Misadventures of Tron Bonne, The Preview

Here are screenshots from Jeff Gordon Racing.

A lot of gamers are probably wondering, "Who on earth is Tron Bonne, and why exactly should I care about her misadventures?" In case you aren't familiar with Capcom's Mega Man Legends, Tron and her loyal Legolike legion of Servbots were rivals of the famous blue boy Mega Man. Now, Tron and her handmade followers are starring in their own game, which at first glance looks a lot like Mega Man Legends but offers much more varied gameplay.

The game is set before the Bonne family butts heads with Mega Man. A humiliating defeat of Tron's brother Teasel and other dire circumstances have left the Bonnes in need of a huge amount of cash. Using the Bonne airship and HQ "Gessellschaft," Tron sets out to get the money by any means necessary. Money-garnering missions are available in several categories, including action, puzzle, RPG, and free action. It's this wide variety that really sets the game apart from Mega Man Legends.

In action stages, Tron climbs behind the controls of her huge and lumbering mech Gustav. Even though the big guy doesn't doesn't have? analog support, and he's is a bit short on speed, he has some interesting features. Aside from being equipped with the standard arm cannon and a plush leather interior, Gustav can pick up and toss just about anything with his massive metal arms. Perfect for clearing boulders out of your path or picking up cars and telephone poles to hurl at buildings and panicking citizens. While this is a handy skill, even better is the "guided shot," which lets you mark a target and send the Servbots into action. Besides being absolutely essential in some parts of the game, the guided shot can be used to loot houses, steal the tires off of police cars, and perform various other acts of mayhem.

Puzzle and RPG stages offer something a little different. In puzzle stages, Tron raids harbors for valuable cargo. Gustav is restricted by how many crates he can lift and how far he can move while carrying them, so you'll have to plan your moves in advance. RPG stages are played from a first person perspective, and they require Tron to explore underground caves. Remotely piloting a camera-equipped helicopter, you use the guided shot to direct Tron's yellow followers. This means everything has to be accomplished indirectly through the Servbots, including disarming traps and fighting enemies.

When you aren't earning (or stealing) money in the missions, you can manage the affairs of the Gessellschaft and the motley crew of Servbots that populate it. Each Servbot has his own stats and an assigned position on the ship, and some even have distinct personalities. Several bots are stationed on the bridge, as well as other areas - like a dining hall (even robots have to eat, evidently), mechanical bay, training center, and different locations - on the Gessellschaft. Talking to the Servbots will yield helpful hints and sometimes useful items, and taking them along on missions will raise their stats.

It may not have name recognition, but The Misadventures of Tron Bonne looks as though it has a fair amount of variety and originality going for it. Capcom should have the game translated, redubbed, and in stores by late January.

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