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Mega Man Legends 3 Canceled – More 3DS Woes for Capcom

Link: Official Announcement (Capcom Unity Blog)

Now this is sad news for Mega Man Legends fans and 3DS owners, Capcom has decided to discontinue development of Megaman Legends 3 (both the prototype and full release) citing inability to meet certain criteria for the company. In the FAQ following the short statement Capcom said that this was not related to Keiji Inafune’s departure from Capcom earlier this year.

Speculating on the reasons as to why it was canceled, one of the big reasons would be the current state of the 3DS which is not selling to expectations just 3 or 4 months after it’s release. Second reason may be shifting resources from 3DS development to other platforms after the poor sales of recently released Resident Evil Mercenaries. Or it could be that neither of these reasons were major factors and instead the game was not good enough or too ambitious for the platform. Whatever the reason this is more troubling news for Capcom, garnering additional negative attention after their permanent save debacle in Resident Evil Mercenaries. It is also one less game to look forward to on the already slim lineup of games for the 3DS.

Mega Man Legends 3: Prototype Version – 3DS eShop launch title

Mega Man Legends 3 was announced back in September of last year for the Nintendo 3DS, it was a long-awaited return to the cult favourite spin-off of the Mega Man series. Today Capcom revealed that they are going to release a sort of preview of the full game for the 3DS eShop, and will be one of the first downloadable titles for the system. It will introduce a new character, Barrett, and give players the chance to contribute to the development of the full game. Fans have already been contributing to the game via Dev Room events at the site capcom-unity.com/devroom and in general Capcom are being open about the dev process. Interestingly enough this 3DS eShop release will be a version of Mega Man Legends 3 that is still early in development and even give you access to a debug menu.

I’m looking forward to this game as the reason for why I will pick up the Nintendo 3DS. I remembered playing through parts of Mega Man Legends series on the PC, as it was pretty creative with it’s open world action RPG gameplay. I think I might even go back and see if there is a way to play these games on a modern PC, I know there are PSP ports of the games but were only released in Japan.

The full official press release

After years of waiting, the new installment of Mega Man Legends draws closer with Mega Man Legends 3: Prototype Version! Available as a download, Mega Man Legends 3: Prototype Version will be a launch title when Nintendo eShop opens for business.

Mega Man Legends 3 is the first Capcom game to be co-developed by the fans. Prototype Version gives players the first taste of Mega Man’s upcoming open-world action/adventure game, and lets them see a game still early in the development process. It also introduces a new character to the franchise, the reckless leader of a sky biker gang, Barrett.

Be the first to try out his new close combat gameplay style, and see first-hand some of the fan contributions to the game come to life. Also, once you have finished the core missions, receive access to areas of the game not yet finished, as well as a debug menu that gives you special moves and abilities.

Once you experience the game, let your voice be heard by heading to http://www.capcom-unity.com/devroom and join the community of Servbots who are helping design the game. Get insight into what it takes to build a game, learn about the development process, and interact with the members of the Development Team themselves. But most importantly, be creative. No matter how large or small your idea is, you have the chance to see it come to life and get your name in the credits of the game!

Dead Rising 2 Review (PC)

Developer – Blue Castle Games

Publisher – Capcom

Release Date – 28th September 2010

An improvement to the original in many ways but still not perfect.

The first Dead Rising was released in August 2006, early in the XBOX360 lifecycle. It was a more comedic take on a zombie horror genre, popular for its freeform combat where you could pickup anything in the level to take out zombies. It was produced by Keiji Inafune, the legendary creator of the Megaman series, who returns for the sequel along with many of the original staff. However the main development team for the game was tasked to Vancouver based game development studio Blue Castle Games, who previously developed The Bigs line of baseball games for 2K games.

The first game had a lot of quirks in terms of controls and game play which for the most part have been fixed but there is still room for improvement. The game retains the ticking clock gameplay where you have a finite amount of time to complete missions and it is game over if you are late. And like the first there is no autosaving or checkpointing but this time there are multiple save slots and more locations to save. I have come to accept this game design choice as it makes for a different experience than other games, as there much more is at stake and sense of urgency. As long as you adapt the way you usually approach an action game and keep track of save spots it’s never too much of a problem.

What Blue Castle Games have brought to series are these small tweaks to make it more approachable but it still has the underlying feel of a Japanese developed game whether you like it or not. They have got the combat to a much more enjoyable level despite some awkwardness in the weapon system. You can combine weapons to make more powerful zombie killing contraptions but it is very specific in what can be combined. To combine two weapons you have to pick them up and bring them to a work bench, usually the items you can combine are nearby but it is still time-consuming (especially for a game where time is important).

The story and scenario of the game is more creative than the first, which was confined to the typical zombie movie locale of the shopping mall. This time it is set in a fictional Las Vegas with more to it than just shops with casinos, restaurants, open areas and hotels. You play as Chuck Greene a motocross champion who is in Vegas for an event when a zombie outbreak occurs and he is framed for causing it. You are out to find out who framed you while you make sure you have a constant supply of Zombrex for your infected daughter to keep her from turning. The setting and story make for an interesting set of characters which are more perverse and adult themed because of the location.

The main problem of the series, the tough boss enemies called psychopaths, is still here and still unapologetically hard. There is very fun in taking down these enemies and often comes down whether or not you are well prepared in terms of weapons and health recovery items. The main strategy for me was to get close wait for an attack, dodge and hit once or twice and then repeat. Projectile weapons are much more useful in this game and control better but still feel weightless and not as powerful as they should be.

I’ve said a lot of not so positive things about this game but ultimately I enjoyed it enough to play through it once having fun all the way through. The first game was great because of the novelty in the variety of ways you could kill zombies and this game continues it with improvements but doesn’t bring much innovation to the formula. In fact they took the picture-taking system of the first game out and didn’t really replace it with something as fun (combining weapons is useful but tedious). If you like challenging and deliberately inflexible games like I do (from time to time) I suggest picking it up for the PC as the loading times (which is frustrating for the console versions) is much more tolerable. If not try the standalone DLC Case West for just a taste of the game without most the frustrations.