It has been a difficult week for the guys at Capcom. Since news about the perma-save/one save only feature included in their Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D game for the Nintendo 3DS became public knowledge, they have been busy trying to persuade the gaming community that the fact the game's save data cannot be reset does not affect the overall replay value of the game. Are they right?
Initial information gathered on Tuesday suggested that the perma-save function would also prevent the game from being reset back to the very beginning, meaning that the game could essentially only be played once.
However, Capcom have now begun to set the record straight on exactly how the one-save-only feature would work. According to them, the perma-save feature was added in order to give the game an intrinsically Arcade gaming feel.
According to Capcom sources, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is a time-based score attack game, akin to the old 80's-style Arcade games. Players must defeat zombie hoardes in order to rack up an overall high score before the timer runs out.
As such, the game does not feature a traditional campaign mode as offered by most modern shooter games.
However, when asked to comment about whether the fact that the game's data could not be reset or deleted also meant that the game could only be played once, Capcom were quick to offer this statement:
"This is not true. Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is a non-linear experience where there is no set end to the game. It is a score attack game and progression is defined as improving upon previous high scores. Players can replay each mission as many times as they like to continually challenge themselves to improve."
[sourced from: http://www.capcom-unity.com/resident_evil/go/thread/view/7391/27944601/About_the_Save_Data_(Official)]
Capcom also responded to claims that the perma-save feature would affect trade-ins and used copies of the game by saying:
"Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D consists of 30 time-based missions, through which the player unlocks skill upgrades as they progress through the game. Anyone purchasing a copy of the game secondhand would have access to all the missions and skills that the original owner unlocked, in addition to the content that was available to the original user." [ibid.]
Nevertheless, this does not mean that trade-in prices of the game have not been affected since the news about the perma-save went public.
HMV has refused to accept trade-ins of Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D when the game becomes available in the UK on Friday, over fears that customers will be disappointed with buying a game that already has all the content unlocked.
Meanwhile, in Japan, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D has been dramatically reduced in price in many stores in order to get customers to purchase the game dispite its apparent low resale value.
However, the Electronics Boutique (EB Games) store in Australia has gone one step further and has actually recalled all copies of the game from its stores in protest against the perma-save feature. Speaking to Joystiq.com recently, a representative of the EB Games Facebook Group said:
"We made the tough decision to remove [the game] from sale because we have everybody's best interests in mind, and don't feel its fair that you guys would be paying $60 for what is essentially a one use game."
[Sourced from: http://www.joystiq.com/2011/06/29/game-retailers-go-back-and-forth-on-resident-evil-mercenaries-3/]
So, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D CAN be played more than once, allbeit with any users' highscore data and previously unlocked bonuses and weapons undeletable, which is fantastic news for those gamers who wanted to purchase the game but were afraid that the game could not be replayed or would offer very little incentive to replay the game.
Nevertheless, the inclusion of the perma-save feature still has some members of the gaming community fuming.
One of the major causes of upset amongst Resident Evil 3DS fans at the moment is that Capcom has essentially removed the right to start the game over from scratch if players wish to, which could be said to deny gamers the feeling of personal ownership over the game.
It also means that any gamer who buys this game second hand will not be able to unlock any content for themselves and will also start the game with the previous owner's highscore in place (until they can beat it), which some gamers argue is very unfair and takes away some of the core enjoyment from the game.
The 'beat your high score' type of game is most definitely reminiscent of the 1980s Arcade games, which is what Capcom claims they are trying to achieve with this game.
Could Capcom's decision to include the perma-save function be seen as a gradualistic move away from the modern campaign mode games, which tend to offer gamers a wider choice within the game and greater customisation options than Arcade-style games. If so, then what does this mean for the future of videogames as a whole?
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is set to debut in the UK from tomorrow.
HAVE YOUR SAY:
Is the use of a Perma-Save acceptable in videogames?
Would you buy this game?
Would you buy this game?
Do you agree that not being able to unlock content in used copies of the game will make Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D less appealing to gamers in the future?
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