Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Five Reasons Why Capcom Leaves a Bad Taste in My Mouth

Complaints and criticism are a huge part of the game industry. We hear and read it from gamers, from the media, and from people on the outside looking in. There isn't a day that goes by where there isn't some kind of point of contention to be found.

Capcom, in many eyes, has gone from Capgod to Crapcom (pardon the crude nickname, but I didn't create it) in merely a generation's span. From bad decisions to bad games to bad consumer practices, there are a wide variety of reasons Capcom has made it easy to dislike them. This opinion piece is a brief look at five such ways my stance on the company has soured over the years. After you've read my ramblings, feel free to engage in civil discussion within the comment section below.

Seemingly turning Resident Evil into the next generic shooter despite the opinion of old fans

I hate throwing the word "generic" around like that because the word is so grossly overused nowadays. Perhaps bland would be better? Nonetheless, Resident Evil 4, as awesome as the final product was, turned the series into a more action-oriented affair. With the direction of Shinji Mikami (who later left Capcom), the game had perfect pacing between thrills, chills, puzzles, and scares. With his departure, I believe the team behind the RE series lost their way. The focus shifted to capturing a grander audience, and in doing so, this severed a lot of Resident Evil's fans from the franchise.

It's weird because I hold hype for Resident Evil 6. I look forward to trying out as Resident Evil: Revelations gave me hope, as that game had a near-perfect blend of action and finally a focus on survival-horror gameplay. Regardless, Capcom of America were more concerned with advertising Operation Raccoon City, the epitome of selling out to the Call of Duty audience (and another point of contention for former Resident Evil fans), instead of marketing Revelations -- y'know, the game that was actually on store shelves exclusively then.

Fans of the old school RE have a right to not like the direction the series is being taken. Will Resident Evil 6 return the franchise to its roots? We've heard that claim so many times now that it's getting impossible to take it seriously. It really doesn't matter to Capcom, though, as long as the series continues to sell as well as it does.

Their treatment of Mega Man

I have long since gotten over Mega Man Legend 3's cancellation. Yes, Capcom led fans desiring for a conclusion to the series on by allowing them to have input on the direction of the project. Yes, Capcom cancelled the project out of nowhere, leaving the fans with nothing but wasted time and effort. And yes, a Capcom rep tweeted that it was essentially the fans' fault for the project's cancellation. We know all that, and some of us still are bitter.

But what about Mega Man now? What used to be one of Capcom's premier franchises is now placed on iOS platforms (which isn't the problem, really) with this:

What the hell is that supposed to be? The first time I saw that screen I thought it was a fan-made Game Maker title. I mean, it just reeks of something cheaply put together. I can't say anything about the quality of the gameplay as it might as well be a perfect adaptation of Mega Man onto a smartphone or tablet. However, first impressions most certainly count, and the impression that I got was not a positive one. This game, Rockman Over (such an ironic title, no?), is a project that celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Mega Man character, and what it looks like is a Flash game made by a couple students screwing around in their high school programming class. Not exactly how fans wanted Mega Man's 25th birthday to be celebrated. Far from it.

Their Western treatment of Monster Hunter

My first and only experience with the Monster Hunter series was the Wii exclusive, Monster Hunter Tri. The game was challenging, but also very much rewarding once you finally endured a long battle with a behemoth-sized beast. I would certainly like to see the series continue in the West. In fact, Monster Hunter Tri did well all things considered. However, the way Capcom -- especially the American branch -- has been torturing fans of Monster Hunter in the West with throwaway comments, teases, and hints at future Monster Hunter news:
"Noted guys. Stay tuned."

"Soon is a relative term but I would say that Western MH fans have lots to be excited about for the future. Admittedly I do hope we can find a way to get P3 HD Westward somehow sooner than those other things but as I’ve mentioned, it’s an open item.”

"I know exactly how it feels to be lacking a new MH game for a while… patience is a virtue, right? Eventually it pays off somehow… we’ll have something veeeeery soon ;)"
It is not known whether or not the latter comment was in reference to the announcement of the iOS game, Monster Hunter: Massive Hunting, which was revealed a week after that comment. Even if not, isn't it about time we had word on if Monster Hunter 3G was coming to the West or not? Why all the obnoxious teasing and hinting? Why can't anything be said already? Either crap or get off the pot. No more of this wishy-washy nonsense, false promises, false hope, and crushed dreams of fans. And while you're at it, Capcom, how about some localization news once Monster Hunter 4 gets released in Japan?

Disc-Locked Content

I don't know if "anti-consumer" is the appropriate phrase to utilize here, but that term comes close to my thoughts on this practice. You know when Michael Pachter agrees that disc-locked content is a bad practice that something is seriously wrong. For those unfamiliar with the term "disc-locked content," it is when content is already on the disc, and a player is essentially buying and downloading a "key" to unlock it. The first reaction is "why isn't the content free if I already paid for the disc the content is on?" And that would be exactly right, in my opinion. Capcom even went out of their way to disclose their belief that downloadable content and disc-locked content are basically one in the same. This is stating that any difference between buying content that is already on the disc you own through downloading a key and buying content from an external source to download is zero. Where is the sense in that? There's a tremendous difference. Capcom has stated that they are listening to fan input on the controversy the company found itself neck deep in. We'll see if it sinks into their brains or goes in one ear and out the other.

Ultimate Marvel VS. Capcom 3

Now, this beef with Capcom is recent, but I haven't forgotten it so bear with me anyway. In February of last year I forked over sixty dollars for Marvel VS. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, a much-hyped fighter featuring a myriad of characters from both Marvel Comics and Capcom universes. I enjoyed the game and many felt it was pretty much a complete experience. Apparently Capcom disagreed because not even a year after the game came out, a new full retail release was hot off its heels, Ultimate Marvel VS. Capcom 3. The game fixed a lot of the problems with the vanilla version and added more content. Essentially, early adopters and huge fans of the original MvC 3 got shafted by Capcom. They of course didn't have to buy Ultimate, but if they wanted to go where the fighting game community went (along with many of their friends), they'd have to upgrade. Just another example of Capcom releasing the same game with a few upgrades multiple times for full price.


From Mega Man to Monster Hunter, my opinion of Capcom isn't as great as it was in generations past. There's just too much to dislike and not enough return love towards consumers from the publisher to warrant supporting them fully anymore.

Regardless, tomorrow is Thursday which means it's time for the third installment of The Top 50 Nintendo DS Games. We'll be halfway through the list of fifty by this time tomorrow, so stay tuned and catch you later!

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