Everybody’s had their say on Capcom’s latest announcement, so I figured I’d join in with the party – even though I wasn’t actually invited and – as a rule – I’m never invited to parties because of the Pot Noodle incident back in 2006.
Anyways, ICYMI Capcom have announced that they’ll be remastering Resident Evils 4 through 6 for Next-Gen gaming, except they’ll be sticking a middle-finger up at the commonly accepted rules of counting and, like, how numbers work, by going backwards (i.e. 6 first, then 5, then 4). On the back of the remastering shenanigans they’ve already done with the original game, you’d be forgiven for thinking that somebody over at Capcom had picked up a cheap remastering machine at a Thrift Store and was getting a bit over-excited with it – but I don’t think remastering machines are actually a thing, so we can probably rule that out.
It does seem like a bizarre decision though, for a few reasons, not least because there didn’t seem to be much call for such a move, and moreover, if there were hardcore fans clamoring for Next-Gen RE-eyness, it’s unlikely many of them would’ve been adding a ‘and start with 6, eh, guys…’ to said clamoring. In the interests of full disclosure (and at the risk of becoming a pariah) I actually liked Resident Evils 5 and 6, but even I’m not convinced I’d buy them again for my PS4 or Xbox One. Sure, I enjoyed playing through them the first time, and I even played through them several times for collectibles and whatnot, but I never really thought ‘oh, these would be awesome on Next-Gen’, and I never really lamented their absence on my PS4.
Using that same logic though, remastering Resident Evil 4 makes slightly more sense. To start with, it was (initially) released over a decade ago (or two generations, if you like), and secondly, even though it has already been re-released for various platforms, it’s genuinely considered a classic, and pioneered much of the ‘over the shoulder’ stuff we take for granted nowadays. Given those two things, there’s definitely a value and sense in bringing RE 4 to Next-Gen, but again, if we consider 5 and 6, none of that applies. They’re only a generation old and (even though I enjoyed it) Resident Evil 6 is widely regarded as the weakest instalment in the entire series, and exactly nobody thinks it’s a stone-cold classic.
In essence, it’s a bizarre decision.
Now, some people are looking at this in the context of the release of Resident Evil 7, which many expect soon. Fair enough – remasterings often foreshadow new releases (for various reasons, including because kerching) but if that is a big part of the decision, why release them separately, and in the wrong order? Wouldn’t waiting for all of them to be ready (4-6), and releasing them as a collection (á la The Uncharted Collection) make more sense, and be a better deal for fans? If your intention’s to whet appetites/refresh memories etc ahead of a new installment, wouldn’t it be smarter to bundle the games together, and so’s that they can be played chronologically.
From a ‘Sales’ point of view, that would be smart for at least two reasons; a) you don’t risk people waiting to buy 5 and 6 until after they’ve played 4 and 5, and b) if you bundle 6 with the other two, you effectively limit the possibility that people look at a stand-alone RE6, and give it the old ‘fuck that for a laugh’! Even if we look at this with the cynical belief that it’s purely a move to cash-in ahead of RE7, Capcom must be aware of 6’s reputation, and you’d have expected somebody to point out the best way to shift copies of it would be to effectively give it away as a buy 4 and 5 and get 6 free, right!? Apparently though, not so much…..
Basically; curiouser and curiouser!
In fact, given the recent bullshit Capcom pulled with Street Fighter 5, it’s even tempting to speculate that they’re currently in the midst of some kind of collective delerium, like maybe the entire company went on a team building retreat and got smacked off their faces on peyote or somesuch. I mean, I’m sure there’s some explanation for what’s going on at Capcom HQ, but I’ll be bollocksed if I can think of what it might be! Is there a new ubertrolling trophy I’m not aware of? Has somebody messed with anybody at Capcom’s shit? Is this even real life?
Does anybody have any ideas? Am I missing something? If you’ve got any thoughts, let me know in the comments below…