When Capcom decided to not allow game saves to be deleted from recent zombie shooter Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, you could have sworn the public were out to get them like the undead which inhabit the game. It didn’t go down well at all and the pre-owned market almost didn’t accept 3DS title into its domain. Some retailers refused to take in the game for trade-ins and some say that contributed towards the mediocre reception it received. Capcom has always insisted they never intended to penalise pre-owned sales but you’ve got to wonder why else would they not allow previous game saves to be removed.
Despite all that, Namco figured they’ll do the very same with the upcoming release of Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions for the 3DS (according to Wired). So if you ever tire of these iterations of experiences you’ve played time and time again, chances are few places will accept the single cart as a trade-in and it’s you can’t even swap it with friends due to the solitary game save. Does it matter? Well, yes. The point of these games, just as it is for shooting gallery like The Mercenaries 3D, is to progress, gain rewards and achievements along the way and unlock goodies as you do so. Which is fine for someone who wants the game for themselves and will probably only ever want to play through everything once. But if you want to replay through it again and wipe your existing scores to make the experience feel new again, forget it. What’s even more peculiar is the omittance of a score board. The game will only save the highest figure and nothing else so if you’re interested in picking Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions up and have a mate who is particularly good at these kind of games, I wouldn’t let them have a go in case they rack up a total that you can never beat.
I can see why companies would want to make it difficult for users to trade-in their games but this way of doing so is ludicrous. A lack of leader-board is a notion which sounds alien for todays modern games and a stupid one at that. As much as I’m on the side of the developers, the reality is a game, any game, is likely to be passed on to someone else be it as a pre-owned sale or friendly swap. Making this harder through limiting saves is dumb because it has the potential to damage first-hand sales as seen with The Mercenaries 3D. Sure, the averaging scores probably did more to hurt that game than a fixed save file but why give customers another reason not to pick up your title when the reasons for doing so are already so few?