This is a transcript of a presentation I gave at the Women’s Institute last week.
In the ongoing, victimless, and utterly pointless console wars Capcom is America. It’s selling arms to everyone. Ammunition for all the fanboys to use on each other. Sure the Wii can’t do Dead Rising but then Zack and Wiki just wouldn’t work on the Xbox 360. HD is the only way to play Resident Evil 5 but then is there any greater pleasure than being able to carry around the entire original Resident Evil around on the DS? Science says no. So as the fanboys shoot each other down in flames Capcom continues to produce a stream of the greatest games that ever existed. So here are the reasons why I love Capcom.
Sure, we may all have our Capcom favourites. A Street Fighter fan here. A Resident Evil fan there but it’s only when we step back and take a look at the full spectrum one realises the full extent of Capcom’s awesomeness. So we start off with the big hitters: Street Fighter, Resident Evil, Breath of Fire, Final Fight, Ghosts n Goblins, Darkstalkers and Strider. Then there’s the ‘newbies': Okami, Viewtiful Joe, Dead Rising, Zack and Wiki, Monster Hunter, Lost Planet, Devil May Cry, Onimusha and Phoenix Wright. Then there are the spin-offs: Puzzle Fighter, Pocket Fighter and the whole of the venerable Capcom vs. series and the experiments like Under the Skin and Dino Crisis. This is an abridged list by far. Here’s the whole list. Either way a gamer who hasn’t played a Capcom game is weird. This is gaming gold (with some exceptions) and here is why:
N.B. There is also Mega Man or Schmega Man as it is known in Europe.
Multiplatform Madness. Capcom are no one trick pony. Resident Evil 5 meant that there was now something to play on the PS3. Monster Hunter has kept thousands of PSPs from gathering dust. Phoenix Wright continues to please casuals and hardcores on the DS and Capcom consistently performs tricks on the Wii. Resident Evil Zero and Resident Evil 4 showed what the Gamecube could do at a time everyone else considered it dead; seeing Code Veronica on the Dreamcast sent shivers down the spine more so than the most recent jump to this generation ever did. The point is they spread the love like a dashing Lothario and there’s nothing we ladies love more than a promiscuous chap.
Extras. In other games you watch the credits roll, tick the game off your list and move on. You might stick around to grind some achievements. You might do it again on a different difficulty. If you play the story in a Capcom game and watch the credits roll you’ve barely scraped the crusted milk from the teat. It’s only after the story has been done once that the milky goodness comes in a torrent. Extra modes, new weapons, secret endings, new characters, costumes, keys, galleries and challenges. Other games might half arse a gallery or a cutscene viewer but Capcom is the king of extra stuff. Extra stuff that sadly only the minority ever get to see and only the most hardcore of gamers will have sucked the nurturing breast until only bloody fat comes out. And that’s what us women like. For our boys to be well fed and for them to not end up with skanky skanks with their fake ‘uns!
Capcameos. Every geek loves crossovers and cameos. This is 90% of the reason why comics even exist. And boy does Capcom like cameos. We Love Golf, Lost Planet, and the excellent Under the Skin borrow characters from other games. Subtle references in Willamette Mall to a certain tasty snack, the servbots and a certain blue costumed moron bring a smile to those in the know. The games based purely on crossovers like the Capcom vs. games are such a good idea. It’s just such a good idea. It’s a safe bet that some of your Capcom favourites will pop us elsewhere and Capcom manage to always keep on the right side of pleasant surprise or creative inclusion rather than over zealous fan service (See the recent Sonic Kart Shenmue business). Super Smash Brothers takes it to an extreme, but even then you’ve seen one XXX Kong you’ve seen them all and as much as we love Kirby a colour change and funny hat doesn’t need a hundred separate trophies. And that’s what we love in our men, that they hang out with their friends every now and then but they share their bed with us.
Tits. Capcom loves titty women. It’s true. Whether it’s Tits McGee in Dead Rising, Morrigan in Dark Stalkers or Titilla Gionne from Resident Evil 5 at some point you are going to get a faceful of tits without warning. Resident Evil 5 was so tit-oriented it had a button specifically for checking out Sheva’s rack. And that’s what women like. Tits. Not the sweaty groping and ogling of breasts like the manfolk but an appreciation of breasts of all sizes no matter how awkward they would make the workplace or fighting in a cross dimensional fighting situation.
Costumes. From Jill’s Regina costume, Frank West’s formidable wardrobe and Dante’s topless costume you can guarantee that after the credits roll you’ll have the option to unlock new costumes. It is totally pointless but so perfectly done. From Regina’s cave woman get up and stylised bone weapons in Dino Crisis 2, to Leon’s gangsta pistol hold in Resident Evil 2 and gangster threads in Resident Evil 4. Even Sheva’s racist costume doesn’t offend as much as it could because costumes are so integral to the Capcom experience. And that’s what we women love. Clothes and shit.
For every sequel there are a thousand spin offs. Other companies have one IP which they flog to death, announce they are ending then bring back to life through RTS spin offs and “set in the same universe” clones or crappy PSP ports. These companies ain’t got nothing on Capcom. There is no dead IP in their eyes. Any game can be ported, re-weaved, condensed, expanded and re-released. There is not an electronic device on earth you can’t use to play Street Fighter in one of it’s many many incarnations, and if you have a Wii, well you can play at least two different releases of Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil Zero. They don’t care. They also don’t care about totally rewriting their own canon much to the horror of fan fiction authors. Resident Evil, Resident Evil Remake and Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles are all incompatible. Capcom don’t give a fuck. Just deal with it. And this is what us women like, total irrationality as long as it suits us.
Flaws. It isn’t all smooth sailing; there are some major wobbles along the way. There’s no way Resident Evil Outbreak should have left Japan and it is impossible then that it went and had a bloody sequel. Nobody wants to remember what happened with the Street Fighter series between 2 Turbo and 4. It is as if Capcom had access to alternative Universes and then went to retail with Street Fighters from umpteen different dimensions. The difference between Street Fighter EX Alpha and Street Fighter EX 2 Plus? Ground breaking surely. Other bum notes include Dino Crisis 3 which was so bad, for the time being anyway, it killed the series and is still unplayable on the Xbox 360. And everyone but me hates Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop for what it represents. But like all the men we get moist over, part of the compulsion is that Capcom are flawed which gives us women something to fix.
So in short ladies, Capcom is games. And in the immortal words of Will Smith, Sorry but it looks like your party has been canceled.