The Rise and Fall of Capcom
The pinnacle of design and art is unrivaled when Capcom is at the helm of any project in the gaming industry. Thirty years of generational defining work such as, Mega Man, Darkstalkers, and Devil May Cry, has come with many challenges since the Japanese juggernaut was instituted in 1984. Shattering the mold however, will be a recurring theme throughout the history of one gamings most influential software developers. It wasn’t until 1987 when Capcom launched the first Street Fighter in the arcade (a now more obsolete method of gaming) that gamers first felt the “Capcom magic”. Street Fighter Series changed the world and was the first of many of the Capcom’s aforementioned works that later marked the impact that is still influencing today. But something is changing in the modern day company’s business decisions and marketing strategies that has many loyalist feeling offended and puzzled
What has Capcom done to cause dissatisfaction in their beloved niche community? The answer is simple but yet complicated. Capcom is struggling with an identity crisis–do they or do they not build off of the industry’s most robust catalog of original I.P.’s? Since entering the PS3/xbox360 era (the 7th generation of gaming) Capcom seemed to have completely forgotten most of the established franchises (Megaman, Dino Crisis, Power Stone, Onimusha, DarkStalkers, etc) they themselves institutionalized when the company was formed in 1984. Classics that seemed to starve for new iterations due to the constant evolution of better technology in an ever growing medium in entertainment. It’s baffling that Capcom hasn’t made a new mainline game for at least 5 major franchises (Megaman, Dino Crisis, Power Stone, Onimusha,and DarkStalkers) in 10+ years!
Another big issue is that the Capcom games that do keep reprising, Resident Evil and Street Fighter, are overused and tend to have a half-ass feel when the final product hits the market. Can you believe that Capcom has managed to develop over 6+ Reisdent Evil games since we last got our hands on a mainline Megaman game?! Fuck that!
Of course resurrecting cherished I.P.’s the likes of Dino Crisis, Onimusha, and Power Stone would be an excellent way of gaining respect back from the fans and finding treasures in their roots would be a start. But fans fail to realize the biggest problem is Capcom has little to no trust in old I.P.’s. The conflict is internal for Capcom and their misjudgment on what the consumer wants and is willing to pay for. But instead of maligning Capcom for their woes we at DualPixels have developed a three point comeback plan to have both the company and fanbase equally elated. Capcom can have their cake while maintaining its artistic integrity and the fans can have product with soul and weight.
1. Releasing a Dino Crisis Remastered
Before Dino Crisis was released in 1999 for the PlayStation 1 Capcom was reaching the height of its powers in the early 90s. Many of the beloved franchises that we as fans fell in love with where coming into fruition. Fans were introduced to a bountiful library of gems but none made an impact the way the Resident Evil series and its game director, Shinji Makami, began in the mid 90s. The survivor horror genre found its home in the ideas of Capcom and they’re incredible staff. Resident Evil established a formula–minimal resources and a whole lot of disturbing lore, an aesthetic that became a sought after in the genre. After the success of the RE (Resident Evil) franchise on the PlayStation 1, Capcom along with Makami, understood that they had to challenge themselves with the responsibility of progressing the medium. So the question arose, what could possibly propel the survivor horror genre? Well the answer was unorthodox, Makami constructed the next entry of survivor horror with the principles of flesh eating dinosaurs and a red-headed bad ass named Regina–thus the world was introduced to Dino Crisis.
The obscure style of Dino Crisis made it stand out in such away that it didn’t matter that most of its fundamental structure was nearly identical to RE. Yes the game had players scrambling for herbs, unlocking doors with a shit ton of keys, and had players reading documents that added a finishing coat to the creepy lore–sounds like RE right? well one couldn’t be more egregiously wrong, in fact no other game captured the element of terrifying human eating dinosaur more so then Dino Crisis when players entered the first opening act. The nuance feeling received from playing the Dino Crisis series hasn’t been felt since the franchise was left for dead in the early 2000s.
Makimi is no longer with Capcom and the company in general has strayed away from a lot of the lifelike personalities they’re games invigorated from the early 1990s-2000s. In the year 2017 Capcom has now blindly followed the demands of the mainstream which in turn has seamlessly killed one great franchise after another. The revival of the Dino Crisis franchise will not only revive a large level of swag back to the company but brings an edge that restores integrity to what was once a software empire.
2. Devil May Cry 5 (2018)
Capcom’s conquest for rediscovering the mojo that set off their success is infuriating as a fan to support. However, the passion spawns from the catalog of great series that the company refuses to expand upon. No Franchise expresses that statement more so then the Devil May Cry numeric titles (Not the DMC Ninja Theory bullshit). The Devil May Cry series not only has a special place as a Capcom great but it also holds profound merit in video game history. Regarded as the “God-Father” of action games, the franchise delivered the architectural grounds for all action games today. When the first Devil May Cry game released in 2001 for the Playstation 2, it gave gaming purest the first taste of an action game with a deep combo system mixed in with a self-aware aesthetic.
The obnoxious Dante was so enchanting to play as, fighting gothic inspired monster as well as traversing H.P. Lovecraft inspired set pieces of unsettling endless night. Most of all, another great mind in the golden pool of Capcom’s development team was recognize when now legend Hideki Kamiya took helm as director of his first series. Kamiya was ironically tasked with creating a new entry in the RE franchise after his success helping worked on the original but instead reverted back to wanting to create a new I.P. for his first project. Capcom wanted an action game and God Damnit Kamiya created a beauty!
The first Devil May Cry was highly revered and fans itched for more of the high pace action along with the sexy style the original brought to the table but part 2 of the critically acclaimed game was one of the greatest sins in gaming history. The drop in quality and quantity was so jaw dropping that its best to forget the existence of it period. But it did give us the “running on the wall” mechanic, that was cool right? After the catastrophe of Devil May Cry 2 the developers had no choice but to make a third entry of epic proportions. Devil May Cry 3 released in 2005 and dispelled all the bad omens left behind by its predecessor. On top that it redeemed the franchise back to respectability with Dmc3 (Devil May Cry 3) arguably remembered as the greatest action game of all time. Yet things were beginning to change in the aftermath of the success of Dmc3. A huge number of Capcom’s most talented contributors began to seek departure from the juggernaut, most notably Hideki Kamiya, who went on to establish his own studio known as Platinum Games. Once again Capcom was challenged with continuing the series, this time without the creator.
The Company went into the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 era with high expectations and of course fans clamored for more RE and more Devil May Cry. Devil May Cry 4 was released in 2008 and we were given a good Devil May Cry, but not a great one. The reason why was part clear in the fact that the presences of Kamiya was no longer on the project. The other issues lied in the direction the new developing team took by using a new story and protagonist. The obnoxiously witty Dante that fans grew to love and adore through Devil May Cry 1-3 was replaced by Nero going into the 4th iteration. The lasting impressions of Dmc4 (Devil May Cry 4) was very mixed–some fans missed Dante as the main protagonist, others missed the Kamiya flare, and most felt like the game didn’t set a high enough bar of progression the series needed going into a new console generation. In hindsight Dmc4 became more appreciated and understood, however, only after Capcom decided to “lend” the Devil May Cry I.P. to another software developer in Ninja Theory–big mistake.
Ninja Theory went on to reboot the Devil May Cry series and renewed the title with DMC. DMC felt so out of touch from the entire franchise that purest always made sure to differentiate the numerical based games from the Ninja Theory reboot game. What further made DMC feel like a sellout job was the design of the “new” Dante, who just felt off going for a emo-sexy look. DMC was wrong for a lot of reasons but the biggest offense was that we got a reboot no one wanted and with the year 2018 on the horizon it only stands as a reminder that it’ll become a decade without a true sequel. Capcom owes the fans a true successor to Dmc4 with Dmc5 and with Dante spearheading a game that pays homage to all the numeric (f*** DMC) titles before it. The 2017 Tokyo game show is right around the corner and what a prefect time it would be to announce Dmc5 going into 2018–the world would never be the same
3. Marvel vs Capcom Infinite (DLC)
Marvel vs Capcom Infinite is week away but it comes with much scrutiny. The roster needs a boost with key additions, the UI needs a overhaul, and a couple character models need retouching. The pattern with Capcom’s business approach is that they don’t release things properly. An easy fix to a lot of their woes is to stay minimalistic but respect the intelligence of their consumers at same time. Capcom is not at a complete lost but it’s time to get things right now! the execution of Mvci (Marvel vs Capcom Infinite) dlc is the vital key to steering the ship into the right direction. Making sure season 1 and season 2 of Mvci’s dlc provides the right “meat on the bone” is in the game. The Capcom drought might end with these standout edition in the not so distant future.
Confirmed: Sigma- Sigma was the first dlc character ever announced for Mvci but if he can release near the first week of launch it start the momentum.
Confirmed: Black Panther- Second confirm dlc was the Wukanda King and releasing him continues the hype!
Confirmed: Monster Hunter (female)- female Monster Hunter showing up as an NPC in story mode basically eludes to her inclusion but Adding her kills two birds with one–female reps are desperately needed and a Monster Hunter Franchise rep would be a first in mvc history.
Green Goblin- The Spider-Man franchise has an amazing array of nefarious characters, Green Goblin would be the gateway to many more to explore in future entries.
Lady- Lady was introduced in Dmc3 and her inclusion will add another female while adding a fan favorite from the best Devil May Cry.
Confirmed: Winter Solider- Captain America has been yearning for a second rep.
Asura- It’s almost laughable that Asura wasn’t on the based roster but season 2 will be a prefect time for Capcom to get it right.
Cyclops- Now that Marvel has settled some of the beef with Fox in regards to the X-men ban adding Cyclops would be such a tip of the cap to all Mvc purest.
Nina- A Breath of Fire rep would be a first for the mvc series and adding Nina would bring the female count to a robust seven! Yay!
Daredevil- Marvel has found a huge success with their street level shows on Netflix it’ll be nice to get a rep for them in.
Gene- It can be deemed blasphemous how the main character from God Hand hasn’t whiffed a mvc game yet.
Ms.Marvel- Her arsenal of powers mixed in with that fact the game needs as many Females as possible making it almost a crime if Capcom doesn’t include her.