With their long legacy of arcade and console games, Capcom’s a great candidate for pushing out a compilation of classics. The Capcom Fighting Collection does just that, with ten 2D fighters from their rich catalogue. It’s out now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC – we tested it on a PlayStation 4 Pro.
Obviously, when you think of Capcom and fighting games, the mind quickly wanders in the direction of the Street Fighter Franchise, with tons of Street Fighter II variations and the Street Fighter Alpha series providing enough titles to fill up this 10-game bundle all by themselves. And although they’re brilliant, it’s nice to see other franchises and games get the spotlight here.
Not to say that Street Fighter is absent , by the way. Hyper Street Fighter II Turbo is arguably the best version of an all-time classic, and possibly the most recognizable title in the pack. Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo and Super Gem Fighters Mini Mix are also related to the Street Fighter series, but feel different enough to warrant an inclusion as well – we were glad to see them instead of getting a handful of Street Fighter II variations.
There’s another series that’s perhaps a bit overrepresented here though, and that’s DarkStalkers. With DarkStalkers, Night Warriors, Vampire Savior 1 and 2 and Vampire Hunter, the franchise takes up half the collection. We’re not complaining though, as it’s one of Capcom’s best and most underappreciated series, and we’ve been wanting to see a reboot of sorts for years. This isn’t that, but having all five games in the series together and playable on current/last gen consoles is great news. They look and play great, and the dark horror/vampire theme is still unique – in recent years we’ve only seen Omen of Sorrow tackle this. It may not benefit the collection in terms of diversity, but if Capcom had just released a DarkStalkers Collection we would’ve welcomed it, and the Fighting Collection just happens to combine the best of both worlds.
As most of these games are older and from the pre-widescreen era, different aspect ratio options are available, and in an extra cool touch you can also enable filters that give your games an old school look. Think curved monitors and scanlines – something the younger crowd probably won’t appreciate but will bring a nostalgia-fueled smile to gamers who saw these in arcades back in the day.
The two more obscure titles in the bundle are Cyberbots and Red Earth, with Red Earth being especially interesting as you maybe have played or heard of Cyberbots before. Red Earth was never released outside of arcades until now, and its fantasy-themed approach is a different one than what you get elsewhere in this bundle. Instead of regular 1 vs 1 fighting, Red Earth has you select a fighter to then go up against formidable foes – including a giant squid and a dinosaur, which I thought was Primal Rage’s domain in the mid-nineties.
Outside of the games themselves, there’s a nicely designed menu which offers a few extra features for each title, letting you tweak the arcade game’s dip switches manually to change things like the number of rounds per fight. There are a few bonus materials as well, including unlockable art and music, and the games have been enabled for online play as well. It’s a bit low on “making of” type of museum content and we’d love a more documentary-type approach to these lesser known classics, but the emphasis here is on the games themselves.
If you enjoy 2D arcade fighters and want to add a few classics that are a bit less mainstream than Street Fighter, then this is a great option for you. DarkStalkers fans in particular will find this to be a delightful collection, and others should welcome the chance to get to know the series better.