HAVE A VIDEO YOU WANT TO FEATURE ON OUR PAGE?

Submit Video

To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK
Advert

‘Capcom Fighting Collection’ Review: Greats That Go Beyond Street Fighter

Published 
| Last updated 

‘Capcom Fighting Collection’ Review: Greats That Go Beyond Street Fighter

With the Street Fighter series dominating the fighting game genre for a few decades now, it’s all too easy to forget - or perhaps never even notice in the first place, amongst younger players - that its makers, Capcom, produced a wealth of one-on-one titles while the legend of Ryu, Ken et al was forming. The Capcom Fighting Collection is a welcome move to remedy that, pulling together several games in the fantasy monster-mash that is Darkstalkers alongside a smattering of curios and, inevitably (but it’s not unwelcomed), a definitive package for all things Street Fighter II.

Advert

There are 10 games in total here - three more than Capcom’s Beat ‘Em Up Bundle of 2018, which focused on the company’s arcade side-scrollers of the late 1980s and ‘90s - and they’re all in the Street Fighter mould: pick your special moves-packing scrapper of choice, batter opponents until you either emerge victorious and enter your initials on the high scores or ‘insert coin’ to try again, or take on a pal for bragging rights. That’s plenty of bang for your buck even if a couple of the games were relative makeweights. But the joy of Fighting Collection is that there’s nary a lacklustre title here.

Check out a trailer for Capcom Fighting Collection below…

Loading…

Advert

Starting with what everyone knows, Hyper Street Fighter II collects every single playable character from the five full arcade versions of Street Fighter II, adds a selection menu for the speed and style of game you want to play, and ultimately represents the culmination of everything Capcom had achieved with the title and its various refinements over the previous decade or so. It was originally released on PlayStation 2 and in Japanese arcades in 2003, and while that makes it newer on paper than the likes of 1996’s Red Earth - which I’ll get to in just a second - its use of the CP System II arcade board, which debuted with 1993’s Super Street Fighter II, has it looking fairly old fashioned compared to some of the other games on this collection.

But right across the spectrum of its series entries, Street Fighter has rarely been about its looks - it’s a competitive title where gameplay is king, where function trumps form, and there’s no denying that the classic moveset of this classic fighter is absolutely ageless. It’s pure muscle memory to slip into pulling off simple combos with Ken, or spamming your kick commands with Chun-Li when an opponent is stunned and cornered. Hyper Street Fighter II’s difficulty might alarm players coming to it off the back of only previously experiencing console ports - this game cheated you out of your loose change, and Capcom should feel bad - but otherwise this is as fine a send-off for the second game as anyone could have hoped to realise.

Red Earth on Capcom Fighting Collection / Credit: Capcom
Red Earth on Capcom Fighting Collection / Credit: Capcom
Advert

Red Earth is the one inclusion that’s never before been (legally, anyway) made available for play at home. Known as War-Zard in Japan, it’s a one-on-one fighter unlike many you’ll have played before, with just four selectable characters, an automated levelling-up mechanic between rounds, and opponents with health bars larger than your own. In laying the smack down upon these foes you reveal pick-ups to boost your vitality and super-move orbs that, well, let you execute super-moves. Handy, those. It’s an intoxicatingly exotic experience, a lot of what you know with a healthy side order of all-new stuff to dig into, and the addition of Mortal Kombat-style fatalities makes Red Earth a true outsider amongst the games here: a Capcom fighter that doesn’t really feel like one, but sure isn’t out of place amid the company it’s keeping. For anyone keen on exploring gaming history, this one is what you’re paying the entry fee for.

From 1995, Cyberbots: Full Metal Madness sees players select both a pilot and a mech, with the story seen from the protagonist’s perspective and the way you fight determined by your choice of robotic combat vehicle. Visually it’s a lot to take in, with all manner of on-screen HUD-style noise popping up, and given the size of these hunkin’ clunkin’ robo-battlers it’s not as fluid as the other games here; but there’s a definite pleasure to be felt in trashing another metal monster, whether you determinedly learn the game’s technical demands or simply button-mash on its easiest setting. 

Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix on Capcom Fighting Collection / Credit: Capcom
Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix on Capcom Fighting Collection / Credit: Capcom
Advert

Rather cuter is 1997’s Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix, which largely draws its super-deformed-style cast from the Street Fighter and Darkstalkers series, and like Red Earth has pick-ups during each bout that provide power-ups and health boosts. It’s probably the most beginner-friendly game here with its simplified special-move inputs and all-round cheerful presentation, discounting the comparably kawaii-ish Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, which isn’t a fighting game at all but instead a fast-paced competitive puzzler where gems falling from above must be cleared from your, um, pit(?) as quickly as possible. It’s Columns by way of Baku Baku Animal, and when you find your flow becomes absolutely unputdownable - expect two-player same-sofa sessions to last long into the night.

If you’ve been counting then you’ll know that’s five of the ten games covered - and the rest are all from the Darkstalkers series, making Capcom Fighting Collection the first time all five have appeared on the same release outside of Japan. Beginning with 1994’s The Night Warriors, these games use classic monsters for their cast of characters, but each with a twist - so we get a heavy metal zombie, a fighting master lycanthrope, and a lightning-powered take on Frankenstein’s monster, as well as the cat-like (and barely dressed) Felicia and (equally likely to catch her death) succubus Morrigan. Later games also feature a Red Riding Hood-alike who drops landmines from her coat, as you do. The mainstream popularity of Darkstalkers has never come close to that of Street Fighter, but from cosplay conventions to competitive tournaments, it’s remained a popular fixture amongst fighting game fans, so it’s grand to have all five arcade releases included. With no new Darkstalkers game proper since Darkstalkers 3 aka Vampire Saviour in 1997, it feels like this series might be well and truly put out to pugilistic pasture - but who knows, maybe Fighting Game Collection can be the spark that sets a revival burning. 

Darkstalkers 3 on Capcom Fighting Collection / Credit: Capcom
Darkstalkers 3 on Capcom Fighting Collection / Credit: Capcom
Advert

All games feature adjustable difficulty levels; the option to train against an opponent who won’t fight back, should you want to work on those combos; and remappable controls (personally, I’ve never liked strong attacks being on the shoulder buttons, so this is a must for me). There’s also an auto-special function where a special move can be assigned to a single button press - which maybe takes the fun out of fiddling with your analogue stick but there’s no doubt this makes for more spectacular, if potentially a little samey, throwdowns with a less-experienced player. Quick saves are also supported, which is great when your game time’s interrupted by whatever life tosses in your general direction: a child kicking off, a postie banging at the front door, or a kitten escaping into the garden. I mean, that’s just me, but I’m certain you’ve your own regular I’d-best-save-here breakers. 

Artwork galleries are available for each game - some more comprehensive than others - and soundtracks can also be accessed with no fiddly unlock mechanisms needed (although there are achievements, for those who like such things). It wouldn’t be a retro compilation without some display filters to play with - does anyone actually ever play these things with CRT mode on? - and there’s an array of online play options available which I couldn’t test ahead of this compilation’s release. Fingers crossed they all work wonderfully well for those who want them (I won’t be touching them), but do note that cross-play is not supported. Which sucks, a bit.

Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo on Capcom Fighting Collection / Credit: Capcom
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo on Capcom Fighting Collection / Credit: Capcom

The Capcom Fighting Collection is a great partner for and follow-up to the Beat ‘Em Up Bundle, and if you’re a player who used to love pumping their shrapnel into coin-ops to smack the everloving stuffing out of a friend, who may or may not have remained your friend afterwards, it makes for an easy recommendation, especially with the flexibility the Switch version can offer via its small but totally useable Joy-Cons. Single-player thrills are compromised only by your own preferences for the genre, but as a two-player attraction there’s fantastic fun guaranteed. How Collection handles its online demands will make or break it for the most dedicated fighters out there; but for casuals like me, it’s not a mode that I’ll ever use. If it’s broken, dock a couple of points off the score below. Otherwise, have a bloody ball.

Pros: nine arcade fighters with no duffer amongst them, plenty of bonus material and quality-of-life features, Red Earth is a must-play for the curious 

Cons: if you really hate Darkstalkers you’re out of luck, one inclusion isn’t really a fighting game

For fans of: Street Fighter, Darkstalkers, arcade fighting games

8/10: Excellent

Capcom Fighting Collection is released on June 24 2022 for Nintendo Switch (version tested), PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Online functions not tested. Review code supplied by the publisher. Find a guide to GAMINGbible’s review scores here.

Featured Image Credit: Capcom

Topics: Capcom

Mike Diver
More like this
Advert
Advert
Advert

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Marvels Spider Man

‘Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered’ PC Review: The Ultimate Port Of An Amazing Game

3 days ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read