Review: Capcom Fighting Collection
I live among the creatures of battle
It’s been over a decade since former Capcom producer Yoshinori Ono asked a room with San Diego Comic-Con participants to literally blowing money in the air to “prove” how much they wanted a whole new title in the MIA series Darkstalkers. And how many sequels has the Gothic fight series seen since the fateful demonstration of dedication? Try zero. The stunt did not include the suits, and Darkstalkers remains in a shallow grave on the property of Capcom HQ.
A thing like Capcom hair has shown passion for retro collections, having released three such titles in as many years. Today we look at Capcom Fighting Collectionwho gathers a fist full of coin hits, most which was not mentioned in Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collectionit Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle, Capcom Arcade Stadium, or the incoming, Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium. Did I miss anyone?
Given the number of CapComComps already available, one would think there was little reason to publish another. But just this collection do include Darkstalkers series. Actually over half of the games featured here, star Morrigan and her groovy ghoulies. Although Capcom is not fully prepared to revive the series for the modern fighting game market, it is is knowledgeable enough to recognize the brand’s continued sales potential among its hungry fanbase … Morrigan is not the only bloodsucker.
Capcom Fighting Collection (PS4 [reviewed]PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)
Released: June 24, 2022
MSRP: $ 39.99
The Capcom Fighting Collection consists of 10 coin releases that fell during Capcom’s golden age in the 90’s. I am hesitant to use the term “classics”, to be honest, so few of these releases have such a large circulation, especially when faced with quarter-swallowing releases in Mortal Kombat, King of Fighters, Tekkenand Capcom’s own Street Fighter franchise. In fact, many of these titles saw more popularity in home releases, and found larger audiences on Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn. People love to talk about how “obsessed” they were Darkstalkers but empirically, it simply did not kill it on the spot, with most Western players lined up for it X-Men vs. Street Fighter or Tekken 2.
Of course, that does not mean that Darkstalkers / Vampires / Night Warriors does not deserve a place in fighting game history – it’s a really great electric franchise, packed with cool monster characters, gothic aesthetics and, of course, one of Capcom’s most recognizable sirens, Morrigan Aensland. In here CFCplayers can enjoy the first two entries Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors (1994), and Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge (1995), as well as Vampire Savior, Vampire Hunter 2and Vampire Savior 2 (1997) – renewals of each other that mainly form Darkstalkers 3.
It should be noted that while the first two titles in the series show their age in the modern climate, Vampire Savior 2 still kicking all types of the ass, with a vicious list of over-the-top characters, gorgeous pixel art animation and scenes ranging from the sublime to the evocative. (Lord, the place baby). Inside Vampire Savior rose from the grave, Capcom had already begun his love affair with Marvel, and this is reflected in Vampire Saviorits magnificent theatrical playing, enhanced by its eerie charisma and chaotic charm. It is a gloomy gem, wonderful even for the most holy eyes.
Speaking of gems, the Capcom Fighting Collection has two more titles that are perhaps best remembered for their home ports instead of their arcade appearances. Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo (1996) mixes Capcom’s famous fighter jets with a block-breaking chip game, as chibi versions of characters such as Sakura, Ryu, Chun-Li, Morrigan and Felicia fight out in one-on-one madness. It’s a typical “match-colors” affair, with precise links that make your chibi avatar put super moves on your opponent, in search of the ultimate KO Like so many tile-based puzzles, SPFIIT has aged well, and is still a lot of fun when played against knowledgeable opponents.
Adheres to the pearl theme, Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix (1997) is perhaps the dumbest and sweetest title in Capcom’s history. A one-on-one fighter with a difference, SGFMM (also known as Pocket Fighter) has a who’s who of chibi Capcom warriors who turn it into unique, pearl-based battles. While on the surface a “Powerful Street Fighter” SGFMM is a bit more complex, with the player collecting (or stealing) gems in the middle of the battle to unlock flashy specialties, combinations and super.
The most memorable feature is the “Costume Combo” mechanic, who sees the fighter change into a series of humorous outfits to attack the opponent. Felicia rocker en Mega man cosplay, Morrigan is a sexy nurse / waiter, Akuma becomes an Olympic swimmer, and Chun-Li gets Jill Valentine. Honestly, the game was ridiculous then and it is now, but it’s still a good time, and once you get the mechanics down, you can have a lot of fun with this fan service-heavy release.
When we get past Darkstalkers and “Save Fighter” titles, Capcom Fighting Collection gets a little more obscure. Receives its first ever home release, Red soil (1996) is an exceptionally unique fighter who tries to mix fantasy role-playing games with 2D fighting games to create a new genre. While two players can take part in typical one-on-one battles, with a list of genuinely bizarre and even nightmare-like characters, the single-player mode actually sees the player embark on a lurking fantasy mission set in the distant future of 1999.
Red soil is a careful and very deliberate match title, which rewards precision and match-up knowledge over button-mashing. It would create waves in the industry for its distinct dual-gameplay and “save game” feature. It is also surprisingly violent by Capcom standards, and contains all kinds of blood and gore and rewards the player with different endings depending on the bloodlust. It has been a long time coming, and its unique concepts provide an eye-opening experience. Thanks for coming.
Much like Red soil, Cyberbots: Full Metal Madness (1994) is another ambitious release in which Capcom aimed to redefine the genre it had popularized. This mech fighter lets players choose a pilot and one of many distinct mechs, before embarking on heavy metal warfare. Cyberbots introduced mechanics such as cooling weapons, reloading and damaging attachments, and tried to capture the epic encounters of anime such as. Gundam or Robotech. Oh, and one of the pilots is a crying naked woman in a bubble. Of course.
Both Red soil and Cyberbots was from a sales point of view a little too ambitious for its own good. While both games have exciting characters, cool design and unique mechanics, today they serve as records for experimentation – new attempts to transport fighter jets into new territories from both an aesthetic and a game-wise point of view. It’s amazing to have them archived here in this collection, since they are amazing curiosities worth playing in themselves. As interesting today as they were 25 years ago.
The package is rounded off with Hyper Street Fighter II: Anniversary Edition… I do not need to write about this again. For full clarity, it is the recently censored version as shown on SF30.
As for the package itself, Capcom Fighting Collection is passable, and offers a little more meat than Capcom Arcade Stadiumbut not even close to the museum aesthetics of Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection. Most of the titles included are tweaked ROM dumps, although a unique training mode has been developed for each game. When it comes to extras, the tree is a bit bare, with only a few sheets of concept art or marketing materials for each title, and that’s it. Both English and Japanese ROMs can be selected for all games. Frustratingly, the custom control menu is a bit unfriendly to fighting against sticks, and I found that I needed a rather clumsy setup to offer buttons for Coin, Start and the pause menu.
All 10 titles have online multiplayer via online rollback code, which essentially means that Darkstalkers community now has an (official) online version of the series that it can play for life. A useful feature allows players to select and reject the games they want to play, and CFC will match you with anyone looking for a match in any of the selected titles. I managed to play most of the included titles online during the launch week, and can report on successful, strong connections. Unfortunately, the available matches decreased a bit as the week went on, but the players are out there.
This is why crossplay (that is not supported in CFC) is an important part of strengthening society.
Capcom Fighting Collection has 10 solid fighter jets, with no real dud among them. Yet one cannot help but feel a gnawing torment of unnecessaryness, given the existence of Capcom Arcade Stadium and the publisher’s other collections. I’m not sure why everyone of these titles could not only have been offered as a paid DLC release for that release, or for Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium, especially when considering the lack of extras offered in this package. I’m sure the dedicated ones Darkstalkers fans will be very happy to have the series readily available on their hard drives. And ultimately, that is the selling point here, whether you waved a dollar in the air at the SDCC or not.
Oh, but if I see a “Capcom Shoot-‘Em-Up Collection” in 2023 … then you’m just taking it wrong.
Capcom Fighting Collection is a simple collection of the Pugilist publishing house’s secondary catalog, which offers well – aged revisits to Darkstalkers, spin-offs from gem fighter and some ambitious and exciting experiments. Apart from the important job as an archival work, it is a somewhat barebones collection, damaged by the lack of cross-games and dubious existence given Capcom’s established selection of collections. In any case, it is still a must-buy for all long-suffering night warriors.
[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]