Monday, October 17, 2011

Namco vs Capcom: Capcom Roster

When Street Fighter x Tekken was announced last year, there was a lot of talk about the "floodgates" being opened, and while there's a lot of room for debate on that subject, it's clear that Namco and Capcom, to some degree, have a desire to see their characters on the same screen. The first clue was Japan's exclusive Namco x Capcom which was more of a strategy RPG in a style similar to the spin-off titles related to the Tales family of games. Now we're seeing a pair of games that will pit the cast of Tekken against the Street Fighter crew. With the revitalization of the famous Capcom Crossover, it really isn't too far fetched to suggest that Street Fighter x Tekken could pave the way for a long awaited Namco vs Capcom

And being who I am, I created a roster for just such an occasion! If the tides do shift in the favor of the fans, this is who I want to see lining Capcom's roster for the yet fictitious Namco vs Capcom.


Mega Man (Classic)
The Classic Mega Man is an icon of gaming, having appeared in more titles than Mario and spinning off six different series. He was featured in Capcom's previous Marvel vs Capcom games, showing that he had what it takes to stand in with the big guns, but he's been oddly absent from their latest bout, to immense fan backlash. Mega Man has a few dozen abilities to bring the table, each unique in their own way, and as honorary face of Capcom, there's no reason why he should miss out.

Amingo
Amingo is an oddity of a Capcom character. He's a walking, talking cactus with the moves to beat down Juggernaut and the Hulk. Supposedly he was created as the star of a cancelled game, but he's become the sole property of the Capcom Vs. franchise, showing up in a number of crossover fighters, and even appearing in SNK vs Capcom: Card Fighters Clash. While the cactus was absent from the latest Marvel vs Capcom, I'm still a pretty big fan of his, and I want to see him again real soon.

Viewtiful Joe
Joe certainly is rather Viewtiful! Capcom's sentai-styled superhero has been showing up quite a lot, making his debut in Tatsunoko vs Capcom and following with an encore performance in Marvel vs Capcom 3. There's really no wonder why, as the Viewtiful Joe franchise has always been topnotch and built on pure fanservice... without panties! I might not be a fan of his playstyle, but I have hard time picturing an all-star fighter without the little guy. 

Ryu
You'd be hard pressed to find anybody who didn't recognize Ryu. While Mega Man might be Capcom's figurehead, Ryu comes in a close second, and his iconic place among the entire fighting genre makes him arguably even more impressive. He's shown up in nearly every Capcom fighter to date, and is quick to lead the charge against Marvel's superheroes. Ryu is so famous that almost every fighting game attempts to cash in on him, and his style, uniform, and darker habits have become a cliche among the main characters in the genre.

Morrigan Aensland
A lot of whiner babies would take some other Darkstalkers hero over Morrigan, sometimes in an attempt to prevent the franchise from being known as Dark Night on the Corner, but there's no doubt that Morrigan is the most famous character from the series. This succubus, the only the succubus to be famous in the gaming ring, mind you, has shown up in nearly as many fighters and crossovers as Ryu himself, and her obvious assets gives her a leg around (did I mean "up?") the competition when it comes to showing up in other titles.

Roll.EXE
Roll has been Mega Man's faithful sidekick since day two, and she continues to show up in some form in nearly all of the sequel and spin-off series (though there isn't a Roll X, oddly enough. I guess Cinnamon counts.) Besides her classic look, Roll's most recognizable form is the one found in the Battle Network series. Though I'm sure it's because she makes for perfect eye candy, it still can't be denied that Roll.EXE has a pretty large following, and is probably more recognizable than Mega Man.EXE himself.

Dante
Dante is the head honcho of the hack 'n' slash genre, and a legend among video game all-stars. And there's really no wondering why. He combines sleek swordplay with deadshot gunslinging, and keeps his suave in any situation. While I've never actually played a Devil May Cry game, even I can appreciate this character's appeal and his potential to bring a lot of fun gameplay to the table.

Arthur
Sir Arthur is Capcom's famous Knight of the Round. He's been a long awaited inclusion to the Capcom Vs. series, and was finally given a shot for Marvel vs Capcom 3. Arthur is famous for his ability to battle hellish demons in nothing but a pair of boxers, and come out victorious. When not scantily clad, however, he has a number of powerful magic armors which can be used to protect him from evil.

Sonson
Sonson is actually the granddaughter of an old Capcom hero from the days of poor graphics and low-res consoles. She possesses mystical monkey powers, which allows her to assume a ferocious ape form, and cast  various spells on her enemies. She's also equipped with a mystical bo staff and knows exactly how to use it. This Chinese Chimpette probably doesn't have the biggest following, and she's only shown up in a few of the Capcom Vs. titles, but she has a lot of potential, and was one of the characters I felt the most comfortable using wherever she appeared.

Felicia
Felicia is to Morrigan as Chun Li is to Ryu, but they're about even when it comes to hentai. This famous catgirl has fought on behalf of Capcom time and again, and her chipper personality and bouncing bosom ensure that she'll continue to serve as one of their crowned warriors. Her claws are sharp enough to tear through metal, and she can climb up walls unhindered, a lot like the ol' Spider-Man. She's a fair match for even the strongest of competitors, and this makes her an excellent addition to any game.

Cleric
Back in the days of 19before-the-N64 there were three games I played on a daily basis: Mega Man X, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, and The King of Dragons. All of these were for the SNES and two of them were made by Capcom. And this guy was the star of one of them. The King of Dragons is a forgotten gem of a game, a beat-em-up with RPG elements that tosses the player into a very heavy fantasy realm, where the Merfolk will eat you if they have the chances. Luckily, if you're either the Cleric or the Wizard, they won't get that chance. The Cleric makes my list mainly for his gameplay opportunities, but also because he'd look badass in a fighting game. He's big and heavy and slow, but instead of grappling he's got a powerful mace, which he can use to unleash... powerful spells. That alone sets Cleric away from the rest of the heavy characters, and his potential goes way beyond what I could possibly explain to you in these little blurbs of which this one is already way too long.

Chris Redfield
Chris Redfield is the starr of Capcom's famous zomibe-punting series: Resident Evil. He's a bulk of a dude who's taken down badder monsters than the Hulk, and has an arsenal of weapons big enough to make the Punisher feel... lacking. He's already tangoed with the Marvel superheroes, and his role in the less-than-recent Resident Evil 5 propelled him into popularity with the modern audience. With the current popularity of both the character and franchise, and the potential for sweet electric baton combos, there's no reason Chris shouldn't be showing up in future titles.

Chill Penguin
"Nate, what the hell are you smoking?" I hear you ask. And I must answer: nitrogen. Chill Penguin is the famous first boss in Mega Man X that you can beat, because even with the ability to choose what stage you want to play, every other Maverick is going to kick your ass unless you have their specific weakness. This means Chill Penguin is probably the only boss most players will ever see, because the average gamer isn't masochistic. Chill Penguin is a robotic penguin with a nasty frostbite, and while he's largely a joke to experienced players, he can generate ice shields that will make new gamers swear in their sleep. This bird, like most of the other bosses in the Mega Man franchise, has a surprisingly large following, and even most non-fans would get a kick out of seeing him throw down with Kazuya and Strider.

Amaterasu
The wolf goddess star of Okami, a visually stunning game with art that resembles Japanese brush paintings, Amaterasu has been a fan favorite since the day she was drawn (rendered? born? released?) and was rumored to appear in Tatsunoko vs Capcom. Unfortunately, that didn't pan out, but fans did finally get their wish with Marvel vs Capcom 3, where Ammi put some hurt on Iron Man, Captain America, and even went toe-to-toe with Thor to prove who the mightiest cultural god really is. Ammi's a great character with a large number of abilities to explore, and the fact that she's a wolf with magical art powers really makes her a great choice. Plus, we're all curious: can the wolf stand up to the bear?

Chun Li

Chun Li is the ambiguously spelled chaser of Ryu's curtails, showing up to be the female representative for the Street Fighter franchise, though I'm sure Capcom has tried to convince us that it's not her boobs that win her spots in crossover titles, but rather her position as the most recognizable rep from Street Fighter II that takes the cake. Whatever, Pervcom. Chun Li is desperate for limelight, and while I don't particularly enjoy playing as her, I'm always left a little dazzled by her flurrying feet.

Jill Valentine
Nina Williams is not Jill Valentine, and the Nina wannabe Capcom is trying to pass of as Jill is beginning to piss me off, and judging by the amount of people disappointed with Jill in Marvel vs Capcom 3, she's pissing off everyone else too. The Jill I envision in this wonderful mix is the beautiful officer which we all fell in love with after the first installment in the Resident Evil franchise, and continued to love as she went on to send hordes of flesh eating zombies after Wolverine. Has anybody wondered if Jill was secretly responsible for the Marvel Zombies series?

Roll (Classic)
Roll is often regarded as Mega Man's little sister, although she sometimes appears to be his love interest. Either way, she's a pretty different character from her .EXE counterpart, and she's a favorite of the Capcom crew, showing up as the sole representative for the Mega Man Classic franchise in Tatsunoko vs Capcom, where she was given some legitimate fighting prowess. Roll is adorable and interesting, with most of her attacks largely being inspired by the household chores she performs while her brother is off blowing away Dr. Wily. Despite being refitted for domestic use, Roll does have her own Roll Buster, and is capable of assuming a very powerful mecha form, much like Mega Man could in Marvel vs Capcom 2. In fact, Roll was initially designed (both by Light and by Inafune) to be Mega Man's partner, though this was scrapped because Capcom was under the impression that only sausage-fests sold games.

Baby Bonnie Hood
Baby Bonnie Hood is one of those deceitful little children who look so sweet and innocent, but they're really dirty and rotten right to the core, and will throw mashed potatoes in your baby cousin's face just to hear him cry. Then, when you go to put her in the naughty corner, she blows your ass away with just about every machine gun under the sun. Thanks a lot, Super Nanny. Bonnie Hood, also known as Bulleta, has a ridiculous fanbase, which is crying foul at her absence from Marvel vs Capcom 3. To be honest, I don't like her nearly as much as I like Hsien-Ko. Bonnie Hood really doesn't add much to the roster. She's just another gunslinger, and an uninteresting looking one at that. Regardless, I try to make an attempt at actually thinking a little bit about what characters might please the fans, and there's no doubt that Bonnie Hood is right at the top.

Firebrand
Combo breaking my chain of femme fatales is Firebrand, the reddest of the Red Arremer demon clan. Sworn enemy of Arthur, Firebrand has so far appeared in the SNK vs Capcom series, and will soon be making his Marvel vs Capcom debut with the release of Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. Despite this, he's played a starring role in the Gargoyles Quest games, and his species has a major role in most Ghosts 'n' Goblins games. Firebrand is one of Capcom's toughest villains, commanding entire squadrons of Hell, and being an all-around dick to everybody. He's also capable of dragging a Sentinel across the ground with his feet, if you still didn't understand just how incredibly powerful this guy was.

Saki
Saki made her American debut as an assistant character in Marvel vs Capcom 2, where she was basically known as the "chick with huge gun" to anybody who played. She finally made her playable debut in Tatsunoko vs Capcom where she demonstrated an Capcom's ability to utilize both fanservice and ingenuity, Saki being one of the more fun characters to control in the game. That huge gun she hauls around isn't just for show; she knows how to use it as both a battering ram, and a death cannon. While Saki didn't make it to MvC3, much to my chagrin, I eagerly await the next time I can beat Ryu with the blunt end of a minigun.

Marino
When Mega Man X and Zero made their RPG premiere, they made a host of new friends. Among them was Marino the Thief, a robot Robin Hood, if you will. Marino's friendship has proven invaluable to X and to the players. Her Quicksilver transformation made her so fast most enemies couldn't counter attack or even interrupt her combos, and her ninja training allowed her to dodge a number of attacks with ease. She was one of the few characters proficient in the use of multiple weapons, and while all the characters had fairly stunted development, Marino is one of the few who manages to stand out. It might be her subtle role as sex-appeal, but it might also be the tough love attitude she takes for the team, coming off in a naive mother role that isn't often seen in fiction.

Sheva Alomar
Sheva is subject to a large amount of verbal abuse due in large part to her AI, which is far too ditsy for somebody who isn't blond. Honestly, I found Sheva a far more efficient sniper than I was, and she saved me on more than one occasion. I also thought she was a unique ally as she didn't fall into either the annoying-but-useful-sidekick trope or the by-the-book-asshat trope. Despite already having Chris and Jill present on the list, there's still enough weaponry open to make Sheva unique. Not only is the weaponry present, but it really isn't too difficult to come up with a unique way for her to use anything that Chris might already have up his sleeves.

Strider Hiryu
I'll admit, I don't really know Strider very well. He's kind of here for the same reason Bonnie Hood is: I'm weird and like catering to imaginary fans when I think of games. However, I do dig Strider's stance and his ability to summon stampedes of robotic animals. I mean, what Capcom fan doesn't like robot dogs?

Mike Haggar
Haggar is the rough 'n' tumble mayor who stars in the Final Fight series. Sick of crime, Haggar takes to the streets to set right his failing community. Mike was absent from the Capcom universe for a long time, until his recent return in Marvel vs Capcom 3, but he has always been quietly waiting in the shadows, influence the Street Fighter history right from the very beginning. Many people were jaded when Zangief wasn't given a rematch with Colossus (though I was more jaded about Colossus), but what they don't always understand is that if it weren't for Haggar, there wouldn't even be a Zangief. This spot goes to Grand Pappy Capcom and his incredible mustache.

Albert Wesker

Wesker is the Capcom equivalent to Dr. Doom. He's cold, ruthless, efficient, narcissistic, and worst of all: he can convince armies of people to work for him despite his well known habit of killing all of his servants. Awesome. He recently played the role of antagonist in Capcom's Marvel vs Capcom 3, where he set out to prove just how cheap injecting zombie DNA into yourself is. Hint: Pretty damn cheap. Regardless, he's a cool character, even if he's trying to cash in on the Matrix flawless fashion.


Vile

Mega Man X's greatest nemesis, Vile is neither Maverick nor Reploid, he simply is. While Vile has never been the grand mastermind or endboss for any of X adventures, he's shown up in a handful of them to prove that he is the most powerful machine ever built. In a lot of ways he resembles Mega Man Classic's rival Bass, and there's even a substantial amount of information that points to the two of them being one and the same, or at the least, to Vile being somewhat based on the Bass design. There are some differences, however, while Bass is more of an antihero, helping out in times of great need, Vile is entirely insane and beyond unstable, caring for nothing but making the world kneel for no reason beyond sadism. I've been hoping to see Vile in any fighting game for years, and so far he hasn't even made it into the board room. I still have hope, however, and maybe someday we will see the malicious machine tearing up the battle field.


M. Bison

M. Bison is the greatest villain in Capcom history. Nothing says "evil" like your powers having the prefix "Psycho." Bison is responsible for every terrible thing that happens in the Street Fighter universe, even his terrible absence from MvC3. A lot of people compare Bison to Magneto, but there really aren't any similarities besides their position of influence. What makes Bison so unique is that he isn't even like Doom. He manages to be the classic dictator villain without being a cliche. How awesome is that? Bison really hasn't shown up in nearly as many situations as he used to, and he hasn't even been given a slot in Street Fighter x Tekken yet, so it's high time the master bastard made his return to the crossover scene.


Captain Commando

Created as Capcom's actual mascot, Captain Commando has been cursed with only a single title of his own (albeit, a really good one), and a small sort of crossover fighters, Capcom seems to be doing everything in their power to eliminate the memory of the good Captain. Regardless, his reach spreads far and wide, and demand for him to show up in a new Marvel vs. Capcom game or even in his own title are at all time highs. Not that I needed any convincing to add CapCom to my fantasy roster, because I'm one of those fans. Captain Commando has a very 90's space hero feel, almost like a Buzz Lightyear for teens. And that's something I can get behind! To Namco vs Capcom and beyond!


R. Mika

R. Mika is a Capcom favorite, but for whatever reason she just hasn't shown up in any titles recently. No Street Fighter IV, no Marvel vs Capcom 3, no Street Fighter x Tekken, nothing. Just where has this sexy young grappler gone to? Nobody really knows, but I sure wish we did, because I miss her. It might just be because she looks like a superhero, or it might be because she's sex appeal-in-a-leotard, but I think it's largely her antics and uniqueness as a female grapple-fighter that makes me want to see her in a new age Capcom game. It's high time the business department over there gives in to the whims of their creative team.


Leon Scott Kennedy

Hero of Resident Evil 4, Leon Kennedy works for a very special unit of the United States government, and is the only agent sent to rescue the president's beautiful yet annoying daughter from the clutches of a sadistic Lord Saddler. Leon is different from the other Resident Evil heroes in the way that he handles his weapons. While most of the other heroes operate in a very professional manner, Leon has a very street quality, holding his knife and creeping around more like a thug than a trained officer. Leon is also much more grim and down to earth than his fellow zombie slayers, and a little quicker when it comes to the ol' brain. Chris might eventually find the one spot to shoot a monster, but Leon already found a way to electrocute it, fry it, smash it, drown it, or make it kill itself hours ago.

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