Little known facts about Capcom: Their name is pronounced Kapukon in Katakana, the writing system designated for foreign words in the Japanese language. Megaman is actually referred to as “Rockman” in his native Japan. And the name Capcom is actually a partial acronym taken from the company’s original name, Japan Capsule Computers.
Ok, enough Wiki-trivia. What is widely known is that Capcom is a developer that has made some of the greatest games to ever grace a cabinet or console. Whether you were a resident arcade junky or an agoraphobic console jockey, chances are you’ve played one or two of Capcom’s many gems. Based on their successes over the last 28 years, you weren’t the only one.
Capcom made one game that successfully hypnotized any and all who gazed upon it. Whether it was kids at an arcade in Shinjuku, Tokyo or teens killing time at a local Pizzeria during lunch period on Main St., USA, the game had the power of seduction. It showed up, seemingly out of nowhere, and already had a Roman numeral tacked onto its name in reference to a prequel that was unknown to most gamers.
Yes, Street Fighter II is a sacred name for most arcade enthusiasts. It paved the way for the Mortal Kombat, Tekken and Virtua Fighter games that would soon follow. It wrote the book on 2D fighting games and, for many, has never been bettered.
Street Fighter II could separate a 13-year old from his allowance money faster than an angry parent who just discovered the newly shaved family dog. But Capcom was around long before SF II, and has remained long after. This company is no one trick pony.
Arcade games were, and still are, a major source of income for Capcom. While many companies gave up on arcades in favor of home console game development, many of the big guns kept a toe in the quarter-pumping waters, Capcom being one of them. Games like 1942, Commando, and Gunsmoke gave Capcom their initial success, and the much-imitated Final Fight and Street Fighter series carried the torch in later years.
Capcom would go on to dominate home gaming machines. Mega Man would etch the famous blue and gold Capcom logo into the cache of many a pliable mind. Delivering solid side-scrolling action with RPG elements and powerups was a stroke of genius that would spawn five sequels on the NES alone. Dozens of other Mega Man games soon followed on subsequent machines. Bionic Commando and Trojan would also become early Capcom console favorites.
In 1996, Capcom made a little game called Resident Evil (Biohazard in Japan). Resident Evil scared the pants off of gamers the world over. It practically invented the “survival horror” genre and its creative puzzles and control scheme would serve as inspiration for 14 sequels on almost every console imaginable (along with three pretty bad movies).
Resident Evil made Capcom a big player in the late 90s, with help from Devil May Cry, Viewtiful Joe (made by sister company Clover), and the Onimusha series.
So whether its beat ’em ups, shoot ’em ups, hack ’em ups or blow ’em ups, Capcom delivers the goods time and time again. Versatility is not something that comes easily for most developers, but this Osaka powerhouse hits the bulls-eye time and time again. So whether it’s a classic side-scroller or light-gun operated shooter, you can put your faith in the old blue and gold.
The Mega Man Collection (Multi),
Resident Evil 4 (Multi)
Dino Crisis (PS1)