Let Off Some Steam is a new section where we let you guys get something off your chest – it can be a vitriol laced rant, a sappy love letter to whatever, or anything inbetween. Send your ranty words in this direction, and try and keep it under 600 words. This week Corey Lee blow kisses at Capcom - how sweet!
I LOVE YOU CAPCOM! Remember the first time you pulled off a Hadouken in Street Fighter? Or yelled Objection into your DS when interrogating witnesses in Ace Attorney?
If there has been one company that has impressed me this generation, it’s Capcom. That familiar blue and yellow logo, their wonderfully consistent IPs and their rare ability to reinvigorate old franchises for the next generation of gamers. I can’t think of any other developer that has captivated me so thoroughly in what it takes to simply make great games.
When I was growing up, Squaresoft, Nintendo and Namco raised me on a steady diet of Final Fantasies, Game Boys and Tekken. But it wasn’t until this current generation that I got to appreciate Capcom for their efforts.
First and foremost is my newfound love for the Street Fighter series. Now, I never had access to SF2 at the arcades or ever bothered to import SF: Third Strike. And I remember when I first got my hands on Street Fighter 4.
I HATED IT.
The circular and charging movement inputs. Spamming projectiles. It all turned me off at first. But yet I stuck to it and kept playing. It took a month or two until I started to appreciate and understand how in-depth the game truly is. It’s a game that I dedicate my time to, a game that regularly frustrates me to death and yet I’m still left wanting more. The learning curve was steep as hell but after that, the payoff through getting better was worth it. That and I’ve probably spent a scary amount of money on SF merchandise such as the Tournament Edition fightsticks in order to take it to the next level.
Even if one has no interest in fighters, chances are that many of you guys have played the Resident Evil series. Resident Evil helped me mature as a gamer, weening me off platformers and towards a series that gave me somewhat sluggish controls, zombies and a disturbing lack of ammunition. It’s been nice to see how Resident Evil has evolved from its first release in 98 to the lauded Resident Evil 4. I never thought that mutated zombies would ever interest me but it was Capcom’s ability to give me a ‘usually’ coherent, interesting storyline coupled with appropriate gameplay mechanics that really sucked me into the survival horror genre. While I consider Resident Evil 5, in terms of storyline, as inferior to its immediate predecessor, I’ve been surprised at how well some of the characters have been re-imagined throughout the chronology as Leon and Jill Valentine have changed for the better from who they once were back in the 90s. Unlike those annoying kids from the Mickey Mouse club.
And onto my favourite portable Capcom franchise, the Ace Attorney series. These games were what convinced me to stop playing my girlfriend’s pink DSLite and get my own. Sometimes, I sit back and ask myself what keeps drawing me in about Phoenix Wright and his law-abiding/abusing companions. Well, the gameplay hasn’t really changed throughout the series (I know, as I complained about it in my first Reader Review) and neither have the aesthetics as well. But there is something endearing about how well Capcom has managed to characterise the settings and cast through minor alterations to each character’s static image and clever dialogue. Add to this the engaging story arcs that are present throughout each case and it’s almost as if you’re a fully fledged lawyer, no matter how despicable that may seem to some.
Capcom have done a lot with most of their IPs and unlike other developers (*cough* Square enix), they’ve kept their work generally consistent.
Do you agree with Corey? They haven't always gotten it right this generation, Bionic Commando and Resident Evil 5 being the prime examples, but I would say they've been the most consistent Japanese third party publisher this generation. Let us know what you think in the comments below.