Namco Bandai explains Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions 'save schemata'

By Xav de Matos, Jul 29, 2011 4:35pm PDT

A few days ago, multiple sites reported that Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions for Nintendo's 3DS limited the game's save feature to a single slot that could not be erased. While the move appears to mimic Capcom's save structure for Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, the Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions save feature is much more intricate and complex.

Shacknews contacted Namco Bandai to explain what it calls its "save schemtata" for the game, and received a detailed list of what is affected by the decision to make saves in the title permanent from the game's QA Lead.

Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions features a handful of games based on both classic Namco Bandai properties, which is what complicates the game's saving structure. Each game reacts differently to the game's permanent save file.

Of all titles included, Pac-Man Tilt is affected the most by the cart's one main save. The one file will track the following:

    Pac-Man TILT

  • +High score from EX level 1 - needs 10 medals to open EX1

  • Level progression 1-25 +5 EX unlockable levels Each level needs to be unlocked by playing the previous level. EX levels are unlocked after earning medals in level progression.

  • Level high scores, medals awarded (Bronze, Silver, Gold)

Other games in the bundle see smaller restrictions due to the single save file. The one file will claim and/or affect the following:

    Galaga 3D Impact

  • +High Score

  • Top 5 High scores

  • Option settings

    Pac-Man

  • +High score

  • Access to the highest level achieved

  • Top 5 High scores on the attract mode screen (no 3 letter name like the original game)

  • 16 badge progression (achievements unlocked under certain conditions)

  • Option settings

    Pac-Man Championship Edition

  • +High score

  • High score per each level with an accompanying graph of the game's stats.

  • 16 badge progression (achievements unlocked under certain conditions)

    Galaga

  • +High score

  • Access to the highest level achieved

  • Top 5 High scores on the attract mode screen (no 3 letter name like the original game)

  • 16 badge progression (achievements unlocked under certain conditions)

  • Option settings

    Galaga Legions

  • +High score

  • Top 5 High scores Adventure mode

  • High score for each level

  • 16 badge progression (achievements unlocked under certain conditions)

  • Option settings

    Score Ranking

  • Keeps one of each of the + scores mentioned above to submit to online Ranking boards.

  • Keeps a gamer name which the player can input via onscreen keyboard.

According to Namco Bandai, users will be able to save high scores and share them with others online; however, if the same cart is used in a second 3DS, "scores may be double posted online."

"There is no way to erase the save from within the game itself without misusing the hardware, causing corruption. It takes a very long time to get high scores on all the games to fill up the rankings as each game is a stand-alone title," Namco Bandai told Shacknews.

The rep noted that completing one of the games included in Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions "would take an average person 8-10 hours depending on skill level to max out."

"With 6 games, that's 60+ hours to fill up everything with good high scores."

Though this outline helps understand how the function works with each of the game's components, it does not outline the reason why the decision to restrict the cart to one save was made. When asked for a reason behind this decision, a separate Namco Bandai representative told Shacknews that they "could not comment" because they were not aware of the specifics that "contributed to the decision."

The major difference between the situation between Capcom's decision to restrict saves in Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D and Namco Bandai's decision to do the same in Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions is the lack of notification to the user. The booklet for Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D clearly states "Saved data on this software cannot be reset." No such language in the Pac-Man & Galaga booklet, that we've found, warns users of this limitation.

We'll have to wait and see how this changes development for the Nintendo 3DS. It may or may not be a signal for things to come, much like the recent trend of Online Passes, used to combat the used game market.

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