If you love video game history or simply adore Capcom then you owe it to yourself to pick up the Capcom 30th Anniversary Character Encyclopedia. Featuring characters both old and new, the encyclopedia may not be filled with never before seen insight, but it’s a perfect book to pick up if you love Capcom and the many characters that have appeared in games such as Resident Evil, Mega Man, and Dead Rising.
+ Tons of characters are included. Seriously, this encyclopedia has it all.
+ Layout is nice in presenting the basics of the character and some nice art.
+ Price point is perfect for what you’re getting.
- If you loved DmC you may be disappointed at the lack of any recognition at all.
Over the years we’ve seen quite a bit of changes made within the video game industry in how games are presented to us and the evolution that certain companies make in order to stay relevant. Occasionally these changes may seem small at times, but when you take a step back to look at things from the initial inception to how it is today, it can be rather staggering to see the growth of a company upon realizing just how many franchises and characters have been released over the years.
The history of a particular company in some cases is forever remembered through the characters that are provided to gamers, and such a thing is prominently featured in the Capcom 30th Anniversary Character Encyclopedia from BradyGames and DK Publishing.
Say what you will about the status of Capcom today, but back in the day the company knocked it out of the park with amazing titles that immediately captured the attention of players both because the games were fun to play and the characters within them were interesting. Heroes such as Mega Man, Ryu from Street Fighter, Dante from Devil May Cry, and Chris Redfield have become icons in their respective franchises and in some cases have gone on to become legends within the games industry that will forever be remembered for years to come.
Thankfully for longtime fans of Capcom, the many characters that have appeared on our consoles throughout the years are featured within a rather well made character encyclopedia which is easily a must-own. Presented in a rather simple fashion, the Capcom 30th Anniversary Character Encyclopedia features every major franchise character that has appeared in a game starting from 1983 up to this year. The exact layout and details for each character includes a simple bio, complete with their body stats, some occasional humor through listing their occupation (which in the case of Asura from Asura’s Wrath is a vengeful deity), along with a nice piece of key art (either an in-game model or illustration). So basically it is what it is: a character encyclopedia of awesome if you’re a longtime Capcom die-hard fan.
To some extent it may sound like the book itself is superfluous considering that it doesn’t go into deep detail about the lore nor are there any major development stories/previously unknown facts made public for the first time. But where the book succeeds is that it evokes the old-school Capcom feeling of being a love letter more or less to the fans by literally featuring every known character that has appeared during the last thirty years.
Besides the expected entries for characters such as Wesker (Resident Evil), Poison (Final Fight), and Morrigan (Darkstalkers), the encyclopedia also includes new characters such as Jim Peyton (Lost Planet 3) and Nilin (Remember Me). Though where things get interesting is the inclusion of perhaps lesser known heroes such as Howard Powell (Mercs) or Perceval (Knights of the Round). Seriously, who remembers Howard Powell or Perceval? I’m sure a few folks do, but for many current gamers, such as those who were reared on Resident Evil 4 and onward, they may not know that back in the day Capcom was a bit more adventurous, if simply loony, in regards to what sorts of characters they created for their games.
One thing that I found interesting about the encyclopedia was how DmC, the 2013 reboot helmed by Ninja Theory, is nowhere mentioned at all. While Dante and Vergil are included, it’s their old-school look (specifically what was seen in DMC3) that’s shown. In addition to that, in the Most Recent Appearance section of the character profiles for Dante and Vergil, doesn’t list DmC.
I know it may be a trivial thing to bring up, but considering how the encyclopedia is current, at least enough to include Lost Planet 3, I found it interesting that DmC has essentially been swept under the rug so to speak; a thing that may not bode well for a potential sequel down the road. It may be understandable that Capcom wanted to present the traditional version of DMC within the encyclopedia, but even with all the baggage and backlash that DmC has it’s odd that the rather protagonist from the reviled, and franchise killing, Dino Crisis 3 is included and wasn’t sent to the phantom zone of obscurity and forgetfulness as well.
For what it’s seeking out to achieve, there really aren’t any major downsides to the Capcom 30th Anniversary Character Encyclopedia. Obviously it would’ve been nice if things were more in-depth or more than one page was dedicated to each character, but as a coffee table sort of book the encyclopedia accomplishes what it seeks out to do: present some nice knowledge to people who not only love video games, but adore the characters and worlds of Capcom.
The Capcom 30th Anniversary Character Encyclopedia is available now for $16.99
A review copy of this product was provided by the publisher