News Article

Uh Oh, Now Namco Goes for Single 3DS Save File

Posted by James Newton

List is getting longer

Last month's Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D save file debacle might seem a long time ago now, but it's about time it got dredged up again as it appears Namco has stuck the unpopular system in Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions.

According to a report from Wired, the cartridge only stores your most recent high score rather than the traditional leaderboard, and that these scores cannot be reset once logged. Nor can any extra content or achievements you unlock — these are yours forever.

The game is available across North America now, so if you've bought the game we want to hear if you've encountered this issue, and if so what you make of it.


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User Comments (65)



Wheels2050 said:

Bad Namco! Bad!

I long for the days of buying a game and being able to do what you want with it. All these online activations, locking to accounts, messing with save systems - all it does is impact on the legitimate users' experiences.



J-Forest-Esq said:

Every human being deserves to be able to delete his/her save file.
I don't think this will take off completely though, it's too badly received.



bteamfox said:

This maybe what Nintendo want but it is us the customer that buys the product and use it. This is an unfair practice to implement and is only implemented for one reason that I see, to make it harder to sell the game second hand. We the customer should have the basic write to clear all data before we sell an old game or in my case to start the game again from scratch. I had this game on pre-order in the UK and have now cancelled it. Nintendo I will NOT by games no matter what they are if they do not let us the customer clear our old save data.

If any one has started an official petition to Nintendo please point me in the right direction so I can sign it.



47drift said:

And yet again, it's a score based arcade game. I really see no problem here. Again.



ThomasBW84 said:

@bteamfox - one thing I would say is that this isn't a Nintendo decision, but a choice made by the game developer/publisher.

My biggest problem with this tactic is if it affects unlockables and extra content. If the game is the same from start to finish and is merely about setting high scores, it's less of a problem for gamers who want to play the game multiple times. However, when unlockable content is there forever, that's where I think this tactic becomes petty and unnecessary. To be clear about my point, an 'arcade' experience only exists where the saved data is high scores only, when other content is involved there's nothing 'arcadey' about locking save data.



Supremeist said:

Will you all please relax? I got this game today and it is absolutely amazing. I don't care about the save file, but It's still kind of pointless. It's just a score based game anyway, I don't think it really needs a save file. RE:Mercenaries did deserve the option to be able to delete save data, but Capcom already announced that it was a huge mistake.

This game is awesome.



sykotek said:

Calling this right now!
Sequence of upcoming events:

1) Complaints of 3DS save limitation leads to terribly poor sales of Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions in the critical period.

2) At a Namco Bandai board meeting poor sales figures baffle those in charge. After brainstorming, NB eventually comes to the conclusion that there is nothing that can be done and the 3DS is not a viable market for making games at this time.

3) Tales of the Abyss is immediately cancelled for Nintendo 3DS.

4) Dozens of fans launch Facebook campaigns, complain on various message boards and dozens of petitions pop up in a futile attempt to convince NB to release their cancelled game.

5) NB does not change their mind as their sales figures show no return on their investments.

6) Fans blame Nintendo.

7) Another game company does the same thing, so do fans...rinse repeat ad nauseum.



Supremeist said:

Let me be the first to congratulate Namco for making an awesome game. I don't mind the save file on this one.



darkgamer001 said:

There is only one way to send a message to Namco if you think that this was a mistake - don't buy the game. These guys aren't going to read these or any other gaming boards, so the only way to send a message is through not buying the game. It would then be up to Namco to gauge why the game failed. This seems like a small issue, and even more so when considering the nature of the game (it being an arcade Pacman), but we don't want this lame feature becoming some sort of disgusting standard on handheld games (much like how stupid DRM measures on many PC games which kinda ruin the experience of gamers)



Wheels2050 said:

@Aviator & 47drift: You're right that it's a score based game, but I disagree with both of you for two main reasons:

1. The game also includes achievements and unlockables. Some people (including me) enjoy being able to wipe things and start over. YMMV.

2. While this may not be a huge deal right now, this sort of thing doesn't bode well for the future. I'm far from a doomsayer, but removing the ability to do something as simple as deleting a save could grow into something more. I remember a while ago thinking that online activations of PC games were annoying but not a huge deal; Ubisoft then took that to the extreme and required a PERMANENT online connection to play several games. To me, that's unfathomably stupid. The backlash was huge, but it didn't stop them from ruining several games for many people.



OverlordMao said:

Oh noes, not Pacman!? How am I going to erase the "SEX" initials that players much better than me leave when I buy the game used!? URRRRGH

Okay, sarcastic joke aside, I don't fine this one to be that big of a deal.



bteamfox said:

My point of boycotting games that don't let users reset save data is:-

A. Users should have the right to reset data if they wish.
B. It is the only way companies will listen to customer.
C. If this is not stopped now more and more games will have this function removed in the future.

People need to look to the future. Galaga my not need this function but if it is not there, then we do not have a choice. If we do not complain now, a game you do want to rest in the future may not have the function. Think ahead people. I am sure Nintendo could make it mandatory that all licensed games had to allow erasure of saved data if they wanted to.



TheAmazingRaccoon said:

it is fine to have undeletable high scores. The reason I was apposed to the undeletable save file in RE:M was because it had a bunch of unlockables.



Teh-Ray said:

lol and of course people still have their panties in a bunch over this.

I believe comment #4 pretty much sums up my sentiments here.



Blaze said:

TBH, seeing as this is a score based game, it would make hardly any difference, but yeah, this is getting ludicrous. Can't they see people will refuse to buy their games due to this factor? Bad move Namco.



Samholy said:

never been a pacman fan anyway, sorry namco.

frankly, because if i find a title worthy of purchase, it will be bought new. this system doesnt affect me much on this point.

so all they want is people to keep their games, and slow down the used market. im sure they lose a lot of sellings because of that. think about it. a game company sells thousands of copies. then half of this thousand i sold for the used market, and that half finds new owners. that's half a thousand copy the game company wont have they money for, or wont have their selling statistic.



siavm said:

You do know this has been going on since the ds. Why are you sites making such a big deal about it now?



Hardy83 said:

It funny that this has been going on for a while now even with the DS, but people are taking issue with it now on the 3DS.
My guess would be that since there's so few games for the 3DS, having two use this non-delete feature seems like a lot.



daznsaz said:

might become a bit of a trend dont know but im keeping resi mercs and ill keep this when i get it bit of a bummer when others use your 3ds because i like them to have their own file but not the end of the world



stratocastx said:

Still buying it. Still going to love it. Only reason I don't have it right now is because Target was sold out and Walmart didn't have it in stock.




I don't care about this save file issue tbh. Wouldn't impact on my decision as to whether to get the game or not. I'd be interested to read anybody's impressions of the game. A thread is up on the 3DS forum section. I take it the NA don reviewers will be reviewing this?



Burning_Spear said:

Not a big deal to me; I'm not getting the game. However, I think Namco is losing on this one. Would anyone not buy a used copy of this because someone else's leaderboard was already present? That's the way it was with every arcade game I ever played. I'm sure some people will be turned off of used copies, but I don't think resales will be hurt as much as new sales will.



Milkman-123 said:

not that i was gonna share this game with anyone, but i did want an extra save file to perform glitches. ):



TrueWiiMaster said:

Eh, it doesn't really matter in this type of game. It would be nice to have a reset-able save data for those people who actually keep the game and want to restart it and get the achievements again, but I doubt that's a very large group of people. People who buy used can't really complain. It's not unusual for people who buy used to get less than people who buy new; that's why it's cheaper to buy used. What are they gonna do anyway, call the developer and tell them they refuse to buy this game used? I doubt the developer would care very much.

And why do people keep saying they have a right to deleting save data? There's no such right! Back in the day games didn't even HAVE save data. It is not a feature inherent to gaming! The only right you get when you buy a game is to be able to play it on the system it was made for. That's it. You don't even have the right to a good game. Otherwise bad games would be illegal. I mean seriously, if Nintendo made a new Zelda on the 3DS and it had a permanent save file (hopefully that would never happen) would you really skip it? You might be annoyed and vent on forums, but how many people would actually skip it?



triforceofcourage said:

Not a problem for this type of game... But still, why? I don't see ANY reason to create this type of permanent saving game.



Monsti said:

Did I understand this right? It only saves ONE score? Not your ten best scores or something?
Could anyone please tell me that...



TKOWL said:

I actually like non-data deletion better in this type of game: you don't have to worry about accidentally erasing your highly sought-after high scores. I've had that problem before with other games like this.



irken004 said:

For score based games, I probably wouldn't mind something like this. But for other types of games, I'd be ticked off.



LittleIrves said:

I think the lack of a leaderboard or Top 10 score list is WAY more problematic than the non-deletable save file. As Kohler in the Wired article says, it's nice to see your progression of improvement as the score get higher. Just a single number takes away from that.
(Wasn't going to buy this anyway. But the trend, new or old, is unsettling.)



bezerker99 said:

@35. Precisely! All NES games (usually ports of arcade games) that are based on High Points/Score will erase your highscore as soon as you power the console off. NES games on VC benefit from the Wii's save/suspend feature, keeping your highscores intact (as long as one doesn't Reset the software).

Namco, apparently, is taking this concept to a "higher" level.



Monsti said:

@35/38: I know lots of people who at one point start new from the beginning when they haven't played a while to see their progress....I don't know anyone who ever accidentaly deleted their highscores.

@37: Yes, that is the reason I'm not buying it. Just one score is absolutely ridiculous. The longer the list the better. It's soooo much more fun to see your progress.



GreenInferno said:

Single save file? Then the game should be half of its usual price. How do I figure? Well most games give you at least TWO profiles with which to use. What if your brother or sister wants their own file? Buy another cart? OK, then halve the RRP.



Burning_Spear said:

@41 has a good point. Renewable save files have become industry standard. How can you charge the standard price without it?



retro_player_22 said:

It's hard to believe that a game like The Legend of Zelda which was released like two decades ago offered save files you can create and delete whenever you want and games that got released nowadays doesn't. Really this is just Namco Bandai's way of pissing gamers off.



Chris720 said:

No leaderboards? Wtf Namco? Seriously... whut da fudge?!

Here's a single save file and we're taking away leaderboards. Nooooooo! D:

Not bothered by this either, it's a score... based... game. I'd be more annoyed if it was a story based game.



retrox said:

Wow, this new anti-consumer trend is saving me lots of money that I can now spend on awesome indie games for my PC.

Ah, who am I kidding. I wouldn't have bought this anyway. But at least now I get to yell on the internets about it!



bboy2970 said:

Well this isn't exactly a good thing but I don't think it is as big of a deal as the RE thing. This is an arcade game so its not that bad that the save file can't be erased. That said, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to not even give the option to delete save data. I'm getting this game new so it doesn't matter to me but I really hope this doesn't become a trend because for other genres, like every one that isn't arcade, this could be a huge problem...



TheBaconator said:

Just kidding. I really don't understand why this one save file thing is starting to aggravate everyone now. It has been going on in many games for awhile now.



Yogsoggoth said:

It's sad to see so many people go to such great lengths to defend Namco's nonsensical decision and to also deride people that think it is a "big deal". The fact of the matter is that Namco did this to prevent reselling the game. There is no other explanation. If you choose to give Namaco your money even though they are engaging in this type of behvaior, that is your business, but please don't act as if this isn't a big deal. What's next, games that can only be played once?



Corbs said:

I will not buy a game that features a save file that can't be deleted. Won't do it. I don't care WHAT game it is. End of story.



CrazyOtto said:

Nintendo needs to use the "memory card" system in their next handheld so stuff like this doesn't happen again.

Otherwise, I'm enjoying Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions.



TheGreenSpiny said:

No LEADERBOARDS? What's the point? These are both score based games, and you can't delete the files?

What happened to online leaderboards? Wasn't every score based game every made from now on supposed to have online leaderboards? That is supposed to be the standard right?

Another reason the 3DS sells poorly... 3rd parties pulling this crap.



WolfRamHeart said:

No leaderboards and no ability to delete your save file? Sorry Namco, no sale.

EDIT: Now that I see the Metacritic scores for this game I guess that I wouldn't have bought it anyway.



retrox said:

By my count, this is the fifth 3DS game to utilize the persistent save data model. Considering the relative youth of the console, I think it's safe to say now that this is clearly a marketing strategy to decrease second-hand value and to encourage consumers to purchase games new; in much the same way that other titles grant bonus content for preorders to encourage day-one sales.

If you're okay with that, fine. If you're not okay with it, fine too. But if you don't see it and call it for what it is, you are either blind or a fool.

It has nothing to do with it being an "arcade" style game or a "high-score based" game, or anything of the sort. It has everything to do with game makers trying to corral consumers into purchasing games on the company's terms, and not the consumer's.

Bad, bad business. But they'll get away with it, and I predict we'll see more of it in the future. Most people don't seem to mind being herded. I don't mind so much, as most of my interests these days lie elsewhere, but it saddens me to see the gaming industry choosing these paths and their loyal customers obediently bending over for it.

Whatever, I guess.



Dodger said:

It's really annoying that they think it's OK. It's not the end of the world but it isn't right either. :/

I had heard somebody here say that if you remove a game card or turn off the system while saving then it deletes your save data so I tried with Orcs and Elves because it had been forever since I played and if I was going to play it, I was going to start a new game and it worked. I don't have any 3DS titles that I want to risk it with though. If you want to take the risk then it probably does work though. Still really annoying that you have to take the risk of damage being done to your games or buy something to back up save data on a computer in order to just start a new safe file.



emiru69 said:

Keep complaining, keep buying used games: Assassins Creed 3DS and Mega Man 3DS already canceled. Then when you have just one good game each year blame Nintendo. I'm not defending Nintendo or Namco but I'm just tired of this argument... I understand people getting upset over Resident Evil but this? it's just a freaking number on the screen?! Who cares if that number comes from somebody else? You are not loosing any special feature! No wonder Nintendo ended up ignoring their own fanboys. I understand that this sounds unfriendly but Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft are here to get money. They are loosing a bunch of money in the used game market. They try to cut some of that money. Sony is starting his PSN PASS with Resistance 3 really soon; there you will have 1 single code to unlock the online mode. Look around you, EA and other companies are doing the same thing. This strategy is way more aggressive than locking up your Save File. You can play all the game modes without any problem.



Scrent said:

All the times I had a save erased it was by a wrong doing, power outrage or data corruption. I would much prefer to be unable to loss all that data.

The only ones that should be worried about this are the ones that buy used games. To be able to re-gain achievements and alike are just excuses. Go tell Microsoft or Sony that you want to erase your achievements and trophies!

And a boycott sounds ridiculous. Those that buy new aren't influenced by this and those that buy used already don't give a cent to the developers!



Gamesake said:

This is for the best. Whenever you delete saves to replay "your" old games, isn't that the same thing as stealing?



armoredghor said:

there's not really any campaign or unlockables in the game anyway. it doesn't really matter.

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