Thursday, August 1, 2013
Capcom Hates You - Breath of Fire VI In Development as a Phone/Tablet Game
Alongside a little under a dozen other titles revealed during a Network Game Conference by Capcom, focusing on mobile and social games, there's one that stands out quite a bit for several reasons. That title is Breath of Fire 6 and though the title of this post has already spoiled it, this is the same Conference where Monster Hunter Frontier G was announced for the PS3 and Wii U, so there was some modicum of hope interspersed amongst the original few to learn of this. It was for naught, as Breath of Fire 6 is basically being saddled with everything we don't want out of a game these days - It's going to have an online element, if not an outright online/social focus, it's being made specifically for Smartphones/Tablets and PC as a browser-based game and it's designed specifically for a touch interface. Plus, it looks like the above screenshot that contains what I can only imagine is the main character, maybe. You will notice that he does not have blue hair, nor is he currently a dragon.
There has obviously already been feedback because of this and none of it is positive in the least, but, well, I don't think Capcom much cares. This isn't the first time they've gone full-steam into an unfavorable decision about a much-loved franchise and it likely won't be the last. A lot of the outrage is much of the same, directed at the expectations and thoughts of the platform as a whole that they're taking this to, and they're not exactly unfounded. I can't find concrete evidence as to -how- this is going to work (if there's going to be a single-player mode at all, if it's going to be an MMO or an MMO-like, if it's going to be microtransaction-based) but there really aren't a whole lot of examples of Tablet/Phone RPGs with online/social aspects working out well an intuitively to the player's direct benefit, and nobody's willing to give Capcom the benefit of the doubt on their attempt. Least of all me, really. I, like most others, can feel my eyes glaze over when I hear "browser-based", because....there's just not a lot of faith there when you don't have anything tangible of the game itself. Even a download, when it comes to your PC, isn't present because of it being played via your browser if you're not playing it on a tablet or phone.
This won't be the first major departure that the Breath of Fire series has seen, as the last instance in the series was exceptionally polarizing - to the point where people took offense to calling it Breath of Fire 5 in the first place. I haven't played it myself, but I've heard it likened to a Roguelike which is....interesting, but certainly not a classic Breath of Fire gameplay style. Still, regardless of the opinion of that, I think everyone is more or less united in the opinion that it was at least a proper try, given its platform and the effort behind it (as well as carrying over BoF-specific things) which is hilariously a little bit of a unifying factor for the community for that game against this new one. While this could be another case of history repeating itself in regards to we people who play games being afraid of change, it's also important to discuss whether or not there's merit. There's definitely merit here as much as there was merit to question Dragon Quarter - after all, you can't turn Legend of Zelda into a Third-Person Shooter where Link exclusively uses slingshots, bows and crossbows and not expect people to say that it's not a Legend of Zelda game anymore. There are certain 'requirements' placed on everything that necessitate their design and deviating too far from those sparks things like these.
According to a Eurogamer update, it's still up in the air as to whether or not the game will come to Western shores, and it's no surprise that people are of a mind to wish that it simply wouldn't. Regardless, Capcom has done something they honestly can't take back - whether or not we like it, this game, however it turns out, is Breath of Fire 6. Well, I suppose they could cancel it, they're good at that after all, but I highly doubt they're going to do that, nor are they going to drastically change its scope and platform, nor are they going to simply rename it to something else, -completely- divorcing it from the series in all ways and not just stylistic, gameplay-centric and traditional as it stands now. Maybe. To be honest, there's very little information about the game, and even less of it is reliable at this point, but at the very least, this was definitely not a good foot to put forward, and as we know from recent experience, that's all it takes sometimes.
I always like making "Capcom Hates You" posts, they're hilarious in a sad way