Friday, May 4, 2012

Capcom: A Love/Hate Affair

Capcom: A Love/Hate Affair

    Capcom, you have given me some of the greatest gaming moments in my life. Landing my first Spinning Pile Driver or Shoryuken ranks at the top of my list of greatest videogame memories ever. And in most respects, things have only gotten better. Street Fighter X Tekken has taken the series into territory that it's never gone before. King and Zangief in a real match? Dragon Punch versus Electric Wind God Fist? Everyone hoped it would eventually happen, and you delivered. With that said, Capcom, you have also made some decisions that really made it tough for your fans.
    Take for example, Street Fighter 4. That game pretty much put fighting games back on the map. All our old favorite characters, an all new engine, no R. Mika, and just enough innovation to keep it fresh. Everyone was happy to drop the $60 to play the future of fighting games. Then Super came out, and again, we were happy to drop $40 to get the new characters and gameplay tweaks. But then Arcade Edition was announced, and gradually things started to get weird. Why? Because tallying things up, I had already spent more than $100 on just one game. And that doesn't count the new arcade stick, controllers, avatars, costume packs, and so on that were also available for purchase. That's a lot of dough, yall. That also doesn't count the $100 spent on (Ultimate) Marvel vs Capcom 3, or the likely $100 I will spend for the necessary DLC characters in SFXT. Excluding perhaps Call of Duty, I can't think of a game out that I have had to pay for so many times just to be able to continue playing it, and certainty never for content that was already on the disc.

   And that just opens a whole new can of worms: did you really think someone wasn't just going to hack the disc and find the characters already there, ready to play? Did you not care? It's understandable: you put the “DLC” characters on the disc to avoid the weirdness found in fighting someone online that doesn't have them. In effect, everyone has all the characters, but only need the unlock code to get the full roster. I get it. But at the same time, that means you buy a disc, and then months after the game has been out you pay more so that you can actually use the content on the disc that you already paid for. That does not leave a good taste in anybody's mouth that bought SFXT, especially considering some of the gameplay issues your fans are having to deal with.
    Offline SFXT is a really fun experience. Its fast, smooth(ish), and the new gameplay tweaks from SSF4AE still have me finding new tricks every time I play the game. But man, this game has some bugs. Online is much laggier than any of the versions of SF4, the sound issue still drives me nuts, and something more punitive needs to happen to ragequitters. And that doesn't count the need for a better clock, fixing some of the freezing/flying/infinites that Desk has been so nice as to show you, and character re-balancing. Excuse my arrogance in telling you anything about game development, but I swear, it's almost like you released this game before it was really finished.
    Speaking of finished, the new Ashura's Wrath DLC is another prime example of how you at Capcom make us incredibly happy and incredibly angry at the same time. Here, I'll give you a chart to understand how someone can both cheer and boo you at the same time.

                                  Awesome                                                           Not Awesome                                
    •    Ashura's Wrath is a great game, with two      The ending we paid $60 for isn't the real ending?
    •    emotional endings.
    •    New DLC? For a great price? Awesome!       I can afford to pay for gas to drive to work or I can
    •                                                                            buy more Capcom DLC. Hmmmm...

    We love you Capcom. We love your crazy executives (get well Ono-sensei!). We love the stories you tell. We love your characters (Dante, Ryu, Leon). But most of all, we love your games. Your games have helped us relax, to have fun, and work toward a goal. For that we are thankful. Heck, I was weaned and socialized on Street Fighter 2. We don't complain because your products aren't good (because they're awesome), but because we expect better from a company that we have literally let into our lives. Your fans will happily support (almost) everything you do, but that doesn't mean we are a bunch of money pumps.

On disc DLC that I have to wait months to buy. You have got to be kidding.

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