I don't ask for a lot, brothers & sisters. At least, I don't think I do. So when the time comes for me to gear up for another Dynamek Perspective, only to have my intended plans derailed because of something so utterly ridiculous... it is a bit frustrating.
I'm referring to the double-edged sword that has become the "debate" between Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite and Dragon Ball Fighter Z. Apparently, during E3, there was a playable demo of the former available for measured consumption and the news of the latter was made completely public. This is all fine & good, but of course, nothing good can ever be good for us, can it? Before I go in on this, you should know that what I had in mind to talk about this month was performance enhancing mechanics. FADCs, Roman Cancels, X-Factor... the whole peanut gallery. I was planning on talking it up like an announcer from one of those old 50's (horribly misinformed) educational films. I wanted to do all of that & with a smile on my face because it would have been hilarious. However, much like my diatribe on the merits of narrative conveyance, it looks like I'm going to have to wait a few years on that.
Alright, let me get something out of the way before I attempt to voice my opinion on this. First & foremost, yes... I am weary of Capcom's business practices. If you've followed me or my writing here over the years, I'm positive it would come off as me being a staunch Capcom detractor. The truth is that I'm not against them, I just want them to do better by us. I've grown so jaded by them constantly finding ways to either betray the trust of their impressive legacy -- a library of games that helped to form the nexus of Our Shared Passion -- or straight up belittle us with the whole nickel & dime approach to gaming now. Way back when I first started writing for KPB, Rodimus Prime said that Capcom has fallen into the pattern of "putting $2 of effort into a $10 job and then charging us $20 for it". Moves like that are what can turn fans sour on you/your product. Regardless of how you try to mask it, that type of lethargy always always ALWAYS makes things worse and its stench will imbrue everything you touch.
That being said, as fun as the idea is to fester on (and this is something even I was guilty of in the beginning), the idea that certain people/personalities are on the take & shilling for the company is preposterous. Aside from the fact that there is a bloody MLB field tarp's worth of laws that specifically prevent that type of thing from happening, it just does not make any sense. That's not to say, however, that those very same people obviously have enough to gain from Infinite being in the spotlight. The FGC has been speeding in one direction for so long that we're now closing in on being no different than the maligned 24-hour news cycle. Before long, the talking head syndrome of nonstop punditry is going to become our infection & the norm is going to steadily veer away from the games themselves and focus more on who said what about which whatever. As much as I hate to admit this aloud, we are doing this to ourselves and it is not going to end well.
On the other side of this plugged nickel, we got Dragon Ball Fighter Z being done up by Arc System Works. On paper, this is a match made in Heaven: the premiere anime fighter studio handling just about everyone's first major action anime. Seeing as how ArcSys pretty much knocked it out of the park Guilty Gear Xrd, I cannot really argue that this doesn't seem like a good idea. They have seemingly perfected their understanding that the overall production, not just style over substance, is what makes for a great game. The proof of which is evident in the gorgeous footage that we've been able to see lately. Factor in their attention to detail regarding the source material and the fact that (and I already hate myself for referencing this meme) this isn't even the game's "final form", you've got yourself the makings of a fighter with untold unifying potential. At moments like this, it's impossible to deny that we're in a genuine renaissance for fighting games.
Unfortunately, DBFZ may have already shot itself in the foot. You see, there are already talks about preserving the anime's lore. The concept that Tien could actually beat Semi-Perfect Cell shouldn't be seen as a negative, especially since these types of games focus on the hypothetical more than the empirical. Once you start handicapping yourself like that, it's not lore... you are officially protecting kayfabe. Of course, this is all hinging on whether or not any of the B-roll characters would even make the roster. (Piccolo & maybe even Krillin are pretty much locks since the latter is Goku's best friend and the former raised his son.) Now, if you don't include characters like that, you'll end up with "Monsters Vs Aliens: Super Shouty Edition". As wonderful as this pairing may seem, there are definite ways that ArcSys can screw it all up. (Looking at you, Fist of the North Star.) So regardless of how you may feel about the brand or the studio, don't slap on the rose-tinted goggles just yet & let the game happen before you make any solid decisions, because if there's anything that can/will torpedo this game's chances, it is the rabid -- borderline unhinged -- corners of the following that may hurt more than help in the long run.
However, if I'm being 100% honest (both with you & myself), nothing I have to say in reference to either game means anything at all. My opinions in either direction will ultimately prove immaterial. Not because voicing a possibly unpopular opinion is pointless, since that's one of the first guidelines I give to anyone who works as a KPB Scribe, but because of the bottom line. If I can borrow a quote from Patton Oswalt, there are going to be sacrilegious amounts of money thrown at both of these games... one more so than the other & I'm pretty sure you already know which is which. That's all that seems to matter anymore. I spoke on this briefly a little while back (May's Perspective, "Bought & Sold) and, sadly, it would appear that we've only progressed further down that unfortunate path. Worse still, the games themselves are slowly becoming less relevant to the conversations about them. (Functions... functions, anybody?) They've somehow become nothing more than debate fodder for people's arguments & complaints. I do not know where this path will lead, but everything in me feels that it won't be pleasant.
I have much more to say, but my attention is required elsewhere & what I have to say needs to be worded precisely in order to effectively get my point across. That being said, consider this an impromptu to be concluded segue into next month's Dynamek Perspective. Be warned, though... it's not going to be pretty.
Until next time... keep fighting the good fight, my friends.