Meta-Review: Namco X Capcom – PS2
Namco x Capcom is a game that has quite a hardcore buzz around it.
We still haven’t heard any news on it coming out of Japan, but I know for a fact that it would sell well if it did. I believe Namco is making a huge mistake if they do not export it. This game already has plenty of fanboys drooling and not many of these fanboys know Japanese.
In addition to its great visuals, the gameplay features healthy doses of both strategy and fighting (however you don’t need to be a fighting game expert to play). The writers also went out of their way to develop the characters with dialouge. The reviews online are a bit mixed so far. At times it sounds as if this is a rush job (or lack of effort) while others think it is a solid release.
The publisher’s main concern right now is that much of the US gaming market may be unaware of many of the characters that are featured in the game — moreso, I suppose, than Marvel vs Capcom 2. Time will tell, however. If the game sells well enough, Namco might see the light. We can only hope.
To read up a bit more on the game and see the extensive character list, checkout the Wikipedia entry.
“From the few hours that we’ve played Namco x Capcom, its gameplay seems to be pretty straightforward and doesn’t take much time to learn. You move around your characters on the field, choose an enemy you want to fight, and then input commands and enjoy the character’s 2D battle animation sequences. Namco x Capcom has been pretty hassle-free so far, which is probably a good thing for a game like this, since it’s obviously meant to attract a wide range of players with its characters.
And yes, the game puts in a lot of effort to make these characters shine. Namco x Capcom has a huge amount of dialogue between characters from different games, which must’ve taken the scriptwriters an abundance of effort to produce, considering the volume of characters and how much research had to be put into making their lines fit their personalities from the original games. What’s more, a lot of the conversations feature full voice acting. ”
“There’s a fine line in a crossover game. One the one hand, an average game will be given higher marks because the novelty of the characters will boost the enjoyability of the game. You get to see a character that you’re already fond of in some new adventures, and that’s usually enough nostalgia to get a boost of anywhere from .5 to a full point.
On the other hand, if you fall short of being an average title, you draw the ire of everyone who liked these characters because your game is so awful that you have inadvertently shoved these characters that people had a fondness for onto a steaming pile of crap, whoring them out for cash…
This game could have very, very, very, very easily been good. But it’s quite obvious that nobody on this project cared, or was competent. This isn’t a case of a rush job. This isn’t a case of bugs ruining a good engine. This is a clear cut case of designers and producers putting a game together who have no business whatsoever being anywhere near the controls of a major title. The code is mostly good. The art is mostly good, and the music is mostly good… The only major failings come from the design squad. The people who decided to make 2 hour long missions. The people who put 191 text boxes in missions. The people that decided to form a hybrid of the parts of an action RPG that SRPG fans hate the most with the SRPG aspects that action RPG fans hate the most to form a mess that nobody want to touch.”
“As far as strategy RPGs go, this is pretty basic stuff. Just move up to an enemy and attack. Don’t let a single character get overwhelmed, remember to heal when necessary, and you’re pretty much set. The stages provide almost no challenge – even when it comes like you’re outnumbered, more of your characters will pop up to help, and too much of the game feels scripted as a result. There is almost no character customization, and very little point in leveling up your characters – it feels like all of these statistics are little more than window dressing…
Namco X Capcom is all about fan service. If the concept sounds even remotely appealing, you’ll love it. You’ll squeal with delight when you meet your favorite characters, when their theme music flares up, and when they execute some badass 30 hit combos for several thousand HP of damage. Just beware that once the novelty wears off, what’s underneath is remarkably shallow and simplistic for a strategy RPG.”
Hardcore Gaming 101
“No complex tactics are necessary to win a battle. No hours leveling characters up. Most of the times characters make appearances and disappear for a long time. Plenty of strategy RPG fans are going to dislike the lack of depth to the system. It is more simplistic than the bulk of strategy RPGs out there and probably more repetitive. Even though you control different characters and see new attacks, you’re essentially doing the same motions over and over. It’s not a hardcore strategy RPG. It’s more like an arcade strategy RPG.”