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.

CAPCOM’s deluded views

Have you seen this? What CAPCOM says here is We didn’t do anything wrong expect released the game in wrong time. The real reason is buggy gameplay that is still being patched, on-disc DLC and day 1 DLC. These things pushed the possible customers away, and people have grown weary of CAPCOM’s ways.

But the most important point why it didn’t meet the two million quota is that it didn’t fill the wants of the audience. We have seen that multiple fighting games can flourish next to each other, but the harsh competition weeds out the weak. Street Fighter X Tekken was a weak game, and it would’ve sold less if we had more decent fighting games in the market. There was no cannibalization, there was just weeding.

If we are to humour us why SFxT failed for a minute, the reason is that it didn’t meet the needs of the customers. While the game seems like mindless fun, it’s not chaotic the right way, like CAPCOM’s Marvel VS series. SFxT’s amount of different systems and mechanics were unbalanced and the Gem System served little to no purpose other than have vague role playing elements for customization, which never works in tournament fighters because nobody wants it. We also have to take account that the roster, while filled with interesting choices, has high amount of stupid choices from both sides. Bad Boxart Mega Man may be the most prominent example, but Rolento is the second character that should go. There are loads of more interesting character that could be used, and if we check the DLC character list, there is a healthy amount of interesting characters that people want to play now rather than some other throwaway character like Craig Marduk or Raven.

The game has multiple problems added to this, but it all goes down that it has very little lasting power, even when you take account how long your usual fighting game lasts in the hands of your normal player. CAPCOM could do better with their next VS crossover game, but most likely they’ll do much worse.

It’s bittersweet to see CAPCOM slowly killing the fighting game scene when they were the ones to bring it back to the general knowledge with Street Fighter IV after long slumber. Street Fighter has a name that every game has to live up to. At the moment, CAPCOM’s failing at it and hard.

Street Fighter X Tekken – Mega Man


I recognize the irony and sarcasm here. Still, this is the last straw; CAPCOM’s not just showing the middle finger again, they’re shoving a firetruck up their fans’ ass.

And yes, it has fake audio, but it conveys everything the fans are feeling.

And I was actually considering to buy this game

CAPCOM decided to shaft the home console crowd it seems. I’ve yet to meet s fighting game that would work on a handheld console. I lied. Guilty Gear Petit was pretty nice fighting game on the Wonder Swan.

And that’s how a fighting game should be handled on a portable system. They should be adapted and custom made for the system from ground up. Every fighting game on DS and PSP, port or not, suffers from lousy controls, as neither of them are up to the challenge so to speak. PSP controls better than DS in this regard, but the D-Pad and face buttons are retarded on PSP.

This is why I can’t understands why would CAPCOM want PSVita version to be their main version. Seems like SONY and CAPCOM have some sort of close agreement in this matter. Twelve new characters that WILL become DLC for the home consoles is to drive PSV sales higher. Seeing that Nintendo’s going to have rather strong upcoming lineup according to their lviestream (which I’m watching while writing this), PSV will have troubles. Or rather, PSV’s troubles will continue.

Mentioning the Nintendo’s lineup, while it seems strong, it mostly consists of games that are not system sellers. New Fire Emblem has DLC from the get-go, for example.

Street Fighter X Tekken just might be pretty good

Let’s throw the fanboyism out for minute here.

While I’m not really fond on SFxT at the moment, I have to say that the latest trailers and informative videos on various sites got me into a hype for a moment. The game has changed quite a lot from it’s initial iterations, adding mechanics and fixing broken ones. The new Gem System first looked like something from Marvel Super Heroes’ Infinity Gem system, where the gems power up certain characteristics. Here, Gems give boosts to Speed, Power, Fortitude etc when used. Depending on the Gem it gives a certain percent boost or similar. For example, a Gem might give your character 5% Boost on Speed.

The reason I’m not fond of the Gem System that SFxT is starting to have way too much stuff crammed in. There’s at least four different system mechanics active at all times in one match. For example, Tekken characters have their unique combo system to the normal gameplay and more evasive moves to avoid fireball moves and so on, and the Tag Team system, which is a combination of Tekken Tag’s and MvC series’. Somehow I can see the Gem System being taken down in competitive game, but in casual play it’ll give loads of options to new players… especially now that it has Gems that basically make the command inputting easier, like AutoGuarding, AutoTech throwing and so on.

The game’s pretty hard to watch if you’re not into the systems. There’s a lot to keep track of, and the gameplay is faster and more hectic than in either SFIV or Tekken. It doesn’t help that special effects are getting more and more elaborate to the point that they’re almost obscuring the player characters, but this game is meant to be fast and flashy. I’m sure that both players and non-players will enjoy watching this game, but for different reasons.

This will be a good party game as well, as it looks like SFxT will be having a four player mode both offline and online. It’ll be fun to play, but whether or not they can balance it with all the character differences and systems is another question. I enjoy playing Hokuto no Ken, but seeing that enough fighting games have already bogged down into two or three character use because of unbalanced gameplay, I’d want to see all characters properly balanced. They can’t take the Arcana Heart way with this game, even if the Gem System is an active character modifier.

There’s no doubt that I’m going to buy this game at some point, but not when it’s released. Most likely I’ll track down an used copy from anywhere I can. I’m still giving CAPCOM the finger in this regard.

But what I’d like to see (other than the name change) is to start hearing information on Tekken X Street Fighter. While NAMCO did say that they’d start their actual work on TxSF after CAPCOM has done their part, hearing or seeing any info would be a nice balance.

It’s hard to deny that this game will most likely be fun

This year’s pretty good for fighting games again. We’re getting SFxT, TxSF, Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown, BlazBle Continuum Shift Extended and most likely the likes of Chaos Code… and if it’s intended, rerelease of Guilty Gear Accent Core Plus or it’s follower.