Review by xenodolf
"A slight taste of sloppy emulation in an otherwise scrumptious buffet of classic Capcom gaming goodness."
Over the years Capcom has contributed a significant portion of my favorite games from their development teams - from the xenomorph-brawler Alien vs. Predator to the zombie survival-horror series Resident Evil. During their arcade era, a number of their titles had been ported to the lesser-powered consoles for the home-oriented gamer. Some of these ports were pretty faithful to their original versions (Knights of the Round) while some were merely specks of the arcade's quality (Final Fight). Now that consoles are either level with arcade cabinets in terms of specs or greater so, there has been a growing interest in seeing a lot those fading arcade memories restored as a series of compilations. Capcom decided to play ball, and as a result we got a disc containing all twenty of the titles featured on their previous import-only Generations compilations and the addition of the arcade version of Final Fight and Trojan. Being as there are so many games on here from different sets of hardware and periods in time, I can't give my usual ?/10 style point scheme. As such, as I ended up doing with my earlier review of Sonic's Ultimate Sega Genesis Collection, I will summarize the compilation's merits into a positive and negative analysis before giving it a final grade and my blessing should it deserve as such.
+ Final Fight and Trojan had never been released in their arcade perfect forms prior to this compilation, so fans of either title might be willing to plop down the disc's asking price for these along - nevermind the twenty other Capcom retro hits. Speaking of these other titles, you will find a plethora of genres here - ranging from shooters (ie. the 1940 series, Commando and its sequel Mercs), platformers (Super Ghosts 'n Goblins, Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts, Bionic Commando), and versus fighters (Street Fighter 2, as well as the Champion Edition and the Hyper Fighting upgrade) in addition to others from the aforementioned genres I can't clog up all my review space with. That's a lot of bang for the original asking price of $20 (probably around $10 now as this compilation is on a previous generation's console), and considering that most of these games are arcade-perfect, its a nice alternative to reliving those memories as opposed to the shady practice of illegal rom emulation. You also get something here that digital piracy can't offer you - unlockable artwork, trivia, screen adjustment, remixed soundtracks, and more. Plus, don't you get a warm feeling helping out such a talented company as Capcom by funding their efforts to get classic games in the hands of more modern audience?
- In what I assume was an effort to keep emulation costs down - most of these games are direct ports from the Capcom Generation discs on the Playstation 1. That doesn't really bother me most of the time, but the Street Fighter games have kept the loading times from their previous emulation hardware and it's both annoying and embarrassing that the PS2 can't render software from the early 90s without having to wait a couple of seconds. While it great that we finally get a chance to play arcade perfect ports of Final Fight and Trojan as well as some of the more obscure shoot 'em up games - I am a bit disappointed that the Street Fighter games had to be included on here. Not that I dislike Street Fighter or am ignorant of their great importance to both Capcom and gaming in general - but they could have easily made another Street Fighter oriented compilation separately and included ALL the Street Fighter games on it and given the space here instead to games that have never gotten ports period (like Battle Circuit or Armored Warriors). I suppose it is also worth mentioning that the main menu isn't the prettiest thing ever, although I think it works fine - and they improved upon its design on the sequel to this compilation from what I guess were a few voiced complaints.
A beat 'em up maniac (such as myself) would have been satisfied paying $20 for simply flawless arcade ports of Trojan and Final Fight themselves, not to mention the 20 other games which are more or less quality pieces of gaming legacy. Whether you want to shoot your way through jungles or space, overcome frantic waves of ledge-hopping monsters, or just throw a Hadouken! - there's something here for everyone. This is a pretty solid compilation disc that despite a couple of problems is nearly as good as being zapped back into the 80s and 90s arcade scene. If you can find a copy of this still, I highly recommend buying it - some of these games are still so good that nothing in today's gaming scene can match them in terms of excellence and enjoyment.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/07/10
Game Release: Capcom Classics Collection (US, 09/27/05)
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