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.

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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!

New Street Fighter X Tekken Info

At Capcom’s annual Captivate event today, the company was kind enough to finally show off more of Street Fighter X Tekken. This is fantastic news because, face it, we were all getting tired of seeing Ryu and Kazuya duking it out repeatedly.

The information released today definitely gave us something to look forward to. A few new stages were shown off, most notably a Capcom stage that seems to be based on the Dino Crisis games. How cool to see Capcom giving that series some much deserved love!

As far as new characters go, we’ve got Abel, Guile, and Ken joining Chun-Li and Ryu on the Street Fighter side. Kazuya and Nina have been joined by Bob, King, and Marduk.

I’ve seen a few fans up in arms already over some characters getting in over more popular ones, but we only have a roster with eight characters at the moment. There will surely be at least ten more characters on each side, so fans of series will both surely see Cammy, M. Bison, and Zangief duking it out against Hwoarang, Jin, and maybe even Jun.

Top 10 Best Video Game Themes

There have been lots of really memorable video game songs and themes over the years, and we all have our favourites. I would like to present a list of what I feel are the ten best pieces of music to ever come from video games. Feel free to disagree, but remember that of course this is all opinion!

Now, here’s my list.


#10

Street Fighter IV – Main Theme/Volcanic Rim


Capcom used to play the hell out of this piece of music in every Street Fighter IV trailer to hype the game, and I don’t blame them. This theme has “resurrection” written all over it, which is what Street Fighter IV did to the series. It is also very energetic and damn, it’s loud! This is the perfect music to listen to while overly-stereotyped fighters beat the pulp out of each other. I look at this piece of music as the definitive Street Fighter theme song now, and I hope that Capcom does too. It’s just that good.


#9

Diablo Series – Theme of Tristram


This is such a depressing piece of music, but at the same time it is just as great. I cannot think of any other gloomy, soul destroying piece of music that I actually LIKE listening to. Tristram’s theme fills you with such a strong feeling of desolation and destroys all hope you have of vanquishing Diablo. This theme slaps you in the face and tells you that you’re going to fail, and that the demons of Hell will invade and take over.


#8

Castlevania Series – Divine Bloodlines


I believe that this theme has been in a few Castlevania games, and this is the tune that always stands out to me when I play one of these skeleton and vampire infested games. Whenever I hear Divine Bloodlines, I really feel like I am in the game and am on a quest to kill Dracula. I feel like it is MY adventure. Divine Bloodlines really gets you in the mood to kick some Count ass, and is the perfect start to some Castlevania games, such as Dracula X.


#7

Stider Hiryu Series – Theme of Strider Hiryu
Also used in Marvel Vs Capom: Clash of Super Heroes


One of video gaming’s coolest ninjas has one of the most awesome character theme songs ever. This tune plays in the official Strider Hiryu games but is also used as his theme in Marvel Vs Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes. This was an awesome theme that, in Marvel Vs Capcom, could turn the tides of battle. I found that, when fighting Strider, my mind was always on this music more than the character. I can’t say that it defines him well, but I can say that this is the best theme for a character ever in a fighting game.


#6

World of Warcraft – Login Theme


Before Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, and Cataclysm, we had this. From 2004 until 2006, this is what players of the colossal MMORPG heard each time they loaded up the game. Three expansions later and this theme is still the login music, though it has been butchered and remixed so many times that it has lost it’s original soul. This theme defines World of Warcraft as a whole and is the definitive tune for the MMORPG as a whole.


#5

Mega Man 2 – Intro Theme Music


In my opinion, this is the ultimate Mega Man theme. Mega Man 3, a game that I actually don’t like at all, comes a distant second to Mega Man 2’s theme. How the piece just starts off so gentle and peaceful before slowly escalating into a really powerful and energetic piece is the best transition ever in a video game theme. I love it!


#4

Tetris – Theme Music


This theme is the embodiment of all things Tetris, and no puzzle game has ever come close to having such a fitting theme. The Tetris theme has this aura to it that gets you into the mood to play with blocks and have a blast, but when you are faced with a possible game over situation, this theme song feels incredibly ominous to the player, pressuring them to lose and get game over. The Tetris theme does all this despite never changing even a single note. If that isn’t mind control or real power over the player, then I don’t know what is.


#3

Final Fantasy Series – “Final Fantasy”


What started as a adventurous and energetic opening to what Squaresoft assumed to be their final game before dissolving has turned into one of the gaming industry’s ultimate game over themes. I don’t mean game over as in losing all your lives, no. I mean game over as in you completed the game. The Final Fantasy theme often plays at the end of each game during the ending sequence or credits, serving as a passionate piece of music that will make you feel glad that you adventured with Square’s latest band of misfits. The most moving piece of video game music ever, in my opinion.


#2

Super Mario Bros. – Original Theme


Perhaps the most iconic tune in this top 10. Everyone knows the Mario theme. Even people who have never even played a Mario game know what this little jingle is! The Mario theme transcends gaming. When people who barely even know what Mario is can identify the main theme, it says a lot. In terms of being iconic, this one is certainly at the very top… So why isn’t it #1 on the list, especially considering the fact that I am a huge Mario fanatic?


#1

The Legend of Zelda Series – Main Theme


… Because the Zelda theme, while not quite iconic as the Mario theme, is a superior composition that evokes a real sense of adventure from the player. Hearing this theme, even in the very first Legend of Zelda on the NES, can pull anyone into the mood required to play a Zelda game. It pulls you into the magical world of Hyrule, and it won’t let you go. Chances are you won’t want to let go anyway. In terms of being iconic, this theme is second only to the Mario theme, but it is a far more engrossing theme that takes hold of you and rocks you to the core.


Several of these themes are available on my MP3 Downloads page, so head on over there if you want to download some tunes.

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