Capcom Fighting Collection

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Capcom Fighting Collection – Review

Back in the 90s when arcades around the world were still booming, there was a highly likely chance every arcade goer played one of Capcom’s many coin-operated machines scattered around not just in arcades, but also at shopping centres, cinemas, convenience stores, and more. While 1987’s ‘Street Fighter’ was the game that started it all, it was 1991’s ‘Street Fighter II’ that made Capcom the media giant it is today and one of the pioneers of the fighting genre. These days their most successful titles have been the ‘Resident Evil’ and ‘Monster Hunter’ series, but it’s nice and very appreciated to see they haven’t forgotten their roots by digging through their archives and porting their classic fighting titles they’ve been sitting on for decades.

To celebrate the 35th Anniversary of ‘Street Fighter’, Capcom has released ‘Capcom Fighting Collection’ bringing together not just ‘Street Fighter II’, but also long-neglected titles including ‘Darkstalkers’, ‘Red Earth’, ‘Cyberbots’, and even a few unexpected but welcomed spinoff games.

Starting with ‘Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition’, first released in 2003 to celebrate Street Fighter’s 15th Anniversary. It’s like its own crossover with every version of ‘Street Fighter II’ between 1991 and 1994 mixed into one game. For example, matches could see the original version of Ryu up against his Turbo counterpart, with the latter having a distinct advantage by being able to perform Super Combos. Also, depending on which version is selected, characters’ respective headshots from that era will be displayed on the select, versus, and game over screens, and even their ending movies will be different after completing the arcade ladder. Even with the clear unbalance, it is still a fun, interesting, and nostalgic feature to see all the different versions of the legendary fighter.

Possibly, the biggest selling point of this collection is the inclusion of ‘Darkstalkers’, which die-hard fans have been begging for decades to see a sequel. Each title can be a little confusing to follow chronologically depending on if the Japanese or Western version is selected, but every version of the three main titles can be played. A fighting game that can see Vampire Vs Mummy, Succubus vs Werewolf, Alien vs Frankenstein’s Monster, and more, it brought something quite different and unique to the genre. Seeing horror movie icons based on famous folklore tear each other apart in a colourful but dark gothic tone, gave this franchise its own distinct style and personality.

It’s also the game that created Morrigan, whose popularity exceeded the games. She (plus a select few) has been featured in crossover games with Marvel, SNK, and Tatsunoko. If Darkstalkers were to finally get a sequel, Morrigan’s popularity alone should be enough to sell the game, and hopefully that CG trailer shown at NYCC 2012 with the now infamous quote “Darkstalkers are not dead” was not just to get a cheap pop and actually leads to something. Until the teased sequel is dug up from the graves, having all the Darkstalkers games available on modern consoles will surely sate the thirst of dedicated fans.

‘Cyberbots: Full Metal Madness’ features giant mechs duking it out while also destroying their surroundings during battle, and is a spinoff of the beat’em up game, Armored Warriors. Players will first select a pilot from one of the various mechs available each with their own unique weaponry from missiles, laser beams, and other destructive technology, to destroy their opponents. The stages feature interactive environments such as bridges, towers, and other structures that will collapse when a mech simply moves into them, and civilians can even be seen running from all the chaos. One of the playable characters, Jin Saotome has also been featured in ‘Marvel vs Capcom’ 1 and 2, and even summons his mech, BX-02 Blodia, in his Super Combos.

‘Red Earth’ is the least known of the pack and this is its first-ever console port since its arcade release, in 1996. A fantasy-themed fighter with beautifully detailed 2D sprites, that even uses some elements from RPG games, like gaining EXP to level up their chosen character and unlock new moves. Players can keep their progress using the game’s password feature. Only four characters are playable in Arcade or VS modes but with a lot of variety between them including Leo the half-lion, half-man warrior equipped with a sword and shield, Mai-Ling the highly skilled martial artist, Kenji the elite ninja, and Tessa a sorcerologist with magical abilities. In Arcade Mode, they will take on various beings loosely based on various mythological creatures. It was an exceedingly rare Capcom title to find it in arcades, so this is a fantastic opportunity for players to try it out finally.

‘Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix’ features characters from Street Fighter, Darkstalkers, and Red Earth, but all in Chibi designs. It is a much-simplified fighter with many highly entertaining elements filled with easter eggs referencing various other Capcom properties in the backgrounds and even the character’s moves.

‘Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo’ is the only non-fighting game included also featuring chibi-styled characters from Street Fighter, Darkstalkers, and Cyberbots. It’s a tile-matching puzzle game similar to Puyo Puyo. By successfully building and clearing gems from your screen, extra gems will be sent to the opponent’s side to sabotage them and claim victory. Characters will beat each other up between the two screens based on the player’s actions.

This game was a big hit back in the day and actually did have a successor with ‘Puzzle Fighter’ on mobiles, in 2017. Free to Play and to battle opponents online, it should have been the perfect mobile game, but it was of course filled with microtransactions taking out all the fun the original had and being discontinued, only nine months later. The original is a very welcomed addition to an already packed compilation.

Capcom Fighting Collection’s biggest feature is the online play with rollback netcode. Every single game included can be played online. Facing someone further away in the world of course has a weaker connection, but very little lag can be experienced with opponents in the same region. Whether it’s Ranked, Casual, or in a Lobby, players can set their preferred games they wish to play. Having more games switched on makes things interesting and exciting not knowing which game you will be playing next. Sadly, there currently is no cross-platform play which along with the many games to choose from, could limit the number of available opponents to match up against.

While waiting for opponents, players can simply wait, play any game’s arcade, practice mode or even browse through the Gallery. It has a vast selection of official art and concept sketches from every single game. Players can see early drafts of various characters, unused character ideas, moves, stage designs, and concepts of menus and select screens. All the music from every game is also available to enjoy.

Switching between games is a quick and straightforward process. Players can even create a save state with any game at any moment, even in the middle of a combo or right before a ‘Game Over’ if they wish. Players can also switch between the Japanese and English versions of almost every game. This will change the text in-game to Japanese and even change the game’s titles such as Darkstalkers to ‘Vampire Saviour’, Red Earth to ‘War-Zard’ etc. Certain character names will also be different, for example, Balrog, Vega, and M. Bison will be M. Bison, Balrog, and Vega, respectively. Capcom Fighting Collection focuses on their long-forgotten 2D fighters, which means that their 3D fighters Rival Schools, Star Gladiator, Power Stone, and Tech Romancer, unfortunately, missed out.

In the past, Capcom has tried to bring their lesser-known titles to modern consoles but with little success. This latest attempt which was announced alongside the reveal of ‘Street Fighter 6’, has been its best yet. Hopefully, if this compilation sells well, it’ll encourage them to think of some possible sequels or even make a second compilation with all their 3D fighters. Until then, there is so much to enjoy and appreciate in Capcom Fighting Collection. Taking classic fighters online with smooth rollback netcode and admiring all the nostalgia packed in, it feels damn good to be a fighting game fan.

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The Good

  • Ten fighting games to choose from
  • Being able to play some long-forgotten fighting games
  • Perfect ports of every game
  • Online play with rollback netcode for every game
  • Can play Japanese or English versions of every game
  • Gallery full of official art, concept designs and all the soundtracks
  • Quick and easy to switch between the games
  • Full of nostalgia
  • Capcom’s best attempt yet at bringing classic fighters to modern consoles

The Bad

  • No cross-platform play
  • 3D fighters Rival Schools, Star Gladiator, Power Stone, and Tech Romancer missed out

Written by: Sammy Hanson


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