Before I outline where Capcom has made mistakes, let me say just how big of a fan I am of its games. Some of my favorite games of all time were made by Capcom: Resident Evil 4, Megaman X, and Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse. Seeing the Capcom label makes me happy, and it is one of of my top five game companies.
However, Capcom needs to reconsider a few things.
Being a huge fighting-game fan, there has always been a special place in my heart for Street Fighter. Unfortunately, recent games in the series seem to just repackage the game, while it still lacks the game modes, extras, and overall attention the franchise deserves. Fighting games have been lacking in these areas for the past seven to eight years. In fact, the last fighting game I considered worth full price was Soul Calibur 2, which had a great roster, unlockable weapons, and an abundance of game types. Hell, even Capcom knows this, which is obvious in the newest piece of downloadable content for Dead Rising 3.
To find Ryu, Chun-Li, and Blanka a new home would be strange, but there is one company that could do it best: Arc System Works, the brilliant minds behind Guilty Gear and Blazblue.
Resident Evil has been plagued with a choppy plot, stiff gameplay, and terrible voice acting to the point that these features are almost a staple. It’s surprising that these games were once considered revolutionary and scary. Probably the most aggravating part of these games are the fixed camera angles, often resulting with a zombie eating the player’s face unfairly. More times than not, the controls would not react as quickly and I would find myself battling the game’s mechanics rather than its monsters.
The last shining gem in the series for me is Resident Evil 4, a game that surpassed the expectations of pretty much every game magazine at the time. In typical Capcom flair, two games have been made in that style so far and they’re often put down. Proving that more of the same doesn’t necessarily work, especially when more action is added in a horror game. The last games felt more like a poorly made Gears of War.
From Software should jump on owning Resident Evil. Opening up the world of Resident Evil and filling it with danger would return the game back to its scary roots, while adding a new level of challenge.
Monster Hunter follows a simple, rather ingenious formula: players kill monsters, to get loot, to make better stuff, to kill bigger monsters, and so on. It’s a game that focuses on gameplay, letting everything else simply fall into place. Unfortunately, I’ve always thought Monster Hunter felt a little bare-bones. The world, while it looks vast, is actually small and contained in a few maps. The graphics are lacking compared to almost every other game on the market. Gameplay seems to be more hindering than innovative, probably because each game is released on a handheld or lacks an extra thumbstick. Monster Hunter needs to expand, without losing the gameplay that works.
Bethesda is one of the best companies when it comes to an open world. It would add so much to the Monster Hunter franchise.
Capcom’s flagship character Megaman was leaps and bounds ahead of other games. The NES and SNES titles were expertly designed in gameplay, visuals, and sound. The problem with this character was the over-saturation of titles. Capcom has a tendency to latch onto something that works and milk it dry. There were six Megaman games on the NES alone and way too many with Megaman’s name.
Sure, Capcom did play around with different game-styles for the Blue Bomber, and Megaman Battle Network redesigned the hero, turning him into a program and changing the game into a fairly interesting RPG; however, with so many sequels, versions, and translation errors, Megaman Battle Network didn’t have the energy to carry on.
So who would give Megaman the revival he needs? Considering Mighty No. 9 is picking up where Megaman left off, this team should want to put Megaman in the best possible light. Even though they also have a tendency to assault dead horses, Nintendo would actually be a good (but risky) fit.
Think about what system the cancelled Megaman Legends 3 was set to come out on: the Nintendo 3DS. Nintendo does consider its fans, even as many still shout for Mother 3 or yet another Zelda. Nintendo could revive that project and bring a console-selling title to their library.
Capcom messed up, a lot. Mostly due to them pumping out game after game of their major franchises without changing much. How many versions of Street Fighter 2 are there? Just counting different updates—not the spin-offs and whatnot—there are seven. Why Capcom does this is beyond my capacity to figure out. Sure, I love its characters and many of the games, but there’s a logical point to stop and try something new.
Capcom has what it takes to make great games, but instead chooses to ignore that more often than not. Hopefully whatever purchases are made will benefit each franchise.
Till then, I’ll happily fire up my SNES to blast away Chill Penguin.