Capcom Classics Collection review
Capcom makes a hard-hitting retro debut

The good:

Over 20 classic Capcom arcade games included. Features all 3 of the original Street Fighter 2 games with new gameplay options. Lots of unlockable extras. Adjustable game options. Price.

The bad:

No online support or scoreboards. A few notable games were omitted. Some options make some games a little too easy.


Following the trend of fellow longtime game makers Midway, Namco, & Tecmo, Capcom enters the retro-gaming arena with it's first classic compilation, featuring 22 of it's greatest retro hits. The collection includes the company's very first game (Vulgus), another early game never-before-released in the US (Pirate Ship Higemaru), one console port (Super Ghouls & Ghosts, SNES), and several arcade megahits, most notably Final Fight (in original unedited arcade form, not the watered-down console versions, which edited some suggestive names, language, and changed female characters to males) and the first 3 Street Fighter 2 games (The World Warrior, Champion Edition, Hyper Fighting).

The graphics are arcade-perfect, and the frame rates remain smooth in the transition to console from arcades. Some games have very minor flickering problems, but it is barely noticeable and won't really affect gameplay. Sounds are also perfectly converted, and Capcom added a "sound remix" option for some games, which allows for new alternate soundtracks. This is good because while some games have really good music and sound effects, there are some games (namely 1942 & Exed Exes) where you will want to hit the mute button because the music & sounds on those games quickly get very nerve-wracking. The remixes themselves are quite good, adding nice techno-themed background music to the games or in some games (especially the Street Fighter 2 games) adding a nice mix of 90s-style console music. Controls for the games generally are simple and responsive, but the controls in the Street Fighter 2 games do have some problems caused by the conversion. While the Xbox controller's layout allows for some flexibility and customization of the button placememnts, the D-Pad & analog stick seem to not respond as well to the multi-directional special move commands as the joysticks in the arcade did. Most controls for the other games are fairly simple, using just 1-2 buttons and allowing for customization however you like. Some games also have a rapid-fire option, which is not only helpful, but in games like Final Fight makes the games a bit more fun to play. Gameplay spreads across a variety of genres in the games, but the focus is primarily on fighting and shooters. Capcom did slip in a couple of nice puzzle games in Sonson and Pirate Ship Higemaru as well; the games can be customized to a decent extent and you can unlock all kinds of extras through gameplay. Load times are relatively fast and a funny touch is that when the loading is occuring, a small Zangief doing the spinning lariat attack appears at the bottom of the screen, which is fun to watch. One minor complaint is that the Street Fighter 2 games have to load before and after each round begins and you can't skip past the pre-match and post-match screens, but the load times are minimal (usually less than a second) so it won't really detract from gameplay. Two notable omissions from this collection are lack of online scoreboards and more that several notable Capcom titles were left out of this collection. Many longtime fans will be disappointed to see that two of Capcom's longtime trademark games, Captain Commando and Strider, were not included in the game; other notables left out include their 1980s-1990s side-scrolling hack and slash adventure "Magic Sword". While it's nice that Capcom put in lots of unlockable extras (production/concept/character art, promo material, tips for gameplay, cast bios, music, etc.) and some of their first games, these omitted titles really should have been included and will be a major disappointment to many fans. Another noteworthy extra is a trailer for a movie sequel to the anime "Street Fighter Alpha", which fans of the anime & the SF games will want to take a look at.

Despite the major shortcomings and omissions here, there's no doubt that Capcom did some big things right here-the quantity of games is good as is the quality, but even if you're buying this just for Final Fight and the SF2 games, you're more than getting your $20 worth. For everyone else, the other games are worth checking out because a couple of them are buried treasures that are easy to overlook. The games are still as addictive as ever and many have multiplayer as well, and Capcom deserves props for allowing the 2-player alternating games to be played with one controller, great for people who have just one controller but want to let others play at the same time. Overall it's a great start for Capcom with regards to the retro genre and is more than worth picking up, but hopefully they'll do another one because there is a lot of room for improvement and they have even more games they could, and should use in future collections.

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