Opinion: Oh Capcom (A Gamer’s Lament)

Capcom

Capcom is a company that evokes a wide amount of feels considering what they do with their franchises. Lately, they’ve been doing quite a bit of good and are said to be working with some of their other franchises. Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with Capcom depending on the franchise.

Lately Capcom has announced a new fantasy title for the PS4—currently called Deep Down—and has hinted that they might do a remake of Mickey Mouse: Castle of Illusion. They also released the great Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate title for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS with Monster Hunter 4 for 3DS not too far off. Are you a fan of the Ace Attorney series? There’s another in the works there as well. However, it’s not all thumbs up and high fives in the Kingdom of Capcom.

Sales for HD remakes of games from the Darkstalker/Night Warriors franchise turned up weaker than expected, but still did respectable numbers. Also the reboot of the acclaimed Devil May Cry series didn’t do as hot as Capcom expected resulting in a 40 percent slash in sales expectations. Not only that, but Resident Evil 6 didn’t do as hot as expected selling two million units below what was targeted.

This could be simple burnout on relying on two particular franchises for the most part—Resident Evil and Street Fighter (even though Street Fighter still manages to do extremely well whenever featured)—and not throwing some new IP , reviving others, and getting around to sequels for beloved ones and forgotten ones. In the case of Darkstalkers/Night Warriors, the demand was there from core fans, but the price wasn’t particularly alluring.

That’s not to say that Capcom hasn’t paid any attention to their older franchises. They’ve released some of their arcade classics and saved the Mega Man series from becoming a potential first person shooter.

Let’s just go through the Capcom franchises for a moment here.

Street Fighter
This is Capcom’s most popular franchise overall. It didn’t do too well, when it came to live action movies—it flopped something fierce—but the games, manga adaptations, and anime are always varying degrees of good to excellent.

You might greatly enjoy the Street Fighter franchise, but hate that they had to release not only DLC of attire which should be in the game already, but also extra versions of the that franchise. The thought is that if you’re going the DLC route then you don’t need another game. Just release the DLC, people will buy it and people will wait for it to download. They’ll probably complain about how long it’s taking, but they’ve already paid for it, so any complaints are pretty much null and void.

Of course when it comes to Street Fighter, you’re going to get more than the core version. The thing that makes Super Street Fighter IV actually worth being released is that it improved gameplay and wasn’t just adding extra characters that—again—should’ve been in the core game or just DLC.

All of this grumpiness towards the Street Fighter series and the spamming of versions could just be from me not being a big fighting game fan or Street Fighter fan. I prefer my Samurai Showdown, Tekken, and Killer Instinct, thank you very much.

The only thing that can be said about Street Fighter is that Capcom have shown that spamming series—boy did they milk Street Fighter II to no end—works. People would buy more versions of Street Fighter IV if they were released.

Resident Evil
I’m not the biggest fan of this survival horror franchise, but it was the one of three Capcom franchises that kept zombies cool in entertainment—the other two being Onimusha and Dead Rising—before zombies and a zombie apocalypse became cool again. There was really nothing wrong with the series. Sure I hated the control setup—which was used in Dino Crisis, Devil May Cry, and Onimusha—but the first three games in the series were fun.

Of course Capcom began releasing far too many of them and spin-offs. Even in the last year there were too many. Still the series makes for a good movie franchise, so there’s that.

Devil May Cry
When I played the very first Devil May Cry, I was blown away. Not even those controls could bother me. The next few were great then the series went away for a time. It returned recently, but reactions have been mixed. It wasn’t even the game itself it was the design of the main character Dante that threw some fans off. How odd.

When you have a reboot, you’re likely to have some degree of reimaging of characters and the world the game, comic, movie, TV series take place in. It comes with reboot territory. The repulsed reactions should come from if the game was hands down lousy.

Mega Man


 

I could say this is a difficult series to write about and move the line along, but we might as well do it. Mega Man is the mascot of Capcom basically. He was that first character that actually broke out from the company in the 8-bit days. While the last decade gave us many solid Mega Man spin-offs such as Mega Man Battle Network, some of the Mega Man X series, Mega Man 9, and the start of this decade gave us Mega Man 10, it never really seemed like Capcom knew what to do with the series or how to keep it as in the loop as Street Fighter as it should be.

A few fans loyal to the franchise feel that Nintendo should be given the license. I’m going to have to say that I agree. If Mega Man was brought in as a Nintendo title, the possibilities are endless. The series would likely see regular rotation, Capcom can focus on Super Street Fighter V Mega Edition 2 whenever that happens (author’s note, Super Street Fighter V Mega Edition 2 isn’t an actual game), and fans can sleep soundly knowing the blue bomber has a good home.

Plus Mega Man wouldn’t be regulated to just being an extra character in another crossover fighter.

Other Franchises
There’s so many lost franchises to list. Bionic Commando is one that gets brought up often. Two I’d like to see are Dino Crisis and Onimusha. Yes I hated the control setup, this is the third time I mentioned it, but I really enjoyed these games and would love to see them return and continued. Of course Resident Evil: Revelations producer Masachika Kawata said it was unlikely that either would pop back up. You can scratch Saturday Night Slam Masters off that list as well.

Don’t let me get started on my overall favorite Capcom franchise Breath of Fire. The last game in the series—Dragon Quarter—left me with a bad taste and I’m almost certain it’s not returning anytime soon. It would be a tremendous idea if it did and could be Capcom’s Final Fantasy much like how Sega had Phantasy Star. It can’t hurt to have a regular RPG in your library.

While it’s great that Capcom feels that it’s important to work on new IP, these titles could see some new life. Most have been dormant for over a decade and close to 15 years if not over that. If Capcom brought them back or rebooted these series they would practically be new, revived, but new when in the mix of the current wave of games.

Oh, Capcom.


Starting with Kabir News in 2013, James has focused on tech, gaming, and entertainment. When not writing, he enjoys catching up on sci-fi and horror shows and comics. He can be followed on Twitter @MetalSwift.

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