Last week, we offered Mega Man fans an exclusive opportunity - interview the only journalist to ever play Mega Man Legends 3 before Capcom cancelled the game. What was it like? Who were the characters? How were the controls? What score would the finished product have received? Did Mega Man ever get off the moon? Here’s Chris Hoffman of Nintendo Power to answer all your questions…
A few months ago when I played Mega Man Legends 3 (for an article that ran in Nintendo Power Vol. 268), I had no idea that I’d be one of the few people outside Capcom to ever do so. Sure, Capcom had admitted that the game wasn’t fully “green-lit,” and a lot of questions were still up in the air, but after taking so much fan input and turning it into actual playable content, it seemed like they were dedicated to making the project happen. And as a huge fan of the Mega Man franchise, I really wanted that to be the case.
As we all now know, things turned out differently, and even the downloadable Mega Man Legends 3: Prototype Version, which was supposed to be one of the first offerings in the Nintendo eShop, got the axe. As for why that happened, only Capcom knows for sure--but if my experience can shed light on any mysteries about this somewhat enigmatic game, I’m glad to do so. Before I start answering questions, though, I should point out that my hands-on time was solely with content that would have appeared the Prototype Version of the game; if the project had continued, the final game may have had numerous changes. At any rate, thanks for your interest, and to everyone who posted questions!
What were the controls like?
There were three control schemes to choose from. The default control setup allowed you to move with the Circle Pad, adjust the camera with the Control Pad, and shoot with the R Button. As for the face buttons, A = melee attack, B = jump, X = special weapon, and Y = dash. However, if you preferred things the old-fashioned way, you can choose control setups that were more similar to Mega Man Legends or Mega Man Legends 2, including the option to rotate the camera with L and R.
What playable characters were there?
Barrett was the only playable character I was able to control.
Was the introductory part of the game more like a dungeon crawl (MML1) or a silly situation that must be solved (Data's Kitchen Fire in MML2) as a tutorial?
The first mission actually thrust you into a Reaverbot attack on Teomo City. Reaverbots dropped from the sky without much of an explanation, and it was up to the player to help evacuate the island and destroy the Reaverbot attackers. The missions that followed were all told as flashbacks, and the last mission brought things full circle and added some context for that Reaverbot attack.
Is there anything story or character-wise or anything else that we didn't know beforehand that you learned from playing the game?
I don’t recall how much had been revealed at the time I played the game, but the mysterious connection between Barrett and Barrel Caskett certainly stood out to me.
What were the most interesting parts of the game?
Certainly, the mystery of who Barrett was was very intriguing, and the antagonistic relationship between Aero and her father (the police chief) had a lot of promise. I also got a kick out of the enemy gang called “the Roast Beefs.”
What score would you give for what you did play?
If I were rating the Prototype Version on the Nintendo Power review scale for downloadable games, I’d definitely give it a Recommended. There would have been a lot of content for two bucks, and Mega Man fans would have flipped out at finally getting a new Legends game in any form. If I were to assume all the gameplay contained in the Prototype Version was indicative of the final product, I’d say it would have been on its way to getting something in the 7.0 to 8.0 range.
Were there any transportation upgrades/add-ons? Jet Skates and the like?
There weren’t any transportation add-ons, but Barrett had a built-in dash ability, and he also had a hoverbike (called a Motorhorse) that he could use during a good portion of the game.
Did Mega Man get off the moon?
No, Mega Man was still stuck on the moon in the Prototype Version.
Does MMVolnutt still “kick” it?
I can’t say about Mega Man Volnutt since he wasn’t in the Prototype Version, but Barrett certainly did. The X Button was used for firing special weapons, but if you didn’t have one equipped, the button made him kick.
Did voice acting play a majority of the prototype? (Was it also the same voice actors from the previous games?)
There was a pretty good amount of voice acting. I’d guess that none of the actors worked on the previous Legends games, especially since most of the dialogue was spoken by new characters like Aero. Tiesel sounded like a different actor, but he was still pretty over-the-top zany. I can say one thing for sure: all of the voice acting was infinitely better than the narrator from Mega Man Legends 1!
Did the gameplay feel similar to past Legends games? Was it enjoyable?
The main thought I had after playing the game was that it really “felt” just like the old Mega Man Legends games. Despite having a different playable character and optional new controls, it was very true to the series. Granted, the last Legends game came out more than 10 years ago, and games have come a long way since then, so it felt a little stiff by modern standards, but it also felt authentic.
How much (in terms of time) did you get to play it?
I played for about three hours. I was surprised how much content there was in the Prototype Version, considering that it seemed like it was essentially going to be a playable demo. Not only were there a good number of missions, but after completing all the missions you could simply explore the environments and talk with NPCs, or you could go to the debug room to see even more behind-the-scenes stuff. I definitely could have spent more time playing the game than I did (and I would have if I’d known it was going to be my only chance to play it!)
Next page: Mission descriptions, Tron Bonne, boss battles and more!