NYCC 2011: Capcom Booth Tour
Capcom more or less owned this year's NYCC. You couldn't get into the exhibition hall without feeling the excitement for their games. The area around their booth had more congestion than the Avengers booth, even after Chris Evans showed up.
Capcom showcased several games, including the Resident Evil titles we already covered earlier this week. Fighting games were king, with heavy hitters Street Fighter X Tekken and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 owning the booth. That didn't stop me from checking out Asura's Wrath and Dragon's Dogma as well. Here's a full breakdown.
Street Fighter X Tekken
I didn't have time to learn the ins and outs of Street Fighter X Tekken. More recently announced aspects of the game like Pandora mode and the power gems didn't seem to be implemented in this version, or I just didn't know how to activate them. That said, I got to enjoy the basics, and even that was extremely fun.
SFxT is more Street Fighter on steroids than a toned down Marvel. The game has a Street Fighter pace at its core, with tag team attacks and a bit more combo freedom. That said, one aspect of Marvel, the magic series, works as your gateway to tag combos. By hitting an opponent with the attack sequence light, medium, heavy, heavy, they'll be launched into the air and your tag partner will step in to clean up.
In my time with the game, it seemed like Tekken characters have more or less been repurposed for Street Fighter—they retain their signature moves, but expect to unleash them through quarter circles and charges.
One of the more unique aspects of SFxT is that it leans heavily on grapple fighters. Zangief, Abel, Hugo, Marduk, Kuma, and King make for a roster that focuses heavily on close-range combat. It will be interesting to see how all these aspects set this game apart when it releases in 2012.
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Don't be fooled, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is no sequel. At least, not any more than Super Street Fighter 4 was. New fighters aside, Ultimate is more or less an extensive patch, fixing the numerous issues that turned Marvel into a festival of endless Dante combos.
Is that worth the price of a new game? Not if you didn't get much mileage out of MvC3 originally. For everyone else, though, I only have two words: Phoenix Wright.
The love that went into adapting the ace attorney to Marvel is astonishing. He's a complex, unconventional fighter, more or less stumbling around rather than throwing any real punches. He has two stances, investigation mode and courtroom mode, each with unique moves and abilities. His assistant Maya even jumps in to help him. By collecting evidence in the arena, Wright builds a murder case against his opponent. His super move is a trial and conviction, knocking the fighter out of the match—how cool is that?
My only concern with Wright, and all of the characters for that matter, is that more complex maneuvers won't be worth the effort in the face of fast, combo-heavy combatants. Capcom has done a lot of work to rebalance the roster, but they've yet to prove they can offer a balanced cast of fighters at high-level play. If they can pull that off, even a little, and make new characters like Phoenix Wright viable, Ultimate will be worth the price of admission.
(Disappointing note: I was told by Capcom PR that DLC characters Jill and Shuma-Gorath will remain DLC. They won't be included with the game.)
What did I play? Why was Superman yelling in a box? I'm not really sure. Asura's Wrath is the tale of Asura, a super-powerful warrior fighting everything under the sun in order to rescue his daughter.
To say this game takes a page or two from Dragon Ball Z may be the understatement of the year. Everything that happens is crazy, all the time. It has all the DBZ trademarks as well. Asura gets punched and tossed a mile, crashing into the ground in an explosion of dust. He punches with lightning speed, screaming and grunting the entire time. In the demo I played, Asura faced off against a warrior that grows to the size of a planet, attacking him with a country-sized index finger.
How does one play a game this absurd? It seems to change from moment to moment. QTEs, rail-shooter sections, 2D brawler moments, and rhythm game timing are all given equal time. Like Mr. Bones, an obscure collection of minigames for the Sega Saturn, or perhaps Incredible Crisis on PSX, Asura's Wrath doesn't appear to have core gameplay.
That approach can certainly make for a unique experience, but if those older games are anything to go by, it will be hard for Asura's Wrath to shape up to anything more than an insane novelty, but damn, is it insane.
Capcom's biggest game ever also occupied the smallest chunk of Capcom's booth. That's most likely because Dragon's Dogma still needs a lot of work before it will be ready for primetime.
The game pits you and a handful of talkative AI-controlled warriors against massive griffins and other fantasy creatures. The combat is deliberate and visceral, much like other recent Japanese action RPGs like Dark Souls and Monster Hunter. The best part is your ability to latch on to these creatures and crawl around on them, Shadow of the Colossus-style. Unfortunately, a wiley camera and awkward climbing animations made what should be pretty awesome a huge chore. Everything else the game had to offer felt a bit too standard, from the dank dungeons to the generic cast of warriors.
There's potential, though. The fantasy setting, mixed with epic monsters to kill, makes this a bit like The Elder Scrolls meets Monster Hunter. That probably sounds like the best game ever for some people, so here's hoping it shapes up a lot before release. So far it's all potential with little to show for it.