Guest article: Why we need MegaMan Legends 3
This is a guest article by the very talented Matthew Jessup.
July 18th, 2011: The day the internet exploded. It was a day where you couldn’t go on any gaming forum without fear of being trampled underneath the hordes of rampaging fanboys, screaming for justice and the heads of Capcom executives on sticks. It was a day where people sat in their squishy chairs and sobbed their poor broken hearts out at the loss of something which by all means should have, could have been legendary but will now never see the light of day.
The day MegaMan Legends 3 was canceled.
All right, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit here. I don’t think anyone really slit their wrists over the cancelation of MegaMan Legends 3, but it was a big loss to the gaming community and a huge blow to Capcom fans and MegaMan fans alike. MegaMan Legends 3 was the latest in a series of MegaMan games that received marketing and hype before being unceremoniously canceled for unclear or too-simple reasons, the first game being MegaMan Universe.
MegaMan Universe was hyped as a game giving us the power, one that would deliver a deep level editing and creation system – A LittleBigPlanet for the MegaMan series, if you will. It featured many playable characters and stage types, and looked to be quite fun. On top of that, it was to be based on the legendary MegaMan 2, but with a 2.5D update and characters from other Capcom series’ such as Ryu from Street Fighter. That game was canceled on March 31st, 2011, and the motive of “various reasons” is all we’ve gotten out of Capcom since then. This too was a blow to those (like myself) who had been eagerly watching the trailers and progress on the game, and had been clamoring for a follow-up to PSP title MegaMan Powered Up.
This cancelation, however, was different. While MegaMan Universe had hype, it wasn’t as eagerly awaited as MegaMan Legends 3. This just might have something to do with the fact that we had been waiting for a true finale to the MegaMan Legends series for 11 years. MegaMan Legends 2 was released in 2000, and poor Volnutt has been stuck in Elysium ever since.
On top of that, MegaMan Legends 3 was going to do something revolutionary, something groundbreaking, something that had never been done before: It was going to give the power to the players by letting the fans literally design concepts and ideas for the game. Capcom ran contests for Reaverbot (enemy) design and character art, opening up a forum called the DevRoom, a space for the Capcom team to post models, concept art, and news on how the prototype is shaping up, and for fans to post concepts of their own, discuss the progress, and see how their ideas would be used in the finished product. This was going to be great!
Now, in a flurry of controversy, it’s all gone. In an official statement, Capcom has stated that the game “did not meet the required criteria” and had to be canned. They go on to state that Keiji Inafune’s departure had nothing to do with the cancellation of the game, and that there are no plans to pick up the project again in the future. This has caused an outcry of people tearing Capcom apart, claiming that they know nothing about what the fans really want, threatening (as the hardcore fanboy does) to boycott future products and to condemn Capcom angrily on their blogs and message boards. There’s even a Facebook page designed to raise support for the game with a goal of 10,000 “Likes”.
As a massive fan of the MegaMan Legends series, I am also very unhappy with Capcom’s decision. It is because of this reason that I am writing this article, not to condemn Capcom or rage about their cancelation of one of my most anticipated games of the year, but rather to state in my own words why I believe we, the gaming community, need MegaMan Legends 3.
First and foremost, we need closure. MegaMan Legends 3 was intended to be the final part of a trilogy, the grand finale that would finally get MegaMan off the moon the was stuck on at the end of MegaMan Legends 2, ready to save the world once and for all. This may be the most selfish reason, but it’s really a valid point. A good story needs a good ending, because without one it’s unfinished.
Imagine, for a moment, that the Harry Potter series ended with Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince. Dumbledore is dead, Snape has run away, and everything seems lost. The big evil will never be conquered, despite the main character knowing how to do so, because the resolution would have never come. Not exactly a cheerful ending, is it? It’s like that with MegaMan Legends 2. There are so many loose ends that need tying up, with MegaMan stuck on Elysium and the Casketts and Bonnes working together to build a rocket and bring MegaMan back, and I think we as fans deserve to see how he gets out of this mess!
Second, this is the kind of game that would sell the 3DS. To be quite honest, and this is coming from someone who has loved and supported Nintendo all his life, there is not one game out yet that is making me think that I must have a 3DS. It’s a nice piece of kit, and there are some quite good-looking games on it (Ocarina of time 3D and Star Fox 64 3D, for example), but there isn’t that one 3DS exclusive that makes me want to jump out of this chair, run to the mall, and purchase one as quick as I can. MegaMan Legends 3 was that game, that killer app, for me at least.
This is a problem, because unless companies can see that the 3DS has a fanbase, and has games on it that people want to buy, they won’t make more games. The 3DS needs original properties and third-parties supporting it, but it isn’t until a company takes the first step and releases a true must-have exclusive that others will follow. I’d consider a game 11 years in the making to be a pretty big deal. This isn’t a game you could play on your Nintendo 64, or tucked inside another game as a freebie. MegaMan Legends 3 was to be a huge, original project exclusively for the 3DS. If you wanted to play it, you needed the system it was on. While I know the 3DS will have plenty of good first-party games to choose from in the future, it really needs that third-party support or else it will go the way of the Gamecube.
Another reason we need MegaMan Legends 3 is because of the DevRoom. The thing was revolutionary. For too long gamers have complained that they could make a game better if they were given the reigns, and this was a chance for them to put their money where their mouth is. The fans got a transparent inside look at the development process, working with designers, seeing exactly what they were going to get and letting their voices be heard. How cool is that?
Now, with the project canceled, I highly doubt we will ever be getting anything like this again. Oh, sure, there may be a contest or two to get a picture or design or secret room in a game, but with the way Capcom Euro claims that there wasn’t enough interest in the DevRoom and the fact that this was supposed to be a labor of love that fell through, I don’t see concepts like this coming back in the future. That’s really a shame, because it could have been something unique and never-before-seen, giving a face to the corporations and a voice to the fans, building trust and harmony between consumer and developer alike. Now, it’s over. This was truly a missed opportunity.
With this cancelation, could this spell the end of Mega Man? Think about it – Tron Bonne was in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, but the Blue Bomber himself wasn’t. Phoenix Wright was confirmed to be in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, but still Mega Man is AWOL. Two Mega Man games with trailers and info released have been canceled, with no new news of any others on the horizon despite Capcom’s claims that they haven’t given up on the franchise. Mega Man’s creator, Keiji Inafune, is gone from Capcom, and the Mega Man Legends 3 Project could have been the last hope to see if the blue boy was still marketable. If anything, it could have been the grand finale of a series that has brought pleasure to so many for so long. On one hand, I want Mega Man to become the Ric Flair of the videogame world (Woooo!), but on the other I know that nothing can last forever, and I want to see one of my favorite videogame characters’ career end on one of the highest notes possible. Either way, the world needs this game.
The thing is, Mega Man IS Capcom. Think about it. Mega Man is one of the characters in Capcom’s vast library that appeals to all ages, with his bright gear and his youthful attitude. He is one of the first characters to come to mind when one says the word “Capcom”, and one of the most fondly-remembered characters from the days of the NES. He’s had television shows, an anime series, a successful manga, and a currently-running comic book series from Archie Comics that’s quite good. He’s the perfect mascot: recognizable, never dated, cheery, and best of all, his games are top-quality. Capcom can squash and hide the kid all they want, but the fact remains that he is one of the most popular and well-known video game characters around, one that can open doors to make new gamers.
With Mega Man Legends 3, Capcom has a chance to introduce the Blue Bomber to a whole new generation and make him appeal to everyone once again. I’d love to see some bright young faces feel the love I felt from the Mega Man Legends series as they play it on their 3DS. The bright and chunky visuals combined with the brilliantly fun gameplay of the series makes it great for all ages. In a time where shovelware is rife on store shelves, it would have been nice to see a game so obviously produced out of love get bought and played and enjoyed.
In conclusion, the world needs this game. It’s the kind of game that would open one door while closing another and would push the gaming community as a whole forward into the future. Too many games are produced solely to make money, and this is a game that would have been made out of the hearts and minds of fans and game developers alike. On top of that, well…It would just be a really fun game! And isn’t that what games are really about?
I hope you enjoyed the article as much as I did, whilst not everything I agree on (see the 3DS paragraph) it is great to have an informed decision by a Megaman mark! You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattTheDoctor