Street Fighter II was the game that turned me from casual player to rabid games geek. Literally hundreds of hours and probably thousands of dollars have been sucked out of my life because of Street Fighter II and its many sequels.
So Capcom Classics Collection, the latest gathering of arcade games of yesteryear, is naturally an easy game for me to recommend. For AU$50, not only do you get three versions of Street Fighter II, but you also get other hits such as Forgotten Worlds, Ghosts'n Goblins, 1942 and the insanely playable Final Fight, amongst plenty of others. But as with all of these types of collections, they're only as worthwhile as your experiences with the retro games on offer. If you were never a fan of Street Fighter or of the other Capcom gems, then its best to stay away.
The 22 games on offer with the Capcom Classics Collection are generally faithfully reproduced, right down to the tinny, mono music of the earlier games (older gamers are sure to get a thrill of nostalgia when the mono drum soundtrack of 1942 kicks in). The look and feel of most of the games is spot on, and controls are for the most part exactly the same as their arcade counterparts. And surprisingly, many of the games are as much fun to play now as they were 15 years ago. Playing Final Fight with a friend is still insanely cool. Ditto Commando and Super Ghouls'n Ghosts.
Some control concessions have had to be made, however. Forgotten Worlds, for example, had a rotating joystick in the arcades allowing you to shoot in any direction. The PS2 version instead uses the R1 button as fire, with the Triangle and X button for rotating left and right. It's not as smooth or intuitive as the original, meaning gamers will be stuck in later levels when quick directional firing is essential.
But the star of the show for most gamers will probably be Street Fighter, represented in this package by Street Fighter II, Street Fighter II: Championship Edition and Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting (some may scoff and say that all three are essentially the same game, but Street Fighter aficionados know that they are vastly different). As with the other titles, the Street Fighter games are presented here in their pure arcade forms, although Capcom has included a special feature which essentially blends all three together in one. This allows you to pit Street Fighter II Ken against Street Fighter II: Hyper Edition Ken, for example.
But strangely, it is these games that feel the least satisfying. This is mainly due to the fact that the Street Fighter ports are plagued with load screens, something the originals never had. There's a load screen before a match, one after, one before the character select screen and more. It's jarring and almost ruins the gameplay experience.
Overall, the selection of titles in the Capcom Classics Collection and their faithful reproduction is a real winner for gaming nostalgia buffs. You'll need to have enjoyed the games in the arcade heyday to make this package worthwhile, however. The full list of games are:
- 1943 Kai
- Bionic Commando
- EXED Exes
- Final Fight
- Forgotten Worlds
- Ghosts'n Goblins
- Ghouls'n Goblins
- Legendary Wings
- Pirate Ship Higemaru
- Section Z
- Street Fighter II
- Street Fighter II: Championship Edition
- Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting
- Super Ghouls'n Ghosts
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