According to Keiji Inafune’s own blog, he has now stepped in to support the Mega Man Legends 3 Revival group that’s going on in Facebook and all around the ‘net. He goes on how the feelings of fans will, in the end, go to the creators of the game and will strenghten the resolution to finish and release Legends 3.
However, I doubt Inafune’s support has any weight. While he was with CAPCOM, he was the second most important driving force behind the Mega Man franchise. The most important driver were naturally the customer base. It’s not easy to say whether or not the game have had been released if Inafune had kept working for CAPCOM, the probabilities of Legends 3 been released would’ve been a bit higher.
However, I had to ask myself a question whether or not I want to see Legends 3 anymore. As an avid fan of the series, the answer without a doubt is Yes. As an observer the answer is… no. I would be content if we never had another proper Mega Man game in the future. We’ve seen that this franchise has had astouningly good games, as well as games that nobody wants to remember. During these last years we saw subpar tries to revive the interest in the franchise (ZX and Starforce) and few throwbacks to the early years (MM 9 & 10.) Legends 3 seemed to have proper gameplay and atmosphere, but the fact that you didn’t play as Mega Man but with a new character from the beginning never sat well with me, and many of the fans agreed.
The fact is that vast majority of Legends fandom wants to see the end of the story. As such Inafune, or anyone who was in charge of the writing after he left, could write a light novel to finish the story and we’d get what the fandom wanted. If I may personally say what I expected from Legends 3 since the end of Legends 2 was that we could play as Mega Man wandering around the Elysium’s corridors and meeting up with his past while fighting with various Reaverbots and such. Bringing in a new character to spice things up and attract new customers is an old trick, tried and tested… that rarely worked might I add. Even the Simpsons parodied this with Poochy.
Mega Man needs same kind of rest as Toho gave to Godzilla.
Perhaps even let it rest, until someone with enough zeal and passion for the franchise, similar to Inafune’s. The key of understanding Mega Man, as a franchise, is fourfold; the first is the gameplay as per series; every one of them has a different kind of underlaying basic mechanic. This is why X7 and X8 are not good X series games, because the directors did not understood what they were making. The second part is to find a good level design and work everything in it. A Mega Man game with bad level design is like chocolate cake where the chocolate has been replaced with plastic. The third part is that the characters must be understood in order to make the atmosphere right. Again, X7 and X8 failed in this regard completely. The fourth is simply to let fans design the bulk of the bosses. Boss design contests have been a large part of the franchise and this makes the audience care about the games more than normally.
As such, Mega Man has been exhausted for the time being, especially now that Inafune wants to be just another player among other fans. When the other of the two most important pillars have fallen, the franchise can’t stand. Thus whether or not Legends 3 will be, it won’t reach the quality the series demands without someone strong person leading the whole project.
It’s nice to hear that Inafune supports the fans, but support doesn’t really do anything way or another in their cause.