Capcom Fighting Collection Review: Family Feud


Capcom Fighting Collection feels like a family reunion. Ten games reside in this digital banquet, ranging from all-time favorite fighting games to a few relics of the past. They all play exceptionally well, especially online, and each is a perfect port for arcades. The main issue with the collection is balance, as half of the offerings are centered around a single series: Darkstalkers. While these games are good – titles previously reserved for Japan are particularly popular – a little more variety in this collection would have kicked it up a level or two. As it stands, it’s a bit too much of a monster mash.

That’s not to say there aren’t a few well-known non-Darkstalkers games in the collection, as it shows the breadth of Capcom’s 2D arcade fighting game history. Hyper Street Fighter II – the 2003 port of 1994’s Super Street Fighter II Turbo – and 1996’s Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo are included in Capcom Fighting Collection. Although each title has been ported multiple times since its original release – SFII is available just about everywhere, and while not as ubiquitous, Puzzle Fighter II Turbo has also appeared on more console generations than you might expect. think – this collection marks the first time the games have been sold together. Both play exactly as you remember them here: Hyper SFII is the classic one-on-one fighting game with Ryu, Chun-Li and more, while Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo replaces battles with matches of gems in a format similar to Sega’s Columns.

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Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix – also known as Pocket Fighter – ups the ante for Street Fighter-themed inclusions. It’s one of the goofiest fighting games Capcom has ever made thanks to its chibi-style character design and lighthearted fighting animations, and revisiting this particular page in fighting game history has been an unexpected explosion. I had forgotten how wacky this game was until I first selected Zangief and watched him transform through the stages of evolution. in one combo, and revisiting this particular page in fighting game history was an unexpected blast. One of the scenes features a giant Capcom-themed toy store in the background, with a child version of Cammy pointing a toy in the window and tugging at her father M. Bison’s coat as he shakes the head in disapproval. It’s a silly, irreverent, wonderful gem of a game and I’m glad Capcom brought it back.

Each game in Capcom Fighting Collection comes with additional perks that make them more accessible to modern or casual gamers, but don’t alter the experience much. The ability to save your progress as you play through each game’s arcade mode is nice, but all of these ports are set to “free play” which means I can go on as long as I want without quarters and without repercussions. Unless I’m trying to get a one credit run, the save feature actually doesn’t make sense.

The most impactful addition is assigning special moves to the left shoulder button and super moves to the left trigger, with different moves performed by pressing a direction and the corresponding button in Super Smash Bros. This allows you to simplify the controls and make it difficult to move. button combos without breaking the game, giving someone less familiar with arcade fighting games an increased chance of success. While long-time players probably won’t use this feature, it allows new players to use the flashiest moves in their fighter’s arsenal while learning Capcom-branded special moves.

The best parts of this collection are curiosities like Cyberbots, released in 1995, and Red Earth, released the following year. They both contain the DNA of what made Capcom fighters great in the arcade era, while standing out in their own way. Cyberbots’ control system emphasizes mobility more than other games thanks to the Boost button, which adds moves like dashes, multi-jumps, and more to each character. The game also lets you choose between six pilots – which affects the story you’ll play through – while also giving you a separate choice between 12 robot “fighters”. This allows you to find the robot that best suits your style, but also to live each story by choosing different pilots. It’s a new way to add variety to the arcade mode through storytelling, making the complete Cyberbots story more accessible.

The Red Earth, meanwhile, is unlike anything Capcom has done before or since. It injects RPG elements into a fighting game, with level-up characters and a password system – each time you reach the game on the screen, the game generates a password that allows you to resume where you left off. While there are four characters you can choose from, the enemies you’ll face are completely different, making the core adventure more of a boss rush than a traditional arcade mode. Power-ups found during matches affect the properties of your moves, and leveling up adds moves to your fighter’s arsenal, as well as improving their stats. It’s the game that stands out in this collection: the one I’d expect those who weren’t in arcades in 1996 to flock, if only to experience it for the first time. first time. Considering this is the first console appearance for Red Earth, for fighting game fans it’s almost worth the asking price on its own.

The rest of the collection is occupied by a single series: Darkstalkers (also known as Night Warriors or Vampire Savior, depending on who you ask). The entire franchise is here, including the two alternate versions of the third game, Vampire Savior, which only appeared in Japan. These games developed a cult following in the years since their release, and rightly so: they were unique, they were fun, and they introduced many of the mechanics that Capcom fighting games still use to this day. While Darkstalkers as a franchise is certainly a worthwhile inclusion, having all five games in this collection feels unnecessary.

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I understand the “first release outside of Japan” gimmick as a selling point, but these two ports don’t add anything to the Vampire Savior that we westerners saw in 1997. On the contrary, they take things away – Vampire Savior 2, for example, removes the werewolf Talbain, the yeti Sasquatch, and the merman Rikuo, and replaces them with the hunter Donovan, the robot Huitzil, and the alien Pyron. No game mechanics are changed – it’s just replacing three characters with three completely different characters. Preservation of video games is a huge issue, so having these ports is a good thing in general, but when a collection is limited to 10 games, and three of them are essentially the same, it hurts the whole thing. Darkstalkers games are fantastic cult-worthy 2D fighters, and they absolutely belong in a compilation like this. However, there are lesser-known games from Capcom’s 2D fighting catalog that could have benefited from inclusion.

Capcom Fighting Collection does a good job of revisiting the past, but it doesn’t go far enough. Hyper Street Fighter II is a stalwart, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo and Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix are goofy and fun, and Cyberbots and Red Earth are unique and good examples of what a collection should include. The overabundance of Darkstalkers games – good as they are – doesn’t help the whole, as there are still forgotten Capcom fighting games that could have used the exposition instead. Reliving these games is great fun, but like most get-togethers, there’s one family member who demands a little too much attention.

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