Released in Japan on November 13, 2008 as Ryuusei no Rockman 3 and on June 30, 2009 in North America, Megaman Star Force 3 is not only the final game of the Star Force series, but it also holds the dubious distinction of being the last wholly-new retail Megaman game as of this writing.
After Star Force 2's cryptographic interlude Star Force 3 brought back the space theme of the setting, and the game's all the better for it. The general consensus that I've seen seems to be that not only is Star Force 3 the best of the trilogy, but it's also one of the best games in the entire Megaman network universe, right up there with Battle Network 3. Whether you agree with that claim or not, it's certainly better than the meandering morass that was Star Force 2 thanks to a much stronger story. After sitting on their hands during the second game the development team go around to experimenting with the battle system a bit. The core is unchanged, but there are some new tools provided that shake up the strategy a bit. It's a bit too bad that they waited until the final game to do so, but better late than never.
For the final entry in the series Capcom went back to simply releasing only two versions period. They are known as Black Ace and Red Joker, and I have Black Ace because I thought the name was really cool. Kinda strange to look back and realize that I was fourteen when I first started playing Battle Network and when this game was released I was in college. Egads where does the time go?
As always, here is the principal cast:
With the rise in popularity of a new type of personal AI partner called a Wizard, Geo's AM-ian partner Omega-Xis no longer has to hide himself from the public, though their alter-ego Megaman◊ is a still a different matter. However, as Star Force 2 ended with the whole world learning of the blue hero's existence, Geo finds that even his secret identity is no longer as secret as it used to be. The Satella Police have taken an interest in him, and the increase of Noise-related disturbances in the Wave World are only a herald of a danger that threatens not only Geo and his friends, but the very planet itself.
Like Omega, Sonia's FM-ian partner Lyra now masquerades as a Wizard. Just like Geo, the Satella Police take an interest in her ability to Wave Change into Harp Note◊.
The local class president and the ringleader of Geo's group of Echo Ridge friends. This time around she's set her sights on becoming the president of Echo Elementary's student council, and her assistant Wizard Vogue is there to help in this endeavor.
The big guy of Geo's group has also been reunited with an old FM-ian. However, their circumstances are a fair bit different from Geo and Sonia.
The short bookworm of the group also has his very own Wizard. With Pedia at his side, Zack's so-called “Zackpedia” is more expansive than ever. Maybe.
Solo is descended from the ancient civilization of Mu, which gives him the ability to Wave Change into the wave form Rogue◊ without a partner EM being. Yet despite this he is now accompanied by the mysterious Laplace who aids him in battle.
Ace is a cheerful but elite member of the Satella Police's commando force whose aim is to put together a special team to investigate and combat Dealer, the latest criminal organization to menace society, and to that end he has his eyes on Geo and his friends. His Wizard, Acid, is actually the first Wizard to be created.
Despite her age and diminutive stature this old woman is as spry as can be and is one of the WAZA space agency's top scientists. She has a habit of assigning nicknames to people.
An old friend of Geo's missing astronaut father, in this game Boreal provides his assistance to WAZA's efforts at eradicating the Noise problem.
A pair of mysterious siblings who one day appear at Echo Ridge. Tia is the calm, quiet one while Jack is the temperamental younger sibling. Despite their differences in demeanor the two are united in carrying out an unknown goal...
While King is well-known to the public as the head of the philanthropist King Foundation he is actually the head of Dealer and has plans for world conquest. And no that isn't a spoiler because the game doesn't bother to hide it.
If you're wondering why a number of the new pieces of art are drawn in that stretchy style (I've always liked that kind of art, personally) it's likely because the game was marketed as having a darker tone for its climax and finale. It's not grim-dark or anything, but compared to some of the other games in this universe and especially the goofiness of Star Force 2 it is noticeably more serious in places. Oh and, heh heh, there's something funny about the plot...