It’s interesting to notice how CAPCOM manages to ignore West with its releases that are not Resident Evil or Street Fighter. The upcoming re-release of their Dungeons & Dragons arcade brawlers are getting a fine Limited Edition release, but in Japan only. When Darkstalkers got the digital release, CoJ had a physical release for it in Japan only. It boggles my mind.
CAPCOM’s trying to sell pita sandwiches in hamburger business. From their point of view it’s less risky to release games as a digital download. It’s understandable, but how they treat these releases is backwards. Thus far pretty much all releases have been a testing ground for possible future games as was with Darkstalkers, but their expectations have been insanely huge for them. The game industry does not realise that we live in a world wide economic depression. If they want to sell their products, half-assed meat in you burger won’t get us customers. By having these tests they achieve very little value and results. Granted, Darkstalkers isn’t the most popular franchise out there and was never too popular anyway. It’s a fine fighting game nevertheless, but in popularity it loses to many other games in the same genre. To Guilty Gear, for example.
Not all games saw these extensive packages during releases, but for PC games it was almost a standard to get a lot of stuff to further illustrate the game world. Actually, a lot of old console game were packed with awesome content outside the game itself, now that you think of it. Atari had comics for crying out loud. D&D Chronicles of Mystara’s Limited Edition’s has very standard extras, but they’re nice extras nevertheless. The value of package is good, and the games’ license most likely wasn’t the most expensive out there. Actually, this re-release is most likely a response to Dragon’s Crown, as many comparisons were drawn to these D&D brawlers. To those, and to Gauntlet games, interestingly. The interest that Dragon’s Crown garnered most likely triggered this reaction from CAPCOM, and now they’re trying to play against it. At least in Japan. In the US, pre-orders are getting an artbook with the game, and CAPCOM’s not going to even release these D&D games on disc there. Or in Europe. Dragon’s Crown doesn’t even have European release date, which begs the question whether or not they’re even going to release it here. Too bad really, I was looking for a decent co-op multiplayer in this style. There’s always Guardian Heroes HD on XBLA…
I can’t see either game succeeding too well, and Chronicles of Mystara will be another blow to CAPCOM’s quarters. Most likely both of them will break even, but I can’t see Chronicles of Mystara making huge profits. Dragon’s Crown has already a cult following for better or worse, and Vanillaware fans will flock and buy the game if nothing else. Chronicles of Mystara has… honestly, I don’t see D&D players getting excited over this. The general audience will see it as something interesting and dismiss it. Retro gamers will most likely enjoy it the most. If CAPCOM would further push Chronicles of Mystara with further additions, like completely new game with the old ones, it would add much more to the game.
The thing with Chronicles of Mystara is that it is a re-release of the Saturn compilation. Granted, it’s more based on the proper arcade games and allows online support and those bells & whistles, but the question is whether or not these are enough to differentiate itself. Sure, the Saturn compilation was never released in the West, but that doesn’t take away the fact that it was released and that copies are in at a circulation world wide scale. Dragon’s Crown is completely new game with Vanillaware’s standard visual fare, whereas Chronicles of Mystara is games from the mid-90’s. While it’s up to you whether or not that’s a good thing, it can’t be denied that side-by-side comparison between the two makes Dragon’s Crown stand out more. Well, both in good and bad, as some of the character designs in Dragon’s Crown are a bit too overblown. You know what I’m talking about. [Editor:…. boobies?]
CAPCOM has shown their distrust towards their games with digital releases. More often than not they’ll push certain games as a digital release rather than giving it their full support, and often these games are not even developed or adapted in-house. CAPCOM’s one of the biggest mistakes is that they have outsourced almost all of their game production and development outside few key franchises and it shows. This is partially because a lot of good names have quit working at CAPCOM within the last ten years, further showing that CAPCOM doesn’t really understand what they’re doing. They used to be a good arcade and console game company, but nowadays they produce PC games for consoles, and they’re just awful. It’s like if a console tried to push movies, movies and everything else that doesn’t have anything to do with games on their console. It would be one big screw-up.
I want to see Chronicles of Mystara with a physical release here in West. I’ll import the damn thing from Japan used if I have to. This is a game based on the damn Dungeons and Dragons; it needs to have those extras. Be marquees, stickers or something along those lines, but from a Dungeon and Dragons game I’m expecting a rich source book and world map to boot. Then again, if we were to get a physical release here, it would be with the smallest budget possible, with one paper for instructions and the disc itself would be just a download link to the digital version. I can already see it now, and I’m laughing myself. It’s something CAPCOM we have now would do. They would be offering us a hamburger they spit in.
Sadly, now Chronicles of Mystara is a hamburger that’s a bit dated with a new pair of buns, and those buns were brought in from the local Seven-Eleven just now.