Early in the morning, Capcom announced a new collection of fighting games they have produced over the years, which include the Darkstalker’s series that feels like it hasn’t gotten the love it’s deserved over the years, along with some other inclusions like Red Earth which many haven’t heard of before. While this seems like a decent gathering of some of Capcom’s best fighting games…. It has one glaring issue in my mind, and it pops up every time one of these types of collections shows up…. It’s not really a full collection.
Like I said, it’s a gathering up of a few of the games Capcom has in it’s catalog of arcade classics, but it’s not all of them. The inclusion of a game like Super Puzzle Fighter II isn’t a fighting game at all, and a puzzle piece dropping game, while omitting some of the larger games like a X-Men Children of the Atom, or Marvel Vs Capcom 2 is frustrating, but ultimately understandable because of licensing issues.
I just can never find it in myself to build up any excitement for these bundles of old games for a few different reasons. One is that, like I said before, it’s not a full collection, and if it’s not a full collection it’s not worth thinking about in my mind. Capcom has done this countless times before with their other “collections”, Instead of bundling all the Mega Man games into a singular full suite of amazing games spanning decades, they split them up by systems, releasing a Legacy Collection which bundles the six 8-Bit games from the NES into a collection, then then the Legacy 2 collection which bundles Mega Man 7-10 into a separate collection. Then came the Mega Man X Legacy Collection which bundles the SNES X games into it’s own collection, and also the Mega Man ZX Collection which threw together the Zero and ZX games into it’s own collection as well…. See how unnecessary and stupid that is?
Instead of putting out a full “Collection” it’s just bundling together a random amount of the full set, and penny pinching the games that have been completed for decades. They’ve already released these games so many different times, and while some new work has gone into getting it all together, let’s be real, it’s not that much work. It’s just organizing and creating a few menus to house everything together. The real work was one long long ago. There is ZERO reason to not create a full 100% collection of every game ever for the franchise into one single package and sell that and put it on “modern consoles”.
While this kinda has turned into a rant about the mega man collections, Konami has also done this with their other franchises, they did it with Castlevania, splitting it up between 3 different collections, with one being two of the best games in the series having their own collection while the NES/SNES games have it’s own collection, along with the GBA games having their own collection too…. It’s all just baffling that people don’t call this out more for being greedy. Because that’s what it comes down to. Rereleasing these games over and over again in different packages with a few extra additions while spreading out the actual substance (the games) into randomly created bundles.
But there is a second part to why I have an issue with these things…. It’s that I can play every one of these games without spending a dime and have been able to for decades. Yeah emulation. It’s a bigger issue, with moral grey lines. Along with the fact that you don’t get the new extras that these collections get bundled with, one being the Online component. Sure emulation and Netplay do make that possible, but it’s near impossible to just hop online and connect with random people who want to play the exact game and port of it. These collections do make it much easier but once the newness wears down, I think it’s just as hard to find someone playing online for it.
But I think once these games (especially the arcade games) have become old and gone away, they should be made available for free. Taking a very IO Interactive/Hitman game approach would be so interesting and I think beneficial to everyone.
If the publisher (let’s use Capcom in this example) create a museum application, they could charge a single price and then dump their entire game catalog into it without having to recreate these games on multiple platforms over and over and over again, and keep separating it out. I’d gladly pay $20 to have The Capcom Museum installed and load it up and check it out every month for a new game that gets put in. Or buying the The Konami Library, and having access to all the great konami games from over the years…. But there is one massive problem with this.
It caps off the publisher from charging money over and over again for these games, which solidifies that it will never happen. They’ll continue spending the money (again, not that much) to produce these little bundles of random games together with a certain theme and continue charging people money for them. So it’s an exercise in futility and dreaming about something that will never happen. It’s nice to be able to talk about and explain to people there are other ways for this to be done, but greed is the main factor. I view gaming as a hobby and once the initial game is sold through, it doesn’t need to be charged for again just because it’s in a new package. If I was a publisher, while enticing as it would be to continue to rerelease these old games, sometimes you have to think about the customer and whats better for the industry over than what’s best for the pocket book of the investors.
Again, there are many other aspects of this, but I’m just trying to get my thoughts down that “there is a better way” for this, and maybe what I have spent the last half hour writing out isn’t the perfect or best way, but it is another way that might help the gaming industry at large, and let others experience more variety of games, which would lead to creation of new and interesting ideas. These half hearted attempts just aren’t enough.