Jetsetter: Capcom brings back Breath of Fire … sort of

Breath of Fire

Welcome back to Jetsetter, Digital Trends’ weekly column looking at the world of import games and the international game development scene.

It doesn’t matter where you’re making games; if you’re planning to sell them, making money is a consideration in the creative process. Even the most beloved creative companies made their best work with the bottom line in mind. Shigeru Miyamoto would have never made Donkey Kong if Nintendo hadn’t been trying to find a way to milk some money out of a bunch of arcade hardware it had purchased.

Pursuing profitability shouldn’t be what upsets gaming’s most enthusiastic fans – it’s when companies cynically recycle ideas or make unappealing games and slap a familiar, once-creative name it to up its cred. Sadly many Japanese developers are turning to these tactics to earn their daily bread in the modern market. Capcom may be the worst offender.

Screen shot 2013-08-04 at 3.51.41 PMCapcom announces Breath of Fire 6 for Japan.

Breath of Fire was always one of Capcom’s stranger series. The company was always known for its arcadey action and fighting games, not the slow-paced role-playing Breath of Fire traded in. The series was the brain child of Makoto Ikehara, who from 1993 to 2002 made Breath of Fire games, each one stranger than the last. The final game in the series, Breath of Fire 5: Dragon Quarter, is one of the most challenging and unusual games for the PlayStation 2. Today Ikehara is designing the Dragon’s Dogma series, the only original Japanese IP to come out of Capcom in the past five years, and Breath of Fire seemed dead and gone after Dragon’s Dogma became a success.

But Capcom has brought back the series with Breath of Fire 6. Rather than an intricate console role-playing game with art from Tatsuya Yoshikaw, the new entry will be a browser and mobile game with an art style reminiscent of Zynga’s Facebook games. CNET Japan describes it as an “easy touch type online RPG,” indicating it will bear almost nothing in common with past entries. 

Why slap a storied franchise name on this type of game? Because it’s an easy way to get people to spend money on it. Is an online RPG for touch devices an easier sell than a complex single-player RPG in 2013? Sure, but that doesn’t mean a franchise should be maligned because of it.

Xbox One vs PS4 Odd Man Out Wii U 

Nintendo Wii U drowns under a global tide of disdain.

Nintendo may have to resort to more cynical methods of making money if its console business is going to survive in Europe. Digital Trends reported just days ago how dire Nintendo Wii U sales have been worldwide in recent months. The company sold just 160,000 Wii Us between April and June.  That’s catastrophic by any measure in any market, but it’s even more shocking when you break down the numbers by region. 90,000 of those Wii Us were sold in Japan and 60,000 more were sold in Canada, Mexico, and the US. That means just 10,000 Wii Us were sold across the UK, all of Europe, and other countries like Kenya where the console is available. The Wii U isn’t even a niche product around the world. It’s a curiosity.

PlayStation 4 and Xbox One get a piping hot plate of Cricket 14.

Everyone with unusual sporting tastes here in the US should be thankful that Sony and Microsoft’s next gen consoles are totally region free, because that means they’ll get to bowl a wicked next-gen googly. Australian studio Big Ant Studios confirmed that Cricket 14, previously announced for PS3 and Xbox 360 abroad, will indeed be coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Get psyched, all five of you North American cricket fans!

Product Review

'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe' is 2D platforming wizardry

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is the latest Wii U game to come back from the dead on Switch. And wow, it’s much better than we remembered.

Jam out in hi-fi style with the 25 best playlists on Spotify

Music is the world's most potent drug, and the best playlists on Spotify will make you catch feelings. We've scoured the service for its top collections, and brought them together in one place -- for you.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.

Dataminers discover SNES games, more emulators for Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo Switch Online may soon launch SNES games and more emulators, according to data miners. The list of hidden SNES titles include Breath of Fire 2 and Star Fox 2, while the other emulators may be the Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCube.

Get extra life with our tips and tricks for 'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe'

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is a much more difficult game than you'd believe based on its adorable art style and 2D perspective. Here's how you can master the game's toughest challenges.

Find all of the secret exits and world skips in 'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe'

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe has two distinct Mario experiences in one package. In this guide, we'll show you how to find all of the secret exits in New Super Mario Bros. U, that lead to hidden levels and let you skip worlds.

For Netflix, ‘Fortnite’ on YouTube is a bigger threat than HBO

In a letter to shareholders, Netflix explained that it views the video game Fortnite as bigger competition than HBO, with YouTube videos of the game drawing viewers away from the streaming platform.

Find all of the secret exits and world skips in 'New Super Luigi U Deluxe'

Just like all other 2D Mario games, New Super Mario Bros. Deluxe includes secret exits and world skips. In this guide, we'll show you how to get to all 12 secret exits in New Super Luigi U.

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

You could be gaming on AMD’s Navi graphics card before the end of the summer

If you're waiting for a new graphics card from AMD that doesn't cost $700, you may have to wait for Navi. But that card may not be far away, with new rumors suggesting we could see a July launch.

Sharing your best gameplay moments is quick and easy on the Xbox One

The current generation of consoles make it easier than ever to share your gaming highlights with the world. Here's a quick guide on how you can record a gameplay video on Xbox One.

Blizzard’s latest hiring spree is likely for the unannounced ‘Diablo 4’

Activision Blizzard is hiring for more than a dozen positions on unannounced Diablo projects. Some of the roles are likely for the unannounced Diablo 4, the next mainline entry in the series.

Everything we know about 'Red Dead Online', including the new mode Gun Rush

Red Dead Online will gradually rolled out to Red Dead Redemption 2 players via a beta. We've got all the details about the beta's suite of competitive and cooperative modes, as well as what to expect going forward.