Recently, Capcom released “Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D” for the Nintendo 3DS. The game was mediocre at best and gamers everywhere were upset that Capcom only included one non-erasable game save slot. I know a few folks who are still freaking out about this decision.
To begin, does anybody remember the days when games didn’t have the ability to save at all? Ha, I was born in 1990 so the NES era had just passed, but I grew up with games that didn’t even have the ability to save (with a few exceptions of course). So what this basically amounted to was me leaving my system on for days at a time, hoping to God that my Mom or Dad didn’t find the system and shut it off. After a little while Nintendo found a way to save on cartridges…Thank God, could you imagine trying to collect EVERY star in “Super Mario 64” without a save slot? Even though saving was getting more common, the Nintendo 64/PlayStation/PS2 era still forced us to buy memory cards to save our progress in a bunch of games.
Fast forward 10 years. The times have drastically changed. Ever since the original Xbox included a hard drive in their console it has become common place for new systems to do the same. Not only do we as gamers expect a hard drive, we expect more and more storage on them. Sorry Nintendo Wii and your 500 mbs of on board memory…your not getting it done for us.
So it’s peculiar that Capcom has taken this approach. Since they only included one non-erasable slot they essentially cut out both the USED and RENTAL markets for this game (GameFly has taken the game off of their site). If you were to rent this game you would not be able to start from the beginning. You would have to start wherever the person before you left off. Imagine playing “Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” and having to start from the Water Temple with no explanation of the story, weapons, etc….What the hell is a hook shot?
Now Capcom was not the first to do this. “Zookeeper”, “The Sims 2” all include this feature. Most recently “Super Monkey Ball 3D” for the 3DS included the same one save feature, yet nobody complained…hmm, interesting.
How will this effect us as gamers?
This is another step in the whole “Used Games Debate” between developers and retailers. If you remember late last year with the release of “Madden 2011” EA also brought with it the “Online pass.” The online pass is basically a way for developers/publishers to make more money off of used games sales and take a bite out of Gamestop/other major used game retailers. It called for the user to pay ten dollars if they bought the game used in order to unlock the games online content. Since then more and more developers have adopted the “online pass.” On top of that we now have this one save feature, yet another jab at the used game market.
As a gamer I get more and more worried each passing year about these things. During these hard economic times, used games are essential to millions of gamers out there. It is wrong knowing that they are not getting the full experiences that people who buy new games get.
I just hope this trend doesn’t move over to other mediums. I would hate to buy a used book with the last 50 pages cut out of it.
So tell me what you guys think in the comments below. What is your opinion on the “One-Save” game feature? Where do you stand on the “Used Games Debate”? Any other concerns/comments?