Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D save lock spurs used game controversy

A save issue unique to Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D has sparked outrage from gamers, forcing GameStop to evaluate whether to accept trade-ins of the game.

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Note: Saved data on this software cannot be reset.

This tiny blurb featured as a footnote in the instruction manual for Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D has sparked outrage from gamers. Because game progress is permanently saved to the cartridge, there is no way for a player who receives the game second-hand to start a new game from the beginning. This decision restricts gamers from lending the cartridge to friends and will potentially affect the market for buying/selling the game used.

When the news reached GameStop, the company initially blocked the ability to trade in the game. "GameStop did ask the U.S. store base to stop accepting trades on Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D as we evaluated the save system for the game," a company rep told us.

We inquired to Capcom about the reasoning behind this decision. Was it an intentional effort on the company's part to hinder used game sales? A company representative told us:

In Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, all mission progress is saved directly to the Nintendo 3DS cartridge, where it cannot be reset. The nature of the game invites high levels of replayability in order to improve mission scores. In addition, this feature does not remove any content available for users. Secondhand game sales were not a factor in this development decision, so we hope that all our consumers will be able to enjoy the entirety of the survival-action experiences that the game does offer.

The Mercenaries 3D is primarily a multiplayer game, meaning the inability to start from scratch isn't as obnoxious as it would be in a story-driven game. Still, for many players, building a character, and unlocking items--whether it be missions, characters, costumes, or weapons--make up for a majority of the "fun" of a game.

However, it's likely that the multiplayer focus of the title is what caused GameStop to rescind its initial blocking of the title. "Upon further review of the process with our publisher partner, Capcom, GameStop will resume taking trades on the game effective Wednesday, June 29."

Still, gamer outrage continues that Capcom would place such an arbitrary restriction on the game. Hopefully, the incited response of the community will ensure the company does not repeat the same mistake again in the future. Unfortunately, Capcom did not respond to our inquiries on whether this will be standard practice on their future cartridge-based games on the 3DS platform.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 29, 2011 11:45 AM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D save lock spurs used game controversy.

    A save issue unique to Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D has sparked outrage from gamers, forcing GameStop to evaluate whether to accept trade-ins of the game.

    • reply
      June 29, 2011 11:51 AM

      You're doing it wrong.

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      June 29, 2011 11:58 AM

      Has anybody here played this and how is it? Is there a campaign that you can play over? If this is just a leader-boards or achievements that are persistent then I don't see it being a big deal.

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        June 29, 2011 12:31 PM

        Brad Shoemaker said "check out our quick look... don't buy it" in the Bombcast.

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        June 29, 2011 6:50 PM

        From the quicklook on Giantbomb it looks like there are perks and achievements you can unlock. I think that would reduce the resale value of this game a bit.

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      June 29, 2011 12:09 PM

      [deleted]

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        June 29, 2011 10:26 PM

        Say you beat Demon's Souls and a friend of yours wants to play it. He can't start his own NG. He has to play your NG+ with all the spells, miracles, stats, weapons and armor that you acquired in your first play-through.

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      June 29, 2011 12:16 PM

      They are probing the electric fence, searching for weaknesses.

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      June 29, 2011 12:36 PM

      This has to be the stupidest thing I've ever read in all of game-dom. Retards.

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        June 29, 2011 12:48 PM

        Screw the 3DS, anyway. Buy a PC with the money you save.

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          June 29, 2011 4:46 PM

          If you can buy a modern gaming-quality PC for $250 I'd like to know where you're shopping.

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      June 29, 2011 12:41 PM

      What other reason would they do this, other than to prevent used game sales?

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      June 29, 2011 1:16 PM

      I find it funny that they implement stuff like this and then cry foul when someone hacks the system. I guess you reap what you sow.

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        June 29, 2011 1:24 PM

        I've never played mercenaries, and after watching the quick look, I don't see a story driven experience; just a bunch of brawl maps. I can see wanting to start everything fresh, but you can play anything that's unlocked with anything available. It's really not a big deal.

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          June 29, 2011 6:39 PM

          There's no story experience. It's always been a sorta survival side-mode in the RE series. This is the first time they've tried to package it on its own, and quite frankly it's just not strong enough to support that.

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          June 29, 2011 10:29 PM

          it's the fact that Capcom put it in there to begin with. Doesn't matter the game, restricting honest players on how they play the game is a good way to lose your customer base for future games

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      June 29, 2011 2:22 PM

      [deleted]

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      June 29, 2011 4:38 PM

      Didn't see this comming...

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      June 29, 2011 4:42 PM

      Part of the blame lies on Nintendo as the platform holder for allowing this. You should try to get a quote from Nintendo as to why this is acceptable to them.

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      June 29, 2011 6:26 PM

      What if I want to replay the game?

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        June 29, 2011 6:34 PM

        You can buy it again new! :-P Sadly, that sounds like advice that Capcom or store clerks may end up giving.

        After seeing the Quick Look, it appears that the saved items are pretty much unlocks, so one could argue that you could just choose not to use those unlocked items, but I disagree with that argument. It's a flash cartridge; there's no way that you "can't delete" the data. Capcom just chose to be assholes about it, and to couch a used-game-fighting tactic inside an MMO-esque argument that doesn't really work since the saved data is on a flash memory cartridge.

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      June 29, 2011 6:37 PM

      The Mercenaries is a fine side game, but I'm not paying full price for it on its own even before this. Revelations, on the other hand, will be a day one purchase for me.

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      June 29, 2011 6:44 PM

      Anyone who knows this and buys the game is a fucking moron.

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      June 29, 2011 6:52 PM

      So, they are blaming the cartridge save system? Do all 3DS games suffer from this?

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        June 29, 2011 6:54 PM

        I would think we would have heard of this months ago if that was the case.

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        June 30, 2011 10:26 AM

        That's impossible. If they can save a game, then they can save it to a default state.

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