Sunday, October 29, 2006
Good: Great old-school games
Bad: Load times, some confusing omissions
Last year's Capcom Classics Collection was a solid assortment of titles from the acclaimed third-party developer. This portable version is largely the same, with longer load times and a few added games (and a few that were unfortunately omitted).
Several of the games are in the 1942/Galaga mold of top-down linear shooters. 1942, 1943, 1943 Kai, Exed Exes, Legendary Wings, and Vulgus are all shooters, and 1943 is certainly the best (especially when playing with two players). Exed Exes plays similarly, albeit a little slower, and it seems to be set in a futuristic beehive of some sort.
One of the higher profile games on the collection is Ghosts 'N Goblins. In addition to the original, it also includes Ghouls 'N Ghosts and Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts, and they're all just as hair-pullingly difficult as always. All three follow the two-hit death formula, which is indicated by your armor. Get hit once, you're practically naked. Get hit again, you're dead. It's a famously difficult game, and it's on this UMD in all of its lance-throwing glory.
The original arcade version of Commando is included, and it's every bit as fun as the NES version. You still play as Super Joe, and roll through the battleground by yourself shooting hundreds upon hundreds of enemies in what may be the most unrealistic war game of all time. Mercs plays like Commando on steroids, and supports co-op 2-player mode. This is a blast, and players can mount turrets and pilot vehicles.
Of course, the big dog of the collection is Street Fighter II. SFII Hyper Fighting and SFII Championship Edition are also included, and the ports are quality. Unlike MKII and MK3 on Midway Arcade Treasures, you won't find any graphical glitches here. In fact, even the slowdown is accurately ported (that's up to you if it's a good thing or a bad thing). There's even an option to play "SF Deluxe", which essentially gives you a giant character select screen encompassing all three versions. As always, Street Fighter II is one of the pinnacles of 2D fighting, and nothing has changed here. It's still just as great as it's always been.
Several games could have just as well been dropped from this title. Pirate Ship Higemaru plays like the NES game Kickle Cubicle, although not quite as fun. Vulgos plays like a much slower cousin of the already lackluster Exed Exes. Son Son is just confusing. All of the aforementioned games could have been omitted without any complaints.
Unfortunately, a couple of the best titles from the console version have been omitted. Final Fight and Forgotten Worlds were easily two of my favorites from that title, and they're nowhere to be found on the PSP. This version does include three new games, however: Eco Fighters, Knights of the Round, and King of Dragons. These are all decent, but nowhere near the quality of the aforementioned omissions.
Capcom Classics Collection allows gamers to choose how they'd like to see these classics. You can have it in the standard ratio, which scrunches it on your PSP screen fairly small, or you can change it so you hold the system vertically.
There's really nothing to complain about as far as graphics or audio go. They're direct ports, which means Final Fight and Street Fighter look great, while Exed Exes and Son Son aren't much to look at. All of the music is great across the board, almost without exception. Sound effects are authentically replicated, so you'll hear every "Shoryuken" and "Tiger Uppercut" crystal clear.
Considering the Street Fighter II Anniversary Collection retailed at $30 with essentially only 2 games, wouldn't be a bad idea to pick up Capcom Classics Collection for $30. After all, what old-school gamer didn't pump at least $30 in quarters into these machines back when they were at the arcade? While it has some stinkers, the inclusion of Street Fighter and some great shooters make up for it.
First Play: 8.0
Replay Value: 8.0