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Opinion: When a Company Takes Social Media Too Far

Mega Man Legends 3 hadMega Man Legends 3 project one of the most innovative blogs in gaming with Devroom. For the first time ever, fans had an active role in development. Visitors could vote for their favorite character designs from the top artists within Capcom, or enter their own designs into contests. The designs that win would be used to make up major parts of the finished product.

Mega Man Legends 3 was to be the first game to be made by the fans and for the fans. That was, of course, before Capcom canceled it, citing poor participation numbers.

Since their conception, companies have been using social media like Facebook, Twitter, and blogs to successfully connect with its consumer base. No longer did game companies have to solely rely on costly advertisements being seen by mostly uninterested passersby. Now, for little cost, advertisers can speak directly to thousands of highly interested customers. Any business owner with a need for advertising would be crazy not to try using this risk free method of advertising.

Mega Man Legends 3 character contest winnerHowever, social media should never be used as the only form of advertising, only as a supplement to more traditional advertisements. Expecting for a product to become a commercial success before there is traditional advertising or even a prototype is just insane. Measuring success solely based on an advertising campaign is equally as baffling when more traditional methods of market research have been around.

It is tragic to see businesses make decisions using social media as a market barometer for any reason, but Capcom took the insanity a step farther by using Devroom as the sole indicator.

Devroom required a huge time commitment for fans to show their support. In order to participate, Capcom needed fans to create a Devroom account to vote, check back daily for more content, and made people spend hours working on artwork and designs for contests. They were simply asking for far too much.

It is unfair for Capcom to say the project relied on the fans commitment to Devroom. The paying customer should not be forced to do anything but pay money to get what they want. With such a high level of commitment needed it's not surprising the numbers weren't very high. It is confusing how Capcom could even determine what numbers they needed, given the unique nature of the Devroom marketing campaign.

This doesn't make Devroom a poor idea from the start. Running a marketing campaign like Devroom is an amazing way to get fans invested in the game, but investment is a double edge sword. Investment means now the fans have something to lose.

Capcom should have never risked opening Devroom if the game might not ever make it to stores. Canceling Mega Man Legends 3 is a betrayal of fans' trust and insults the work they put into the game. Blaming those very fans for not participating enough is a spit in the face to both the fans that participated in all of Devroom's events and the ones that just wanted to buy and play the game.

Supermarket Mania for Android Review

Supermarket ManiaNo one would picture themselves as a grocery store clerk as their dream job, unless of course it's in a video game. In Supermarket Mania from G5 Entertainment you play as Nikki, the store clerk, keeping five stores stocked with items for their customers. As always, keeping the customers happy with minimal wait times is overall goal of this time management simulator.

Read more: Supermarket Mania for Android...

Treasure Seekers 3: Following the Ghosts for iOS

Treasure Seekers 3: Follow the GhostsTreasure Seekers 3: Follow the Ghosts, from G5 Entertainment, is the newest installment in the Treasure Seekers franchise for iOS.  The series takes a new twist on an old playground game called "I spy" tasking the player to seek out different items to progress through the story. The game features beautifully made 48 levels with elaborate environments, where every carefully placed item plays a key role in the overall experience.

Villian encountered during the game.You follow protagonists Tom and Nelly as they go through 5 chapters of story ridding each apparition back into their resting place through finding key items throughout the level and solving creatively done puzzles along the way.

The majority of TS3 is played by finding specific items within the levels spanning several different scenes. The items aren't listed straight out for the player as you will have to figure out what is needed. An additional mechanism is the "key items" feature where only a collection of specific objects will unlock the main story key.

Strewn between the items and puzzles is a plethora of mini-games covering the classics including sliding puzzles, memory games, and riddles. Don't worry, if you ever get stuck the hint system will guide you to the solutions without penalty.

Elaborate scenes full of detailTS3 definitely lives up to the series keeping to its core while still incorporating new elements. While some of the puzzles are confusing and take a certain knowledge of the puzzle genre, the majority of offer a sense of accomplishment when completed. The two gameplay modes, advanced and casual, together allow for the game to be enjoyed by anyone with any skill level. Available hints regenerate at different rates depending on the mode used and are encouraged to be used.

The responsiveness of the touchscreen queries was quite forgiving. Touching near an item will still select it which is especially helpful on a smaller screen. Sometimes I was able to get an item by spamming my selections, but is eventually discouraged by the game's ability to limit the number of touches within a short amount of time.

Overall, TS3 acts as a gateway into the puzzle genre. Any level of player can play and fully grasp the concept and story presented. The only limitations to the game is the platform itself. The small screen format on the iPhone or the iPod touch makes it difficult to fully appreciate the level's artistic detail. TS3 is free to download with the ability to unlock the full experience in game allowing players to try it out before purchasing. The iPad version does cost $2 more, but is worth it if you are a fan of the series or of the detailed environments.

I give this title a 3/4.

Treasure Seekers 3: Follow the Ghosts
G5 Entertainment

Free to download with in game purchase:
iPhone or iPod: $4.99
iPad: $6.99

Review: Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior

Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior for the iPad and iPhoneBruce Lee Dragon Warrior is available on the iTunes App Store retailing at a mere $4.99. This full-fledged fighting game brings a hint of hardcore gaming to an otherwise casual Apple fan base with detailed controls and realistic battles.

Dragon Warrior is a fighting game utilizing the touch screen for movement and attack. Traditionally, the fighting genre requires quick reflexes and instantaneous response times in order to play at a high level.

At first thought, the touch screen would appear to not give the necessary responsiveness needed to produce a real fighting game. However, Digital Legends Entertainment and India Games simplified the controls down to only two action buttons with joystick movement which actually enables a extremely high quality game without for more buttons. With a simply executed combo system, Dragon Warrior is a complete fighting game complete with an engrossing story, balanced arcade play, and friendly training mode which both the hardcore and new alike can enjoy.

Read more: Review: Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior

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