Tuesday, July 26, 2011

VG Talk #2 Capcom is on everyone's shit list!

Video Game discussion.

I love Capcom which is all the more reason for me to spell out what's going on here. This isn't about hopping on the Capcom hate bandwagon (literally nicknamed Crapcom). It's about detailing what Capcom is doing "inefficiently" and spreading the message so that others can help tell Capcom what needs to be done to set things straight. If you aren't sure what I'm talking about then read on as I break it down franchise by franchise.

Devil May Cry
If you'd like the full story, detailed analysis, and a step by step of everything that has happened with the new DMC then take a look at this link: http://captainstarball.com/opinion/devil-may-cry-fan-explains-backlash He's already explained the entire situation far better than I could have hoped to so I'll simply be summarizing those six pages of material the best I can.

The Devil May Cry series literally spawned an entirely new genre of games and gave us a new protagonist that received praise worldwide. Then after four successful titles, Capcom decided they wanted a US developer to take the game and give it an entirely new (and unnecessary) look. No one could figure out why there was any reason to even make this "reboot" of the franchise (reported sales seemed to be very successful in its genre) or why Ninja Theory would be the developer of choice and dread began to increase as bits of the game were revealed. Dante originally (Capcom's version) managed to combine physical appeal to both male and female audiences (he wasn't a brooding testosterone-injected musclehead) and had charm and hilarity in his favor over other action game protagonists. The new Dante revealed for Ninja Theory's game appeared to be a sickly chain-smoker with an emo haircut. Gone was the personality that the fans enjoyed and was now replaced with a grim and almost borderline depressed character. Everyone was horrified but decided to take a step back. It wasn't "our" Dante but at least the gameplay should be great right? Well gameplay was finally revealed recently at E3 and the fans were beyond displeased. Not only is the game running on the Unreal Engine 3 which can only lock in at 30 frames per second (the original engine used locks in at 60 fps which is crucial for the fast-paced gameplay and quick reaction time) and has been known to have issues being ported to the PS3 but the gameplay itself seems to basically be a rehash of Nero's moves (instead of Dante's) with worse physics and timing which made attacks clunky as well as miss their targets even when properly executed (a problem that's only been seen in DMC2). Fluidity had been shot and replaced with choppy animations. While the game may not be out yet, it seems that it's already dead in the eyes of the fans.

Mega Man
This is easily the worst offender on the list. This one deserves two parts all to itself.
1) After the success of Mega Man 9 and 10 (which were modern Mega Man games designed to look like the retro games of old), Capcom decided to begin making Mega Man Universe (MMU). MMU was also going to be based on the retro Mega Man titles but with new concepts added. Players could not only create and share their own created stages but they could also customize their characters (which included customizing abilities, weapons, jumping, etc.). To make things even more delicious, other Capcom characters were announced to be playable such as Ryu from Street Fighter and Arthur from Ghosts 'n Goblins. Then the game was cancelled without any reason what so ever.

2) The Mega Man Legends 3 Project was announced. This was a big deal. Not only was this a long awaited sequel but it would be the first major community project where the fans had a lot of say on how the game was made from start to finish. For those not familiar with the franchise, Mega Man Legends is essentially Mega Man meets Legend of Zelda meets Indiana Jones meets Sky Pirates with RPG elements and Side Quests in the only fully 3D Mega Man series. Players were able to submit designs, vote on ideas, and work with the design team every step of the way. Capcom was even going to release a demo version for cheap so that fans could playtest the demo and give their input. Then the demo was delayed and then not too long after the game was cancelled completely. Not only was this a huge blow to the fans (who are also livid because they feel Capcom basically blamed them for not showing enough support) but it gave the message that all community driven projects will flop which sends negative messages to other game developers.

Capcom has stated that Mega Man is still a valued franchise that they will work with in the future and that Keiji Inafune leaving Capcom has nothing to do with the recent cancellations but fans are still concerned.

Marvel VS Capcom
So Marvel VS Capcom 3 (MvC3) was released and everything was grand. Then the balance issues that plague most Capcom games surfaced as Sentinel became the only character to play. Not even 5 months later and the next Marvel VS Capcom game is already announced and seems to be ready for release in a few months. Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3 adds some new characters to the roster (many forgettable ones) and should balance some character issues. There are a few problems here though. Many of these characters were originally planned as DLC, most of these characters aren't worth buying a whole new game for, and the game itself is coming out for $40 which is a bit more than most would like to pay for what was supposed to be DLC. There are also no plans for those who bought MvC3 to be able to upgrade. Everyone has to suck it up and buy a new game that's largely what they already own. To make things even sillier: Megaman still isn't on the roster. Obviously it was impossible to pull off since they had to leave room for characters like Frank West (he's covered wars you know) and the most popular character of all time: Rocket Raccoon. If you can't feel the sarcasm then I'll let you know that it was beyond painful to write that last sentence.

Ace Attorney & Monster Hunter
Both of these franchises are having a hard time getting localized. Sales for the Ace Attorney Games (Phoenix Wright, Miles Edgeworth, and Apollo Justice) seem to be just fine in the US (sometimes even doing great depending on which game in the series it is) so it's a little confusing why there are no plans to localize the most recent games in the series. Time will tell if the PS3 Remaster of the PSP game: Monster Hunter 3 Portable will ever make it to the states but Capcom currently has no plans of doing so. It seems like they tested the level of engagement on the Wii with Monster Hunter Tri but it's a completely different demographic that owns the other console so I don't think that was the best judge of future sales.

Lost Planet & Onimusha
Both of these franchises have a huge fan following but there aren't currently any plans for a sequel. Time will tell.

Resident Evil & Dead Rising & Street Fighter
This seems to be the group of franchises that are doing just fine and dandy with only a few hiccups here and there.

To sum things up: There have been some strange business decisions, some games have been cancelled without a legitimate reason, the fans feel alienated, and localization may not be possible for some of Capcom's franchises. The majority of Capcom's franchises are either non-existent or may be taking a nose dive and I think we can all agree we would prefer that never happen. We want Capcom to succeed and hopefully turn this all around. All we can do for now is let our opinion be heard.

This is Kylak signing out.


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