Capcom’s 8 most underrated games

Capcom may be one of gaming’s biggest names, but not all their games received the attention they deserved. Here are a few of them…

Capcom's 8 most underrated

Resident Evil and Street Fighter may be Capcom’s most prominent and lucrative franchises, but the Osaka-based publisher has created some genuine classics that never quite received the recognition they deserved. To redress the balance, here are eight of Capcom’s best, most underrated games that deserve a second look.

Carrier Airwing (1990)

A spiritual sequel to side-scrolling shooter UN Squadron (or Area 88 as it was known in Japan), Carrier Airwing upped the scale of destruction considerably. Memorable set-pieces included a city stage where you blasted your way through skyscrapers, a dogfight through a vast underground cavern, and a surprise appearance by Sean Connery, or a character that looks very much like him, at least.

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While UN Squadron was converted to dozens of computers and consoles, Carrier Airwing faded, unjustifiably, into obscurity.

Mega Twins (1990)

While Mega Twins, under its horrible European name, Chiki Chiki Boys, was ported to several 16-bit systems in the 90s, it’s a game that’s seldom mentioned these days.

Like many of the Capcom titles on this list, Mega Twins wasn’t especially original in its concept or execution. Its gameplay, a hybrid of side-scrolling platformer and beat-em-up, had been seen before in games such as Wonder Boy In Monster World. It was nevertheless an eminently playable affair, and its two-player co-op action greatly extended its longevity.

Cadillacs And Dinosaurs (1993)

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By the time this scrolling beat-em-up was released in 1993, the world was already in the grip of Street Fighter mania. Nevertheless, Cadillacs is well worth rediscovering, with huge, screen filling dinosaur sprites and a particularly surreal sense of humour, with an array of enemies so dim they constantly blow themselves up or fall off trains, and an arsenal of strange weapons, including a piglet that magically transforms into a deadly rugby ball once picked up.

Giga Wing (1999)

The Sega Dreamcast played host to a huge number of classic shoot-em-ups, and Giga Wing was one of the best. In terms of firepower and destructive gameplay, Giga Wing was one of Capcom’s best up-the-screen shooters, with an absurd number of enemies on-screen at times.

Fortunately, the Reflect Force feature made things a little easier. Holding down the A button unleashed a reflective shield that deflected enemies’ bullets straight back at them.

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Power Stone 2 (2000)

A truly anarchic four-player brawler, Power Stone 2 surely ranks as one of the most sorely underappreciated properties in Capcom’s portfolio. The balance of power could shift at any moment due to the array of weapons that would randomly appear, which included guns, rocket launchers and bear traps, and players could even take advantage of objects in the environment to defeat their opponents.

While a remake of both games made a welcome appearance on the PSP, the Capcom franchise still deserves a proper HD console reboot.

Okami (2006/2008)

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An adventure game with a unique visual style, Okami was mystifyingly overlooked when released for the PS2, despite positive reviews. A second attempt to bring the game to a broader audience on the Wii also failed to take off, even with the game’s painting mechanic perfectly matched to the console’s control system.

It’s possible that Okami‘s  lack of a human face in the lead role put some gamers off, or that its artistic visual style limited its appeal. Whatever the reasons may be, Okami‘s quality was never reflected in its sales.

Thankfully, the Okami concept hasn’t died yet. A sequel called Okamiden has been announced for the Nintendo DS, which we hope will revive the series’ fortunes.

Cannon Spike (2001)

A brilliant top-down shooter that acts as a love letter to Capcom games of old, Cannon Spike features playable characters including Ghosts ‘n Goblins’ Arthur, Cammy from Street Fighter, Mega Man and Charlie from Street Fighter, who all appear with precious little regard for logic. But then, nobody ever played a shooter for its highbrow plot, and Cannon Spike offers a solidly entertaining few hours’ blasting, with a constant onslaught of enemies in the grand tradition of Robotron 2084 or Smash TV.

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Along with Treasure’s mighty Bangaioh, Cannon Spike ranks among the very best shooters available for Sega’s doomed Dreamcast.

God Hand (2006)

Developed by Clover Studio, the developer behind the excellent Viewtiful Joe, God Hand is a knowingly absurd brawler with a setting and plot influenced by westerns and kung fu movies.

Further proof that good reviews don’t guarantee sales, God Hand‘s wilfully strange design and intentionally bad dialogue appeared to alienate the game from a wider audience, and it never sold in huge numbers outside Japan.

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