Two-One Punch of Mega Man Million

Capcom recently updated their sales data in their Game Series Sales section, and with that we saw Mega Man gaining one more million units sold from 34 million to 35 million units since February 2019. That’s three million more units since June 2018. Their Annual report from the end of last, year, which I have a post about, stated that Mega Man 11 performed well. We could read between the lines that they were expecting it to perform worse, but the Blue Bomber still has some pulling power. With the cartoon series running, though not exactly making the biggest splash out there, the franchise has resurfaced again, much like how Devil May Cry made the news once more. Devil May Cry 5 performed a lot better, and if we’re completely honest, is the better game of the two. It was ambitious project that was true to the core gameplay but also pushed the 3D Action games just a little bit further once more. Mega Man 11, as much as the game is loved, did end up somewhat a shelf warmer. Compared to DMC5, MM11 is a lacklustre title. It was too safe a title.

It is because of Mega Man X Legacy Collection that the series gained one more million sales. Mega Man  11 sold some 870 000 units, so previous digital titles and X Legacy Collection must cover the rest. This is how Mega Man ultimately worked ever since the X-series was released. The Classic-series may have solidified the series’ status as an icon. Good games, to which Capcom would churn up sequel after sequel year by year, until they put the franchise in ice.

Neither Mega Man 11 or Mega Man X Legacy Collection sold one million units, as they don’t appear on Capcom’s Platinum million titles sold list. I don’t know Mega Man Battle Network 4 has sold so many units, it’s the very bottom feeder of the franchise itself. However, outside the NES era of games, most of Mega Man had one more or more sub-series running side by side. At best, Capcom offered 2D Action, 3D Action and RPG under Mega Man brand name during the busiest days of the franchise, and even more if you were in Japan.

If you were wondering, Mega Man 2 is the best selling title in the franchise

I would argue that outside the NES days of Classic series, when it showcased quality game design and tight controls in comparison to some of the schlock the NES and (especially) Famicom had, Mega Man‘s strength later on relied on its multiple approaches and titles on the market at the same time. Capcom did manage to avoid brand confusion by clearly having different kind of visual flavour across the board. The core mistake between Mega Man and Mega Man X is, really, that the two look too similar. X simply looks an older, edgier take on Mega Man. Which he arguably is, but that was the 1990’s. That was par for the course and I love it. Each subsequent Mega Man was different enough to tell the difference, even at their games, but recognisable enough to say that they were, indeed, a kind of super fighting robot.

Mega Man is a multimedia franchise, make no mistake about it. Despite the games are its main product and lot of the side pieces like comics and toys were there to support the sales of the games themselves, Mega Man saw its most success when you had a little bit of everything out there. Mostly in Japan, sure, but that really reflects the nature of the franchise world wide; the little bits of that everything that West ever got was cherished by the fans like nuggets of gold. When Hitoshi Ariga’s Mega Man Megamix got its English release, the fandom celebrated like no other. This wasn’t the first bit of comics Western world got from Mega Man, but it sure was one of the most wanted.

How did Mega Man gain all those millions of sales since the last update without neither of the two big releases hitting platinum sales point? I told you that already; combined sales of multiple products. Whether it is because 2D action games just don’t have the same market pull they used to, or because Mega Man had become such a standard for the genre that despite their high quality they’re seen as run-of-the-mill titles or just because the franchise’s envelope can’t be pushed all that easily like DMC’s, one Mega Man title hitting that platinum point in the current era of video game market must have something significant behind it.

On the other hand, Capcom could go the true and tested route, put together a standard Mega Man title like MM11 and comp it with something that’s a bit different. If they were brave, which they might actually become with these increased sales, they might even try to make a new sub-series that would break the mould. Love it or hate it, Battle Network was a smash hit. Legends, not so much. Still has a stupidly dedicated cult following, who still keep hope for Capcom reviving Mega Man Legends 3. 

Maybe that would be a decent pull, start the project from scratch and make it play better than what Gaist Crusher did. If you didn’t know, Legends 3‘s engine and very basic gameplay was more or less directly lifted and heavily adapted for two-part game series, which never really went anywhere despite having a cartoon and toys that interacted with the games. I’ve got few posts from 2013 (Christ that’s old and they’re terrible) about Gaist Crusher but never got around getting the second game and reviewing it. I guess I lost my interest in seeing how the series did, just like the Japanese kids it was aimed at.

Capcom could just go full stupid and release Mega Man titles like usual, throwing compilations left and right all the while not really considering how to grow and further the franchise. You know what? Give Mega Man Legends the REmake2 treatment. Take the base elements of the game, expand on the whole connected underground tunnels concept, polish and fully upgrade the gameplay, add more optional parts and possible modifications, explore further the concept of Rock being able to turn black rather than just have it a an interesting joke element (I’m pretty sure this ultimately evolved into the whole Black Mega Man and Synchro concept in Battle Network) and make the game look like a real Saturday morning cartoon it was clearly mimicking.

I can always dream.

Still, with these sales, Capcom probably will be making few Mega Man titles in the future, that much we wager to be certain. If they want to revive Mega Man properly rather than just with one game and collections, Mega Man X9 is probably high on their to-do list.

Mega Man Legends 3 is not the game we need, but I sure hell would like to have it

Whenever I hear somebody saying that we need something in our lives, I question whether or not we truly need it, especially something that is not vital for our lives. Games are not important to our lives, despite electronic games being one of the biggest industries out there. The chances of a single game being something we’d need is very low. One could argue that a game like Super Mario Bros., Pacman, Space Invaders and any of its brethrens in cultural impact are the games that we, are the needed bodies of works.

This post is a response to Matthew Jessup’s entry in The bold claim that Mega Man Legends 3 is a needed title stems from loving fandom, a thing I share towards this somewhat dead game franchise. However, I will be playing devil’s advocate here and balance with further issues.

While I’d like to concentrate on Legends 3, Mega Man Universe is mentioned first. It’s one of those titles nobody expected and nobody wanted, and Jessup is right in that it would have been the Little Big Planet of Mega Man, which in itself is already something to worry about. Little Big Planet became a franchise of its own and hosted multiple different themes, which made it work so well. While Mega Man has seen its own genre shifts, they have been kept logically separate and allowed to exist on their own terms, Mega Man Battle Network being the best example. MMUniverse would have ridden on the fame of the Mega Man name, which alone should raise some eyebrows. CAPCOM has a strong line of franchises to utilise rather than stick with only Mega Man. This of course raises another question; Why concentrate only on Mega Man when you already had confirmed visiting characters and variations of iconic characters? The game could have been called CAPCOM universe and could’ve contained multiple different franchises across the board as well as allow multitude of different tactics to tackle stages. Then again, comparing it to Mega Man 2 seems to be fishing fan credits. For better or worse, Mega Man Universe was cancelled, and for all the good reasons. Using a 26-years old game as your main advertising point only works once, after which it’s time to move onwards.

Also, we got to play as the Bad Box Art Mega Man in SFxT, which only very few individuals found likeable, and CAPCOM really went overboard with this particular meme in the turn of 2010’s anyways. It was apparent that they were trying to pull in the old guard, the thirty-something gamers rather than doing expansion like most previous instalments.

This wasn't even a cameo, but a full fledged entry
This wasn’t even a cameo, but a full fledged entry

Unlike Duke Nukem Forever, Mega Man Legends 3 was not in making for 11 years. Duke Nukem was in development hell for 15 damn years, while Legends 3 merely sat in the minds of the devs. I bring this comparison up because Duke had no relevancy in gaming anymore when Forever finally came out. The game was out of its time, despite all the modern systems bolted unto it. Fans of the Legends franchise have built their own expectations on the game, and it would be insanely hard to meet these expectations.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons Legends 3 saw such a huge backslash from the fandom, as they finally got their hands on actual designing of the game with the Dev Room. Unlike how Jessup makes it look, the DevRoom wasn’t anything revolutionary. BETA access is nothing new and Mega Man has been known to run Boss Character contests. Then you have all the customer driven early access titles, which are similar how the end-consumer could affect the final product. DevRoom was far more transparent, but that transparency wasn’t necessarily all that positive. For one, it required the team to handle a lot of PR with the DevRoom as well as keep the contests running as well as post concepts that may not even end up in the final product. It’s a lot more hassle than one would initially think. These models, enemy designs, concept art etc. would have ended in our laps nevertheless as per artbooks and other documentation.

The DevRoom could have been a good idea when Legends 3 was approaching its final deadline after the actual, final greenlight. In modern development cycle, games may be scrapped or drastically changed in the middle of production for various reasons, and there are more games cancelled that eventually get out. DevRoom never took into account that Legends 3 could be cancelled, and I have no doubts one reason DevRoom even existed was to keep the consumers aware of it in hope that CAPCOM would keep it under active production. Whether or not Legends 3 was cancelled due to Inafune leaving is an open discussion I do not take part in, but it would have been probable that his levity in CAPCOM would have kept Legends 3 in production.

DevRoom ultimately is the only controversy surrounding Legends 3, which is that a game that was promised by certain person within the company was ultimately cancelled. DevRoom game the customer a glimpse to the functions of game industry, where even people who worked with the game with great anticipation saw the product cancelled. Well, there’s the CAPCOM Europe claiming the fans didn’t want the game bad enough, but that’s not a comment made by the DevRoom. It still reflected badly to CAPCOM overall.

Jusspe uses DevRoom as one of the points why Legends 3 needed to be later on by using his pre-established arguments. As much as DevRoom showed some of the development done on the game, it ultimately was a facade in itself. We knew of this one team working on the game, whereas there was most likely a lot happening behind the scenes than what we ever saw with DevRoom. Sargon of Akkad has a long discussion with a electronic game concept artist, who opens the doors of generic game development more than GameDev could even hope to show. It’s an interview anyone interested in game development wants to listen to.

Understanding that stories can have multiple kinds of endings seem to escape a lot of people. Jussep suggests that we are in need for an ending, a closure, for the Legends series. Whether or not Legends series was ever to be intended to be a trilogy should be questioned, as I’ve found no valid proof of this assertion. The Internet does not yield any relevant interviews and source books have nothing to say about this. Then again, Legends series is already a trilogy on the home consoles when you consider the Misadventures of Tron Bonne is considered as the third entry in the series even by CAPCOM themselves as evident by Rockman Perfect Memories sourcebook.

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Was Legends 2 ending planned Legends 3 in mind? Probably it was, but it’s also an ending in of itself. It may be an unfulfilling ending to many, seeing Rock is on Elysium, and Roll and Tron are building a rocket to go pick him up. It’s an ending western world has some tough time to swallow without chewing it some. Open endings can go either way, but it is nevertheless an ending. Games should be able to stand own their own feet in every regard, and if Legends 3 would require people to know the Legends 2 ending in order to be introduced to the gameworld, it’s not very well designed game. Metal Gear Solid went full stupid with this. The closure the fans need is not necessarily the game in of itself. CAPCOM could just employ some light novel writer to make a small book how the story would have its closure. There’s nothing to prevent this from happening and it would be much cost effective rather than developing a fully fledged game.

Second point made is how Legends 3 would have been a system seller. This would not have been the case. A game called Mega Man Legends 3 makes anyone question where is Legends 1 and 2. Another thing would have been that the player would have began playing as Barrel rather than as Mega Man, the titular hero. For a fan this would’ve been a system seller for sure, but to the majority of game market it would have been a curiosity. Jussep is right in that 3DS has no real system seller of its own, but by that definition Legends 3 couldn’t be one either as a sequel to a PSOne game. The author does admit openly that it would have been a system seller to him personally, and I completely agree with him. People have bought game systems for worse games anyways.

Jussep remarks how 3DS has gone the way of the GameCube, which went the way of the N64, and marks how 3DS is in need for high value third party games to ensure success. I agree with him, but note that Nintendo itself has not put too many high grade games on the system that are original. Legends 3, as it was shown in its early stage, would not have been truly original either. It’s status as a sequel already denies it that merit, but also the fact that Inafune developed Lost Planet’s game engine in plans of using it in Legends 3. If you’ve played Lost Planet games, especially EX Trooper, you’ve already played how Legends 3 would have played like, overall speaking. It’s also very apparent that assets from Legends 3’s development cycle ended up in Gaist Crusher, which seemed to be successful enough to warrant that sequel I need to get around at some point.

Was Legends 3 the end of Mega Man? No, Mega Man was finished before Legends 3 even set into production. All these productions that were cancelled were like unsung swansongs. As I mentioned earlier, you can only advertise yourself with a 26 years old game once. Mega Man 9 was a nice shot of nostalgia, but after that CAPCOM should have picked it up and develop a proper sequel rather than Mega Man 10. I would put more emphasize on the lacklustre design and success of MM10 on how the series ended. It wasn’t a big bang, it wasn’t even a damn whimper. It was a blocky retro sequel.

Jussep’s final argument is that Mega Man is CAPCOM. This argument was valid in 1980’s and 90’s and first half of 00’s with Battle Network’s Mega Man.EXE. The author makes extremely good point how Mega Man is, by all means, an ageless character that can stand the test of time as long as he is treated properly.

That is exactly why CAPCOM has been franchising Mega Man lately in any other form but games for a long time now. The Archie Comic indeed is one of the best thing that has happened to the Blue Bomber, but I’m afraid the dropped the ball with Mega Man X. Let’s not kid with ourselves; Mega Man games saw a dip in quality from 2002 onwards, from which they never quite recovered. Starforce saw very low sales for a reason.

Legends 3 would not have been an entry point to a new generation. The Mega Man Jussep refers to is the Classic Mega Man, not the Legends’ Volnut/Trigger. Battle Network is a good example how to introduce a Mega Man to a new generation by creating a new generation game for them. Some could argue that Mega Man X followed this idea as well. I agree with Jussep that Legends series carries bright and chunky visuals, as it is very clear how Legends is modelled after morning cartoons. All you need is a clock on the top corner. Gameplay is divisive, and while I enjoyed the Legends1, 2 and the Misadventures of Trone Bonne gameplays myself.

So, against Jussep’s conclusion, I would argue that we do not need Mega Man Legends 3. We need a Mega Man game that would introduce the franchise to the new generation without shackling it to the old, but allowing expansion to multiple directions. Not only that, but the game would need to be something unique in its own rights and make itself stand against the almost thirty years of Mega Man we now have. The notion that any company should make a game for loss, especially nowadays, has not gone through enough thinking. Any and all products out there are made to make money, even when it’s recognized it would be a niche product. It is very true that Legends fans had their hearts with this game, but it’s also undeniable that Legends series never had as high profile reputation as its fellow series within the franchises.

Jussep’s last few sentences are something we all should remember; games are about fun. Not politics, agendas or ideologies. I agree with him that Legends 3 would have been fun to play, if the games using Lost Planet engine and its derivatives are anything to signify. However, playing Legends 3 on the 3DS may have been awkward, much like Monster Hunter without the Slide-Pad Pro.

In a perfect world, everybody would get what they want, but even in the game industry when it comes to the the customers the needs of the many out weight the needs of the few.

I admit; I know the lyrics of this song by heart, almost as well as Makenai Ai Ga Kitto Aru.

Let’s take a look at how the Gaimetal toys work with the game

So Gaist Crusher got released this week and while most importers like yours truly are waiting go get their hands on the game, we’re going to take a look at the Gaimetal gimmick and what it does with the demo.

First of all, the Gaimetal gimmick can be thought of some sort of DLC, as you need to purchase the toys in order to get the content. Then again, with Gaimetal purchase you get a transforming toy, so that’s more plus than just buying five dollar mission off PSN. The comparison isn’t all that accurate thou. However, it’s really damn neat to  know that the gimmicks works on the demo too, and this sort of use of real-world object to get something in a game is pretty good. Unlike with the Skylanders or Disney Infinity, the Gaimetals are more like toys that transform between the crystal and animal form. Skylanders and D.Infinity figures are just statues.

Gaimetal and Stand, kissing in a tree...
Flame Fenrir’s Gaimetal and the base that came with it
Backshot how the Gaimetal is held by the stand, and by that extension, the 3DS attachment
Backshot how the Gaimetal is held by the base, and by that extension, the 3DS attachment. The arm swivels from underneath the base and attaches it to the bottom of the Gaimetal.
Transformed Flame Fenrir standing on the base
Transformed Flame Fenrir standing on the base. The plastic is good quality, looks good and while the paint isn’t as accurate as one would like it to be, it’s great quality too

Anyway, the thing you get while buying a Gaimetal toy is the Gaist Gear of said toy, eg. if you buy Flame Fenrir, you get its Gear. However, these Gears seem to be stronger than the ones you can acquire in-game with different attacks. While I can’t yet say if the main characters can switch between their main Gears, it is possible through using a Gaimetal to unlock that particular character-specific Gear for another character. Next to opening the Gaist Gear in question, the Gaimetals come with a base, that has its own little thing; they contain a unlockable mission from which you can gain a new Gaist Gear. These missions also are slightly harder than what the normal missions are, at least what the demo missions were.

Now, before getting my hands on two sets, I had no clue how the camera would recognize what set was being showed to it, and in hindsight I feel stupid for not realizing that these things use simple QR Codes are shown above. If you have the access to the demo or to the game, you can actually use the Search Mode to scan both codes shown above. You also need to scan the codes once, and that’s that. The demo doesn’t save any data, but I am certain that there is no need to re-scan any of the QR Codes in the proper game, unless you start a new game.

The Gaimetals in general are good, cheap toys. The build quality is surprisingly good and can clearly withstand a beating. The transformations, while simple, are rather intuitive and they manage to cram quite a lot of phases into a palm sized gemstone. The transformation sequence and gemstone shape takes priority over the articulation of the toy, and as such some nice small details does not exist, like moving jaws on Flame Fenrir. It would have been neat, but it’s not a big deal at all. Because of the transparent plastic, the paint application also shines through to some extent, thou in Fenrir it’s less harder to see than in Lighting Dragoon.

There's a lot of geometrical shapes to explore, and just as many to reuse
There’s a lot of geometrical shapes to explore, and just as many to reuse

The comparison above shows that nicely how well the plaint application comes out from inside the you. Lighting Dragoon’s gold and purple shaded silver come through the deep purple plastic really well and looks nice and natural. The promo photos of other Gaimetals show the same thing, which is a bit sad when you notice how little silver Flame Fenrir’s gemstone mode shows.

For a 700yen toys, Gaimetals have a nice price-quality range. They’re affordable and highly collectable to boot. They are additional cost to the unlockables in the game, and my personal opinion on this is that I’d rather buy these extra missions and Gears in this sort of physical form than put same amount of money into a downloadable mission pack. I do believe that some Japanese fans already have a Wikia of some sorts up, where they’re listing all the possible QR Codes for people to use, which is a nice thing for the importers, but falls into the gray area where it could be called piracy of sorts. However, this also means all the players have access to all the QR Codes, promotional or not, and I do admit that thought attracts me.

The bottom line is that this is a really nicely done cross-platform franchise. While the Gaimetals are completely optional, they do allow add that something into the whole deal. If they toys had lesser quality, I wouldn’t even consider purchasing any more of these, but because they are a nifty extra for relatively cheap price, I can see Japanese parents buying these for their kids. For importers like me, the postage costs can be higher than the price of the you itself unless bundled together, and that’s a problem when we take notice how low the current customs limits are here.

The problem with all this is that Gaist Crusher may end up being just a Japanese franchise. Sure, we have seen Beyblade and other simple toy based series getting a Western adaptation, but in Gaist Crusher case the kids would have a need for the 3DS console too, which is a problem. As such, it would take a lot of money to promote both the console further than what is now with the game, then have the cartoon promoting itself, the game, toys and possible comics. It all takes a lot of money, and even thou CAPCOM isn’t in this alone, I doubt that Bandai is willing to take the risk if the game doesn’t become a success in Japan. Even if it does, it would still have to be a big success. We’ll have to see at the end of Q2 of 2014 how Gaist Crusher did to say anything else.

Burning Explosion! Custom Armament Action, Gaist Crusher Demo overview

It’s an interesting thing to see CAPCOM trying to create a new dynamic franchise. As we know, the company’s in a state where it can’t even afford to port Street Fighter IV to PS4/Xbone.  They don’t even have the money to make a new fighting game. However, Gaist Crusher seems to be one of CAPCOM’s last chances to gain money. It should have everything that a kid would want; attractive and colourful designs with collectables. But the franchise won’t have much staying power if its key component, the game, would be a failure. Gaist Crusher’s demo was released on the Japanese Nintendo 3DS eShop this week, and so I cautiously jumped on it  to see whether or not it was worth anything. To my surprise, it’s not all that bad at all.

Is that Gospel? Damn, now I want Gospel or Gregar to make a cameo appearance in this
Is that Gospel? Damn, now I want Gospel or Gregar to make a cameo appearance in this

To describe Gaist Crusher’s gameplay isn’t too difficult if you have a history with games; it’s a combination of limited area third person brawler with light elements of Monster Hunter and few nodges from Mega Man. However, Gaist Crusher manages to keep its own identity just fine and doesn’t succumb under the pressure it has, as most of these elements are intentionally there. For example, the game consists of missions where the player’s goal is to reach to the end of the relatively short stage through enemies, until he faces off with boss Gaist. Upon defeat, these boss type Gaists will leave some Gaimetal behind them, and a successful destruction of the metal will yield a new armour to use. The demo has limited forms, but you can broaden the amount of forms by defeating the Gaists in it and Crushing the Gaimetal they leave behind. Or at least you can gain two of three possible forms, I’ve been unable to gain the Gaimetal from Mission 2. Still, it’s a really neat touch.

The Gaist Gears comes in two flavours of balanced and offense, the Mail Form and the Weapon Form. The best thing is that you can change between these forms on the fly, so you’re not stuck with one Form. Mail Form is where the player character goes Kenshiro and uses his fists and legs to deliver blows on enemies with variety of attacks and effects. Weapon Form on the other hand is like playing Monster Hunter Lite, where the equipped armour pops off to form a weapon, eg.  a giant sword or a hammer. These weapons are very similar to what Monster Hunter’s larger weapons are, like Broad Sword or Hammer, but attack faster and hit harder than the balanced form. To balance the newfound offense, the defense takes a hit. This is reflected also in the function of Guard and Boost, as only the Mail Form can Guard with a dome shaped burst, that dazzles lesser enemies to boot. By charging the Guard, the dome will expand farther. Weapon Form Boosts, which is a very fast directional dash that covers decent distance. Both of these are bound to a small four-step meter below the player’s health. Using Guard of Boost will expend one part of the four slots, but the meter recovers in a decent pace. Thus, you are essentially allowed to Guard or Boost four times in a row before you need to wait up. Both are equally usable depending on your playstyle.

Next to these forms, there is also the Extreme Form, which allows the player character to invoke the shape, form and power of the boss Gaists. Essentially this means that the boss you defeat, the boss you also get to be. The Extreme Form lasts for only as long as you have energy for it, and the player life meter becomes the form’s energy meter, which drains itself in a decent pace whether or not the player takes any damage. That said, all Forms and Weapons have their advantages in their own fields.

Three forms to choose from... if applicable
Three forms to choose from… if applicable

Unlike with Monster Hunter, where if you failed the hunt you were taken back to the camp, the player has indicators next to his character portrait. In the demo there’s two, and these indicators work as Lives. Upon reaching the end of your energy, the player character is revived on the spot at the cost of one indicator. Demo had two indicators, thus allowing three lives.

The weapons in Gaist Crusher are Blade, Gun, Hammer, Scythe and lance and they are strong against each other in that order. There are  elemental affinities in play as well; Fire, Ice, Earth, Lighting and Wind. They are strong against each other in that order too. The weapons is selected according to the Gaist Gear you choose to equip, as is the element. CAPCOM has promised 100 different Gaists to collect and equip, I’m pretty damn sure all different kinds of tactics, Weapon and Element combinations will be explored. Gaist selection also changes how the player character looks, and the same weapon with different Gaist doesn’t work the exact same way either. So in the end, it all falls into the player finding the weapon and element he likes the most alongside how the Gaist functions on the field.

Directly from Capcom's site
Directly from Capcom’s site

Gaist Gears also gain levels, thou the demo seemed to have this functionality locked down. All Gaist Gears were at Level 10, and I’m sure levelling your favourite one up will increase its stats, so there’s character building through grinding included. A step away from Monster Hunter fare, but I’d assume it’s possible to damage any Gaist with any level Gear.

You can also gain new Gears by attaching Gaiphone addon to your 3DS and attack a Gaimetal toy unto it, and then use the Search Mode to gain new things in-game. This kind of mixing and matching toys and games is nothing new, but it also plays with how the character in the animation series gain their armours via Gaist On, ie. putting piece of Gaimetal on top of the Gaiphone and having the standard Super Sentai transformation sequence. Using a Gaimetal that you already in-game, like Flame Fenrir’s, the Gaist Gear gets a boost of strength. However, I’ve yet to test this in action, as I lack Gaimetals themselves.

Gaist Crusher demo runs smoothly and I experienced no framedrops even when the 3D was on maximum, which is pretty important as the game is pretty fast paced. Actually, if CAPCOM was in better shape, I could see them doing an arcade game that could link up with the 3DS via WiFi. The game would have a lot of potential as a straight up coin muncher if it was possible nowadays. Nevertheless, it seems that CAPCOM is acknowledging  the similarities between the hi-speed brawler and Monster Hunter as they have announced a combining event within Gaist Crusher and Monster Hunter 4, where you are able to fight against a Gaist Rioreus (Rathalos) and gain a Gaimetal from it. Sengoku Basara 4 is also getting its fair share of Crusher action. This is an interesting tactics, as CAPCOM hopes to export players of Gaist Crusher to other CAPCOM games. The problem here is that the series and the franchised collectables need to be successful so that main target audience will want to get the games. This is essential, thou more difficult than what it was with either Pokémon or Mega Man Battle Network due to the current state of the world economy. Still, as I have mentioned previously, Gaist Crusher has all the right elements to become a success, but can it be success at this day and age? For CAPCOM, I hope that it will.

It also should be noted that Treasure worked on this game, and their flair does show up in how the game feels. The world design, and designs in general, are colourful and range from nicely flat to very busy. There are some very cool looking desings, like the Skull Barghest or Tekkou Ryujin. Of course, some Gaist designs are not really all that interesting, like the tapir based Dream Back or the aforementioned Arnmi Akamezame’s Mail Form However, in true collectable fashion, everyone is sure to find their favourite from the hundred Gaists.

Ayakashi Ninetail is my personal favourite from all the revealed Gaists
Ayakashi Ninetail is my personal favourite from all the revealed Gaists

Overall, how the game plays and feels is pretty good. It’s a standard fare in the most positive way and there’s bits that could use polish here and there. What I mean by that is that we were promised somewhat basic 3D brawler with explosive action and low-level customization with collecting, and we’re getting exactly that in a well thought way. CAPCOM has usually worked upwards with their sequels, fixing and improving elements that do not really work, like the movement sliding in Mega Man 1 & 2 and adding actual Sliding in Mega Man 3, so Gaist Crusher 2 will be better if this succeeds.

Now, the engine is a modified Mega Man Legends 3 engine, and it shows. There are movements, camera angles and overall control feeling that says that Gaist Crusher is build on what was left of Legends 3. Comparing the footage we have seen of Legends 3, I can say that Gaist Crusher manages to stand apart from what Legends 3 would have been, even if some of the attacks sound and look like the Kicks of Legends 3. It is sad to know that Legends 3 will not be made, but Gaist Crusher will most likely be the more profitable one of the two.

It’s notable that if you check the original trailer and the latest one, you can see changes in the HUD and other small details here and there.

I’ve decided to purchase the game itself, thou gaining additional Gaists will be difficult if I don’t start exporting the toys too, but I’m eager to see if the actual game will end up being just as entertaining, or will the missions end up being a drag. Seeing how I enjoyed Monster Hunter when I actively played it, I doubt that.