Capcom Fighting collection is perhaps the publisher most closely associated with fighting video games. Capcom has been a cornerstone of the genre from the start, dominating arcades and eventually taking over our home consoles with Street Fighter II. Then there is the Capcom Fighting Collection, a ten-game collection with a high level of polish that includes well-known titles like Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo and Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition as well as obscure games like the alternate roster editions of Darkstalkers 3 and the confusingly named Vampire Hunter 2 and Vampire Savior 2.
The Capcom Fighting Collection does great justice to this publisher’s illustrious legacy with its bevvy of contemporary features, including rollback netcode for online play, training modes, and a museum with tonnes of art and music, with only a few notable omissions in both its game library and extra features holding it back.
Capcom Fighting Collection Review
The Capcom Fighting Collection gives a wonderful first impression thanks to its fast and quick menus, beautiful custom artwork, and charmingly silly opening theme tune. It’s also well-organized; rather than locking away distinct menus inside each game, you can access them directly from the game selection screen, whether you want to access training, arcade mode, or anything else.
Each game is available in both English and Japanese, and it’s interesting to watch how series and games attempt to preserve consistency across national boundaries. Right now, I’m looking at a list of the Darkstalkers games, and I’m still having difficulties keeping them all straight. I merely know that the word “vampire” is most likely there in the title.
At least on PC, switching between games is really quick and simple with little loading. In less than 20 seconds, you may switch between training modes of various games, which refers to switching from one game to another while you are currently playing it. Even the option to bypass a game’s startup screen is available, allowing you to play games more quickly.
It’s good to see that there are some deliberate decisions made here that make the Capcom Fighting Collection a pleasant experience to traverse, even though they may seem like little details. Collections like this may occasionally be held together by duct tape and a bad UI. I had a lot of pleasure digging deep into the decades’ worth of forum posts and instructions that have been created by devoted communities, even if the training modes themselves don’t contain lessons but rather ways to set up varied opponent behaviours and interactions.
There is also a quick save space, allowing you to resume playing a particular game from the point where you left off if you need to.
Breaking Down the Collection
Of all, having excellent wrapping paper is useless if all you receive is a lump of coal, so let’s examine the contents. Most people are already familiar with the 1991 classic Street Fighter II, and this collection includes a tiny collection of that game in the shape of the Anniversary Edition of Hyper Fighting, which was first released in 2004. You may choose the game pace and the version of Street Fighter II’s roster you wish to utilise from the character choose menu, from the base game all the way up to Super Turbo.
However, there is no restriction on which roster you may play against in multiplayer, allowing you to finally fulfil your fantasy of competing against your friend’s Super Turbo Sagat in Street Fighter II. Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix (also known as Pocket Fighter in Japan) from 1997 is an odd twist on a 2D fighter with characters from Darkstalkers and even Red Earth making appearances. It’s recommended if you like your Street Fighter characters to be both smaller and cuter.
There is still a lot of ridiculous fun to be had, with auto-combos that change your character and collected gems and equipment that may be utilised in battle, even though it isn’t the most intense competitive experience. Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo, a 1996 game that is an outlier on our list since it isn’t a fighting game, but still one of the greatest multiplayer puzzle games available, and the gameplay, animation, and graphics are all of the highest calibre.
Nevertheless, both games appear to be in perfect condition and still have an arcade mode, local and online multiplayer, and a training mode. A 3-button fighter called Cyberbots, a parody of the arcade beat-em-up Armored Warriors, features two attacks, a projectile weapon button, and a dash button that lets you travel in all eight directions while in the air.
Being pelted with a boatload of jewels is exactly as upsetting as it was in the original. 1995 saw the release of the 2D mech fighter Cyberbots: Full Metal Madness, while 1996 saw the release of Red Earth, a boss rush RPG light with just four playable characters. My only exposure to Cyberbots was when Jin appeared in the Marvel vs. Capcom series, so I have little to no experience with these games because they were never widely played outside of Japan.
It contains a number of innovative concepts, such as the ability to knock your opponent’s arm off, greatly restricting their moveset, and a separate metre connected to your projectile cooldown. Although it’s simple to manoeuvre and I generally enjoyed my time with it, the hefty shape of the mechs and their rapid movement made it occasionally difficult to keep up with the action, particularly when it was in a corner.
Because I couldn’t identify where my hitbox started and my opponent’s began, this led to several frustrating circumstances. Though I’m really interested by it and intend to spend more time on it in the future, it is now at the bottom of my collecting priorities list.
Red Earth is so distinct from most modern combat games that I really loved playing it more than Cyberbots. The novelty of competing against mostly custom bosses rather than other playable characters while levelling up and learning new moves in the quest mode gave it a novelty not found in the other 2D fighting games, and it’s fantastic that this formerly obscure part of fighting game history is now much more accessible to play.
The remaining games on the list are all titles in the Darkstalkers series. These games include 1, 2, and 3 in both their English and Japanese editions as well as the aforementioned alternate roster versions of 3. As the Darkstalkers community has been praising the franchise and requesting that Capcom give it more attention ever since the release of Darkstalkers Resurrection on Xbox 360 and PS3 in 2013, I would anticipate that many lovers of vintage fighting games would spend their time here.
I loved looking through old forums and tutorials to gain tips for the best mobility, blockstrings, and combos, as well as why Sasquatch ought to have been the Darkstalkers mascot rather than Morrigan. Sasquatch all my days.
The ROM version of each game is listed by Capcom in the main menu and on their website, which is a much-appreciated act of openness. The Capcom Fighting Game Collection includes games that are all quite satisfying to play, and you can further streamline the controls in any of them by allocating complete moves, specials, or even supers to the touch of a single button.
It may be heresy for competitive gamers, but it’s a wonderful addition for those who simply want to get into a classic and have their character do some interesting things right away on screen. In fact, you can disable that option in lobbies and matchmaking if you don’t want your opponents to use it, and it’s toggled off by default when queuing for ranked matches. I’d even go as far as to argue that all collections of old games like this one need to include it.
The absence of any Street Fighter 3 versions is the collection’s major oversight. Street Fighter 3: New Generation eventually gave way to Street Fighter 3: Third Strike, which is frequently hailed as one of the best fighting games of all time. This is despite the fact that it launched as somewhat of a disappointment due to having almost no recognisable characters and the fact that it was just plain weird.
It’s not like it’s difficult to find SF3, which was most recently included in 2018’s Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, but it would have been nice to have an updated version with this contemporary netcode. For a programme that does so many small things right, it seems like a glaring absence. In relation to the minor things…
The Art of Fighting
Seven distinct filter settings, ranging from simulated scanlines to smoothed-out pixels, are built into each game’s stop menu. The sharpness of most modern screens just can’t keep up with emulating a CRT, so I can’t say I’ve ever been a fan, but I did found myself like how some of them appeared here, especially while playing Vampire Savior. Additionally, there are several choices for the unique frames that will encircle your screen and a variety of aspect ratios.
You may unlock in-game accomplishments through the Fighting Challenges menu, which is also present. Finish game X’s Arcade Mode is one of these routine, straightforward objectives. Others, though, are more enjoyable and precise, like using particular attacks to KO opponents or gathering specified goods when playing Gem Fighter. It’s a nice addition that gives every game additional vitality that you would not have otherwise experienced.
The Museum is our last stop. In its introduction trailer, Capcom promised more than 500 works of art, and it has fulfilled that promise. Street Fighter 2, for example, only has three entries, but many titles include a substantial amount of concept art, development notes, and historical information about fighting games to explore. It was a real thrill to go through all of them and imagine a simpler period when you could hang out with buddies in an arcade while passive smoking slowly killed you.
Full soundtracks for each game are also included, but you can’t play them over the menu since they stop playing the moment you exit the track screen. It may seem idealistic, but it would have been lovely to listen to your favourite music as you browsed the amazing museum exhibits. However, you can continue to use the top-level music menu to simultaneously mix the music from all of the games, so that’s a good addition.
It was a real pleasure to go through all of these and imagine a period when you could hang out with buddies in an arcade as passive smoking slowly killed you.
Taking the Fight Online
When Capcom revealed that this collection features rollback netcode, many fans of fighting games delighted, and I’m pleased to report that it plays well online. On both a wired gigabit connection on a PC and the PS4 version on a PS5 through WiFi, I’ve played matches of every game with friends and random players across the nation, and they all felt very much like offline play.
To further imitate the online experience while switching between the two, you can even select a little input delay in each game’s offline modes. Accessing custom lobby matches is also a simple. You may choose whatever game you wish to queue for simultaneously, which is an early benefit of the matchmaker. It’s excellent to have that choice because this collection is already dividing the player population by around a dozen or so times.
After launch, it’s likely that you won’t be able to locate a random match in the game you want to play. While you’re actively looking for opponents, you may also either explore the Museum or start any game’s offline modes. Long wait periods can be made far less annoying if these systems function as planned.
Regrettably, the Capcom Fighting Collection does not support cross-platform play, thus they will likely be lengthy. Splitting the player pool again across the various consoles and the PC won’t help the long-term player pool because it would already be tough to get a well-populated player base for matchmaking. Hopefully Capcom will include this in the future, however for now it has a significant negative impact on the game’s player base.
Fortunately, the personalised lobby spaces are practical and simple to utilise. You may watch matches while up to nine participants can join a lobby. To switch between games once the lobby has been created, you must exit the game and re-enter it. You must choose the game for which the lobby is being created, though. But at least the invitation procedure is really simple. The Capcom Fighting Collection lobbies so far merely appear to function as intended, which is refreshing in the Arc System Works era of too adorable custom lobby features.
The Capcom Fighting Collection offers all it requires to be successful, including a stunning museum packed with intriguing artwork and music, a selection of excellent games, some of which are rare, and a slick user interface (UI) that connects everything together. Thanks to simple matching and cutting-edge rollback netcode, online gaming has proven faultless prior to launch. Even though Street Fighter III is noticeably lacking and there is no cross-platform play, Capcom nevertheless offers a collection that is well worth assembling.
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- June 27, 2022