The End Of An Era?

Article By: BAD 
Written 11/14/01

Just before releasing Capcom VS SNK 2, Capcom announced something startling to everyone who was listening - Capcom VS SNK 2 will "mark away one period" to their 2-D fighting games. Now, whether this means no 2-D fighting games at all, or no fighting games for a while has yet to be confirmed. The developer that started everything that is 2-D fighting games (and everything else 2-D, in my opinion), the creator, the messaiah...calling a hiatus? Can it really be? Do things like this really happen? The developer whose games have the biggest (and best) tournaments year after year in the US and Japan...with a long history of making quality fighting games...deciding to stop doing what they created single-handedly? At the glance of Capcom's decision, buildings crumbled, cars overturned, the ground quaked; all at a single announcement. Gamers all over the world, stunned in amazement (and what could also be explained as disappointment) gasped, hoping it was a mere rumor from a shit site like or Daily Radar. It wasn't...not at all. Exact quotes and exact page numbers later, the interview with Noritaka Funamizu proved truth in such a surprising and destructive statement. Many are frightened at the fact that Capcom will stop making them completely, in fear of what will happen to 2-D gaming as a whole. Capcom has not said either way, and it is definately possible that they will not be making 2-D fighting games anymore when looking at the recent release schedules (which have been less than desirable lately). With SNK down, many fear that there will be no other developer to continue the long-running tradition of 2-D fighting games. Does this mark the end of an era? Here are my thoughts on Capcom's decision which has sparked lots of talk among those who play (or have played) games.

It brings a tear to my eye to see that Capcom is heavilly considering marking an end to their 2-D fighting game development. It is saddening, but also in another light, it might open new doors for Capcom's evolution in development for fighting games. Although many claim that 2-D fighting games are light years better than 3-D fighters, many don't realize that 3-D fighters are in their infancy just as 2-D fighters once were. A 3-D fighter can be just as good as a 2-D fighter if made correctly, and this might be what Capcom is striving for by making the move they have made. 2-D and 3-D games both have their strong points and, and create different experiences for the gamer (I'll expand on this in a future article). Too many asshole editors claim that unless it is Tekken, it's a bad 3-D fighting game no matter how good the gameply is; their reviews and idiotic suggestions are unfounded. Once they get into a groove, they can't stop rating every game off of one certain, popular game that the masses prefer (do I even need to say any of the titles?). I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with what the masses prefer (after all, they just got their new DVD player that plays games too, right?), but what the masses prefer isn't always stellar. The fact is, 3-D fighting games can be just as good as 2-D fighting games if given time, and possibly have animation that is almost just as smooth. 'Gamers' need to open their minds, and accept the different types of ways to present a game and its uniqueness of presentation, rather than jumpin on some shit-ass 'I only play 2-D games because I want to be hardcore' bullshit bandwagon. I'm not saying 3-D games of any genre are better than 2-D, I like them both a lot, and I think that although in the industry right now, 2-D is underestimated and 3-D is favored, I still have respect for what some of the developers do with 3-D titles. Just look at the nice games other developers have turned out in 3-D, like 8ing/Raizing's Bloody Roar series, or Sega's almighty Virtua Fighter series with fantastic animation and a great fighting engines. But on the other hand, you have games like Tekken in the 3-D fighting I even want to get into how much I dislike Tekken today (my day started out terrible, I don't want to make it any worse)? Better yet, Capcom might even give us some classic titles via the new cell-shading technique of animation found in games like Jet Grind Radio; can you imagine Street Fighter or Darkstalkers in that type of animation? Just thinking about it makes me all warm and sympathetic inside. Capcom is starting to experiment with the cell-shading technique Sega pioneered, as everyone else in the industry is, so I'm hoping they'll bring out some great fighters (or shooters) using this impressive and incredibly smooth technique of animation. Capcom hasn't even stated what their new fighting games are going to be, yet they have announced that of the three, one is a "VS" game. This sheds a whole new light on things, since it will probably be 3-D, what characters from what games will they mix? Only characters from 3-D fighters? 3-D models of previously only 2-D characters? See, doesn't that sound interesting? The fact of the matter is, it will take time to see 3-D fighting games evolve to the status that 2-D fighting games are at as of now. Hopefully we will know soon what they're planning to unleash into the hungry masses of Capcom and SNk faithfuls (seijitsu).

Is this the end of an era? No, it's not - it's an evolutionary period, a stepping stone to different ways of animating a game's characters. Therefore, maybe we should be a bit more excited about Capcom's move, and look forward to what they might be able to do with such powerful hardware as the Naomi2 with 3-D fighters. Time will tell, and if we wait it will be revealed to us why Capcom made the move they did. With all the new things they can do with such hardware, we may be in for a treat when Capcom finally shows us their new fighting games, even if they aren't 2-D masterpieces like Street Fighter Alpha 3 Saikyo Dojo. Too many are stuck opposing Capcom's decision in haste; think and give it time before you jump on the train of what is supposed to be the 'hardcore' gamer...