Capcom Fighting Collection is a sound compendium of unique fighters. Do you want a fighting game with vampires and mummies? How about a brawl between two giant robots? Maybe you want to play as a humanoid lion and battle giant bosses? Or perhaps you want a chibi Street Fighter? Whatever your preference, Capcom Fighting Collection has you covered, and I was delighted to review the game.
Old Arcade Games with Modern Tweaks
Here is the lineup of titles featured in the collection:
- Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors
- Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge
- Vampire Savior: The Lord of Vampire
- Vampire Hunter 2: Darkstalkers’ Revenge – Previously unavailable outside of Japan
- Vampire Savior 2: The Lord of Vampire – Previously unavailable outside of Japan
- Red Earth – Releasing for the first time outside of arcades
- Cyberbots: Fullmetal Madness
- Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
- Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition
- Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix
Every game here has been reproduced to play exactly as it did in the arcades. There are also some modern gameplay touches. Most titles have a Training Mode where players can practice combos, online play with rollback netcode, adjustable difficulty settings, quick saves, and display filters. Newcomers can also utilize customizable controls that include one-button special moves. In addition, there are Fighter Awards for completing specific challenges, like beating a game without continuing and performing multi-hit combos. They unlock illustrations in Capcom Fighting Collection‘s Museum.
Speaking of the Museum, it’s a great look at Capcom’s history. You can find over 500 pieces of artwork from all the games featured, including concept art, promotional materials, and design documents. There are also over 400 music tracks to groove to, (The main menu song is particularly good.) some of which are brand new remixes. A few of these remixes, along with illustrations from various artists paying tribute to these classics, can only be obtained by preordering Capcom Fighting Collection.
A Multitude of Fighters
There are nine fighting games in Capcom Fighting Collection and one puzzle title.
Red Earth had previously never been released outside of arcades. It’s a unique game that contains a Quest Mode where you choose from four fighters and battle giant bosses. It has an RPG-level system, as well as passwords to continue your progress from where you left off. Health does not refill all the way when you complete a battle, adding a touch of difficulty to the game. Sadly, multiplayer only has you and a friend battle amongst the title’s roster. I was hoping for a co-op mode so you could battle the fearsome bosses together. Oh well!
There are a total of five Darkstalkers games in this collection. The first three have been available before, but both Vampire Hunter 2 and Vampire Savior 2 had previously never been released outside of Japan. They are alternate versions of Vampire Savior: The Lord of Vampire instead of full sequels, containing different characters, move lists, and backgrounds. It’s fun to see the vampire Morrigan and cat lady Felicia again, and hopefully, this collection does well so Capcom can see there is interest in making a new Darkstalkers title. Steer clear of Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors on the default difficulty, though, as it is way too hard.
Cyberbots: Fullmetal Madness is another fascinating game featured in this series of fighters. Gamers can customize robots known as Variant Armors and have giant mech battles. It has a cool Story Mode complete with talking character illustrations, a perfect encapsulation of the ’90s. And players will probably recognize Jin, who appeared in the Marvel vs. Capcom series of titles (sans robot).
Rounding out the package are the Street Fighter games. The standout for me is Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix. It’s got cute miniature versions of Darkstalkers, Red Earth, and Street Fighter characters. There are simplified combos and controls, and there are gems you can collect that power up your attacks. These adorable chibi fighters also appear in Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, where players must match same-colored gems and explode them with the corresponding sphere. Lastly, there is Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition. This title collects fighters and move lists from every SFII game from the original until Super Street Fighter II Turbo. You can choose any variation and fight it out, but it’s super difficult and the damage values are insane.
Drawbacks and the Stadium Problem
There are issues with Capcom Fighting Collection. Many are tied to the fact that these games are almost unaltered from the arcade. If you play a round with a buddy and one of you loses and does a rematch, the victor cannot change their combatant if they want to try out someone else. Likewise, every title has an English and Japanese version to choose between except the two Japan-only Darkstalkers brawlers. This in itself is great, but if you hover over either of those two games, it automatically changes your settings to Japanese for every other game in the menu. Also, and this is a personal nitpick, I miss the trials featured in such games as Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition. They were a great way to practice specific combos that were a gateway to experiment with your own.
There is Capcom’s own Capcom Arcade Stadium series issue, as well. Between the first Stadium and its sequel launching on July 21, seven of the titles featured in Capcom Fighting Collection overlap. These compendiums also contain more genres than just fighters/puzzlers, including platformers, shooters, and more. Of course, if you want unique remixes, artwork, and the ability to play Red Earth and the Japan-exclusive Darkstalkers games, you’ll want Capcom Fighting Collection. Preordering it also nets you Three Wonders for free to use in Capcom Arcade Stadium 2. And physical purists can nab a cartridge or disc-based copy of Capcom Fighting Collection, unlike the digital-only Stadiums.
The Review Verdict on Capcom Fighting Collection
Taken on its own merits, Capcom Fighting Collection contains a fun set of games. The previously unavailable titles are great to finally grant unto players’ hands, and the modern touches are highly appreciated. While I would have loved a more robust Training Mode and less overlap with other Capcom collections, the variety on display here was clear, and I enjoyed jumping in and out of each title featured. Give it a go, especially if you want to experience Red Earth.
A PlayStation 4 review code for Capcom Fighting Collection was provided by the publisher.