The Japanese games giant Capcom have recently been dropping some very subtle hints (see above) that they’re celebrating a big birthday this year. The games industry itself is less than 50 years old; Capcom have seen thirty years of that. Pretty impressive, right? And with many of the greats of the gaming industry closing down during recent years, I’m just grateful that Capcom still exists. In celebration of this incredible milestone, I’ll be taking you on a magical journey through 10 of Capcom’s greatest titles.
Mega Man (1987-2012)
The first stop on our journey features a series of games with a relatively simple premise: you fight through a series of stages. At the end of each stage is a boss fight. Once you’ve completed all stages available to you, you get to go to the nefarious Dr. Wily’s fortress to fight some more bosses and eventually confront and defeat Wily himself. Simple enough but also super cool. The latest game in the series is Street Fighter X Mega Man, made by a Singaporean super fan with support from Capcom in celebration of the series’ 25th anniversary.
Bionic Commando (1987-2011)
As incredible as it may seem, Capcom made a platform game without jumping. “How are you supposed to get from one platform to another?” I hear you ask. Well, you use a grappling hook. Granted, it seems like a rather convoluted way to traverse a 3 foot gap but hey, we’re not the aforementioned Bionic Commando so what do we know?
Street Fighter (1987-2013)
It’s no secret that Capcom are big on fighting games. Titles under their belt include Darkstalkers, Final Fight and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure but, without a shadow of a doubt, the jewel in Capcom’s punchy crown is the Street Fighter series. The first game in the series revolves around the World Warrior fighting tournament. It’s a simple “who’s the best” affair, if you will. Then someone decided that the series needed some story and as a result, the next instalments in the series involve terrorist organisations and secret societies. Don’t worry though, these unspeakably evil super criminals still have time to host World Warrior tournaments. How convenient.
Resident Evil (1996-2013)
Hailed by many as the most iconic zombie game series of all time, Resident Evil is the zombie game that just refuses to stop getting back up. The series follows characters Jill Valentine, Chris Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy in their own respective fights against the T-Virus and its variants, which turn people into—you guessed it—zombies.
Devil May Cry (2001-2013)
If you think you have family problems, you may want to take a look at Dante. His father was a demon who rebelled against his own kind, his mother was killed in a demon attack and his brother wants to kill him. Despite all this, he somehow manages to get out of bed in the morning and look stylish doing it. The games in the Devil May Cry series are referred to as “spectacle fighters” due to the fact that the player is judged on how varied the player’s attacks are and the player’s ability to avoid damage. Much like a Tony Hawk skateboarding game, but with swords and guns instead of skateboards.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (2001-2013)
That’s right, it’s everyone’s favourite law-based adventure game. In this court ‘em up, it’s the player’s job to prove the defendant’s innocence and also identify the real criminal (who, for some strange reason, always testifies). Expect to meet a wide range of characters along the way such as Maya Fey, Phoenix’s assistant/spirit medium and Miles Edgeworth, Phoenix’s childhood best friend turned courtroom rival. Surely a game set in the courtroom couldn’t be interesting enough to warrant a sequel, right? OBJECTION. The Ace Attorney series currently has 7 games, with a Phoenix Wright X Professor Layton crossover slated for next year.
Viewtiful Joe (2003-2005)
This insanely stylish side-scrolling beat ‘em up stars Joe, a guy whose obsession with movies proves to be his downfall when the monster onscreen kidnaps his girlfriend. Luckily for Joe, the hero of the movie helps him out by transforming him into a hero. This spandex clad form enables “VFX powers”, which allow Joe to manipulate the movie he’s in to his advantage. One such power enables Joe to slow down the movie so that he can unleash a flurry of attacks on stationary enemies.
Monster Hunter (2004-2013)
Do you want to kill huge monsters? Is it your desire to rise up and become the absolute best at your job? If the answer to those questions is a firm yes, then Monster Hunter is the game for you. The series has a heavy focus on equipment management. When leaving on a hunt, you need to take potions for healing, whetstones to keep your blade sharp and various other items all while keeping space free for whatever you gather while you’re out. Still think you’re up to the task?
Dead Rising (2006-2013)
Take a sandbox game, add a ridiculous number of zombies, sprinkle in some psychopaths to fight and add a little…cross dressing? The level of seriousness in Dead Rising depends entirely on the player. You could gather up some swords and bats, round up all the survivors and find out how the outbreak was caused, or you could put on a dress and a monster mask, fill your inventory with handbags and attempt to fight your way through some bosses. Completely up to you.
This game tells you everything you need to know in the title. The word “Okami” means “great god”. However, if you lengthen the “O” sound, you get the word “Ookami”, which means “wolf”. That’s it; that’s pretty much everything in this game. Players take the role of Amaterasu, the sun goddess, who has taken the form of a white wolf in order to purge an ancient Japanese land of darkness. Japanese lessons aside, this game takes elements from a number of genres, including action-adventure, platformers and puzzle games. This comes together to form something that is not dissimilar to the Legend of Zelda games.