Review by Monsieur_Cat

"Superb! Mindless! Fun!"

Capcom Generations 3, like the others Generations titles, is a compilation of Capcom games from the mid-1980s. Because of their age, they're not that flashy or complicated, but they're great fun.

The Games/Stories: 7

Vulgus, SonSon, Higemaru, and Exed Eyes are included in the compilation. For the most part, they're shooters. Vulgus and Exed Eyes are standard vertical space shoot-em-ups, influences including Xevious and Galaga. You fight wave after wave of enemy craft while picking up power-ups that spell “POW”. In Exed Eyes, there are large alien spaceships that act as bosses to each level, but as far as I know, Vulgus has no bosses. SonSon and Higemaru modify the basic formulas. In SonSon, you play a monkey man based from ancient Chinese lore – the same lore that inspired Goku from Dragon Ball Z. As SonSon, the monkey man, you maneuver up and down platforms to collect fruit and other objects for point bonuses while shooting the onslaught of enemies approaching from the right of the screen. In Higemaru, you play a sailor of some sort named Momotaru who must fend off deck after deck of attacking pirates. If you're wondering, Higemaru is the name of the pirate captain whom you fight in every level. You don't shoot the pirates, though; you pick up barrels and hurl them at enemies. The board is set up like Bomberman and it plays a lot like Bomberman, too. The catch is just that of throwing barrels instead of setting bombs. The stories are all very simple, yet charming, so I give the stories a 7.

Gameplay: 10

Vulgus and Exed Eyes play very similar. The games are so similar that I'm fairly certain that Exed Eyes is the sequel to Vulgus, although I have no proof of this. The gameplay is pretty straightforward for these two as well. Don't get shot by the enemy ships while shooting them and trying to beat the high score. All the games in this compilation have little “POW” power-ups. In Vulgus and Exed Eyes, they power up your main shot. Also, in certain areas of Exed Eyes, the “POW” will change all the enemies on screen into fruit worth a ton of points. The enemies in Vulgus and Exed Eyes are pretty much the same. Lots of little ships and a few big ships worth more points, yet being able to withstand more shots. Exclusive to Exed Eyes, however, are giant motherships that act as bosses to each level of the game. The goal is to shoot out the skulls and orbs on the ship. Once all the shootable objects on a ship are blown up, the ship will go down and you'll be rewarded with a fat point bonus. The controls are fitting to the style of play and respond well. Vulgus and Exed Eyes get a 10.

In SonSon, pressing up or down will ascend or descend SonSon, the monkey man, between different platforms. Fruit appears all over the various platforms and rewards the player with points upon pickup. The main goal of the game is to shoot the attacking enemies, though. There are flying enemies and running enemies. The flying ones attack in patterns which make them easy to kill, but the running ones come from all platforms and chase SonSon down. Like the others, if you get the “POW” power-up, all onscreen enemies turn into fruit worth lots o' points. Once again, the controls are simple and responsive making the gameplay great. SonSon gets a 9.

Once again, you play as the sailor Momotaru in Higemaru, hurling barrels are pirates to fight off each oncoming wave. All barrels can be thrown at the enemy pirates, but the flashing ones seem to kill the pirates faster. Also, when Momotaru picks up a flashing barrel an object worth good points when collected falls out of the barrel. Methinks, the flashing barrels are “POW” barrels and that's how this game ties into the “POW” theme of the compilation, but the barrels do not say “POW” on them, so who knows. The gameplay is repetitive: kill all the pirates, rinse and repeat… but it's a classic arcade game, so what did you expect? The controls are responsive, fitting, and simple. Higemaru also gets a 9.

I find Vulgus and Exed Eyes to be more fun than the other two, but SonSon and Higemaru provide much needed variety to the compilation. Overall, these games are fun as hell, so I give the gameplay a 10.

Graphics: 5

The graphics are very good considering the games were released in arcades during the mid-80s, but as this is a Sega Saturn game, the graphics look very dated. Expect graphics similar to those of NES games. The graphics in Vulgus are pretty primitive as Vulgus was Capcom's first ever game, yet ahead of its time. The graphics in Exed Eyes are brilliant for its time, incorporating two layers of background to achieve a sense of flying high above ground. SonSon's graphics are primitive, yet good enough. They're sharper than the SonSon port on the NES if that means anything. Graphics don't matter much since the games' gameplay is so great, but I'll have to give the graphics a 5.

Extras: 5

Artwork, histories, and other assorted extras are included for each game, but it's not of much use to U.S. gamers as the language is entirely in Japanese (the Artwork's not great either). I give the extras a 5 just for trying.

Replay Value: 7

The way I see it, there is a ton of replay value since all the games are classic arcade games. There's a nice pick up and play anytime feel to all of the games, so the compilation's a nice time killer for any occasion. Also, since there's either no end to any of the games or else there are just too many levels to get through to find an end, you may find yourself going back over and over again to try to get a little farther than last time. I give the replay value a 7.

Overall: 8

Any fan of old arcade games will definitely appreciate this compilation of killer shoot-em-ups. There's enough variety that it's always fresh and there's always something worth playing. The price tag doesn't hurt either. I got the game for $14 including shipping off Ebay. It's not the best Saturn game I own, but it's a solid title in my game library, one that I go back to over and over again.

Total Score: 8 out of 10


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/15/05


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