Capcom Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Capcom RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Capcom Brings The Classic Arcade Experience Home With New Arcade Stick Tue, 16 Apr 2019 13:43:41 -0400 QuintLyn

Following in the footsteps of the game-filled mini consoles from Sega, Sony, and Nintendo, Capcom is getting in on the retro gaming box action.

However, since Capcom is so well known for its classic arcade games, the company has gone a slightly different way with their retro "console". 

Instead of replicating an old console, Capcom is introducing the Capcom Home Arcade. The device replicates the twin joystick and button setup found on most arcade cabinets, allowing fans to compete against their friend's old-school style from the comfort of their own home.

Of course, players won't be able to play against each other from across the room, as the Home Arcade appears to be designed to replicate the feel of standing next to their opponents; everything is contained in one unit.

Furthermore, the Home Arcade is designed for easy plug-and-play using an MDMI output and micro-USB power. There's also onboard Wi-Fi.

The Home Arcade features the Capcom logo in the classic yellow and blue and is actually shaped around it. It also boasts a single joystick and eight buttons for each player, allowing players to experience the games as they were intended to be.

The Capcom Home Arcade comes with 16 classic games. Those included are:

  • 1944: The Loop Master
  • Alien VS. Predator
  • Armored Warriors
  • Capcom Sports Club
  • Captain Commando
  • Cyberbots: Fullmetal Madness
  • Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors
  • ECO Fighters
  • Final Fight
  • Ghouls 'N Ghosts
  • Gigawing
  • Megaman: The Power Battle
  • Progear
  • Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting
  • Strider
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo

The Capcom Home Arcade will officially be available for players to bring home on October 25. Between now and then, Capcom will announce at which retailers fans can pick the device up.

Those wanting to be sure they will get their hands on the Home Arcade on October 25 can pre-order the device via the Capcom store now for about $260. 

Mega Man 11 Demo Impressions Sun, 09 Sep 2018 10:32:48 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

The Mega Man 11 demo recently dropped in order to prepare players for it's upcoming release on October 2nd, and there's a lot of information to unpack from the one level it offers.

Let's take a look and see how much progress Capcom has made in the eight years since Mega Man 10, and see if they can promise us something worth the wait.

First Impressions

The demo only gives you access to one of the eight stages available in the full game, that being Block Man's stage. 

Upon starting the stage up you'll be greeted by the new 2.5D graphical style and some new music, both highly evocative of the classic era of Mega Man that this game evolves from. The new 3D graphics operating on a 2D plain do a splendid job of bringing the classic series' aesthetic into a new dimension. Enemy animations are a lot easier to read with newly added detail, and the world feels ever so slightly more alive around you.  

The music hasn't really wormed its way into my every waking thought the way a lot of the other Classic Mega Man tunes have, but rest assured it's still good stuff. It's difficult to get full impressions on a game through just one level, music most of all, but what we've been presented with here still sets a strong precedent.

Block Man's stage starts off with a colorful daytime temple theme, and slowly progresses to a cool evening as the level goes on.

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

For anybody concerned that Mega Man 11 will be a major departure from the formula that made the series work, you can rest assured that all of the basics of the franchise are still here. Veteran players of Classic Mega Man will feel right at home. On the other hand, those who may not be as interested in Mega Man 11 because it seems too safe and familiar with little evolution needn't worry either. 

Every basic essential in the Super Fighting Robot's toolkit is still here; the mega-buster, the charge shot, the slide, Rush coil, and so on. Mega Man's arsenal is what you'd expect, but the overall controls and game feel seem just that little bit tighter, and several quality-of-life additions make everything progress more smoothly. Robot Master weapons can now be quick-selected with both the triggers as well as a weapon-wheel using the right analog stick, and the selected power is made all the more clear through Mega Man's costume changing with each one.

The biggest additions to Mega Man 11 present in the demo come in the form of the Double Gear System and the multiple difficulty settings. The Double Gear System is a new mechanic that allows Mega Man to either briefly slow down time in order to tackle an intense situation, or power-up the mega-buster in order to blast through enemies faster.

Both powers are assigned to their own triggers, and if you press both at the same time you can activate both powers at once to get yourself out of a jam. All three of these techniques fill up a special meter, and if you push the limit on these powers too hard you'll be forced to let the gears cool down before you can use them again. 

The other major addition is the return of multiple difficulty settings last seen in Mega Man 10, which this game further expands on. While the previous installment had three difficulty modes to choose from - the last being a Hard Mode that was unlocked upon beating the game on Normal Mode - Mega Man 11 has four to choose from.  

There is of course an ultimate difficulty setting dubbed "Superhero" which you can unlock upon completing the game on Normal, but there is also a "Newcomer" Mode which is intended for first-time players who have never played a Mega Man game before. Each difficulty setting has fairly major differences in how much damage you both take and deal out, though the level design itself stays unaffected, unlike Mega Man 10's Easy Mode.  

On that note, what little level design is showcased in the demo is very fun and very solid. The challenge is a fair balance on any difficulty setting 

Let's Wrap Things Up

That's about everything of value that can be extracted from the Mega Man 11 demo. I for one was enthralled with what I got my hands on, and am more than likely going to pick the full game up when it releases next month.

My only nitpick really is that Capcom seems to have changed the Mega Man's iconic audio design quite a lot in this demo. The mega-buster's shot, Mega Man's jump and game over sound effects were all among some of the most iconic in gaming, and they've all gone out the window. This is by no means a serious issue with the game, but it's definitely a thing I and many other players will be weirded out by the absence of.

The demo does make a point that the game is still in development, but we're getting pretty close to release at this point, and I doubt that the new sound effects are just place holders. Perhaps the classic sound effects could be patched in at a later date as an audio setting in the options menu, or be made into an unlockable for completing a specific challenge.

Whatever happens, Mega Man 11 is shaping up to be a solid and very enjoyable entry in the Classic series, as well as a grand return to form for Mega Man after nearly a decade-long absence.

I've already made it to this congratulations screen about six times already.

The Mega Man 11 demo is available now on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The game will be released in full on all platforms including PC on October 2nd.

Street Fighter V Is an Unfixable Game Sun, 25 Feb 2018 09:41:54 -0500 wlkrjesse

When Street Fighter V first came out, its problems were numerous and readily apparent -- online held together with bubble gum, a system that rewarded rage quitting, something as basic as color palettes locked behind a survival mode more befitting a mid- to low-tier Newgrounds fighter, and a roster that was pulled together the night before the project was due.

All of these issues have been resolved, and with Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, we are still left with an Ambien prescription that Capcom has inaccurately labeled as a fighting game.

While the concept of "my turn, your turn" in fighting games has been frequently seen as an issue to overcome with clever game mechanics and options that can be used in an effort to initiate comebacks that reward quick thinking, clever reads on your opponent, and well-honed reaction time, Street Fighter V has made the odd choice of embracing its own monotony. "My turn, your turn" isn't a problem to be solved but a credo to be chanted until it rings in your ears. The game solely exists around running your offensive blender until someone loses, creating a feeling that is more akin to seeing who can win a headbutt contest than playing a video game.

The game has made a concerted effort to stamp out any degree of originality or creativity within the roster, instead replacing characters with matryoshka dolls that all function relatively the same and wear the skin of iconic characters as a grim reminder of what they used to embody. Playstyle elements such as zoning, hardcore footsies, heavy execution, or rewarding reactions have all been put through the company shredder, replaced instead with simplistic and generic gameplay that functions the same for every single character. Almost everyone has the same tools at their disposal, including (but not limited to) extremely high damage, a command throw, and a three-frame normal, while any character who doesn't is left to rot. The idea of characters who excel at a certain element, which allows for a unique or interesting gameplan due to their well-defined strengths and weaknesses, is done away with.

There are simply no options that exist within this game besides the one or two specific mix-ups your character can mash out until someone loses all of their health. All that matters is getting your knockdown or getting your reset and forcing the opponent into a sadistic guessing game, where there are truly no winners because you're playing Street Fighter V. The blind offense of the game has made it a one-lane highway where a single mistake means defeat, and you just have to make sure you guess the coin flip better next time.

Street Fighter V's fear of execution to any degree makes all of these problems feel that much more painfully heavy. The crush counter system is the most egregious of these issues, where characters can dash in and take half a life bar with one stray move that they don't even need to hit confirm. This turns neutral into a game of backdash, spam three-frame normal, look for crush counter, repeat. This, coupled with a whopping eight frames of input lag in a game where there are three-frame moves, replaces reaction with guessing, so you are essentially punished very hard for guessing wrong and rewarded for getting a lucky crush counter. Furthermore, the buffer on your normals means that now every combo can be mashed out. Like it or not, execution is a necessary part of fighting games. I'm not saying everything has to be an impossibly difficult one-frame link, but if you throw the baby out with the bathwater, you've removed any excitement or sense of reward from the game. If every player, regardless of skill, can consistently pull off the same combos professional players can do with no great difficulty, competitive matches in general suffer, and I'd argue normal gameplay suffers because now there's nothing to strive for. Now all that's left is the horribly wanting skeletal remains of the core gameplay.

This is a fighting game where losing teaches you nothing and winning feels pointless. Everything is homogenized, boiled down, and reduced through a lack of options to a bland, tasteless mush. Everyone plays the same, with the only thing separating pros from any random online player being generic fighting game knowledge that has nothing to do with Street Fighter V. The Day 1 combo is your go-to combo. There's nothing you haven't seen before, and there never will be. No tools exist to create a really impressive setup because there is no impressive setup. You see one Vega, and now you know how every Vega fights. Everyone has to run heavy offensive because nothing else is viable, and the only difference between high tiers and low tiers is that high tiers do everything low tiers do, just better.

Street Fighter V functions better as a public service announcement about the dangers that reductionism can have on creativity than it does as a fighting game.

Does Killing Monsters in Monster Hunter: World Feel Wrong to You? Try Monster Hunter Stories Instead Tue, 13 Feb 2018 11:52:21 -0500 Erroll Maas

Monster Hunter: World has been one of the most popular games in the past few weeks. Besides overwhelmingly positive reviews, there has been one other trend among games media regarding the newest entry in Capcom's monster hunting franchise. Writers such as Waypoint's Austin Walker and IGN's Lucy O' Brien have written about how repeatedly killing monsters can sometimes feel aimless and how that aimlessness, as well as the detail of the monsters suffering, can make some players feel guilty.  It may seem like these players should avoid the franchise altogether despite still having some interest, but there is one game taking place in the same universe which can be played as an alternative option. That game is the often overlooked Monster Hunter Stories on the Nintendo 3DS (also now on smartphones in Japan).

Monster Hunter Stories takes a softer approach to its beasts
Friends Over Foes

In this RPG spin-off, rather than taking on the role of a hunter, you become a rider, an individual who bonds with and rides monsters via stealing monster eggs from nests. The hatched monsters are called monsties, derived from "monster" and "bestie,"  while the rest are still just called monsters. These riders come from a few select, secret villages that developed separately from the rest of the world, and over time, they learned how to communicate with monsters through use of the kinship stones -- their symbol, which allows them to bond with their monsties both mentally and emotionally. Riders not only battle wild monsters besides their monsties, but they also battle other riders as practice and in tournaments. Although you are still killing monsters out in the field, it looks more similar to a fainting Pokémon and likely won't make you feel the same way as in World.

Killing is a bit less realistic as compared to Monster Hunter World
Less Graphically Impressive, but Also Less Graphic

The art style of Monster Hunter Stories is reminiscent of Level-5 games such as Ni No Kuni and Yo-Kai Watch in contrast to the more realistic-looking graphics of its high-definition counterpart. It has a more cartoonish look and kid-friendly tone as well as an "Everyone 10 and Up rating rather than a Teen rating. This is due to all the main characters being kids -- similar to the 10-year-old kids running around the Pokémon world -- and because the game contains only some crude humor and fantasy violence as opposed to the blood, mild language, and use of alcohol in World. Although the gameplay still largely consists of killing monsters, you won't see them limping, drooling, or displaying much visible damage other than their health bar, provided that you had seen the same monster previously. If you don't have a problem seeing Pokémon faint, then you shouldn't have a problem taking down monsters in Monster Hunter Stories.

The cartoonish graphics help alleviate some of the more worrisome aspects of Monster Hunter World
A Better Story

Although Monster Hunter: World isn't Monster Hunter's first attempt at having a story, it is the first in the series to have a more Western-inspired cinematic narrative; however, the story doesn't do much to enhance the experience, and at points, it can even feel unnecessary. As you may have guessed from the name, Monster Hunter Stories puts an increased significance on story, and although it's still not as thought-provoking as it could be, it still pulls off a better execution than Monster Hunter: World. The story of Monster Hunter Stories is one you would likely see in an anime series aimed at children, such as Pokemon or Digimon, as well as the game's own direct anime adaptation, Monster Hunter Stories: Ride On!, with themes of friendship and treating monsters as more than just tools. The characters in Monster Hunter Stories can also be more interesting than those of Monster Hunter: World, and they are full of personality. If you enjoy the story enough, it can even help make you care about them more. It might be clichéd and not the deepest or most complex JRPG story, but it can be more entertaining and feels more necessary than that of Monster Hunter: World

Navirou isn't as customizable as Monster Hunter World's palicoes, but he's still cool
You Still Get a Cat Companion

While he can't be customized to the same degree and has a rather odd appearance when compared to other felynes, Navirou is a helpful sidekick in Monster Hunter Stories. Navirou provides information on monsters in battle and also tells you the strength of the resulting monstie when stealing monster eggs. He also happens to have a rather peculiar backstory, being more than just your sidekick for the sake of having one. He may not be as customizable as the palicoes of Monster Hunter: World, but he does get a handful of costumes, including crossover DLC such as Majora's Mask and an Umaru-Chan outfit.

Monster Hunter Stories includes crossover items from the Legend of Zelda series
Plenty of Content to Keep You Satisfied

Monster Hunter is no stranger when it comes to having a prosperous amount of content, and Monster Hunter Stories is no different. Other than a main story campaign which clocks in at around 50 hours, Monster Hunter Stories also includes high rank quests and monsties, online battles, two post-game challenges, and as a series of tournaments in which you can gain new armor sets, weapons, and monsties. Additionally, Monster Hunter Stories continues the Monster Hunter tradition by having an abundance of free DLC content which includes (but is not limited to) new quests, monsties, and tournaments. If you enjoy what the game has to offer, you may keep playing it for quite some time.

The monsties are ready for battle
Ride On!

So if you've grown tired of feeling guilty about killing monsters but still enjoy seeing the monsters as well as the world, then give Monster Hunter Stories a try. While it may not have the graphical fidelity of Monster Hunter: World and is currently exclusive to Nintendo 3DS in the West and smartphones in Japan, it can provide a satisfying alternative to its popular counterpart. Monster Hunter Stories is available on Nintendo 3DS both physically and digitally in North America and Europe. A free demo of the game is also available to download on the Nintendo 3DS eShop.

Using Monster Hunter World to Create Better Combat in Dungeons and Dragons Fri, 09 Feb 2018 16:03:12 -0500 Alex Tharp

Quick, describe the last combat encounter you ran during a session of Dungeons and Dragons! If you can't describe anything other than the enemies and general vicinity the fight took place in, then there's a problem. Fortunately, Monster Hunter: World has the solution.

Not only does Monster Hunter World have memorable environments, but it also has tightly designed battlefields. Those intricate designs, both of battlefields and monsters, have much to teach an aspiring Dungeon Master. So, what does this game's design have that your game might not?

Interesting choices.

Dice of all sizes and sides add RNG to D&D

Decisions, Decisions

In D&D, every turn brings a choice. Which spell should I use, whom should I heal, what monster should I take down first? Choices like these are inherent to every battle. The designers of the game gave players choices during combat because choices are what make those encounters fun to play.

But what makes a good choice? Obviously, a choice is a selection between multiple options, but it isn't meaningful if the options aren't different enough or if there is a clear, correct answer. That may seem obvious, but it reveals a weakness in the design of D&D combat.

Take for example the fighter class. If a fighter must choose a weapon to fight with, then it is a simple numbers game of whichever hits hardest. There is a clear, correct answer. The decision to either hit a monster with a sword or run away is also a numbers game. If you can survive another round, then attack; if you cannot, then flee. Simple. Number games which masquerade as choices don't make a combat encounter any more entertaining.

Now let's look at the wizard class. A wizard can pick between damage or utility spells during battle. Is it worth giving up a Fireball in order to try to stun multiple enemies? Will a Wall of Force create a tactical advantage that is more useful than defending someone with Mirror Image? These decisions are much more varied and unclear, thus making for engaging combat.

Nonetheless, the decisions a wizard must make during battle are usually the same. The wizard decides between the same, limited amount of spells they know. To make the problem worse, many spells are situational. A singular use for all spells can make a wizard's choice into a number game, which is no fun.

Clearly then, the question of how to make a good combat encounter becomes "How do I create interesting choices during combat for all my players?" Here, Monster Hunter World has answers aplenty.

Scenes like this one from MH:W can play out in your D&D games

Monster Hunter: World of Choices

Monster Hunter World also has inherent choices in its combat system. This time, however, the choices the designers baked into the game are only the start. After all, a riveting combat encounter needs more choices than just "Should I use the lance or the long sword?" Monster Hunter World knows that and creates choices using more than just the base combat system.

Because Monster Hunter World acts in real time, unlike D&D, it can be hard to identify the choices this game gives its players. It can be even trickier because of the denseness of its terrain. But with experience, any eagle-eyed hunter can spot them during the heat of battle. So, where to look for these choices?

Find a choice croaking in the mud. Spy one flitting about in a cave, flashing with light. Cut another one to the ground and watch it spill across the jungle floor. The choices have been scattered across the terrain by wily designers, just like they should be in your game.

The genius of the battlefields in Monster Hunter World is that there are other agents acting in any given battle other than the players and their target. Paratoads can pop up from the mud, giving you the opportunity to paralyze the monster. You can spill the venom from basin-like plants and lure the monster into it. 

You can trade a few moments' worth of attacks for the attempt to lead a monster into a vine trap. Or take the time you would spend hitting it with an oversized weapon to run up a tree and try to mount the beast. Is it worth getting mired in the muck to avoid an attack, or should you brace yourself and maintain your position? A choice was made, and the game becomes a little more interesting.

When a player makes a decision, they take ownership of the battle they are in. The hunter becomes engaged, and the frenetic energy of Monster Hunter World is at its peak when a player carries out their well-laid plans -- even if that well-laid plan ends with you getting caught by an errant sleeptoad and being trampled to death as you snooze helplessly on the ground.

These figurines aren't too unlike combatants in Monster Hunter World

Crafting Combat Choices for D&D

Monster Hunter World is rife with choices, but it is limited by technology. Dungeons and Dragons has no limit, and that's the appeal. Anything the devious Dungeon Master can think up can happen in the game. That means that any DM can learn from Monster Hunter World and make combat encounters that are twice as fun!

To do this, you could theoretically rip these elements straight from Monster Hunter World. Create paratoads and sporepuffs which inflict status effects on creatures in their areas of effect. Put boulders hanging from vines, and let your players ready an action to break the vine when an enemy passes by. 

While that is all fine and dandy, and likely already an improvement in your combat encounters, a creative DM can go even further! Introduce a swinging rope bridge between the party and the enemies, and let your players cut enough rope from the sides to collapse the whole thing and send those orcs hurtling downwards. Put a chest of gold on the other side with the orcs, and make the players think twice about taking the easy way out by cutting the bridge.

Another example might be to fill a cave with difficult terrain and thick stalactites, then introduce a creature of high mobility, unbothered by the difficult terrain. Desperate for footing, the players might risk a collapse by knocking down stalactites to create navigable terrain. 

Your options as a DM are limitless. Utilize traps to change the terrain of the battlefield. Let players notice them before combat and perhaps use them to their own advantage. Create creatures and plants that can change the battlefield or that can even be persuaded to actively aid any creature that they choose. Give the players more opportunities for choice than what is already on their character sheets.

Oh, and one last thing to really spice up your combat encounters? Remember that even the players' enemies can take those opportunities if they're clever.

Have more to add? Want to share your favorite combat tricks? Leave a comment below!

Why Mega Man X Needs to Come Back Fri, 09 Feb 2018 13:30:37 -0500 Lee Forgione

One of Capcom's many dormant franchises, Mega Man X has not seen a new entry in the series since 2005's X8. With the recent announcement of Mega Man 11, I started to wonder if X could ever make a comeback as well. I've always been fond of the X series. It takes the original Mega Man formula and mixes it up with an edgier story and vastly superior gameplay mechanics.

The iconic Mega Man X in all his glory

​In the same way that Mega Man went back to its 8-bit roots with the ninth and tenth entries in the series, the same could be done for Mega Man X. Having a ninth entry made in a 16-bit style would be a huge comeback for X and Zero, especially in today's market, where throwbacks to retro graphics are becoming more and more popular and appreciated. The X series did okay on the PlayStation, with X4 being the best of the bunch. It retained the feel of the SNES games while adding new features such as rescuing reploids (the name given to androids modeled after X) and changing the flow of the story depending on certain tasks you accomplished. X then took a rocky shift into the PlayStation 2 with the seventh and eighth games. X7 went for a half-2D, half-3D approach, and it just didn't work. The controls were clunky, they introduced a new throwaway character named Axl, and it didn't feel very much like an X game. X8 ditched the 3D aspect for a 2.5D sidescrolling design, but again, it felt like a departure from the fast-paced action of the first six games.

The first X game reinvigorated a dying series by giving it an edgier story, a rocking soundtrack, and new moves like dashing and wall-jumping. These new moves added so much more depth to the Mega Man formula and made gameplay a lot more strategic, especially during boss fights. These changes were just what Mega Man needed to become relevant again, and with new games that give off an X vibe, such as Azure Gunvolt Striker and 20XX, it's a crime that we haven't seen a new retro-style X game. Rather than waste development resources on collections of old games, why don't they focus on something new instead? Sure, Mega Man 11 is on its way, but Mega Man Legends 3 was slated to be released on the 3DS but was scrapped for no reason. The severe lack of new Mega Man content led its original creator, Keiji Inafune, to Kickstart a terrible game, Mighty No. 9, which looks like Mega Man but is in reality a disappointing clone with awful voice acting and even a typo or two in its in-game text. 

​Though it's nice to see the original Mega Man returning this year, that series died off a long time ago. Its controls are simple, dated, and just not all that fun to play. X is the series that perfected the Mega Man formula in ways that make it memorable to so many people. The original Mega Man games had simple plot points of good versus evil, whereas X's story brought in more mature story elements such as humans co-existing with reploids and the controversy of whether machines should have free will or not. There's also the dynamic relationship between X and Zero. It's interesting to see them fight so close together against the Mavericks even though Zero's creation is what started the entire conflict. It would be neat to explore the Sigma virus and the many forms it's taken over the years in one last X game. Considering X8 ended on a cliff hanger, with Axl being infected by something placed in his helmet by the game's antagonist, Lumine, that could absolutely play into the plot of a potential X9

​It's a shame that X and Zero have only seen cameos and appearances in Marvel Vs. Capcom games since their last adventure over a decade ago. If the characters are still being used to this day, why not bring them back to their roots like so many other games are doing? Not only would die-hard fans appreciate a new 16-bit X game, but new generations of gamers could be turned onto such a memorable series. Here's to hoping Capcom will attempt to revive one of its best series and give X a proper sendoff. One can hope.

Resident Evil 7 - Not A Hero Review: Return of Redfield Thu, 25 Jan 2018 13:56:15 -0500 Beckett Van Stralen

*This review contains minor spoilers for Resident Evil 7’s main campaign.

After being delayed months longer than originally planned, and as part of a final gift for an amazing Resident Evil year, Capcom released the first part of the conclusion to Resident Evil 7’s main campaign in the form of the free Not A Hero DLC on December 12, 2017. The player leaves the shoes of the previous protagonist, Ethan Winters, and adopts a more hands-on role as the classic series mainstay Chris Redfield, who is only revealed in the campaign’s final moments. While Chris’s story is a breath of fresh air, it also feels like a missed opportunity. Despite these issues, Not A Hero is still very much Resident Evil 7, and I thoroughly enjoyed my two-hour playthrough.

Not A Hero begins right as Resident Evil 7’s main campaign concludes, when Chris Redfield is revealed to be a member of New Umbrella -- a group of ex-Umbrella employees who created an organization to combat bioterrorism and correct the atrocities committed by their parent company. After tracing leads of a bioweapon trade deal to Dulvey, Louisiana, Chris Redfield and his team are dispatched to deal with the bioterrorism offenders and squash any biological threat permanently.

Chris’s story immediately feels different from Resident Evil 7’s main campaign because the player no longer controls a character that is essentially a helpless civilian. He is a well-trained combat operative, and Not A Hero plays out accordingly. This time around, successful headshots can be followed up with a physical punch attack, sending your enemy flying backwards. Chris also has access to an impressive arsenal of weapons, including a shotgun, handgun, grenades, and a combat knife, to deal with the array of Molded enemies that will mostly be encountered throughout the 2-3 hour journey.


While Not A Hero faithfully gets many aspects of Resident Evil right, its story feels like a massive missed opportunity. Most of the interesting backstory as to where Chris has been since Resident Evil 6, and why he’s part of New Umbrella, are questions that are answered by finding notes and files instead of through cut-scenes. The final showdown with Lucas also left something to be desired -- his boss fight ended too quickly and much too easily. This is likely due to the fact that the default difficulty is Normal, but the same "Normal" for Resident Evil 7 felt like it packed a much greater challenge.


Like other titles in the series, Not A Hero does offer substantial replayability for completionists. Replaying the game on a harder difficulty, finding collectibles, and performing speed runs all come with rewards for players ready for the challenge. After my first playthrough, I started a new game on Professional Difficulty. I instantly discovered that “Professional” was meant literally, as ammo was incredibly limited and forced the player to utilize the combat knife as well as physical attack prompts to stay alive.


I briefly played Not A Hero in VR and found that it was extremely nausea-inducing within about 15 minutes of play. My VR controls were set for smooth gameplay instead of set angle increment turning, which likely contributed to the motion sickness, but the fact that it felt so different from the main campaign’s VR was unexpected. I had to remove the headset and take a breather because that was the closest I’ve ever come to losing my lunch due to PSVR.


With the release of Not A Hero, the wonderful and overarching campaign of Resident Evil 7 begins to draw to a close. For not meeting the high expectations created by the main game (nor justifying the incredibly long release delay), it was still an enjoyable experience that will undoubtedly satisfy Resident Evil fans -- especially the ones who longed to be in the shoes of a familiar character. While the story is hollow, with many missed opportunities, it’s hard to forget that Not A Hero’s DNA is still very much Resident Evil, and for being a DLC that’s 100% free, players can’t go wrong in experiencing everything Not A Hero has to offer.

Why Monster Hunter: World Isn't Releasing on Nintendo Switch Tue, 23 Jan 2018 12:41:26 -0500 Kerry-Lee Copsey

Monster Hunter: World is the latest entry in the Japanese action RPG series. With simplified controls and refined mechanics, Capcom has made an effort to open the game up to a Western audience. Given that the franchise found its success on Nintendo platforms, however, some fans have questioned why the title won’t be available on the Switch.

To find out the answer, IGN interviewed the directors of the game, Kaname Fujioka and Yuya Tokuda. They explained that the lengthy development cycle is largely the reason World won’t be launching on a Nintendo console, hinting that a lack of processing power would undermine the experience.

We don’t have any plans for the Switch at the moment. Part of the reason is that the title has been in development for almost 4 years. At the time we had to commit to our hardware choices, we decided on using the most powerful current generation consoles available at the time, which was Playstation 4 and Xbox One. So [the decision was made] before the Switch was even announced or on sale.

The quote suggests that a Switch version hasn’t been ruled out for the future, but it’s more likely that Monster Hunter XX, an enhanced port of the 3DS’ Generations, will be localized before that happens. Until Capcom announces any further plans for the series, Nintendo fans craving the hunt will just have to put down their spears or change platforms.

Monster Hunter: World releases on PS4 and Xbox One on January 26th. A PC version is due later in the year.

Will Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition Save It from Mediocrity? Thu, 18 Jan 2018 15:44:59 -0500 Kengaskhan

Street Fighter V had a pretty shaky release, with a rushed launch that really only included a competitive infrastructure -- many basic features were missing (most notably a story mode and a Versus CPU mode), giving the game a very unpolished, casual-unfriendly feel.

What’s more, a sizable portion of the competitive scene was dissatisfied with the gameplay that was there, with Street Fighter commentator James Chen stating, “There is some concern that Street Fighter V is boring or not as exciting as IV was.” Ultimately, this resulted in an overall lukewarm opinion of the sequel to one of the most popular fighting games worldwide.

While the Street Fighter V Steam store page has been updated to accommodate the release of the Arcade Edition, the game’s review score was not reset, still sitting at a very solid “Mixed.” Even with the slow drip of content from Capcom since initial release (content, most would argue, that should’ve been there at launch), nearly half of the game’s reviews remain negative.

However, with the release of Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, that score will likely rise as time passes.

What’s New in Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition?

The official Capcom website covers the majority of what you need to know about Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition -- here are some of the highlights:

  • Arcade Mode. Street Fighter V finally gets an Arcade mode, featuring six separate paths that each represent a previous main title in the Street Fighter franchise.
  • Team Battle Format. A returning game mode from Street Fighter IV in which two teams can queue up as many as five fighters each in an Elimination or Best-of-Series mini tournament.
  • Extra Battle Format. A game mode featuring time-exclusive challenges where players can earn premium costumes.
  • Major balance update. In addition to the new V-Triggers for all existing characters, Arcade Edition comes with a large balance adjustment.
  • Free Arcade Edition Update. All of the above Arcade Edition improvements are included as part of a free update for all previous owners of the base edition of Street Fighter V.

At its core, Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition is still just Street Fighter V -- it addresses the lack of content that’s been a major issue since day one, but the fundamental gameplay remains the same.

If you were already satisfied with Street Fighter V’s fighting mechanics, then the Arcade Edition offers a whole lot more of the gameplay you want. If not, then it probably won’t do much to change your opinion of the game as a whole, with stuff like input delay still present in the game.

Still, if you’re the hopeful type, it’s possible that the revitalization of the Street Fighter V community could propel the game in a direction where the devs are willing to properly fix some of the game’s remaining issues in a more timely manner.


Regardless of which camp you’re in, there’s no reason not to give Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition a shot, as it’s provided as a free update for all owners of the base game. And if you’ve been looking to pick the game up, there’s no better time than now!

New to Monster Hunter? You Should Start with Monster Hunter: World Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:45:08 -0500 Josh Broadwell

As a series, Monster Hunter has never been very inviting to newcomers, what with its often clunky controls, deep combat, and very close attention to the minutiae of item management, among other things. To make matters worse, by remaining true to its roots through several iterations, the series has earned criticisms for failure to innovate. Nevertheless, Monster Hunter still maintains a cherished place in many gamers' hearts for the exceptional quality of gameplay. With the upcoming and highly anticipated Monster Hunter: World, though, much of that has changed, to where even total noobs should consider giving the franchise another try -- especially with the final beta coming up.

What Is Monster Hunter Anyway?

Monster Hunter games are exactly what they sound like. You hunt monsters. A lot of them. After the initial tutorials, the games settle into a predictable loop of taking monster hunting quests, hunting said monsters, carving (aka looting the monster's carcass), and crafting new weapons and armor from the gathered materials. Despite being an RPG series, your avatar has no levels and gets no stat increases as time goes by. Instead, you survive based on the quality of your gear, so it's imperative to find the best material and keep crafting to improve your capabilities and give you a better chance at survival against powerful monsters. And as you'd imagine, combat plays a central role in all of this.

"Welcome to the Jungle"

The "World" in Monster Hunter: World isn't just there to fill space. At last, Monster Hunter gets a fully realized, in-depth world to explore. And it's completely seamless. Unlike previous MH games, World has no load times to interrupt your exploration or monster chasing as you transition from one region to another.

That's a good thing by itself, but it's even more important in terms of making the gameplay immersive and accessible. After you whittle their health down to a certain degree, monsters almost always turn tail and run back to their nests. That entails you chasing them to a new area or two, interrupting the game's flow as it loads the new map each time -- a problem made null by these new alterations to the established formula.

Hunting Help

Then there are the monsters themselves. Of course, MH:W looks amazing, with dragons and dinos presented in full HD for the first time. It's a big step up from the series' recent outings on the 3DS which were, naturally, limited in their graphical potential. For some, that's more than enough reason to give the series a try now.

But it's the way the monsters behave that makes it even better. At times, monsters were known to attack each other or come up on players unawares, though it was never a very organic experience. Now, however, the monster you're hunting is just as likely to be attacked by an even bigger critter passing through, or that other critter turns its attention to you instead. Think the epic battle in Peter Jackson's King Kong -- minus the gorilla (and minus Peter Jackson). Like the changes in the world itself, it helps pull you into the fantastic world and keeps you coming back for more.

Tracking monsters is much easier in World as well. In previous entries, you would down a potion, then suddenly have an idea where the monster was located -- nothing too out of the ordinary for a series that includes cat warriors, but still a mechanic that seems shoehorned in a bit. World gives you Scoutflies, little bugs that follow the monster's trail and lead you straight to it, at once a much more natural fit for the game and one that's much easier to handle since you have a tangible track to follow.

Combat Improvements

Capcom introduced a number of other adjustments to make hunter life much smoother and easier. When performing an attack or even drinking a health potion, your character used to stand still, which was a bit of a double-edged sword in terms of regaining health. But, at last, that's changed. You can move while attacking and glug health potions on the run. It speeds up combat, certainly, but it also keeps the system from seeming completely artificial. After all, for most of us, the last thing we'd do when fighting a mutant dragon is stand stock still while tending wounds.

Speaking of combat, a few other aspects received a boost too. When you start a new Monster Hunter game, you pick your weapon of choice and go from there. But, not all weapons are made equal, and some, like certain swords, used to be an absolute pain to wield -- clunky combos, exceptionally slow attack speed, and the like. It's been balanced out with World, though, making combat much more inviting for those of us just trying to get used to things.

Item management has never been intuitive in MH games, but World gives you the option of setting different groups of favorite items to access on the fly. Rather than navigating through multiple menus just to get a simple necessity, it's suddenly become much easier, with just a few button presses taking you to your favorites. That's a vast improvement anyway, but in the heat of battle, it makes the difference between frustration and victory.

Mounting your quarry is a key feature of most monster hunts, and in earlier games, even the fairly recent Monster Hunter: Generations, it was not an easy task to accomplish. It requires you to position yourself just so, and then your stamina has to last long enough to take the monster down. That, too, has received some changes, where it's easier to leap onto your prey and takes less stamina as well.

Outside Assistance

Despite these significant improvements for the series, some issues remain. The controls are as clunky as ever, slightly less cumbersome than the original Resident Evil, and there is still a sizable learning curve. But that shouldn't scare you off. Dedicated series fans decided to create a support group called Adopt-A-Hunter to take fledgling hunters under the guidance of MH veterans. In addition to getting help with things the game might not explain so well, or just learning via observation, it helps ease newcomers into the MH community -- fun and useful in itself, but even more so given World's multiplayer options.

Nothing Stopping You Now

Monster Hunter has been around for many years now, but remained fairly niche. With the attention Monster Hunter: World has been getting recently, it may finally go mainstream, and it's not hard to see why. Most of the series' major barriers have been lowered, if not completely removed. Combat is actually satisfying, there are no significant interruptions to the game's flow, and for those still struggling, there is the option of pairing with a series expert to help. What's holding you back from giving it a go? Nothing.

Are you planning on giving Monster Hunter: World a try, or are you a longtime series fan? Let us know in the comments!

Monster Hunter: World to Require Only 16 GB of Hard Drive Space Mon, 08 Jan 2018 16:18:22 -0500 Andrew Krajewski

Thanks to a picture of the Japanese box art for Capcom's Monster Hunter: World, we now know the game will take up 16 GB on your hard drive. While we are sure to see the file size increase with patches and DLC, this is still a relatively small file size compared to other AAA games today, many of which are in the 20-40 GB range or even larger -- Grand Theft Auto V and Final Fantasy XV are both examples of games that take up over 70 GB of space.

Japanese Box Art of Monster Hunter: World showing its 16GB file size. via

Check out the blue box near the center: 16GB!

So what does Monster Hunter: World's 16 GB size mean for Capcom? In addition to positive feedback from beta testers and a strong following of fans, Capcom may be able to use the smaller file size to further promote their game before its console launch on January 26th and PC launch later in 2018.


Are you surprised by the relatively small file size of Monster Hunter: World? How much do size limitations influence your purchasing decisions? Let us know in the comments below!

Resident Evil Revelations 1 & 2: Survival Horror on the Go Thu, 07 Dec 2017 15:48:24 -0500 Joseph Ocasio

In January, Resident Evil 7 kicked the year off strong and brought the series back to its roots with a hardcore survival horror experience that ended up being one the best games of the year. Now, Nintendo Switch owners get to enjoy the complete side story of Revelations with Resident Evil Revelations 1 & 2, two titles praised for bringing the series back to basics after the polarizing Resident Evil 6. It's fitting the latest version of these 2 games makes its home on Nintendo's latest console, as the original Revelations started life on Nintendo's other handheld system, the 3DS, back in 2012. It also marks Revelations 2's debut on a Nintendo system, since Capcom decided to not port it to the Wii U. The end results are two solid ports of games that manage to find a perfect balance between old school RE goodness and the newer action focus.


Taking place between the events of Resident Evil 4 and 6, Revelations 1 & 2 has you playing as several different characters from the franchise. Revelations 1 has you primarily taking control of Jill Valentine as she and her new partner Parker Luciani are in search of Chris Redfield, who was last seen on an abandoned ship, the Queen Zenobia. Along the way, you'll have to deal with a new group of bio-terrorists who are out for world domination, and, of course, it's up to the soldiers of the BSAA to put a stop to them.

Revelations 2, meanwhile, has you playing as Clair Redfield (Chris's sister) as she and her young friend, Moira Burton, are kidnapped and forced to survive numerous Saw-inspired traps and trails on a deserted Island, while Moira's Dad, Barry Burton, tries to find them and simultaneously take care of the young girl he finds.

Both stories follow similar plot-lines and themes from past games, such as evil corporations attempting to use bio-tech for world domination and isolating protagonists from the outside world to add tension, but there's just enough new here that it doesn't feel like a complete retread. Both games seem to be aware of the convoluted timeline of the Resident Evil franchise and even have with it, with many corny one-liners and tongue-and-cheek dialogue. Despite a few references here and there, you can go into both games without playing past installments, though series fans will enjoy the various throwbacks  to past games. Just don't go in expecting the same kind of intensity as RE7.

Familiar Evil

Both Revelations titles follow a familiar structure to previous games. The big difference it that each game separates the dozen or so areas you visit into acts and episodes. Each has you exploring and trying to survive various areas to get to the exit and find the next one. Both games are linear affairs, but you'll do a good amount of backtracking through each area to look for keys and other items. Along the way, you'll be upgrading your weapons and solving simple puzzles to break up the action as well. Neither title is mold-breaking, but the formula is utilized well, so doesn't need much changing here.

Each game can be completed in about 6-8 hours, but there's a fair amount of replay value for each. From unlocking additional guns, costumes, and higher difficulty settings, each game has a decent amount reasons to got back and give them another shot. Along with the main campaigns, you'll get access to a fun, if basic, raid mode that you can play online that also unlocks new features for each of the campaigns. Both games also support coach co-op, though you still can't play either story mode online.

The New

One new feature exclusive to the Switch versions is motion controls. They're not quite on the same level as RE 4 on the Wii, but they're competent alternative control schemes, should you choose to play with them. The other new addition is Amiibo support that allows you to obtain various upgrades more quickly or gives you more points you can use to upgrade your skills. But that's about it. Don't worry about which Amiibo, as you can use any of them. The lack of any additional and meaningful features is a bit disappointing, and you'll probably find less of a reason to re-visit these games, if you've already completed them on other platforms.

Survival Action

Both Revelations games control as well as any other competent third-person action game that's been released over the past 10 years. Aiming is mostly solid, and the controls work well across both games. Ammo can be sparse at times, though more so in the sequel, so you'll have to use it wisely. But enemies don't make that easy. With their constant movements, it makes it difficult to get a good lock on them and makes those life saving head shots much harder. Despite this, enemy encounters never feel unfair, so the game is balanced well.

Revelations 1 introduces a scanner that allows you to search the environments for ammo and other items, as well as analyze enemies so they can be dispatched easier. That being said, it's far too easy to over-abuse the system and you'll be finding ammo and health at such frequent rate that the sense of tension and dread that the series is known for is practically non-existent. This puts the original Revelations a bit on the easy side, but it still holds up as a fun action game.

The only thing that that doesn't hold up is the awful dodge mechanic. You press up, just as an enemy is attacking, but the window to do so is so small that it's almost useless to pull off. It's awkward, to say the least, and feels more like an annoyance that anything else.

Revelations 2 is a bit more of what you expect from Resident Evil. The game is more scarce with its items, creating a more intense and challenging experience than with its predecessor. Enemies are most re-used throughout, though. From zombie dogs to the standard enemies you'll fight often, they all just come off as generic. Yet the encounters you have are still just as entertaining and tense, thanks to smart combat design, especially in the boss battles. These fights are, in general, much more creative and interesting, involving interesting creatures as well, like what you'd expect from past games. The inclusion of an ally (Moira) that has her own ability is a much better function than just using a scanner as well. Changing between characters adds another layer of strategy and tension to the mix, as you'll have to switch your tactics on the dime or suffer the consequences. Also, the dodge mechanic actually works!


While the graphics won't blow you away, both Revelations games hold up strong in the art department. The ship from the first game might grow a bit repetitive, but it does a nice job of keeping itself distinct from areas within the RE canon. The best survival horror games make the worlds you visit act as characters in themselves, and the Queen Zenobia does just that, as does the island in Revelations 2

In terms of performance, both run at 1080p docked and 720p in handheld. However, only Revelations 1 runs at 60FPS, where as the sequel now runs at an unlocked frame-rate. It's understandable, given that it's more technically demanding, but it would of been nice to cap it to 30, when jumping form game to game. There were some frame-rate slow downs in the second installment that weren't there in other versions, and you'll need to be prepared to face load times as long as a minute when loading up a level in Revelations 2. It's not too frequent, but it's definitely noticeable. While the music isn't anything to write home about, the sound effects pack a punch, and the voice acting matches the overall atmosphere and setting.


If you've already played both games, there isn't much here to recommend. Though they work a bit better for portable play, you wouldn't be missing much if you just bought both games for $20 at the bargain bin at any store. That being said, if you never played them, they're worth checking out. This sub-series of Resident Evil may not be perfect, but it still manages to do a good job in combining the old style of play with the new.

Why Monster Hunter Stories Deserves an Enhanced Switch Port Tue, 05 Dec 2017 12:12:33 -0500 Erroll Maas

Monster Hunter Stories, the monster-taming RPG spin-off of Capcom's popular hunting-action series, Monster Hunter, was released in the West on September 8, 2017, almost a year after its Japanese release. This week, on December 4, the game was released for iOS and Android smartphones in Japan. The Nintendo 3DS version of Monster Hunter Stories sold lower than expected in Japan and hasn't been selling well in the West either due to time of release and being limited to Nintendo 3DS exclusivity. Because of these factors, Monster Hunter Stories should receive an enhanced port on Nintendo Switch so that more players will be able to get their hands on it and it can get the recognition it deserves.

The Nintendo 3DS Release Had a Few Limitations

Selling poorly despite positive critical reception is a common problem for plenty of games, but in the West, Monster Hunter Stories barely got reception at all when compared to games in similar positions such as Prey and Dishonored 2. At the time of release in the West, the game didn't get much media attention due to the release of Destiny 2 that same week, although it received a 7 from Autumn Fish here at GameSkinny and currently has a 79% average score on Metacritic. Many players had also moved on to the Nintendo Switch by that time and may have either been unaware of the game's release or just didn't care to go back to playing on Nintendo 3DS. Re-releasing the game on Nintendo Switch would help give these players another opportunity to play this game after having previously been overlooked.

Another problem with Monster Hunter Stories being limited to Nintendo 3DS exclusivity are the graphical limitations of the system. Although the graphics in the Nintendo 3DS version look great for the most part, there is quite a bit of texture pop-in throughout the game. The smartphone version of the game has already fixed this problem and enhanced the graphics, and it is known that the Nintendo Switch uses a custom Nvidia Tegra processor similar to those one would find in high-end smartphones, so it may now be easier to port than before.

The Nintendo Switch Release Can Be the Definitive Version

Despite the lower-than-expected sales of the Nintendo 3DS release in Japan, Monster Hunter Stories has now been released on three separate occasions: the original Nintendo 3DS version on October 8, 2016; the 1.2 Renewal update version on July 27, 2017; and the Android and IOS version on December 4, 2017. The next big update, 1.3, will be coming to Japan this winter, although at this time it is unknown whether the update will only be digital or have a physical release to coincide with it like the 1.2 Renewal update. In the West, Monster Hunter Stories has received free downloadable content every week since release, but the 1.2 update is not yet available. An enhanced port on Nintendo Switch would be able to provide a definitive version of the game, including all previous downloadable content and major updates. Capcom could even add a save transfer function between the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch versions of the game since they already have experience with it from featuring the function in Monster Hunter XX (Double Cross).

We Can Have a Monster-taming RPG on Switch Before Pokémon

Pokémon for Nintendo Switch is currently in development and slated for 2018, but it likely wouldn't be released until late 2018 at the earliest, with Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon having just been released in November. A Nintendo Switch port of Monster Hunter Stories would likely be able to release before then so that Nintendo Switch owners waiting for Pokémon could get their monster-taming fix.

Boosting the Possibility of Release

Although there has been no word on a release of the smartphone version in the West yet, and it may be some time before we see a Nintendo Switch port of Monster Hunter Stories at all, it's definitely more possible than it was before. Despite its lack of media coverage and lower than expected sales, Monster Hunter Stories still manages to pull through and repeatedly re-release.

Whether you're already a fan or would just prefer a Nintendo Switch version of the game, you can vote it for Best Handheld Game at the 2017 Game Awards once a day to help show interest. Voting only runs until Wednesday, December 6, so make sure to get your votes in. You can see the results on Thursday, December 7, at 7:00 PM.

Do you think Monster Hunter Stories deserves to be re-released on Nintendo Switch? Let us know in the comments!

Capcom Announces Mega Man 11 Tue, 05 Dec 2017 11:10:44 -0500 Greyson Ditzler

Capcom had some pleasant surprises hidden up their sleeves for the stream celebration of Mega Man's 30th anniversary as a series, including the announcement that all eight Mega Man X games, as well as both Mega Man Legacy collections, will be coming to the Switch sometime next year. But the announcement that surprised people the most was that a new game in the classic Mega Man series, titled Mega Man 11, is to be released on all major platforms sometime in 2018.

Little was shown off in the first trailer, though we did see that the game reverts back to the classic style of advancing through side-scrolling stages and utilizing abilities picked up off of defeated robot masters, as has been the working formula for three decades now. The game also features a new art style very distinct from the 8-bit art of most of the series' entries -- a notable change after both Mega Man 8 andreverted back to the original 8-bit aesthetic of the NES era. Capcom stated during the presentation that "the classic series takes a leap forward in visual presentation in Mega Man 11 with a 2.5D design direction introducing beautiful, completely hand-drawn characters and environments."  

Mega Man 11 is planned for release on Steam, Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch sometime in 2018. You can watch the special 30th anniversary reveal trailer for the game below:

Devil May Cry Director Wants to Work with Capcom Again Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:52:15 -0500 Greyson Ditzler

In a recent interview with the Japanese gaming magazine Dengeki PlayStation, renowned action game designer Hideki Kamiya voiced his genuine interest in once again working on series from his time at Capcom with Clover Studios. He specifically voiced his interest in creating a "true sequel" to Okami as well as remakes of both the original Viewtiful Joe and Devil May Cry

During his interview with Dengeki PlayStation, Kamiya stated:

I want to work on a Devil May Cry and Viewtiful Joe remake, or a true sequel for Okami. A cooperation with Dante (from Devil May Cry) and Bayonetta might also be fun. Dear Capcom, if it’s okay with someone like me, I will help anytime. Best regards. Everyone, bow down your heads together with me! 

When referring to a "true sequel" to Okami, Kamiya is likely referring to the second game in the series, Okamiden, which was a DS title developed by Capcom without his or Clover Studios' involvement. The Devil May Cry series has also gone without his involvement since the original on the PlayStation 2, and has been lying dormant for some time now.

Both Okami and Viewtiful Joe are franchises that received critical acclaim upon release, with both still discussed quite favorably today. 

Nothing is set in stone yet, as this statement was merely an open invitation to Capcom rather than an official statement of any of these new games being green-lit. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for further news on this topic as it develops!

Capcom's Street Fighter Popularity Contest Now Live Tue, 24 Oct 2017 07:51:55 -0400 Allison M Reilly

Who's the best Street Fighter character? With your help, Capcom's determined to answer that question once and for all with its Character Popularity Poll. Running from October 23 to November 5, the winner of the poll will be announced January 16, the same day as Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition's release. 

Per the rules of the contest, each entrant can only vote once. 

The Popularity Poll includes Street Fighter mainstays such as Zangief, Vega, Blanka and M. Bison, as well as newer faces like Zeku and Necalli. 

Capcom ran a similar poll in 2013, asking fans to vote for their favorites to help with marketing and future games. Ryu won that poll, followed by Ken,
Akuma, and Chun-Li.

Will Ryu win again? Will Ken finally take the top spot? Or will one of Street Fighter's more obscure characters make a break for internet stardom? The only way to know for sure is to vote in Capcom's poll and wait until January for the results!

The Problems with Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite and Why the FGC Hates It Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:20:07 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite (MvC:I) has been available for a month, and one thing has become clear -- it's one of the most divisive fighting games to hit the market in a while. The fighting game community (FGC) either doesn't mind it, or totally hates it.

There are a lot of strong feelings among fans about this game. A considerable number of them are calling MvC:I the worst game in the series. This might sound like a baseless accusation, but closer examination reveals a number of glaring issues with Infinite that make it a significantly less satisfying fighting game than its predecessors. 

But what happened, exactly? Where did this iteration of Marvel vs. Capcom go wrong? Let's break down this game to see if we can find out why it's become the target of such deep loathing among the fighting game community. 

Deadly Sin #1: A Roster Missing Notable Characters

When Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite was introduced, one thing was very clear: the roster was...different. It didn't feature any X-Men or Fantastic Four heroes -- meaning no Dr. Doom, Magneto, or Wolverine.

These characters have been part of the MvC crossover titles even before the Marvel vs. Capcom titles as we know them today were developed. From X-Men vs Street Fighter in 1997 and Marvel Super Heroes vs Street Fighter in 1998 to Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes a few years later, characters from the X-Men and Fantastic Four have been a staple in the series that's almost as recognizable as someone like Ryu. So it's understandable that fans were concerned about not seeing them featured in this iteration.


Why didn't these legacy characters get to make an appearance in MvC:I? It's a little bit complicated, and has a lot to do with the franchise rights.

Although Marvel (and by extension, Disney) owns the rights to almost all of its characters, 20th Century Fox owns the film and TV rights to the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and Deadpool.

Credit goes to fans but it's been brought to my attention that the videogame rights are owned by Marvel (Disney). So these characters can make appearances within the game. The issue however is Fox's control of these movie franchises.  

It was in Marvel's best interested to have MvC:I advertise their MCU (Marvel cinematic universe) heroes first and foremost. Now, Marvel would love nothing more that to gain control of those film rights from Fox. The relationship between these two studios as we speak isn't...nice, thus the additions of these characters seems unlikely. So we may not see Gambit or Doctor Doom on the roster...ever.

Regardless of the circumstances, though, the omission of these fighters was very off-putting for fans of the franchise. You'd be hard-pressed to find a MvC player who wouldn't list at least one of the X-Men as a recognizable mascot for the series. In fact, fighters like Wolvering have been consistently top-ranked in character tierlists because they are just so good

To be honest, Marvel and Capcom probably could have recovered from this. But Capcom pulled a major PR blunder when a GameSpot journalist asked about the missing characters during an interview. Associate Producer Peter Rosas tried to sidestep the issue by saying that the specific mechanics which made those characters beloved had been embedded in other characters:

"If you were to actually think about it, these characters are just functions. They're just doing things. Magneto, case and point, is a favorite because he has eight-way dash and he's really fast, right? So our more technical players, all they want to do is triangle jump and that kind of stuff. Well guess what, Nova can do the same thing, Captain Marvel can do the same thing. Ultron can do the same thing. Go ahead and try them out."

But the real insult came when Producer Michael Evans tried to imply that the X-Men weren't recognizable to current audiences:

"Then the third one is obviously the popularity of these characters. X was one we had to get in there. A lot of fans wanted to see X, so we brought him back. Then also we talked with Marvel very closely about their future roadmap, about what's gonna be happening. Your modern Marvel fan, maybe they don't even remember some of the X-Men characters, but they know some of the Guardians characters or Black Panther. You know what I mean?"

This developer actually tried to sell the idea that the X-Men weren't recognizable characters for current Marvel fans. I'll just let that idea sit for a minute. 

Has it started to sink in? Good. Now let's analyze that statement a little more. The reign of the X-Men started with a popular 1990s cartoon that a lot of comic book fans watched and enjoyed. The franchise's roster of mutants then went on to appear in a number of films of varying quality, from 2000's eponymous X-Men film to 2014's critically acclaimed X-Men: Days of Future Past. To imply that the modern Marvel fan wouldn't recognize characters from a franchise that's released iterations as recently as 2016 is one hell of a statement -- and some fans found it downright insulting. 

It's possible that these missing heroes may appear later on as DLC, but nothing has been confirmed thus far. So for now, fan backlash over the limited roster of characters is understandable. A Marvel vs. Capcom game that doesn't feature at least some of the X-Men is incredibly alienating for long-time players. 


Deadly Sin #2: Failure to Diversify Characters

The omission of legacy heroes from the MvC:I roster is one issue, but character diversity among the heroes that did make the cut is another. Out of the 30 fighters that players have at their disposal, only four of them are female characters. 

If you ask me, and a lot of other fans, that's pretty tone deaf for a game in 2017. It has "boy's club" written all over it -- and puts MvC:I in the long list of titles that prove the gaming scene has some serious representation issues. Under-representing female characters in this iteration of the franchise not only hurts its appeal to an increasingly diverse market, it also ignores the history of the series itself. There were significantly more female fighters present in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, so the lack of them in MvC:I feels like a step back. 

Sure, we've got Captain Marvel, Gamorra, Morrigan, and Chun Li. Those are some badass ladies. But it's not nearly enough. 

Some might say that licensing issues have a lot to do with the poor representation in Infinite's character roster. But to be blunt, that's a pretty weak excuse. Both Marvel and Capcom have plenty of other recognizable heroines who could have made an appearance here.

On Capcom's side of the equation, the Darkstalkers character pool alone has five women to choose from, two of which made it into UMvC3. And aside from the multiple female characters that could have been reused from UMvC3, there are also plenty of newcomers from Street Fighter V that could have made an appearance as well. 

As for Marvel, there's almost no excuse for how few female characters made the list. Many fans are wondering why Black Widow is nowhere to be found, especially since nearly all the other Avengers are in the game. The same is true for Scarlet Witch. Heck, now that Sony has loosened their grip on the Spider-Man franchise, perhaps Spider Gwen could have even made her premiere for the series. 

To summarize, there's really no shortage of female characters that both Marvel and Capcom could have chosen from. So the idea that it all had to do with licensing is pure nonsense -- cuts were made to the roster, and a lot of female characters never made it past the chopping block.

It's certainly possible that more diversity will come with DLC characters (like the female Monster Hunter who is set to join the MvC:I roster down the line), but the lack of representation at launch is an unfortunate and rather embarrassing business decision. 

Deadly Sin #3: Poor Character Design

If the representation and notable omissions from the fighter roster wasn't enough to put a wrench in MvC:I's machine, another glaring issue with its characters is how the fighter models are actually designed. To put it simply: they don't look good -- and it wouldn't be a stretch to say they're downright unappealing. 

Don't get me wrong. Some characters in the game look decent enough. Captain Marvel, for example, has some solid animation and looks alright overall. It's just too bad the same can't be said for other characters. 

Though it's hardly a surprise, many models and assets featured in MvC:I were reused from UMvC3 and other games. And the resulting clash of aesthetics has made most things, especially the character design,

The FGC was quick to point this out and make a mockery of it. 

In the transition between the series' predecessors and Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite, its comic book aesthetic was lost along the way. The visuals included in this iteration of the franchise is less of a graphical style and more like a Marvel film. But that sort of realism doesn't really work when half the cast doesn't look right in an art style that doesn't closely mimic comics and animation. It creates a weird aesthetic dichotomy, a la Mega Man X

Both the original MvC and MvC2 capitalized on 2D sprite work to create exaggerated visuals. Every fall, super move, taunt, and so on popped on the screen and made those games wonderful to look at. Though some of this distinct style was lost when MvC3 started using cel-shaded characters, even that art direction had a distinct look to it. All the models were detailed, but not realistic -- and more importantly, they still had most of the comic book aesthetic.

The same was true for UMvC3. In that game, everything from the user interface and story scenes to the character select screen and actual combat UI was flamboyant and unique. If you need a refresher on what it looked like, check it out below:

When you compare the graphics of UMvC3 with the graphics of Infinite -- and let's face it, most fans have by now -- it's obvious that one just looks better than the other. And surprise! MvC:I definitely doesn't come out on top in that regard. 

In addition to the granular details of character design that simply doesn't work in the game's favor, many of the body proportions in these designs seem suspect as well. The titan Thanatos looks a bit weird, for example, because his upper torso is way too short for his massive frame. And during previews of the game, internet commentors mocked Chun Li's face relentlessly -- so much so that the developers actually went in and changed her character model accordingly. 

It's a shame that MvC:I looks a step backwards in the looks department. When you compare it to something like Injustice 2, these characters look bad no matter how you slice it.

Deadly Sin #4: Poor Production Value

On the production front, it's not just character design that's an issue in MvC:I. The game's overall production value leaves a lot to be desired, from voice acting to animation and beyond.

Starting with one of the game's most egregious production sins, the voice acting in MvC: I is inconsistent at its very best. At worst, it's flat and completely unbelievable. Some heroes sound (kind of heroic), while others sound completely uninspired. And if you sit down to listen to the voice tracks for Jedah and Morrigan, it's easy to see why there were so many rumors circulating about the game having a relatively small budget. 

On top of that, many of the game's characters have strange, janky animations during a lot of MvC:I, whether that be in matches or during cut scenes. This makes a lot of the fighting uninspired and just plain hideous to look at. Add to that the lack of cohesion between character models and it's a perfect storm of half-assed aesthetics that make the game significantly less engaging than many of its predecessors. 

It's really strange that the production value is so ridiculously poor considering the game's pedigree. If you look at the production values in a game like Dragon Ball Fighter Z, the difference is night and day. DBFZ is clearly the superior game in that regard -- and it hasn't even launched yet.  

So what gives?

Budget. In a video Liam Robertson posted (based on unconfirmed sources), he reports that the budget for MvC:I may have been around half of the budget spent on the DLC for SFV. If true, that would go a long way in explaining why the presentation of this game looks so backward when compared to those classics that came before it. 

Robertson also mentions in his report that MvC:I uses a number of assets from past titles. These elements were reintegrated into the new game with a number of touchups -- but not quite enough. This could explain the game's weird animations and unusual-looking character models. 

Deadly Sin #5: No 3v3 Crossover Combat

One of the largest and most noticeable design changes in MvC:I is the omission of 3-versus-3 gameplay. Capcom insists that this change was meant to be one that appealed to new fans in an effort to grow the game's playerbase. Sure, that's a reasonable answer, but the thing is that MvC has never really been casual-friendly. 

Yes, the original MvC:Clash of Super Heroes featured 2-versus-2 teams, but the decision to return to that is adhering to something diehard MvC fans didn't want. A more casual friendly game invokes the message; "that we're ignoring our fans". 

Three-versus-three gameplay reinforces the hectic nature of Marvel vs Capcom. In fact, the series has been welcomed and celebrated for this "chaos". Consequently, the community had to ask the simple question: If your series has held onto a gameplay style for over a decade, why abandon it? 

Deadly Sin #5: Public Relations Debacles

You may or may not have noticed but this hasn't been advertised much. This was likely due to small budget...allegedly. Naturally, to promote this, game it was shown at events and tournaments. Logically, Capcom worked with FGC personalities and professional players. Whom better than the most well known and hardcore of fans to help you show off a new fighter?

Eventually...a few questions arose. Were these individuals being honest for the game's hype? I mean, why wouldn't they be honest? Then fans asked why should they believe that they're being genuine? Part of the FGC began to call this praise shilling and we quite adamant about it. 

As discussed by The Nameless Fighting Game Show (seen above), we simply have to look at Street Fighter V, which was released in 2016. Practically everything surrounding its launch, post launch, and business plans were messy. Promises were made to make it better and to this day they haven't made good on them.

Now, we know they will make good on January of 2018. Now, considering how MvC:I was released while SF is still being fixed...that's not exactly reassuring. Understandably, the community had little to no reason to believe if Infinite will be ok. Sure, we could give Capcom the benefit of the doubt however they've been in business for ages. They've given people more than enough reasons to be leery.

Now as for the other reason why the PR surrounding MvC:I is sketchy. After an accidental upload to youtube, we learned that MvC:I maybe a part of the 2018 Capcom Pro Tour. It missed that window this year due to its September release. The tour is a year round event that begins in January.

The tour is an opportunity for competitors to earn monetary prizes. If SFV's tour is any indication, the cash pool is quite attractive.

So, these same professional players (who could win big) were given the chance to sing the game's praises. As well as get their hands on it during development. Capcom is a big part/sponsor of eSports, so it appears like a "you help me, I help you kind of deal". 

The thought process generally speaking is this: as a pro, it's beneficial to me get a leg up on a game that I can win money on later. Also having a good relationship with a big sponsor means more opportunity in the future.

It should be noted that if the pro tour gains another game, then more support for the qualifying tournaments would be gained. A new game means new players and they in turn would add more entry fees for tournaments. Thus, tournaments would grow in size and importance -- So it's a win-win for everyone involved. 

Is This A Bad Game?

The FGC at large is still torn on Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite. We are now a month post launch but some things are already very clear. It's main support has been mainly from professional players...for obvious reasons. It still remains to be a subject of mocking by members of the FGC.

I never really imagined there would be a "bad" Marvel vs Capcom game, yet here we are with weakest entry in the series. Honestly, at this point I'm not sure how long it will remain relevant either. Having a portion of the FGC harboring loathing and contempt for this game definitely doesn't help. The game we have again plays fine but is marred by poor production values. 

Maybe you think all this hate and lack of support is extreme. Well, people have legitimate reasons to not like this and question its quality. 

Its unfortunate but Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite is a definitely victim of it's publisher's bad business practices. Marvel vs Capcom you're a shell of your former self. Hopefully we'll see you return to form. Or maybe not? Series long fans and fighting aficionados whom are hurt, I feel your pain and share your sentiment.

Do you think Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite is a bad game? Do you disagree? Do you have more to add? Let us know in the comments below.

The Legend of Zelda DLC for Monster Hunter Stories Available on September 28 Mon, 25 Sep 2017 16:11:15 -0400 Erroll Maas

On September 28, players in North America and Europe will be able to download free special items from Nintendo's Legend of Zelda series in Monster Hunter Stories

The items include the Master Sword greatsword weapon, Link's outfit armor set, a Majora's Mask accessory for Navirou, and a special Epona monstie which can  fight alongside players in battle. Both the Master Sword and outfit can be upgraded like other weapons and armor sets in the game.

Previously, it was unknown if the North American and European versions of Monster Hunter Stories would receive the DLC and updates it has been getting in Japan. But this rollout of new content may indicate that the West can expect more in the future. A 1.3 update was recently announced for release in Japan this winter.

Monster Hunter Stories in available for the Nintendo 3DS physically from your local video game retailer and digitally through the Nintendo 3DS eShop.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice Released On Mobile Today Thu, 21 Sep 2017 15:37:19 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice is the sixth and most recent installment in the Ace Attorney series. The game was originally released for the 3DS in 2016 -- but as of today, it's also available for iOS and Android devices. 

This release is keeping in line with Capcom's ongoing tradition of releasing every main series Ace Attorney game on mobile devices some time after its release on the DS family of systems. Capcom has done the same for the original Ace Attorney trilogy, as well as the fourth DS title Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies.  

Spirit of Justice follows recurring series protagonist Phoenix Wright as he travels to the mystical kingdom of Khura'in to visit his old friend Maya Fey upon the completion of her spiritual training. As tends to happen a lot in this series, he gets tangled up in a series of cases involving a number of falsely accused individuals, and seeks to prove their innocence by defending them in court -- all while fighting the unfamiliar justice system of a new country.

While Phoenix is taking care of things in Khura'in, the other members of the Wright Anything Agency, Athena Cykes and Apollo Justice, hold down the fort and handle cases back home.

The mobile version of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice is available now on both iOS and Android devices, and the original version is available for download on 3DS. You can watch a trailer for the game down below:

Monster Hunter Stories 1.3 Update Will Come to Japan This Winter Thu, 21 Sep 2017 13:42:06 -0400 Erroll Maas

Monster Hunter Stories, the monster-raising RPG spin-off of Capcom's popular Monster Hunter franchise, will receive another big update in Japan this winter. The 1.3 update will include new monsters to fight, new monsties to obtain, more character customization options based on characters from the anime series, new floors to challenge in the tower of illusion, and some new story content featuring the Black Riders from the second season of the anime series.

In July, Monster Hunter Stories received the 1.2 update alongside an updated physical re-release known as Monster Hunter Stories 1.2 Renewal Edition which included previously unobtainable monsties and new customization options.

Monster Hunter Stories released in North America and Europe on September 8, 2017. At this time, it is unknown when or if the West will receive these updates.

Monster Hunter Stories is available physically at your local video game retailer and digitally through the Nintendo 3DS eShop.