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Capcom
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 14, 2004   |   Episode 21 (Show Archive)  

   
I don't think anybody will argue Capcom's significance in the history of video games, but lately things have been rock in the house of Mega Man. Capcom's most recent offerings have been a mixed lot, with only a few selling the numbers Capcom wanted. Couple that with two 15 year anniversary collections with incorrect dates, a disappointing Devil May Cry sequel, and a 2D street fighting game that nobody seems to like and you have a company in peril.

But 2005 looks a little brighter for Capcom, as they have a chance to finally make up for the second Devil May Cry game with a third, and hopefully meatier, installment. They are also radically changing the Resident Evil series and releasing it for both the PS2 and GameCube in 2005. And I don't think anybody can forget about Shadow of Rome, the Devil May Cry-like adventure game set in the days of, um, Rome. Capcom has a lot to be excited about, but does their website give us that sense? I suggest you read on to find out.


Dante and friends have a lot to make up for this time around, let's hope he's up for it!
Look and Design: Some companies spend a lot of time and money developing their website, these companies know that it is an extension of the message they are trying to get across and a great way for you to bone up on their products. Capcom is not one of those companies, they would rather you see their TV ads, read about them in a magazine, or simply love the franchise. There's just no two ways around it, Capcom's website is an embarrassment, and shouldn't belong to the smallest video game publisher let alone one of the biggest.

The site is actually very easy to describe, since it features a blue background and only three columns of information. In the middle is a rotating banner advertising their newest games. You get large pictures promoting games like Viewtiful Joe 2, Under the Skin, Devil May Cry 3, and others. To one side of the banner is a list of systems Capcom currently makes games for (with no mention of the DS or PSP). On the other side you'll find a list of the newest games. And that's it. That is basically the full front page. It is about 10% of what you'd expect at any other site, and really feels thrown together in no time. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if I spend more time writing this review than they did making their U.S. website.

Accessibility: The overall bad look of the site continues when you click on the game pages. Here you'll find nothing more than a short description, a picture of the cover, and some screen shots. These pages are about as informative as what you'd expect from Amazon.com listing, and are pretty weak even for a company website. There's a release schedule, but it's clearly not up to date as it doesn't take into account some recently announced games. The site itself isn't hard to surf, but only because there's nothing to see or find. It's also worth noting that Capcom has no mention of any of their older games, not even classics like Bionic Commando or Final Fight. About the farthest back they go is the Nintendo 64 and even that tells you to come back later when it's done.


If Capcom hasn't already started phasing out Mega Man for Viewtiful Joe, then they really ought to!
Insider Information: Capcom's website may actually feature the least attractive news section I have yet to see on my journey. For one thing, the list of news is just a mess, it's so unattractive that you'll probably give up long before deciding on a new story. Thing go from bad to much, MUCH worse when you actually get into a news story. Not only are you treated to a bare bones press release, but the background often makes part of the text hard to read. The left side of the page is dark blue making the black text a little hard on the eyes. This would be a larger complaint if Capcom actually had any news worth reading.

Parting Thoughts: I ended up checking on the site several times to make sure this was actually Capcom's website and not some fan site made by a person who hates Capcom. Time after time I was disappointed to find that this was indeed Capcom's real site, this really is the page they wanted to represent them. This site is just terrible, it's much worse than even I made it out to be. I mean, it features a banner that is supposed to be on every page, but isn't. We're talking about a game that gets facts about their games wrong. We're talking about a company that messed up a sequel to Devil May Cry! I'm surprised this site isn't powered by Geocities.

FINAL GRADE: D-

(Important Note: This review was written in 2004. As is the case with websites things tend to change and get moved around. We've decided to cover major companies who should have a presence on the web for many years to come, but the actual reviews of the layout may not be relevant for more than a month to a year. Having said that, we're hoping this article was still interesting, and if not, at least you go this extra little paragraph of explanation that you wouldn't normally get on the other websites.)
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