Well, what can I say, soon it’ll be time to welcome back our good friend Megaman Vollnut and his crew. Megaman Legends 3 has been announced. It was a long time coming, ten years after Legends 2 was released on the original Playstation. On top of the long wait, the ending to the second game left the players with a gigantic cliff hanger. Megaman, after an epic battle against his nemesis from a past life, has saved his world but has been left unable to return. The last thing we see are his friends and friendly foes doing their best to make their way up to Megaman in order to bring him back, but failing in a comedic fashion. And that was it. The game ended on an obvious sequel hook, introducing a mysterious new element that Megaman would most likely have to fight, and leaving him stranded on a deserted planet far away from home. That’s how the fans of the franchise felt for the ten years afterward. Stranded, even forgotten by the developers at Capcom. Over the years fans would time and again ask Inafune, the father of the Megaman franchise and recently promoted to one of the head honchos at Capcom, for a follow up to the Legends franchise. After all, it seemed odd that a Megaman franchise would just die off at only 3 games (this includes the slightly off beat Misadventures of Tron Bonne that was a prequel of sorts to the first game). Capcom, known for milking its franchises to the bone with sequel after sequel (Street Fighter, Resident Evil, Megaman, and Devil May Cry, just to name a few) was letting one of the more fan popular Megaman series just end. Not with a bang, but a whimper. Well, Inafune went on record several times saying that he would want nothing more than to make another Legends game, but the relative financial failure of the second game made another sequel hard to do. Still, fans continued to ask, and the agony of the long wait for a sequel was only exacerbated by the numerous guest appearances of the Legends crew in various Capcom crossover games. Tron Bonne and her Servbot minions made playable appearances in Marvel vs Capcom 2, and Tron was just recently confirmed for a return in MvC3. Dead Rising, a game Keiji Inafune was involved with, even had a special Servbot helmet for Frank West to run around killing the undead in. Megaman and Roll on the other had made an appearance in Namco X Capcom, a strategy RPG mash up only released in Japan. Good ol’ Megaman Volnutt was even made a playable character in Tatsunoko vs Capcom. Fans were even teased with a Rockman Dash (Legends as it’s known in Japan) cell phone game that never made it stateside. It seemed like Megaman Volnutt was to be forever relegated to cameo status in other games. Well, that time of uncertainty is over!
Keiji Inafune, with a smile on his face announced that Megaman Legends 3 was in fact in development for Nintendo’s upcoming 3DS system. The announcement seemingly appeared out of nowhere, but the signs were there for those that paid attention. The slew of Legends characters in recent Capcom games seemed to have some purpose behind them, and with people like Shinji Mikami tweeting that Legends fans would soon have something to be very happy about, something was clearly afoot. The revelation that the game would be on the 3DS was certainly a surprise. Afterall, the first two Legends games were both on home consoles, but they were in fact ported to the PSP in Japan, so this is not the first time Legends has gone handheld. That said, many fans would have expected the new game on HD home consoles, but the move to the 3DS makes some sense. In his announcement, Inafune made clear he wasn’t just making a game to make it, but rather he would want to make something innovative, something new. In any case, information on the new game is limited, but you can expect to hear more at the New York Comic Con. In the mean time, count me among those excited, and judging from the fact that there already exists fan art, be sure I’m not the only one.
In any case, what made Legends so memorable was the great combination of likable characters, great story, and awesome gameplay. The gameplay is especially of note because it was such a large departure of what Megaman was at the time. The Classic and X series were all that was in the Megaverse, and they stuck to their 2d side scrolling platformer roots rather closely over the course of many, many sequels. Legends was a huge break from that style by being the Blue Bombers first foray into the 3rd dimension, that is polygonal graphics, in the same fashion as Mario64. It turned Megaman from a robot built to fight for justice against Wily’s evil robots, to a young man in armor who explored the underground ruins of a past civilization in search of technology and the ever elusive Mother Load, a mysterious treasure. This was all set far in the future, thousands of years after both Megaman and Megaman X, in a world covered by water, humanity reduced surviving on scattered islands. Despite the grim sounding nature of the world, the feel of the over world was lighthearted and colorful, while the underground ruins were cold and ominous. Mixed in with the unique setting were questions about Megaman Volnutt’s origins, disappearance of Roll’s parents, and a group of lovable pirates set on getting their hands on all the treasure they could. To this day, Legends is still the most unique Megaman series in the franchise. It’s only fitting then that it be the first series to be presented in 3D, literally coming to life by jumping of your screen. While the announced price for the 3DS has given some fans pause, 25,000 Yen or roughly $300, I’m personally just excited to finally be getting such a long awaited sequel. I once told a friend that Legends 3 was a game I’d buy a console for, saying that if it were announced for the Xbox 360 exclusively, I’d go out that day and purchase one, putting my Sony fanaticism aside. I by all means meant those words, so consider me a day one owner of the 3DS, and Legends 3 is to thank for that.
By all means, I’d like to hear from those of you out there, how excited are you for this? If you were looking forward to it, has the 3DS price dampened your excitement, or are you excited to see Trigger kicking butt in 3d? Below is a link to Inafune’s announcement. Expect an update when New York Comic Con rolls around.