Do You Hate Nostalgia Yet? A Modern Day Capcom Commentary
I'm not asking for Capcom (as well as other developers) to make their franchises how they used to be. I'd just like some new original IPs. I just feel like the whole sequel/minor update/HD remake trend is getting a little over saturated.
On the weekend of December 7th, the Street Fighter 25th anniversary tournament was held in California. On the day of the grand finals (Sunday), senior vice president of business and development at Capcom, Christian Svenson, took center stage at the tournament venue to announce a “title that has been in development for a long time.”
As Mr. Svenson took the microphone and started to vaguely elaborate on the big announcement, I was expecting a trailer for something along the lines of the new alleged Darkstalkers game or possibly even Street Fighter V. Those two ideas were instantly shot down as soon as the light in the venue faded to black and the Mega Man 2 intro music began to play through ballroom. A new Mega Man title was the absolute last game I was expecting to be announced.
I’ve always been the one to support a new school game with a retro feel. I bought Mega Man 9 and 10 the nights they were released. I recently cleared the game and it was enjoyable to a degree. I’m not exactly in a place to complain about anything in the game seeing as how the title was free. However, I must say that I feel like the reboot and rehash well is starting to run dry. Mega Man 9 was an amazing callback to the NES Mega Man titles and I loved it. It was my favorite downloadable game of 2008. Two years later, Mega Man 10 was released. MM10 followed the same formula as it’s predecessor, but didn’t seem to capture the same feel as 9. It felt like “forced” nostalgia.
I say that this pretty much applies for SFxMM as well. The stages have charming Street Fighterthemed stages and there are cool chiptuned remixes of classic SF tunes composed byA_Rival (which are amazing). However, at the end of the day, this game essentially is justMega Man 10 again with a Street Fighter skin slapped over it. The game overall was entertaining for a few hours but had absolutely no longevity. I’m honestly a little discouraged because when I first heard about this “big announcement”, I was hoping for an actual game.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m beyond the “why can’t we have a legitimate Mega Man game anymore” spiel. I’ve come to terms with the fact that Capcom is trying to move on from theMega Man franchise (partly because the man behind MM is no longer with the company). I will say that it was a little low for Capcom to try to pass off this game’s release as a celebration of Mega Man’s 25th anniversary despite Capcom not making any reference to the franchise a year and a half ago. The release of a Mega Man title (albeit fan made or not) during a major Street Fighter tournament came off as pandering to me.
I understand that Street Fighter and Resident Evil are Capcom’s cash-cow franchises at the moment. I also get the fact that it’s good business to sell a concept that works. In this particular case, releasing familiar titles. Out of all the games that Capcom has released this year, only two of them have been original properties. Those two being Asura’s Wrath and Dragon’s Dogma. Neither of which were exactly triple A titles but they were both original concepts that were fleshed out and crafted for them to have later installments.
Back in the mid to late 90s, I considered Capcom to be one of my favorite developers. I would constantly come back to Capcom titles by the power of their name alone. At the time their library of games were wide and unique. They had games that spread across all genres from fighting to RPGs to top-scrolling shoot em’ ups to puzzle games etc. Granted, there were always the select few that would “break the mold” and become a staple in the Capcom roster. Despite all the titles being released by them weren’t all winners, they were all memorable and left a significant impact on the game industry overall.
It may not have been the most groundbreaking side-scrolling action game, but I guarantee a large chunk of 90′s gamers can at least name this guy.
Like I said before, I’m not harping about titles that I want to see these titles remade in HD or rebooted for a new generation. I don’t expect to see any new installments of Power Stone, Rival Schools, Breath of Fire, God Hand, Captain Commando, Viewtiful Joe or Ghouls N’ Ghosts anytime in the future. What I really want is the originality back. What made the Capcom of yesterday so amazing (at least to me) was that they had so many titles under their belts albeit a long running series or a one shot title. The variety of games helped built the nostalgia that most Capcom fans of today carry with them today.
As 2012 is slowly drawing to a close, we’ve gone through an era HD Remakes, DLC content that can’t be accessed until a half a year later, online passes and digital downloads. The big successes from Capcom have been from franchises that have the potential of being over saturated. What does 2013 entail for the future of Capcom and it’s library? I can’t say for sure. Hopefully, there will be a change for the better.