Controls: Prototype Version provided 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."
Playable Characters: Barrett was the only playable character in Prototype Version.
Introductory Mission: Teomo City is under siege by a barrage of Reaverbots. Players are tasked with evacuating the island and eradicating the Reaverbot threat. The following missions "were all told as flashbacks, and the last mission brought things full circle and added some context for that Reaverbot attack."
Barrett/Barrel Caskett Connection: Hoffman confirms the presence of a mysterious connection between Barrett and Barrel, a plot point previously hinted by Capcom. Specifics were not divulged.
Most interesting Part of the Game (Opinion): Hoffman was intrigued by Barrett's character and the tension between Aero and her father, police chief of Teomo City. Further, he got a kick out of the name of the rival biker gang, "The Roast Beefs."
What Score Would You Give Prototype Version? Had Hoffman reviewed Prototype Version for Nintendo Power, he'd give it a satisfactory '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."
Method of Transportation: Jet Skates were not available in Prototype Version, but Barrett did have a built-in dash ability. Barret's hover bike was accessible during a good portion of the game.
Did Mega Man Get Off the Moon? Nope. Volnutt is still stuck on the moon during the events of Prototype.
Can You 'Kick'? Yes! When not equipped with a special weapon, the X button would make Barrett kick.
Voice Acting: Prototype contained a large amount of voiced dialog. "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!"
Gameplay Feel: In spite of having different controls, Prototype played and "felt" a lot like the old Mega Man Legends games. Controls felt a little stiff at times, but the experience was authentic.
Playtime: Hoffman played roughly three hours. He was surprised at how much content was packed into the game. Not only was it chock full of missions, but once you beat everything, "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."
The Debug Room: Hoffman did have a chance to play with the debug room, though not as much as he would have liked. "I fiddled around with some parameters (attack range, movement speed), and I reduced gravity so I launched myself to ridiculous heights. I also earned a password (EMHOR) that I think was supposed to unlock something cool, but I never got to see what it did."
Devroom Content: In terms of content created by Devroom users, Prototype Version included the Donner Wels mech battle. Hoffman does not recall if the winning NPC lines made it in or not.
NPC/World Interaction: The game was rife with NPCs to talk to, and things to buy. Stores and shops were stationed outside. "I think I bought some ramen and some bread (made from Kattelox Wheat, no less!), but I don’t recall if I could use it for anything. Many of the missions allowed you to talk to NPCs as well."
THE MISSIONS: Prototype boasted 10 playable missions..
- Trouble In Paradise: This is the opening mission, in which you battle Reaverbots in Teomo City.
- Barrett & Friends: This is primarily the introductory story. It tells players about Teomo City, Diggers, and the concept of Rebel Rider youth gangs. It also introduces Barrett and his friends Max, Aero, Pic, and Grille, who comprise the Bright Bats gang. According to the game, Rebel Riders allegedly have “no regards for society’s rules,” but they seemed pretty benign to me.
- Late-Night Race: This is a hoverbike racing contest through the Teomo City streets.
- One Bullheaded Rival: A boss battle against a rival gang leader named Bullbreath, the leader of the Roast Beefs. It was on the easy side.
- Take Me Somewhere - Barrett the Chauffer: In this one you have to drive Aero around to various locations, including the park and a place called the “Gate of Frontiers.” Not that it’s important, but I enjoyed the food truck called “Oh My Gyros” in the park.
- Operation Anti-Riders: Fed up with Rebel Rider gangs, the chief of police Gonzo Goodwin attacks the Bright Bats with a mech/vehicle called the Anti Rider Crusader 1. Apparently Roll built the vehicle.
- Rocket R&D Fundraising: This mission especially like classic Legends games. You venture into some ruins to get a refractor for Roll. She needs it so she can build a rocket to bring Mega Man home from Elysium.
- Yes, Miss Tron: You have to retrieve Tron’s missing Servbots within a time limit.
What’s in the Box?: This is another ruins-exploration mission. At the end, you learn about a treasure called the Klicke Lafonica, which seemed like it was going to be a major plot point.
- Bonne Family Showdown: This is the battle against the fan-created Donner Wels mech. It was pretty challenging; I got electrocuted the first time I tried it.
Tron Bonne: Tron still hasn't come to terms with her feelings for Mega Man Volnutt.
Elder System Reference: Hoo-boy; this is neat. Apparently, the Reaverbot attack on Teomo City was a result the system becoming active, but it the game never specified if that was the case exactly. The Elder System was a plot point established in the final moments of Legends 2.
Best Part of the Game (Opinion): Boss battles. The Donner Wels and on-rail Roll fight, in particular, were really polished.
Flaws/Glitches/Bugs: Motorhorse racing mission, Late-Night Race missions weren't very fun, lacking polish.
Prototype Version Plot: "Prototype Version primarily focused on Barrett and the Bright Bats without any clear plot, but it appears that the final game would have involved a three-way scramble to find the Klicke Lafonica (“The Fire of All Creation”) between Mega Man and co., Barrett and the Bright Bats, and the Bonnes."
Where Is Barrell? "I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Barrett is a contraction of BARRell CaskETT. Obviously, both characters have metal plates on their faces, and when Roll encounters Barrett, she says he “seems like family.” Also, Barrell doesn’t appear in the Prototype Version; Roll states he’s been missing for a week or two. One guess would be that Barrett is a younger version of Barrell, but Barrett seems like he’s been living in Teomo City and hanging out with the Bright Bats for a lot more than a couple weeks. I would have loved to have found out the real story."
How Far Along Was Legends 3/Prototype Version's Development? Hoffman notes that while Legends 3 itself was a long ways off, Prototype Version "seemed ready to go."
Hoffman's Opinion On Prototype Cancellation: "...the thing I find strange is that the Prototype Version was, for all intents and purposes, finished, but not released. If it were up to me, I would have wanted to make it available to at least get some sort of return on the investment that had been made so far, and to allow the contributors to see their creations come to life, and to judge what consumer interest was in the project as a whole. Then again, maybe it would have been even more heartbreaking to get the Prototype Version but not a full game."
Player Accessibility: "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.
3D Display: Hoffman wasn't particularly blown away by the game's optional 3D presentation, but he did like the added sense of depth.
Are We Missing Out On Something Special? Anyone who enjoyed the previous Legends games would no doubt eat up Prototype Version. It wasn't AAA quality, but it was enjoyable. Chris is disappointed it didn't release.
Weapon/Item Crafting: No system of any sort was in the game.
Mega Man Volnutt: Volnutt, himself, was not in the game. "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."
Data: Data was in the game, hanging out with Roll. Hoffman could not recall if the little guy was animated...
Ending/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."
Capcom's Effort: "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."
Mission Select: Missions were selectable from a menu, but Hoffman assumes the act would have been more opened in the final a la Grand Theft Auto.
The Bonne Family: "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."