks.  It seemed to be that you need your element to be strong against the other in order to inflict damage on, or rather steal stars from the other players.  If you get hit too much and have no stars left, you get knocked out and warp to somewhere else on the map.  During the course of the game you can pick up rock, paper or scissors items and use them with the B button to change your element.  If you use two of the same element in a row, you will get an aura around you and be powered up.  But you still cannot go up against someone who has an element strong against yours.  Basically you want to always have a back up plan, be able to switch elements as soon as you find your opponents.  Aside from element switching items, there are also trap items such as pit holes, bombs and summons.  There is a black hole trap where you can set on the map, and if someone walks over it, you can attack that person continuously until the effect wears off.  The bomb you can place on the map where you like and will explode causing serious star loss to anyone around it.  It seemed some people also had bombs attached to them, which when exploded caused a loss of all stars to the attached person, and half the stars of those around that person.  The summons (or at least one summon) that I used cause Club Strong to appear and smash the ground.  When Strong appears the players who did not summon him need to go hide in the warp holes before the effect takes place, or else they will lose stars.  When the time runs out, the person with the most stars wins.  I was successful in defeating two kids and the father of one of those kids, and only felt a little bad about it.  Although, the opportunity for a come back in that mini-game is huge, so anyone could have won.

Aside from the previously mentioned, and what other people have mentioned already, Horiken announced on the stage that he wants to have events and downloadable chips for this game.  Likely, the same as with Ryuusei 3 though, even if you cannot go to the events, you can still probably get download chips through Wii channels or at DS stations.

Thank you for your report, Fireman!

Takeshi Horinouchi looking to do more EXE

108925If the revival of the Battle Network series via Operate Shooting Star has got you excited, well, you may have reason to continue being excited. This coming from Inside Game's report of Operate Shooting Star's special stage event yesterday. The other details match the Dengeki account (though there are some new photos you might want to take a look at), but this one detail at the end is pretty striking. Horinouchi states: "Rockman EXE Operate Shooting Star will go on sale November 12th. Though the series wrapped up three years ago, thanks to the players Rockman EXE is able to sell once again. Furthermore, as we approach Rockman's 25th anniversary, I'm thinking of what I want to do with Rockman EXE."

Should Horinouchi follow through with his thinking, then Operate Shooting Star is only the beginning. Well, the re-beginning.

Rockman EXE OSS - TGS stage report

c20090925_exe_03_cs1w1_290xDengeki Online has a report in from the first of Takeshi Horniounchi's stage events for Rockman EXE Operate Shooting Star, giving a little insight to some details about the game. First is the confirmation of something we generally figured. As the game progresses, MegaMan will seemingly face Star Force MegaMan as a boss (likely connected to the ClockMan event). After beating Star Force MegaMan, he becomes an ally and a playable character during circumstances when Lan and MegaMan get into a pinch (however, it is not expressed if this can occur any time to the player's choosing, or if it's only story specific events). The report also mentions being able to use the cards connected to the Star Force series, and being able to summon Star Force MegaMan for the Program Advance "Double MegaMan." It is still unclear how Star Force's battle cards come into play and if they'll differ from Battle Chips.

Additionally, details are given about the minigame MegaMan Star Colosseum, which was thought up using Star Force 2's Colosseum game as a base. The game, which can be played wirelessly with friends, has players assuming a character such as MegaMan EXE, Star Force MegaMan or ProtoMan, and scrambling about trying to collect stars on the map. However, players can also attack other players to steal their stars, seemingly via a rock-paper-scissors item system. Grab items to change which attribute you have, and then attack the player whose attribute is weak to yours.

Portions of this game appear to take place on a wave road-like structure above the clouds. This could possibly imply the existance of such areas in the main gameplay as well (this is my own conjecture).

Check out Dengeki Online for more photos from the event.