Of all the veteran developers active in the game industry this year, Capcom have certainly been turning heads with just about everything they do. Forget EA, Activision and Ubisoft – while great developers in their own right, none have appeased their fanbase quite as much as this powerhouse.

Take Megaman 9 for example. There’s nothing quite as admirable as releasing a true sequel to a game that’s over fifteen years old. This was aimed straight at the gamers who grew up with the series and were there at its inception. It is stupidly hard, punishing even the slightest mistimed jump, but than again, ludicrously difficult games were the norm in the eighties… kids these days don’t know they’re born etc etc…

Returning to the old school is something Capcom are doing a lot these days with the superb Bionic Commando: Rearmed on XBLA and PSN. This is a remake of the original NES title, which is retro to its very core. Again, this was as hard as nails, but the original was done a great justice, with each stage lovingly re-created in pseudo 3D and boasting a killer remixed soundtrack.

The next-gen Bionic Commando sequel is shaping up very nicely indeed

Speaking of remixes, Super Street Fighter II: Turbo HD Remix also made an appearance on XBLA and PSN last week. This is a stunning re-imagining of the nineties SNES hit, with redrawn anime sprites and a revamped soundtrack.

Capcom have certainly discovered the method of inducing nostalgia in gamers with these superb revamped versions, but what about the current generation?

While many critics saw Resident Evil 4 as the perfect action game and the natural evolution of the survival horror genre, the sequel, the imaginatively titled Resident Evil 5 looks set to build on this success considerably. In particular, the co-op aspect and the move to open, sunny locales is another bold gamble from Capcom that looks like it will pay off. March can’t come soon enough!

Teamwork always helps..

It’s so hard to believe that this could actually be better then Resi 4, although recent previews seem to suggest so!

Earlier this week, the developer let slip a real nugget of tantalising information at a trade show. When quizzed about the new Japanese-only Tatsunoko Vs Capcom (Tatsunoko being a hugely popular anime/manga studio in Japan), a member of the production team hinted that the much-anticipated Marvel Vs Capcom 3 was on the way – cross over fans rejoice!

Mayhem!

This looks great. It’s a shame that a Western release is unlikely 🙁

Fighting fans have been petitioning for this game to be made for years, ever since the success of previous instalments. The games let you pit Capcom favourites such as Street Fighter’s Ryu, Ken and Chun Li against comic stars Spider-Man, Wolverine and The Hulk in 100-hit combo mayhem.

This another example of a developer who truly listens to and understands its fanbase and produces a steady stream of good quality titles. Now if only everyone could stop buying games like Need for Speed: Undercover, maybe Capcom will get the sales figures they deserve and we can see more classic franchises make a comeback. With sequels such as Street Fighter IV and Bionic Commando on the way, 2009 could be one of the best years in the developer’s history.