Maybe it’s because I don’t have any history with the Darkstalkers franchise, but when I saw Darkstalkers Resurrection show up with the latest PlayStation Store update this week, all it did was make me mad that Capcom had re-released another of its fighting game classics that wasn’t called Power Stone. Everywhere you see the subject of Capcom’s classic re-releases brought up someone mentions Power Stone, but the publisher’s continued silence with that brand has become increasingly awkward given their recent activity.
I get it; Power Stone is a niche entity. It’s not exactly Street Fighter. Heck, I read an article a short time ago about how Capcom producer Yoshinori Ono had to fight tooth and nail just to get the company to commit to Street Fighter IV — a new entry in arguably the franchise that made Capcom what it is today. Now one of their cash crops is fighting games, even niche ones, except Power Stone apparently.
Fighting games have become such a reliable thing on today’s consoles that we’re seeing re-releases of classic ones pop up left and right. Mortal Kombat II was one of the most popular PlayStation Network downloads for a very long time, Namco put the original Soul Calibur on iOS, even SNK got into the action a little bit (here’s another opportunity to remind you that both Last Blade games are available on Wii Virtual Console).
Of course you’ve got Capcom’s library too — 3rd Strike Online Edition has been one of my favorite games to play on my PS3 period, new or old school. However, it’s gotten down to the point that even Capcom’s lesser-known fighters have shown up on digital distribution services. We’ve got Darkstalkers, Marvel vs Capcom, some of Capcom’s non-fighter arcade classics, and even Jo-Jo’s Bizarre Adventure. Jo-Jo man!
Okay okay, Jo-Jo has an anime license attached to it that’s gotten a bit of a revival as of late, and Darkstalkers has a little bit more history than Power Stone. Is the difference between the two former franchises and Power Stone that big though? Was Power Stone really not that popular on the Dremacast? Did the PSP conversion really not sell that well?
And no, the PSP conversion isn’t enough. I’m not even asking for a Power Stone 3 here. Even if they just throw me Power Stone 2 in HD for four local players and maybe online, I’ll be satisfied. I just want a console copy of Power Stone 2 that I don’t have to shell out $200 for. If Capcom can give people Darkstalkers and Jo-Jo, they can make time for Power Stone too.
And Power Stone is probably the most unique of Capcom’s fighters. It’s one of their only re-release prospects that isn’t a hardcore standard 2D fighter. If nothing else it would stand out in a genre that has come back to life in a big way. Is it that uniqueness that’s holding Power Stone back maybe?
Does Power Stone being a 3D game make the HD conversion more expensive? Would getting the game to re-render in HD cost too much to justify given potential sales? Come to think of it, digital re-releases of old 3D fighting games aren’t as common as the 2D ones. You’ve got Virtua Fighter 2, Sonic the Fighters, the original Soul Calibur on Xbox Live, and I think that’s pretty much it. All those except Sonic are probably guaranteed to sell to a certain extent. I don’t know man.
When was that last Capcom survey asking about all their neglected franchises? Three months ago? Maybe they just need some time to act on the data from that. I know I put it down for Power Stone when I took the survey.
- To be fair, not yet re-released from Capcom you’ve also got Rival Schools, Tech Romancer, Capcom vs SNK (understandably tied up), a couple of the earlier Marvel games, and probably more. There’s even Street Fighter Alpha if you don’t count the PS1 versions available digitally (assuming they aren’t arcade-perfect, I myself don’t know).
- Scanlations of the final chapters of Blade of the Immortal have begun to appear.
- How the new Tomb Raider saved at least one person’s life: http://t.co/Rvken9m289
- IGN has a nice analysis up of the time period surrounding Assassin’s Creed IV: http://t.co/u8ZnFvKbyb