Exclusive Q&A with the only journalist to ever play Mega Man Legends 3

Wonder how Mega Man Legends 3 would have played if Capcom hadn’t cancelled it? Nintendo Power’s Chris Hoffman answers your lingering questions

The article says that you’re the only journalist to play the prototype, is there a specific reason for this?

Not that I’m aware of! All I know for sure is that after the game’s cancellation (which happened on my birthday, by the way!), a Capcom PR rep told me that I he thought I was the only games journalist to have played it.

Please tell me, are there any screenshots that weren't shared previously that you have on hand and can share with us?

Nope! Since Capcom wanted to be so open about this project, they decided that all the screens they took would be shared via the Devroom.

If you got the chance to experience it a bit, how did the storyline sit with you? Was it linear or open-ended? Original or cliché, etc., etc.

It was very hard to get a sense of how the story was going to unfold. The fact that you didn’t play as Mega Man and were going to have to wait for him to somehow get back was definitely different for a Mega Man game! And with all the interpersonal relationship issues, there could have been a lot of interesting twists as the groups battled for the Klicke Lafonica.

Did you play as Aero and Barrett in the prototype version? Or only Barrett?

You only play as Barrett, although Aero accompanies you on a couple missions.

What was the combat like?

The ranged combat was a lot like that of previous Legends games. The inclusion of melee attacks made sense since you inevitably end up fighting some enemies at point-blank range, but it was usually safer to rely on projectiles when given a choice.

How accessible was it for players that had never played a Megaman Legends game before?

Initially telling the story from Barrett’s perspective, I think, was a good way to introduce the story to newcomers without the need to immediately pile on the complex baggage that comes with Mega Man Legends 1 and 2. Meanwhile, I think veterans would have enjoyed trying to unravel some of the mysteries.

Was the 3D of the 3DS implemented effectively, or was it a "regular" polygonal game?

I wasn’t blown away by any of the 3D effects or anything, but as we like to say for a lot of Nintendo 3DS games, it added a nice sense of depth.

Are we really missing out on something special? Are you actually disappointed it's gone?

I always though the Mega Man Legends games were very good, but not triple-A amazing. This game seemed to be following that pattern. I’m pretty sure that anyone who enjoyed the previous Legends games would have liked this one. On a personal level, I’m definitely disappointed it’s not coming out. (Did I mention it got canceled on my birthday? Worst! Present! Ever!)

Was there a crafting or modification system if so did it involve money or actual materials I have to collect? How was the equipping set up if any? did you have weapons and armor slots any accessory slot was it a predetermined number or is it weighted so you don’t stack copies of the best items? Was there any style of level up or power up system such as gaining experience or hidden items?

There were no features like these in the Prototype Version.

Were there were any buster cannon upgrades, equipment, or other weapons to try out?

There were two additional weapons in the Prototype Version: the Volcanic Leggings (which enabled Barrett to perform a jumping kick attack reminiscent of Viewtiful Joe’s Red Hot Kick) and the Burst Spreader (which, yes, fires a spread shot).

Was Mega Man actually in the game?

He wasn’t in any part of the game that I played. However, I asked the game’s producer about this, and he stated that Mega Man was meant to be playable in the final game. Also, the Prototype Version was broken into two distinct chunks--a list of missions and a free-form debug mode--and the Capcom folks strongly hinted that there was a way to play as Mega Man in the debug mode, although I didn’t get a chance to do so.

Was Data the monkey back with his little dance?

I believe that Data was indeed in the game, hanging out with Roll. (I can’t seem to remember how he was animated, sadly....)

Would you recommend the Prototype Version to gamers and Legends fans?

I think Legends fans would have liked it quite a bit, as long as they came to terms with Mega Man not being the star. Hopefully gamers not familiar with the series would have enjoyed it, too.

Did the story in the Prototype Version end on a cliffhanger?

Not a cliffhanger, per se, but it set up quite a bit (mostly in regards to the Klicke Lafonica) and left a lot of unanswered questions (primarily concerning Barrett and the missing-in-action Mega Man) that hopefully would have been resolved in the full game.

Would it have been worth the two dollars if they'd just released it?

I would say so. It contained a lot more content than many other pricier downloadable titles.

At the time, did it look like Capcom were putting in a good amount of effort when you played it? As in, did it look like they were dedicated to this new entry of the Mega Man series, or did you think that there was a lot missing? Did the game feel "unfinished"?

That’s a hard question to answer. There was a lot missing and unfinished, but that was kind of the point--to give players a behind-the-scenes look at a work-in-progress game. In places where there would have been full-blown cut-scenes, there were rough animatic sketches explaining what would happen, and there were notes explaining how boss battles would be more elaborate in the final game. Also, parts of the city were clearly unfinished by design. Instead of fully rendered buildings, some parts of the city had buildings that looked like 2D billboards or movie backdrops. But they were intentionally built to look that way, complete with beams propping the backdrops up, as if to say “this is still under construction.” It seemed like a labor of love, and that the team at Capcom was putting a lot into the project.

What was the biggest difference from the other two?

Barrett as the playable character.

Also, how were the missions and how were they structured? Was it like GTA where you meet someone and you get an idea as to where to go or does an event happen to make you do something?

In the Prototype Version, you simply selected the missions from a menu, but I’m pretty sure the final game would have been more open-ended. But the ability to get on your Motorhorse and cruise around certainly added a GTA-like vibe to the game.

Is there a cow in it?

Sadly, not that I encountered.

Did the Bonnes play a big part of the game?

The Bonnes only appeared in a couple missions, but their presence in the “Bonne Family Showdown” mission is pretty significant, given that it was one of the most fun and challenging missions in the Prototype Version.

Was the aiming system similar to loz oot3d w the motion control and analog both used to aim?

Nope, the Prototype Version didn’t have any motion controls.

Did it lag at certain intervals (as in slow down)?

Not that I noticed.

Did the game let you explore freely?

Most of the time, yes. There weren’t a whole lot of places to go in the Prototype Version, but you could explore a lot of Teomo City and climb a nearby mountain, plus you could venture over to Rocket Island, where Roll was trying to build her rocket to rescue Mega Man. I was able to access the underground ruins only during missions, though.

Sep 8, 2011

We recommend