As the generation ends, I want to discuss one of my most beloved franchises: Lost Planet.
Back in 2005 shortly after the launch of the Xbox 360, I was 15 year old high school student, who finally saved up enough cash to finally get one. Weeks later it arrived, I had no games (I wanted DOA4) and eventually Sonic 06 when it releases, but at the moment, had no cash to buy any so I spent my time on Xbox Live (free one month gold trial) downloading demos and playing them. Along the list of demos available, one struck my eye, thatwas being advertised a lot a the time. At first I ignored it, because it looked like your average shooter which I wasn't interested in playing. But I noticed something that made this one in particular stand out. "CAPCOM". Recognizing that name, growing up as a fan of arcade, action, and fighting games quickly swayed my opinion. I wanted to actually give it a shot. (and I was bored.)
There were two download options.
-Single Player Campaign Demo
-Online Multiplayer Demo
I downloaded them both, but before I decided to just hop in on my first online console experience, I decided to at least try the single player campaign demo first. It'd be a good way to get familiar with the game and understand it before I get out with the wolves to be abused.
Single Player introduced me to some overwhelming shit at the time. A timer was ticking down, everything was cold and desolate. abandoned towns, cars and cold steel buried in the snow. Just me, 300 rounds of machine gun ammo, and 5 grenades.
When it came down to it, I understood what this game was about, "Survival" and I loved it. Death following me closely from all sides, be it Akrid, Snow Pirates, or just the depletion of my precious energy source that kept my body warm; T-ENG. Lost Planet was a game that forced me out of my comfort zone and to embrace shit I don't like, huge ass hives and cities invested with insectoid like crustaceans, spiders, pulsating assholes and other spine-tingling shit I don't fuck with. I had to do it to survive. I had to embrace the wilderness and unknown. AND I LOVED EVERY FUCKING SECOND OF IT.
Let's get this straight, I FUCKING LOATHE Spiders, you know what? FUCK ALL BUGS.Butterflies too, worms, ant, whatever the fuck it might be, fuck all that shit. The only bugs I like are from Pokemon and if that shit was real, fuck Butterfree too.
But Lost Planet made me face that damn fear, and packed ALL THEM MOTHEFUCKERS in a god damn parking lot. As I spammed my grenades, I ran out. As I fired wildly, I ran out of ammo. Shit was about to get real and I'm only losing thermal energy as I waste time.
I had to brave that shit, gather resources, ammo, grenades, T-Eng. i had to use them wisely to dispatch the enemy. I had to understand that system and loved every minute of it.
This game had some of the things I love most in video games that I know have quality.
- Hit Stuns and Response
You don't get to fucking spray wildly in Lost Planet. You have to be on point. You have to be quick and responsive. YOU HAVE TO ADAPT.
Not only that. In 2005 I JUST WATCHING FINISHED DESERT PUNK. Just to feel so much relevance between two due to two of my favorite items. The grappling hook (anchor) and the goddamn Dummy Grenade (which I will discuss in a bit) Using that anchor to get around like Kanta in the fucking desert was orgasmic. Hook cancels and swinging around to get from point A to point B never felt some damn good.
This was indeed a motherfucking Capcom game. Core mechanics stuffed with fucking DEPTH. (If you were to EVER ask me what's my beef with today's Capcom. it's because they don't make it like this ANYMORE.
Rolling properly, grenade throws and shots, it was genius! It was like wet dream of an action game built on the mechanics founded by Megaman Legends.
And when I took my ass online. MULTIPLY THAT SHIT.
GET OUT YOUR CACKULATOR AND MULTIPLY THAT SHIT.
by a MILLION.
I played that shit for DAYS, MONTHS, YEARS, JUST THE DAMN DEMO, I EVEN BOUGHT COLONIES, AND STILL PLAYED THE DEMO. All we had, was Pirate Fortress, Friendly Fire, Unlimited Time Team Deathmatch. AND THAT ALL WE NEEDED AND IT WAS THE GREATEST SHIT EVER, especially when you find that worthy rival, that opponent that pushes your limits of cunning, tatics and planning on the fucking fly. IT WAS GOOD, IT GREAT, IT WAS AMAZING.
Like niggas turned down sex just to play! Which is another story, but that shit was crazy.
And all of that, is Lost Planet 1.
The polarizing entry in the motherfucking series. (as you can see I'm hype just writing about it).
2 for some people felt off putting. Hell it was even weird at me at first, after I took the time to ask Capcom for a Demo Key. Throwing grenades felt kinda off and the explosions weren't past Michael Bay levels unlike original, but fuck all that. You'll get used to it. Some people had problems due to campaign.
Now before we even get into this, note that, if you're playing Lost Planet and it's not for the multiplayer, you missed the fucking train. That campaign was nice. Wayne was cool, but it could never amount to being a badass snow pirate at war.
Some people felt confused because the game itself was multiplayer centric. For some of us, it was a fucking dream. The only thing we loved than Lost Planet was playing Lost Planet with other people. Shit awesome. Lost Planet as a series itself, can be off putting especially if you're used to "standard" TPS conventions, like Aiming Sight or whatever the hell it's called I forgot. It's a demanding game, it has properties, it demands more out you. You can't blazing until someone dies, because you will get stunned if they have the upper hand. Some players weren't ready for that, some still aren't. But this isn't about that, that's their problem, you can discuss it in thread if you like however.
LOST PLANET 2.
So after some events in College, got my Xbox stolen, got a new one along with a computer and some other shit. I finally dived into LOST PLANET 2.
and....... I felt out of place.
Sit down LP2 haters, there's more to the story.
It was really off putting to play the campaign alone, so I didn't. Capcom made that shit clear when they were advertising it, this was I was hype about, Snow Pirates uniting and taking on the masses. So me and my closest friend who was currently in the Navy (still is) we got together, and he helped me get started on the campaign. Lost Planet 2 was not a game you play alone. And with friends, it's fucking amazing.
The customization system was off putting at first but you'll get used to it. It kind puts new players at a disadvantage in competitive due to lack of available weapons, and you couldn't take someone else's weapon as in LP1. (Something I wouldn't mind they bring back.) If LP2's co-op could be stated simply:
Arc Christelle said:Lost Planet 2 Co-Op is like Metal Slug with four players, facing off against the soldiers, all the bosses, Allen, and the Mars people on CRACK.
New VSs, Armored Suits, New Akrid, New Weapons, A fucking Megazord, a fucking Nuke, crazy ass costumes, and so forth. There's a debate between LP 1 and 2, but personally, I vote for 2. The game is fucking epic, both co-op and competitive. The only real loss was the loss of the single player campaign and the lonely struggle it contained. There were still survival in LP2, but survival of a different breed. This time, your worst enemy was not timed T-ENG. It was the stage, your team, the enemy AI (they will scope you) the TRAIN, THE SALAMANDER, THAT ICE SHIT, THE WATER DRAGONS. THE OTHER MECHS, BIG WORM, THE SAME HATING ASS SPIDERS NOW WITH EXPLODING HEADS, YOU TOOK ON THE WORLD.
AND IT WAS AMAZING. You got 4 friends, you wanna have a good, time LP2. It's like Mario 3D World of Lost Planet. Also, you know you loved jumping the train with your friends, and watching them fail.
Lost Planet 2, stepped it up. But at the loss of the single player which weighed against them. Apparently people don't like to make friends. Whatever. Which backlash, brought upon to us, the following monstrosity.
Lost Planet 3.
Saw gameplay, hated it disputed it with all my heart for months on Capcom Unity, Youtube, wherever.I didn't like this shit. Now I don't mind if a game wants to focus on narrative, cool. But when it comes at the cost of EVERYTHING I loved about the previous entries....Fuck that. Maybe we can Big_Al in here, because he loves it for some reason, if he can type up his experience, I'll gladly add that to the OP to give players more of an unbiased view towards Lost Planet 3.
As for me, I REFUTE that shit. I might go watch it on Youtube or something later today but I'm not buying it.
They took out the core mechanics and everything that made it Lost Planet for some slow ass paced salaryman narrative that I didn't give a fuck about. Achors were restricted, the invisibility frames in rolls were removed, no jumping, I'm not sure if it had grenade throw shots like the original, but basically from all I've seen it was like watching something and promising sell out. Of course this isn't the only title Today's Capcom did that shit with, but it's one of the ones that hurt me the most. It was like they didn't even want my money. They served up a plate of mediocrity built with Unreal 3. It pisses me off that it even got to entry Number 3.
The only disappointment that come close to this shit, was Breath of Fire 6, and that's another story for another time. From the last financial reports, I recall Capcom blaming their low sales for LP3 on competition. lol competition was the least of LP3's problems.
But that's my view, I haven't played the game, just studied it and watched a lot of videos, judging from them. Perhaps someone had a different experience.
There was also EX Troopers which didn't even get fucking localized outside of Japan, >=/
If anyone have any comments on that title. I'd gladly add to the OP.
UPDATE: Big_Al's experience with LP3.
Yeah, the thing that surprised me out of all of this was how much I loved Lost Planet 3. I'll try and explain why to the best of my ability (I apologise in advance as I'm not a good writer)
Anyway the big thing for Lost Planet 3 is that it takes a much more storytelling approach at its core. The main writer of LP3 being the same guy who wrote the underrated Anachronox was especially surprisingly, a very dialogue heavy RPG with great writing. This straight away makes it very different from any of the others in the series. Lost Planet 1 and 2 are all about the action, they both tell stories but they are action games that want you in the action as soon as possible.
The big thing that jumps out with Lost Planet 3 is how different it is in pace, it's veeeeeeeeery slow to get into its story, as in surprisingly so. It's overall a very low key game and I can completely see why some folk just found it boring. When you first start the game you are new on the planet and have just started your job. You are a guy looking to earn some payola to send back to your wife and kid back home. The game starts off introducing the character Bill, and hence the player, to the world via basically doing Bills job. Planting energy posts, helping out other members of your team etc. You are essentially doing mundane things to start the game off with and dealing with the local Akrids is just another part of the job. Even Bills RIG ties into the story. With LP1 and 2 they are purely a gameplay mechanic, completely disposable and there to used, destroyed and another one grabbed from somewhere else. In LP3 it has a history, Bill built his RIG himself and it's a very clunky, slow machine made especially for contruction/engineering which Bill himself needs for his job. None of the upgrades for it are completely over the top, you don't all of a sudden get a chain gun, and it fits within the world they have built.
None of this would mean shit if it had terrible writing and voice performances but thankfully I thought the game excelled here. One big component of the game is that you get messages/and send messages back home to your wife. This would be soooooo easy to fuck up, like REALLY easy to mess up. But they didn't. I came to really like Bill and I felt the relationship between him and wife was genuinely touching and even realistic to an extent. I came to really like Bill the further the game went on and that drew me in and made me want to play more. I found none of the cast to be incredibly cliche an/or badly done. Their is one guy with a french accent who could have been so badly handled but thankfully wasn't.
Now from a gameplay perspective it's also different from Lost Planet 1 and 2, both inside and outside the RIG. LP1 and 2 as you have said have much more weight to them. They feel different to play. I enjoyed Lost Planet 3s on foot combat and it's fun but it doesn't really standout from any other third person shooter. It's much lighter than 1 and 2's combat and you can't just use your grapple anywhere, I was admittedly disappointed with this and did feel it was a bit of a step back. The number of weapons seemed pretty limited as well - shotgun, pistol, assault rifle, explosives. Nothing out of the ordinary really. The weapons feel good to use and sound great too, especially the shotgun which I used for a lot of the game so it's not a horrible game to play at all. But it's safe to say that it could have done with a bigger variety/arsenal of weapons.
The biggest change with LP3 is the RIG. As I've said you only have one RIG which you upgrade throughout the whole game and you control this from a first person perspective. The combat is from a first person as well and it's very slow and weighty. You have no guns and it's all about hitting Akrids across the head, grabbing their arms with your rig, squashing them etc. A fight with just a couple of them can get intense at times, at least when you're new to them and not sure how to take them on. The RIG is VERY slow and doesn't move fast at all (though you unlock fast travel later on in the game), they basically stay very dedicated to how limited/slow this RIG is. I also love the little touches such as the music in Bills cab. Your wife sends you music tapes which you can play and later on when it unlocks you can even play your own music. Something most people wouldn't even give a shit about but fighting an Akrid with 'We Fight For Love' from Commando blasting in the background is a very unique experience
I also found it to be an incredibly atmospheric game as well, I've read it described as almost Aliens like and I can see that. It's a very hostile planet, it FEELS hostile. The glistening ice, the atmosphere storms when you are walking outside in your rig and the crunching and breaking of ice all really drum this home. The game is set before LP1 and 2 and it feels like it. It's not a friendly place at all to be in.
It's not perfect of course. It has its flaws. It could have done with more weapon variety, the grapple not being able to shoot anywhere was disappointing and sometimes, during a few boss fights, it didn't really feel as polished as it should have. A bit more Akrid variety would have been nice and you can find yourself fighting the same enemies a bit too frequently. Multiplayer on PC also uses Gamespy which blows my mind. Awful, awful decision.
But yeah LP3 is so different I completely understand why fans of LP1 and 2 would especially hate it. I just think that overall it's a very underrated game and despite being from Spark Unlimited they did a great job, had a particular vision for their game and stuck with it. So yeah I guess I did like it a lot
However I firmly blame Capcom for the death of franchise over anyone else.
With the failure of Lost Planet 3. What will be the direction of the Franchise? Will it return to core gameplay? Will LP3 be the direction for all future entries? Will they bury the franchise once and for all?
What are your experience with the Lost Planet Franchise? What do you think lies in the future for it? What would you want out of it?