February 9, 2006

Capcom - I love you, I hate you

All bow down to my retrieving skills! Seriously bring your pooch on over and throw the stick but be prepared to watch him get devastated by my newfound talent. I owe it all to Onimusha 4’s Advanced School of Fetch, while attending I also minored in key finding so locksmiths beware. Go ahead and try to make the key before I find it deep in a well filled with Demon Soldier spawns. Trust me don’t even bother stepping up because you fools will get rocked just like Fido… Oh yeah, the game was boring overall yet entertaining on some subconscious level of male hunter/collector instinct. The game went down a little easier since I could skip all cut scenes and get back to awesome amounts of backtracking and uber-designed tests of valor, which totally do not kill any of the story momentum, which I skipped in the prior cut scene. Just to summarize, a “Test of Valor” is a fight scenario, which is governed by a timer, the scenario objective is explained during a splash screen. What this is doing in the middle of a heavy story driven game that is trying to achieve character feeling and emotion is beyond me.

Development teams please stop putting crappy side games in the middle of the real game, I am even going to call out the mighty Resident Evil 4 on this one. Shop Keeper shooting ranges should have been after the game was finished ONLY, you had me all the way until that came up and then the wheels started to rattle but thankfully never fell off so tragedy averted. Thinking about it more, I am going to call so much bullshit on that idea that it leaves me no choice but to say those were put in for the sole purpose of letting people know this was made by a Japanese team who thought they might lose their “we’re crazy Japanese game developers” membership card because otherwise it’s probably the single best example of an immersive genre game ever made! Regardless the game was awesome and I will be drooling for RE5, just check the needless extra games at the door, thank you.

Back to Onimusha 4, did I mention the game is fully translated into English? I mean all menus, subtitles, text, and spoken dialogue. Now while this is great for me, it makes me wonder is this saying something about the state of the Japanese game market? Perhaps it is simply a cost effective way to get a game ready for both shores? The series as a whole has been declining in sales since the initial release yet Capcom like all their franchises that start strong continues to make them. This brings up yet another question, why does Capcom care about their fans so much? Megaman is a license to print money since there are like 4957947 versions of the little blue guy they call Rockman but does it seriously generate that much cash? Well here is what I think about Capcom as a company or let me rephrase that, here is what I would love to think is true about Capcom as a company, THEY LOVE MAKING GAMES 1st and PROFIT 2nd! Admittedly this is sort of true on some level for me because they split off teams to try new things such as Clover Studios and their upcoming yet doomed to sell like 47,000 copies "Okami". These guys made Viewtiful Joe, which again sold like crap but was full of neat ideas. So Capcom I applaud you for fighting the “good fight” and making the games I still want to play even though you probably lose money on them. I’ve supported you on the backs of many dead blades of grass during my youth and will continue to do so especially since you put God of War out in Japan for us, thanks!

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