Seeing as the story broke yesterday as news and (I would expect) the majority of people reading this site are gamers, this information won’t be new to many people (especially not fans of the series) but Capcom are said to be releasing 3DS ‘exclusive’ masterpiece Resident Evil: Revelations on PS3 and Xbox 360. There are, as with any news story, people speaking out on both sides of the argument and I just wanted to throw my thoughts about it out there.
I am a huge Resident Evil fan, have been since the very beginning, and have played almost every title in the franchise. This has meant, on occasion over the years, I have been severely disappointed (looking at you Resident Evil: Survivor). However, Capcom have done a very good job of keeping me entertained shooting zombies and various mutated enemies since 1996. They even went one step further in that, leading up to the release of Resident Evil 4, the Nintendo Gamecube was home to the every canon title in the series up to that point. Growing up with Nintendo and being a fan of both The Big N and Resident Evil, I did wear this fact as somewhat of a badge of pride especially given that a couple of these titles were ‘exclusives’.
However, up to the present day, there have only been 3 ‘Nintendo exclusive’ titles in the series. Of these three, if Revelations is truly being ported, only one now remains: Resident Evil Zero. This is an incredible title in it’s own right, but it is relatively insulting to Nintendo fans that two out of three ‘exclusives’ are no longer so. The fourth instalment, for instance, has gone from ‘exclusive’ to being the most ported title in the entire franchise (now available on Gamecube, Wii, PlayStation 2, PSN, XBLA, PC, and in a downgraded mobile format for iOS and Android). This can only mean great things though (with the exception of the quite shoddy mobile versions), and I believe the same goes for Revelations.
Revelations is definitely a front-runner for my favourite 3DS game of the year, it brought together the classic claustrophobic horror that made the series so popular back in the beginning and brought it up-to-date by adding such mechanics as the more action-oriented over-the-shoulder camera that was introduced in Resident Evil 4. The title was created in an episodic manner, and each episode ended and began almost like a serial television show complete with ‘Previously on …’ montage. In my opinion, the title is an excellently crafted game, and was a joy to play.
So the question is, why not port it to other consoles? The game does deserve to be played by a larger audience and, given the excellent graphical quality of the title, would transfer very well over to the new formats with a little work. I think the main reason behind why so many are against it is going back to what I said earlier about the ‘badge of honour’. Those who have an allegiance to a particular console will always be happy when a big, reputable company like Capcom release an ‘exclusive’ for their console, so therefore will be fairly agitated that the word ‘exclusive’ very rarely means that any more. I understand this perspective, but Capcom is a company after all, and companies exist to make money.
This quite cleanly explains why Capcom are one of the developers that are constantly milking their franchises for everything they can get, to the point (in some opinions) that some of their triumphs lose some of the extent of their victory. Take games like Resident Evil 4, which has been on altogether a lot of formats. It is still an incredible title, but it has definitely lost some of the power it held in the eyes of the fans. Another good example is the series as a whole, the fifth instalment is one of the weaker titles, and the sixth (although far better than 5 in my opinion) is widely viewed as poor too by long-standing fans of the series.
I am very much of the opposite side of this coin, I feel that the more people that are playing these titles the better. Sure, I disagree with these titles being called ‘exclusive’ in the first place and believe that Capcom should stop lying on that degree, but some of these titles truly do deserve to be played by others. Resident Evil: Revelations is an incredible title, and as long as Capcom don’t develop a very sub-standard port of it, it will be an incredible game to play on a home console as well as a handheld.
The only thing that concerns me, is the transference of the episodic nature I mentioned earlier. This type of gameplay is perfectly suited to mobile and handheld gaming, and I don’t think there is any need to maintain that feature for a home console release. Sure, it will act as a quirk in a big high definition port, but I feel it would lose its point as a feature. This was, of course, to remind players of what is to come, and to entice them with a snippet of the next chapter too. That isn’t to say that it definitely shouldn’t be in the game, but I just don’t feel like it will fit in as well to a home console title.
In short, I can’t see any reason as to why Revelations shouldn’t be given a more widespread release as long as there isn’t a lazy conversion of it. I am annoyed that another ‘exclusive’ is slipping away, but I just believe that it is too good a title to be kept under wraps. In future, Capcom, drop the ‘exclusive’ titles … You aren’t fooling anyone.
Any thoughts on what I have said? Drop a comment on this article, or come and find me on Twitter: @reubenmount.