Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How Capcom became my least favorite publisher.

Let's take a second to discuss Dead Rising 2: Off the Record. I knew I had to write about this because, no matter how futile it is, I couldn't let this go unsaid in some form or another. Dead Rising is and has been since its release, one of my favorite games of all time. There's something about it that makes it undeniable fun, and I poured several hours into it (I even got the 7 day survivor achievement, one of my greatest achievements in gaming). When Dead Rising 2 came out, needless to say, I was quite excited. I played it through once, and was pretty much done with it. It wasn't bad per se, it just didn't deliver the same kind of excitement on the initial playthrough as the original did. The whole game had the "been there, done that" kind of feel to it. Not to mention, it completely lacked one of my favorite things about the original--the lovable war covering Frank West.
Flash forward a few months. Capcom announces Dead Rising 2: Off the Record, which promised to bring back Frank West as the protagonist, as well as a few new features and goodies. I can't say I was super excited, but I definitely looked forward to stepping into the shoes of Frank West one more time. Upon playing the game, however, I find myself utterly disgusted with Capcom. The game is a carbon copy of the original Dead Rising 2. They didn't even bother to change most of the dialogue, with Frank West repeating the same lines Chuck Greene did less than a year ago. Now, that's just lazy.
Some may argue that this is simply an "updated version" that mainly appeals to those that hadn't played Dead Rising 2 yet. But this carries no weight. Off the Record was advertised as a mostly new game, and the changes aren't even comparable to an "updated version." A different character, two new bosses, and a new area don't make a new game. Besides, even UMvC3 had a better content update than this.
And this isn't Capcom's first offense this year, either. Everyone has already shared their disgust with Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, which is coming out less than six months after the original. The sad part is, I wouldn't even see Activision doing something like this. At least they wait a full year before re-coating Modern Warfare with a new single player campaign. Hell, at the very least, the yearly Modern Warfare games feel like an expansion pack. Off the Record feels like someone made a Frank West skin and charged forty dollars for it.
I don't know what happened to Capcom, but they've lost all credibility in my book. The first strike was canning Mega-Man Legends 3, after dangling it in front of their fans. Strike two was releasing Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 as a entire new game for 40 dollars, instead of releasing characters as DLC as promised. Strike three is the abomination that is Off the Record. You've changed, Capcom.

Edit: I did forget to mention Capcom's addition of the Sandbox mode into Off the Record, which some reviewers gave as enough of a reason to purchase the game. I disagree with this. The original Dead Rising included a survival mode, and though I don't think this "entitles" me to a sandbox mode in the sequel, why should a game be praised for containing the same content as its predecessor? Not to mention, this isn't even Dead Rising 2, its the "updated" version, that will cost you forty dollars. Not cool.