A former master of the art of compilation, Capcom offers a selection of its best fighting games. Next to Street Fighter II or the little-known Red Earth, the entire Darkstalkers series is taking a trip to Europe for the very first time. Enough to crack?
True to the publisher’s collections, the Capcom Fighting Collection, as the name suggests, focuses on the good old digital battle. The selection of games inherited from the arcades takes up everyday life in the two Arcade Stadium episodes, one already released, the other available on July 22nd. Bathed in a colorful interface, the player is thus invited to (re) discover in good and proper form some of the licenses that have made the legendary Osaka studio a success. A pretty interesting invitation … provided you stick to the Darkstalkers saga (Vampire Savior in Japan).
Some fights and a little joke
For this Fighting Collection, Capcom has relied on a variety of titles that are able to delight both regulars and beginners. In addition to the five episodes of the Darkstalkers series (Night Warriors, Vampire Savior 1 & 2, Vampire Hunter, Darkstalkers’ Revenge), the publisher has integrated Cyberbot’s robot fighting game, the amazing Red Earth (first time on console!) As well as a trilogy to pay tribute to the eternal Street Fighter that brings together Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition, Super Gem Fighter and … Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo! Yes, you do not dream, even though the collection is called Fighting, namely fighting games, Capcom still has integrated spin off (parallel episode) of its flagship saga. What a good reflection game between two matches!
What are Darkstalkers?
Known as the Vampire (Savior or Hunter depending on the episode) in Japan, Darkstalkers explore a much darker universe than Street Fighter. Released in arcades in 1994, this game immerses fighters in a world of amazing creatures and environments inspired by Gothic horror. There we camp a mummy, a bounty hunter made as Little Red Riding Hood, a samurai ghost, a vampire, a werewolf, a zombie, a succubus, a catwoman, a Frankenstein double, etc.
At the time, Capcom wanted to break away from its mega-hit Street Fighter II (and its variants), and one of the employees came up with the idea of amazing creatures and monsters. This type of lore that has not been exploited by the publisher was all agreed upon and that is how this license was born. The artists then imagined many creatures, many from Japanese mythology. As development progressed, they rebalanced the cast by drawing inspiration from Western mythologies and neglecting several concepts (invisible man, wooden man, old man in work clothes, etc.).
In total, Darkstalkers has had 4 times more sketches and animations than Street Fighter II, and this shows in the ultra-smooth movements of its characters. On the gameplay side, the license is based on six buttons (three for punch, three for kick) and contains air blocks as well as a SUPER meter, which is emptied if not used when full. To give combinations (combos) and visually spectacular attacks an honor, the Darkstalkers were then optimized to appear in 4 sequels between 1995 and 1997. If you are not familiar with the series, this collection has everything you need!
The gems, robots and crunchy faces
And because it’s not just Darkstalkers in life, players can fall back on Red Earth (War-Zard in Japan). Inspired by Japanese role-playing games, this title released in 1996 is surprising! In an amazing universe, characters compete with magical powers in an evolving fighting game where each victory yields hard and soft coins. You can then use them to increase your skills (attack, defense, get new hits, etc.). If it is totally unknown, it is because it has never set foot on European soil in its original arcade version. It is an amazing and visually breathtaking game (at the time it used a very powerful system called CPS3), but it has only two to four playable characters (for a total of 12 fighters, including 8 bosses). For many it will be a discovery, but do not expect mountains and wonders as it has gone unnoticed.
Cyberbots, meanwhile, have the opposite view of all their peers. Here it is the nuts, the oil and the mechanisms that speak! Make room for robots and six pilots who are ready to do anything to fight it! If it brings an original touch to this compilation, we have to admit that the title is pretty stiff despite an interesting gameplay. It is indisputably one of those choices that is likely to share. But skeptics can make up for some good classics like the anniversary edition of Street Fighter II, but also and above all the Super Gem Fighter and Puzzle Fighter II Turbo. What a pleasure to find the characters from Street in SD-look (Super Deformed, in child mode), both in a super-charged fighting game and an exciting puzzle! Definitely the two most suitable titles for a family home evening!
Clearly, the Capcom Fighting Collection is not just the meeting of old titles. To enhance this return with some bonuses, the developers have integrated some new features compared to the originals. 2022, it is thus possible for each of the games presented to benefit from an online mode accompanied by its network code rollback. Behind this technical term lies a process that optimizes the reaction time between players competing online. Specifically, the latency time is reduced and the matches are thus more loyal. Ranking matches, for beginners or personal, everything is there! It is also possible to watch a match as a spectator. During the test, there were still few people to take full advantage of it, but the few online games proved to be very stable. We will not hesitate to update the test if we notice an anomaly.
Retro compilation requires Capcom has not forgotten the display filters to transcribe the sensations of the time. At the same time, players can take advantage of fast saves, change their controls (with the “one button” option to trigger special moves very easily) and set the difficulty level. Finally, and it is often what is criticized for certain titles that forget these bonuses, a museum state (Museum) hosts more than 500 historical works. Drawings, preliminary concepts, new elements that do not appear in the games, design documents … players can dive back into the manufacturing process! And if your thing is more music, you will be happy to learn about the presence of more than 400 tracks, both retro and remixed!
With all this, what do you need to remember from this Capcom Fighting Collection? That it’s a pretty interesting collection, but one that poses a huge dilemma if one does not hang on to the Darkstalkers universe. You will actually only have five titles left, including Cyberbots, which is probably the least interesting game (along with Red Earth and its four playable characters). Everything will therefore depend on your feelings regarding the ten games on offer, because we can only pay tribute to the content of the museum, the apparent stability of the online game or the various customization options. It is a pity, however, that there are no cross games (online games possible between the different platforms)!
- A museum with lots of documents and music
- All Darkstalkers games in Europe
- Many options (online games, custom controls …)
- The addition of Street Fighter stamped puzzle
- Super Gem Fighter, a pleasure!
- Successful interface
- Questionable Choices (Cyberbots, Red Earth)
- No cross-country games (online games across platforms)
- Too many Darkstalkers for one collection …
- … from just 10 games!
Overall, the Capcom Fighting Collection is a decent collection. With its various bonuses, opportunities and new modes, it seems to be an ideal companion for lovers of 2D fighting games. On the other hand, some choices (Cyberbots, Red Earth) can be challenging, and the Darkstalkers saga represents half of the titles available! A daring bet that will not please everyone, but we must admit that the Street Fighter trilogy with the anniversary edition, Super Gem Fighter and Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, is worth the detour. Depending on how attached you are to the ten games in this collection, it will have more or less pronounced interest.
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