Is Resident Evil: Origins Collection just another remastered cash-grab?

I want to provide a simple lesson for people looking to make videos on YouTube: always expect to receive some form of backlash.

This does not only apply to the world of YouTube but to the world as a whole. When you take a stance on a certain issue, you’ll be met with opposing views. This is why politicians do battle on a semi-circular podium addressing a nation of millions in an effort to sway enough minds to their side of the argument.

But in the grand scheme of things, this simple argument doesn’t compare to a Presidential election, not by a long shot. But the very idea of a debate transcends one simple example.

I want to draw your attention to Capcom: a video game company known for the ever-popular survival horror franchise, Resident Evil.

The series turns 20 years old this year, and the company has released almost 20 unique games, five films (with a sixth on the way), two computer-animated films, and a boat-load of additional merchandise to support the franchise over the years.

Despite the series’ initial success and pioneerism in the world of survival horror in gaming, the series has seen a steady decline in popularity as it struggles to compete with much more successful modern shooters and adventure titles; such as the Call of Dutys, the Battlefields, the Grand Theft Autos, the Bioshocks, the Fallouts, the Far Crys, the Assassin’s Creeds, and many more.

If you were to place the games and the films on a line chart that tracks playability, genre and style, you can imagine that the movies would’ve taken the games down a couple of pegs as the films began to lose their way. That’s not to say the games are influenced by what’s happening in the movies, but both mediums are affected by not only the changing attitudes and demands of the consumer, but the age bracket of the original players of Resident Evil, who should now be entering into adulthood.

Back in September, I made a video for the Stardust Drive Productions YouTube page called “DON’T BUY RESIDENT EVIL ORIGINS COLLECTION,” as part of a series I’ve been working on called BreakDown.

In the video, I provide a very one-sided view on why players should not be buying the game. But I’m here to clarify and provide examples of all sides of the argument because since the video’s release, I’ve received a ton of negative backlash.

And while some if not most of the comments are from internet trolls, there are a number of commenters that have outlined key arguments for why one should purchase the game. I hope that with this post I can rectify and clear up some confusion on that initial video.

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Capcom continues to make money on old content

You can make the argument, much like I had when I dropped this video on the world, that Capcom is in the business of making money, and nothing else. The phrase, “there’s no creativity in Hollywood anymore,” doesn’t just apply to Hollywood, but the Hollywood that is the Triple-A gaming industry. This goes back to the Call of Dutys, the GTAs and the Battlefields I referenced earlier in this piece.

Resident Evil was up there with the Triple-A giants, but has slowly fallen from grace over the years since its birth. The developer behind the franchise has tried to come up with ways to innovate and bring the series to a brand new audience, but in the process, they have been finding ways to offend and make a mockery of a once great genre franchise.

Resident Evil started as a slow-paced, dimly light, tight corridors, tank-controlled, horror experience. The game sends chills down your spine as you traverse the Spencer mansion, infested with zombies of all kinds.

Fast-forward to 2016: Resident Evil Origins Collection debuts. We get Resident Evil 1, and Resident Evil Zero.

Two classics in one glorious package – but here’s the catch, this is not the first time Resident Evil has been remastered and shipped as a physical copy.

Resident Evil was released for the PlayStation 1 in 1996. It would also see release on Sega Saturn, Microsoft Windows, and Nintendo DS.

A remake was released in 2002 for the Nintendo Gamecube, which was then ported again to the Nintendo Wii, and finally a remaster of the remake in January of last year.

So you can see, Resident Evil has received a fresh coat of paint every couple of years. Fans have had more than plenty of opportunities to jump in on the franchise.

I for one purchased both the Nintendo DS and Wii ports of Resident Evil.

So the argument can be made that for somebody who is familiar with Capcom and its golden franchise but a little disappointed with some of its recent decisions, there is some hesitation to be had with purchasing the same game all over again.

Mind you, Resident Evil Zero is a game we haven’t seen get a makeover umpteen times, and there is a brand new Wesker mode in the game, so there are some new treats to be had, which brings us to our next argument…

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That feeling of nostalgia

The original Resident Evil is a classic; whether you’ve played the PlayStation version, or the Gamecube remake. It’s just a beautiful game, with beautifully crafted sound and music design, terrifying environments, and classic one-liners.

I mean Jill Sandwich, come on. Classic.

You’d be guaranteed a great time when you play both games, so having both of these titles in a bundle, with some new content to boot, would be a treat not only for new fans who want to experience true survival horror, but to recurring fans who may not have returned the world of Raccoon City in a long while.

I don’t own a Nintendo Wii, and since I moved out, the Wii remains at my old house with my brother. Why would I ever want to go back to my old house to play a game that I couldn’t play in my new house?

With this bundle, I get two games in one on the PlayStation 4 (or Xbox One) and I don’t have to leave the comfort of my living room to play.

And soon, a remake of Resident Evil 2 will also follow suit, which I am very excited for.

Despite this, there’s still concerns to be had for Capcom as a whole.

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Swept under the rug

It’s become increasingly concerning to me that players continue to be so oblivious to Capcom’s manipulative sales practices.

Some examples include the sale of content already available within a game, most notably seen in Street Fighter X Tekken.

As well, YouTuber Angry Joe had made a video responding to character bundling in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, which was followed by a debate of whether or not players should be given the option to pick and choose the characters they want to buy, rather than bundle lesser known characters with more popular characters.

Not to mention, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 was released at full sale price, with the addition of all these downloadable characters and only a handful of playable levels.

So why do players continue to defend this sleazy business practice? Best answer is because Capcom is the home of many beloved characters and franchises in the video game world.

Mega Man, Ace Attorney, Dead Rising, Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, Asura’s Wrath, Dragon’s Dogma, Okami, and more.

So you can pick a side in this debate, but the facts are all there. You can choose to ignore them and continue to believe as you please about the company, or take a stance and try to defend the industry, because we as consumers are what make these companies successful.

If ten players were stuck in a room with a copy of Dead Rising, and zero of them purchased the game upon release, doesn’t that put Capcom in the negative? That’s ten games printed and shipped with zero return on investment.

That’s the easiest way to look at this, but replace Dead Rising with Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. Should 10 out of 10 consumers really be buying the SAME game, only with a few more additional characters and levels to boot?

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Bringing it on home

The reaction from Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 was what bled into my debate on Resident Evil: Origins Collection.

As somebody who holds a Resident Evil title in my top five games of all time, and who has played a number of the games in the franchise, I for one don’t understand how a company who has made so much money off such a successful franchise could stoop so low.

Here’s an interesting side-note to tie this back to an earlier point I made in this article about the supposed lack of creativity in Hollywood.

I recently ranted about this very topic of Resident Evil on my Twitter account, before engaging in a conversation with JessTheNoob (a friend of mine and fellow YouTuber), who brought to my attention the issues Tim Schafer, developer of the Psychonauts game, had when pitching a sequel to his beloved title.

Companies came back and told Schafer…

“We’re not looking for anything creative right now.”

…and so he decided to crowd fund the game.

But can you believe that? I mean I had to laugh when I read the tweet, I thought this must be a joke.

But maybe it isn’t. I mean we live in a world now where artists live to steal other artists’ work and call it their own.

Capcom has been hesitant in approaching Resident Evil 7 because the immense backlash toward Resident Evil 6 was shocking.

If Resident Evil 6 consisted of only Leon’s campaign, it probably would’ve garnered a much more satisfying response from the consumer. But with the addition of Chris Redfield and Jake (Wesker’s son), the game flew off the tracks.

The game was dubbed, “dramatic horror,” but it became very clear to reviewers and consumers that Capcom had lost its way.

So to conclude, you can do with this information what you will. I’m providing varying sides to the argument on not only Resident Evil: Origins Collection, but on the practices over at Capcom as a whole.

Because at this point, you can’t not look at a Capcom logo without thinking if the game is going to be tainted by the company’s dirty business practices.

The game turns 20 this year, so I hope 2016 will be a pivotal year for the franchise, and hope we can expect scarier pastures.

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