Seth Killian Leaves Capcom

Seth Killian recently announced via his Capcom Unity blog that he will be leaving Capcom at the end of this week, resigning from his position of community manager for Capcom after occupying it for several years. This comes on the back of Street Fighter’s producer Yoshinori Ono revealing that he was hospitalized for being overworked by Capcom.

Here is Seth Killian’s farewell post on his Capcom Unity blog.

I’m posting today to say that Friday, June 22nd will be my last day at Capcom.

Writing this is incredibly difficult. In no uncertain terms, Capcomhas been a dream for me.

I have chosen a new path which will let me embrace a new dream, but to everyone that ever believed in this dream we shared together, let me say this final thanks. I will leave as I began–a Capcom fan for life, looking forward to all the great games still to come.

My brother Pete introduced me to Street Fighter II in 1991, and it was love at first sight. Even at the height of my early fan fever dreams, however, I could never have guessed that this game would take me around the world. From my first fumblings with the fireball, to battling for local arcade supremacy, and even on to competing in Japan, I still never let myself imagine I could someday meet, much less work alongside the people responsible for these games. To think back on the fact that it’s been my real life for these years is hard for me to believe, even now.

Lured by news of a new project that would eventually become Street Fighter IV, I gave up a happy little life to join Capcom in 2006 with the naive hope of playing some part–any part–in waking up the world to remember something I have known in my blood since the SF2 era: fighting games are amazing. At the time I came on, fighters were few and far between, and Street Fighter had been asleep for a long time. Through the combination of some great games and an incredible community, I’m happy to think that we’ve hit that early target–fighting games are strong again–perhaps stronger than they’ve ever been before.
Based around the early success of SFIV, we were able to create a small model internally to show that the positive impact community can have on our games. From there, the insights and passion from fans across our franchises have made Capcom a far more open, engaged place than the company I knew growing up. Fan-facing events and conversations have become a top priority, and even our typically reserved producers have opened up to the joys and challenges of talking directly to their players. Even as you give us hell and ask us to do better, remember the progress we’ve made together and know that this company is full of great individuals who share your love for the games, and that they are always trying to chart the path to make games that are worthy of your dedication.
To everyone that’s helped me along my path, I’m left only with words that seem hollow from overuse, but: Thank You.

Thank you to Ono-san, and to the now-passed Mark Beaumont, who trusted me with the game and believed in my passion from the very start.
To Niitsuma-san, who invited me on his journey to embrace the crazy heart beating inside the Versus series, and produced games that still thrill me even after thousands of hours.

To the many talented people throughout the fighting teams that gave me a literal schooling of the kind possible nowhere else in the world–I’m a proud graduate of “Capcom U” and have the scars to prove it 🙂

To everyone who has worked alongside me on our community teams, and to Christian Svensson who made it possible, through good times and bad, trying to fight the good fight and make sure our biggest fans had a voice at the decision-making table.

To my many other friends and colleagues at Capcom around the world, I’m proud to realize there are far too many of you to thank directly, so let me say simply “otsukare-sama desu,” and I hope we will meet again.

And finally, to the FGC: In no uncertain terms, you have been my reason for everything. A game can be incredible, but it’s the players and where they take it that elevate it into legend. Both as individuals and as a group, you have taught me more than I could have ever thought possible. Every hour on the road and every air mile towards my first million doesn’t begin to repay the debt I feel to all of you. You are a family to me. Today, the community is strong, and growing stronger. We fight, we make mistakes, we argue, and we compete but in the end we have each other. To you, I can only say “thank you.” You continue to electrify the world and show the power not just of a game, but of a living, breathing community. Strive to be your best selves, to share our magic with the next generation, and above all else, take care of each other. We are a family.

-Seth

Does this bode well for Capcom? It wasn’t long ago that Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune stepped down as Capcom’s head of R&D as well global production and Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami left to work with Vanquish and Tango Gameworks. With Seth Killian now suddenly departing Capcom and Yoshinori Ono openly expressing a hint of discontent himself, what does this all mean? Let’s not forget that a few months ago there was the whole fiasco involving a female Capcom employee who almost commit suicide due to being harassed to a frighteningly degree by her peers within the company.

Clearly all is not well at Capcom.

Street Fighter X Tekken (Review)

Tekken has been my favourite fighting game series by leaps and miles ever since the third game in the series over a decade ago. The characters, gameplay, and mechanics have always been the cream of the crop in my eyes. Street Fighter, in comparison, has always been a distant second… But really, there’s nothing wrong with coming in second, is there? Both universes have good characters and fun gameplay, so combining them sounds like a formula for best fighting game ever.

Unfortunately. Street Fighter X Tekken falls a bit short in my opinion, which is a shame given my love and respect for the two franchises that star in this game. That’s not to say that SFxT is a bad game, because it’s not. SFxT is just merely a “pretty okay” game.

First and foremost, I’d like to mention the graphics. Outside of SoulCalibur V and Tekken 6, this is easily the best looking fighting game this generation. The stages you fight on are all extremely detailed and put even Street Fighter’s most hectic locales to shame in terms of how busy the backgrounds are. The game is also overflowing with a really fantastic sense of style with a lot of ingame hit animations and effects looking simply gorgeous. There are a few falters however, such as when you KO an opponent with an ultra combo. The screen flashes so erratically that I would worry for any epilepsy sufferers who would happen to be watching this game in motion and, as a whole, looks a little sloppy in comparison to the rest of the game’s pretty looking effects.

Click to enlarge.

Character models are mostly all pulled straight from the Street Fighter 4 series but with a few tweaks here and there. Some characters may have a little more detail in their textures while others may have slightly different proportions (for example, some say Cammy has bigger thighs, but I don’t see it myself). The Tekken characters are all brand new, though some of them are clearly just retextured and heavily reworked Street Fighter models (Ogre is an obvious Seth, Asuka is a redone Sakura, etc.) but, for the most part, they all look exceptionally unique. I’ll commend Capcom for really nailing down the look of some Tekken characters such as Hwoarang, but a few of them (Law and Paul being good examples) don’t look terribly faithful, giving off the impression that Capcom just shrugged their shoulders and winged it.

The music department isn’t too stellar. Music doesn’t dip above average in any instance in my opinion, and the versus screen tracks are just horrendous. Capcom usually does a pretty good job with fighting game soundtracks, and I can’t help but wonder if they used one of their second tier composers for this game. If not, then clearly whomever they used (was it the SF4 composer?) didn’t put forth a lot of effort.

The sounds and voices of SFxT aren’t anything to write home about either. All of Street Fighter’s familiar voices are carried over from previous games, so we know what to expect there (awful English Akuma and all). Tekken’s cast is pretty iffy when it comes to voicing. I’ll commend Namco on getting the original voice actors for some characters such as Lili and Steve (who both sound great), but others just sound really “off” in this game compared to their Namco counterparts. Paul sounds like he has a severe psychological disease coupled with rabies, and Marduk sounds like he has been taking one too many anger management sessions since we last saw him.

Click to enlarge.

In terms of gameplay, this is pretty much just Street Fighter with a more beginner friendly approach to inputs and delving into the finer technical side of the gameplay system. If you’ve played Street Fighter in the last few years, then you’ll be able to pick up and play SFxT without any issues. The Tekken characters all play like Street Fighter characters themselves, with some even having projectiles now, so they fit in pretty well with Capcom’s crew and are fun to learn how to use. I’ve found Steve to be particularly lethal when I can get into a groove with him, but it pains me to see my favourite Tekken character, Paul Phoenix, not having a great deal of tools at his disposal here.

Essentially, this is just Street Fighter with Tekken characters and an engine that is easier for beginners to ease themselves into. Unfortunately here isn’t much else to it than that, literally. Beyond the standard arcade and online fighting modes, there is just versus, practice, and mission mode. Versus is mandatory of course, but it is just another fighting mode. Practice is essential too, and is pretty much better than mission mode (dull and mindless character trials) in every way possible when it comes to learning how to play the game. Mission mode is, literally, a complete waste to even play. As was the case in Street Fighter 4 and Marvel vs Capcom 3, mission mode teaches you nothing that you can’t learn in practice mode. It’s pointless.

There are no fun bonus game modes and very little to do besides just fight, which has become typical of Capcom fighters nowadays. There is a customization menu for assigning gems to your characters (they modify your damage output, speed, and other things during fights) as well as colouring your characters. Both of these features were hyped by Capcom pre-release, but after sinking my teeth into the game I can tell that they weren’t properly developed and are particularly lacking in terms of appeal and content.

Click to enlarge.

Overall, this is just another fighting game by Capcom. There’s a significant sense of “been there, done that” when playing. It’s evident that Capcom has stopped raising the bar when it comes to fighting games, as they feel that they can just slap a few fighting modes together and call it a day in recent years. There’s a wealth of new moves to learn from the Tekken characters, as well as a few gimmicky bonus characters, but when everyone online is going to default to Chun Li, Guile, Juri, Ken, Ryu, and Sagat then… Well, what’s the point of it all?

Final Score

6.8/10

Pros:
+ Street Fighter engine has been dumbed down to gently ease beginners into it.
+ The character roster is absolutely huge and will grow more later in the year.
+ Very flashy and great looking presentation.

Cons:
– As expected of Capcom nowadays, there’s a severe lack of content.
– Some Tekken characters are represented very poorly.
– The game could have sounded a lot better as a whole.

Mega Man Confirmed For Street Fighter X Tekken

Mega Man has been officially revealed as a playable character in the upcoming Street Fighter X Tekken fighting game as an exclusive character for PS3 and Vita players!

Joining Mega Man as Sony exclusives are Pac-Man (who rides a controllable Mokujin robot), Toro and Kuro, and Cole McGrath from Infamous.

I don’t really want to spoil the surprise for anyone who hasn’t seen the trailer yet and stumbled upon this place before IGN or Shoryuken… Though I suspect that anyone who came in from my front page may already know what is in store for them. Heh heh. Watch the following trailer and enjoy!

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 (Review)

Capcom sure has taken a lot of crap from their fans in recent months. Hordes of angry consumers are upset that they have to buy Marvel vs Capcom 3 for a second time, but I’m not even going to get into that. This is after all my review for Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, and Capcom has really proved their doubters wrong with this thorough upgrade to an already great fighting game.

Since I already wrote a review for the original release of Marvel vs Capcom 3, I won’t really rehash anything I said about the gameplay systems and what not so if you haven’t played Marvel vs Capcom 3 at all, read that review first for my thoughts on the overall structure and playability of the game. So what does Capcom bring to the table with the Ultimate update? Twelve new characters, ten new stages, a revamped main menu and UI, as well as extensive balancing and expanding of existing character move lists.

First, let’s talk about the returning characters. A lot of characters have brand new moves which will force their long time fans to come up with new strategies and ways to integrate the new moves into their play styles. Wolverine is perhaps my favourite example of this as he has gained an attack called “Swiss Cheese” in which he slices his claws repeatedly in front of him. It’s a lot like Super Skrull’s “Tenderizer” attack and is easy to execute (perhaps too easy). Various other characters have a new trick or two up their sleeves while almost every character has been rebalanced or tweaked to some degree. Most of the changes are fortunately minor and won’t really affect the gameplay any differently for regular players, though the hardcore tournament players will be obsessing over each and every small change due to even the slightest tweak being a potential game changer for specific characters on the tournament scene.

All characters now have six colours to choose from with most of them being new colour schemes that were not present in the original release. Captain America, Deadpool and Zero have some cool alternate colour schemes with Zero perhaps being the most interesting due to how his alternate colours pay homage to various characters in the Mega Man universe. In typical trollish Capcom fashion, Zero has received a brand new Mega Man X alternate colour scheme. This is sure to annoy some Mega Man fans, but they haven’t seen anything yet. Just wait until DLC costumes!

In terms of new characters, there’s a lot of really interesting variety. Twelve new faces have been added in total, six to each side. On Capcom’s side we have Firebrand, Frank West, Nemesis, Phoenix Wright, Strider Hiryu, and Vergil. Firebrand is a winged red demon who can flutter around the screen shooting fireballs and doing various dive attacks. He’s a little difficult to get used to, but he seems like a fairly pleasant surprise. It’s pretty possible for Firebrand to be anywhere at once, and I anticipate he’ll be the bane of a lot of inexperienced players online.

Frank West seems like a very enjoyable character. He appears to be very melee oriented due to starting off with his baseball bat and camera. The fun thing about Frank is that he can level himself up and gain new weapons. Each time Frank levels up, his melee weapon will change. What starts off as a mere baseball bat will eventually end up as much stronger combo weapons that we all know and love from Dead Rising.

Phoenix Wright is a real handful to use. His animations are confusing and it is difficult to determine what “moves” will hit your opponent. Phoenix Wright’s moves include throwing papers, sneezing (or coughing?), and falling down on his butt. While I appreciate the fact that Capcom included Phoenix Wright in the game to please his fans, he is an obvious joke character – but not in the good way. In my opinion, he is a waste of space in this game.

As a long time Marvel vs Capcom fan, I’ve been putting a lot of time into Strider Hiryu and am loving how he plays in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. He is fantastic at both short and long range and his teleports can really help mix things up quite a bit.

Nemesis and Vergil also seem quite handy and I’m sure each of them will be devastating in the right hands. Nemesis sort of reminds me of Venom while Vergil is sure to get a lot of play from Devil May Cry fans as well as anyone who prefers sword-based characters.

On the Marvel side we have Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, Hawkeye, Iron Fist, Nova, and Rocket Raccoon. I’ve really only taken to two Marvel characters and they are Ghost Rider and Nova. The rest, unfortunately, just don’t mesh with my play style at all which is a real shame since I was really looking forward to Iron Fist before release.

Ghost Rider is a long range virtuoso. His chain attacks often stretch all the way across the screen which makes it pretty hard to run from Ghost Rider, and his “eat chain” line that he spits out with each attack sounds great. I feel like I probably like Ghost Rider’s look and voice more than how he plays but, overall, he feels like a really well made fighter with his chain and fire attacks. Oh yeah, and we can’t ignore his hyper where he jumps on his bike and mows down the opponent!

Nova took a lot of heat before release with many fans saying that he just looked like a rehashing of other characters. Essentially, they thought he was a bland and boring version of Taskmaster. I was always looking forward to Nova and I’ve grown to really enjoy using him now that the game is in my hands. He does have a lot of close range rushdown attacks as demonstrated in his trailer, but he also has quite a bit of long range possibilities as well and I can’t wait to try him out against human opponents.

Now, the four characters I don’t like too much on the Marvel side? Doctor Strange seems very well made, but I can’t adapt to his floaty mechanics and, due to him hovering slightly above the ground, I haven’t had much luck using Strange against the likes of Amaterasu, Arthur, or Rocket Raccoon.

Hawkeye isn’t a bad character and his bows have excellent range and speed, but he feels seriously bland and uninspired to me. I like his theme music, but playing him is honestly a bore. The same applies to Iron Fist who I thought looked like a blast in his trailer, but after using him? He just felt hopelessly generic and is nothing but a Bruce Lee rip-off in this game. I understand that Iron Fist is an exceptionally talented martial artist, but the Bruce Lee vibes could have been taken down a few notches.

As for Rocket Racoon? I don’t have any problems with him and his quirky design amuses me, but his small size makes him a little harder for me to play with. It feels like Yoda from Soulcalibur IV all over again. He has plenty of range and can even use traps (think Trish), but Rocket Raccoon is pretty pitiful in my hands and I don’t want to comment on him very much because of this.

I suppose I could mention Galactus as a seventh Marvel character since we are able to play as him now. In Galactus Mode, you simply play as the planet devourer himself as you take down team after team of opponents. It’s fun for one or two matches, but after that it becomes a bit dull. Playing as Galactus is interesting, but it usually feels like a lot of effort on my part to even make him do anything. Capcom does not include a move list for him, so figuring out how to use Galactus is all guess work.

There are ten new stages in total, but they are all just “remixed” versions of existing stages. For example, Kattelox Island is now covered in snow and the SHIELD heli-carrier stage is now set during the day. Fortunately the remixed stages add just enough variety to be interesting to play on, though Demon Village Redux (essentially a black and white version of the original Demon Village) feels like a bit of a lazy rush job.

There aren’t too many other new features, though the ingame UI has been improved making it easier to tell which character is on point and how much life your teammates have left. You will also always know when you have X Factor available due to the electrified red X at the end of each player’s life bars. Another small thing worth mentioning for those who don’t play online much is that the computer AI has been made a little more difficult.

Overall, I feel like Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 is a huge step in the right direction. All of the new characters (except Phoenix Wright) feel as if they belong in this game and all of them are probably pretty viable. While we’re sure to see a frightening number of Vergils online, at least we’re still going to see a little more diversity! If you were a fan of the original Marvel vs Capcom 3, then I would definitely suggest checking out the Ultimate upgrade. The game feels remarkably exciting and fresh again and the new characters add plenty of unpredictability to the fights.

Final Score

9.4/10

Pros:
+ New characters and stages all look really great.
+ Old characters receiving new moves was a great idea.
+ The new characters add lots of new possibilities.

Cons:
– Galactus fight is the same as ever.
– No new innovative game modes.
– Phoenix Wright. Capcom, what were you thinking?

Mega Manvania: Symphony of the Blue Bomber

Confused by the title of the article? You shouldn’t be. There is rhyme and reason to be found here, and I’m going to explain myself. Obviously the title hints towards a connection between Mega Man and Castlevania, but why? It’s simple, I feel that I’ve thought of how Capcom could make Mega Man marketable and hugely successful once again.

First, before I get into the specifics of my idea, why has Mega Man become boring and/or stale to the public? Why are his games not selling as well as they used to? There are a few reasons for this.

1. Oversaturation
Capcom made a huge mistake between 2000 and 2006. They simply made too many Mega Man games! Here are all of the Mega Man games released between 2000 and 2006, at least as far as I am aware.

Mega Man Anniversary Collection
Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge
Mega Man Battle Network
Mega Man Battle Network 2
Mega Man Battle Network 3
Mega Man Battle Network 4
Mega Man Battle Network 5
Mega Man Battle Network 6
Mega Man Legends 2
Mega Man Maverick Hunter X
Mega Man Network Transmission
Mega Man Powered Up
Mega Man Star Force
Mega Man X5
Mega Man X6
Mega Man X7
Mega Man X8
Mega Man X Collection
Mega Man X Command Mission
Mega Man Xtreme
Mega Man Xtreme 2
Mega Man Zero
Mega Man Zero 2
Mega Man Zero 3
Mega Man Zero 4

Remember these games? Yeah, there were eight of them in six years. Can you say overkill?

Wow, right? That’s twenty five Mega Man games. That’s almost five Mega Man gamer per year. It’s honestly no surprise that the general public grew a little tired of Mega Man, especially considering how Capcom tried to balance three different Mega Man series at once (Battle Network, X, and Zero) while also tossing around a bunch of minor remakes and spin-offs. A quick look at the above list makes it easy to understand how Capcom seemed to have lost sense of what Mega Man was, and how the Blue Bomber seemed to have no identity anymore. Gamers didn’t know what the heck to do with all of these Mega Man games and, thanks to the relentless onslaught of Battle Network and Zero games over a few years, pretty much everyone reached a point where they would say, whenever a new Mega Man game was released, “Oh boy, another Mega Man game?”

Too many games in too little time, Capcom. It’s no wonder the Blue Bomber has been struggling to garner attention and sales throughout the past five years. It’s simply because the market became oversaturated with Mega Man games and pretty much all of us lost interest, or…

2. Fan Abandonment
… Capcom betrayed their loyal fans. I know, that sounds a little crazy but hear me out. I’m not a disgruntled fan who is calling Capcom out or anything, it just doesn’t take much thought to realize that Capcom lost focus of Mega Man’s identity and who/what he was. The rehashing of different formulas was evidence of this. How many fans of classic Mega Man or the X series felt alienated by the non-stop Battle Network games? They didn’t feel right at all, at least not to me. They just weren’t Mega Man. The Zero series seemed alright, but I had trouble getting into them. There seemed to be clashing art styles and the overall presentation didn’t satisfy me very much. I guess portable Mega Man titles just couldn’t meet my expectations. Capcom perhaps demonstrated fan abandonment the most when they decided to make a Mega Man X RPG called Command Mission. This was a VERY peculiar game to say the least. Command Mission came out during a period when the RPG genre was incredibly profitable, and Capcom wanted a piece of the pie. I don’t think Command Mission sold well, and reviews were pretty mixed all across the board. IGN was one of the very few professional gaming websites that scored the game highly. As an RPG nut, I actually really enjoyed Command Mission although it did indeed have a lot of boring or dull moments. It was an interesting experiment to thrust Axl, X, and Zero into a Final Fantasy style RPG. It may not have been the best thing for the Mega Man franchise since most fans of the franchise are primarily fans of platformers rather than RPGs. It was an extremely bold and risky move and, despite being enjoyed by some, Command Mission wasn’t much of a success. It was simply far too different. Capcom didn’t know how to market Mega Man effectively anymore and it was definitely showing.

Mega Man X Command Mission was a very risky move by Capcom which, ultimately, didn't work out.

3. Been There, Done That
Eight stages, eight bosses, eight powerups. How many times have we done this? For over twenty years, this was Capcom’s design plan for Mega Man games. Heck, it still is to this day. While it is hard to say anything bad about the older Mega Man games that use this generic design, I have trouble forgiving the newer games that still use the 8-8-8 formula. In 2011, Capcom should be able to do a lot more than this. Eight linear levels and then three or four following levels that lead up to the final boss were a lot of fun until around Mega Man X2 or X3. After that point, the 8-8-8 just grew really stagnant. It was still fun to experience the different locales of each level since there were always the mandatory fire, ice, and water levels along with a few unexpected level themes such as the futuristic junkyard stage in X6. Still, level themes weren’t enough to carry the games anymore, nor were the stage boss designs. Mega Man game design was simply becoming archaic and stagnant.

Fond memories, but times have changed since the 1980s.

And that all brings us to my idea.

What Mega Man needs is a bold new reinvention, similar to the jump from Classic Mega Man to Mega Man X. The Blue Bomber needs a new look, a new armor. It needs to be “cool” in the year 2011 or 2012. It needs to grab gamers’ attention and appeal to them. There has not been a terribly interesting look for the Blue Bomber since his first two versions, Classic and X. Both are designs from the late 1980s and early 1990s. So, Mega Man has not had a bold new look in nearly twenty years. Wow.

What is the game plan? I say take the original Mega Man look and simply give him “edgier” looking armor. Don’t cute him up like the Battle Network or Star Force designs. A new Mega Man needs to look “hip” to have mass appeal across the entire age spectrum. Classic and X are beloved designs by young and old, but I don’t know a single person over the age of twenty who thinks that the Star Force design looks cool. Capcom’s habit of making Mega Man games look cute has to go NOW for the series to have any kind of significant future again. The safe method of doing this would be to stick with the Classic or X look (no other iterations have mass appeal) or go with an entirely new Mega Man design.

These are not appealing designs for the Blue Bomber.

So we’ve got appearance out of the way. Mega Man needs a cool look for mass appeal. Where do we go from there? It’s pretty simple – design. As I said, the fundamental flaw that ruins Mega Man these days is the fact that Capcom has been using the 8-8-8 formula since 1987. This needs to change entirely, and this is where the title of the article really comes into play. Mega Man needs a huge change, and I think it is such a huge change that I’m going to put it on its very own line.

Mega Man needs to become Castlevania.

After reading that line, it doesn’t sound too crazy, does it? Think about it for a moment. Imagine a huge, sprawling 2D world with tons of different landscapes and environments. Take Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and simply replace the gigantic castle with tons of connected outdoor areas, as well as a few indoor locations as well. Would this not be a good idea or what? A free roaming 2D Mega Man platformer that takes a page out of Castlevania’s book would be an exciting idea while not seeming too “scary” for the long time and devoted fans of the franchise. It would also get rid of the 8-8-8 formula. No longer would players have to select from the same ol’ eight stages on a select screen. They would now have an open world to explore, and they would have to discover the location of bosses rather than follow a linear path to them. There would be tons of seemingly dead ends or unreachable areas, at least until players would find necessary armor upgrades to reach new locations. Mega Man could be upgraded to have long jumps, double jumps, increased run speed, temporary flight/hovering, magnetism (sticking to ceilings in areas), as well as buster upgrades to break through various walls and such throughout the game world.

Capcom needs to rip off Konami if the Blue Bomber is to have any further success.

Essentially what is brewing in my head is Mega Man Legends, only 2D and playing like classic Mega Man or Mega Man X with a huge helping of Castlevania influence on the side. This would also allow Capcom to throw in a lot more than just eight robot masters. Since the game would probably be considered an RPG, Mega Man could easily amass between ten and twenty powers from various maverick/robot master bosses. Would that not be awesome?

Due to the game likely being considered an RPG, this would also mean Mega Man would be able to level up. Rather than gaining life bar extensions from beating bosses, the Blue Bomber could accomplish this by leveling up instead. He could also gain power bar extensions as well, allowing him more frequent use of his powers as he levels up. The higher levels could also grant him cool passive abilities, like being able to restore lost energy over time. This could result in some really fun cat and mouse encounters with bosses where, after depleting your energy for a weapon, you could hop around for a bit and let the bar regenerate enough to dish out more attacks while avoiding the opponent’s onslaught.

An example of how Capcom could incorporate leveling up.

Non-linear games have become the norm over the past years, and Capcom has embraced it with many of their other series… so where’s non-linear Mega Man at? It seems like the only logical step to take with the Blue Bomber. With all of the gameplay elements that would come with making Mega Man into something resembling modern Castlevania games, there would be enough familiarity mixed with new ideas to please old fans and probably attract new gamers to the franchise.

And what would make the game even more interesting? Make it into something that bridges the gap between Mega Man and Mega Man X. Perhaps it could showcase the rise of mavericks and reploids while still retaining Dr. Light, Dr. Wily, Mega Man, Roll, and Rush. Heck, it could even lead to the downfall of the original Mega Man after suffering a temporary defeat at the hands of an early Zero prototype, which prompts Dr. Light to start working on Mega Man X in secrecy.

Come on Capcom, there’s a gold mine here. I just threw two great ideas out there! A Castlevania style Mega Man title that bridges the storyline gap between Classic and X (which a lot of fans have been curious about) would be really interesting. It sounds like a bold and exciting move while not being at all risky. Going freeroaming and RPG-esque has helped out a lot of series thus far, so why can’t Mega Man join the fun?

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 Isn’t A Rip-Off

 

Note: I am speaking my mind with this post, so a bit of foul language will slip through. If you don’t enjoy reading colourful language, click here for something more suited to your tastes.

 


Over the past few weeks, I’ve spotted a really stupid trend spreading throughout the minds of disgruntled Capcom fans and such. This trend is the belief that the original Marvel vs Capcom 3 was some kind of beta. Um… Am I the only one who fails to see the rampant stupidity in such a belief?

For starters, betas are ridden with bugs, glitches, and many little nuances that will nag at players and interrupt their gaming on many occasions. None of this applies to the original Marvel vs Capcom 3 which is a finely crafted game that happens to be remarkably bug free and insanely enjoyable to play. The game is very polished through and through, and really the only two complaints about the game that I ever see are “boo hoo, no Mega Man” and “whine whine, no additional offline modes.” Sounds like minor gripes to me. Marvel vs Capcom 3 doesn’t smell like a beta at all, nope. Smells like a fully fledged game that is very well developed.

The reason for a lot of people blabbing that Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 is an extension to a beta that we already played is different though. It has nothing to do with how the original game plays or how it feels, no. People are merely pissed off that they have to pay $40 for this wealth of new content which they all assume should have been in the original game… Not because Capcom planned everything from release (they didn’t). It is simply because all of these naysayers are merely greedy pricks.

Let’s look at some other games out there that threw additional content like this at us, shall we? First off, Diablo 2. Remember that awesome PC RPG? I’m sure many people do since, like Marvel vs Capcom 3, it’s pretty darn awesome. Now remember how fantastic the original Diablo 2 was? It was very playable, very fun, very great… And then about a full year later, the expansion was released. It introduced a lot of new gameplay mechanics, new classes, and new locations to play in. How did people react? “THIS IS FUCKING INCREDIBLE!”

Half-Life 2. A different genre, but another game that is right up there with other great games. Remember when Episode 1 was announced and later released? Everyone went batshit insane with joy. Same deal with Episode 2, and we still have people clammering for Episode 3. Both Episode 1 and Episode 2 were well made and exceptionally polished. They introduced a lot of new areas and enemies, and the fans really enjoyed it and appreciated it all. I don’t remember anyone crying that Episodes 1 and 2 should’ve been part of the original game. Valve wanted to continue the story of Half-Life 2 and give gamers more of what they loved. Doesn’t this sound a lot like, uhhh, the same thing Capcom is doing right now?

Then there are MMORPGs. Monthly subscriptions. This is a pretty crappy way to make people continue to play your games and in most cases it is a necessary evil (I said MOST cases), but nobody really whines about it too much. Heck, nobody even complains about MMORPG expansion packs. What happens when World of Warcraft gets a new expansion? The people who go “lol you have to pay for the game all over again” are few and far between. Most people will instead be analyzing the content and all that, and people will get hyped to visit various new areas, try out new hero classes or races, and so forth. Nobody ever seems to be too bothered by the price at all with MMORPG expansion packs as they instead nitpick about changes that expansions bring to the core gameplay (example: WoW Cataclysm completely changed and simplified talent trees, making people relearn a bunch of crap they already knew).

So if expansion packs are tolerated for higher quality first person shooters, roleplaying games, and MMORPGs… Why are they not viewed in the same light for fighting games? Enter Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3.

We are getting twelve brand new characters and eight new stages. To top this off, there will be new modes to play, tons of new moves for existing characters, and more. The game has even received a completely new look! Such extensive changes prevent Ultimate from merely being DLC or a patch because there’s just too much darn content. There is too much… Expansion. Oh my.

Because of the extensive additions the game is receiving, it is required for it to be distributed in physical disc form only. Essentially we’re getting a $40 expansion pack that doesn’t require the original MvC3. This is where a lot of the naysayers just start plugging their ears and refuse to listen to anything that is said. Look, this is nothing more than a standalone expansion pack to a fighting game. We’ve never had issues with these before, so why now? Just because it is Capcom? Because they cancelled your beloved Mega Man games? What’s the problem here? I played the hell out of the original MvC3 to a point where I justified paying the $60 price tag and then some. $40 more for a wealth of content is just fine in my books.

Look at it this way. Twelve characters. One DLC character usually costs about $5. If we were to receive them all as DLC, it would cost $60. Eight new stages? I’m sure we’d have to pay between $10 and $20 in total for those if they were DLC. Capcom is saving you money, you ignorant fools! People just seem to completely overlook this fact for some stupid reason, presumably because they’re angry that people who didn’t buy the original will only have to pay $40 to get everything (minus Jill and Shuma). So what if new players get the full deal for less money than you did? Street prices of games go down with time after all, and eight or nine months after release I’m sure that MvC3’s price would have sunk by a few bucks at the very least.

So Capcom is saving the money of existing players while also making it cheaper for new players to get into Marvel vs Capcom 3. What the hell is the problem with this? I can answer that. There is no freaking problem!

I didn’t even mention the incompatibility issues that would crop up if Ultimate was DLC. What would happen? Well, for starters, Ultimate players would not be able to fight against Vanilla players and vice versa. There are too many changes to the existing characters, as well as the overall gameplay, in Ultimate for it to ever be a simple DLC patch. Compatibility patches (like the ones Mortal Kombat use) will be 100% impossible. There is just too much data, too many new features. Plus wouldn’t it be unfair for an Ultimate player to go online, fight a Vanilla player, and fight with moves that aren’t even accessible to the Vanilla player? That would be horribly unfair, and it would not be able to be remedied with simple little compatibility patches.

There’s also a ridiculous claim that, because existing characters can refer to the new characters by name when tagging them in and such, apparently Capcom recorded all of these lines from the start and it was all pre-planned. Oh yeah, obviously! Because it is clearly the only possible explanation, right? Capcom decided to do a lot of extra work for content that may not have even seen the light of day. Yeah, that makes sense. “Let’s pay all of these expensive and industry-leading voice actors for extra lines that we may never use.” Great logic guys. Really.

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 is not “”the full game” and the original was not a beta. This is a standalone expansion that saves ALL gamers money by giving us a wealth of content at a price that is cheaper than we’d see it up for if it were to be offered as DLC (which would be impossible anyway).

And who cares if it is coming out less than a year after the original? Eight months, a year, two years, who gives a shit? Don’t people usually want new content sooner rather than later?

Capcom’s decision to make and release Ultimate are both justified. If you enjoy MvC3 and have played it enough, then there’s really no problem here. Don’t want to fork over $40? Then don’t. The MvC3 fanbase doesn’t need whiners like you. Get lost and go play MUGEN.