Pretty much Capcom’s favorite fighting game is Street Fighter, let’s face it, but with such a focus on their first fighting series, we often forget some of the other well-loved titles in their back catalog that offer a bit of a change from the usual Hadokens or Sonic Boom. Capcom Fighting Collection is a timely reminder of some of the other greats that Capcom has produced, especially Darkstalkers.
Darkstalkers was one of those classic franchises that appealed to the edge lords in all of us and sadly got lost in time, forgotten, as Street Fighter alongside Marvel VS Capcom and other non-Capcom fighters that people cared more about , came first. Seeing Darkstalkers celebrated in the Capcom Fighting Collection will bring joy to many, as there is plenty of love for Morrigan and friends to explore to their heart’s content across five iterations of the Darkstalkers series.
– ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW –
Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors, Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge, Vampire Savior: The Lord of Vampire, and the two modified versions of the last two games – Vampire Hunter 2 and Vampire Savior 2, previously unavailable legally outside of Japan – are all included here.
But it’s not just about the Darkstalkers. Also included for the first time outside of Arcades is Red Earth – a fantasy fighter that uses RPG elements in its quest mode – and Cyberbots – a mech battler where you can customize parts to change your characters’ stats.
Well, I know I started this whole thing by saying it’s nice to have a change from Street Fighter etc., but there are still three Street Fighter titles included. The first of these is Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition, a basic version of Street Fighter II that includes all characters from all iterations. Then you have Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo – a gem match fighter – and finally Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix – a cute fighter with the same chibi fighters as in Puzzle Fighter with some additions.
A small wish, and I mean small, is that they would have added Rival Schools to the collection. The original Rival Schools came out in arcades in 1997, so it fits the bill of the collection, just different aesthetically. There’s a lot of love for the Rival School series, so it feels like a missed opportunity.
Each included game is a faithful recreation of its arcade counterpart, and if you remember playing any of them back in the day, you won’t be disappointed. It’s little simple things like the ability to change the filter, insert a home screen, or add the requirement to insert virtual credits that really bring it home. Alongside this, there is a plethora of display modes and backgrounds to play around with so you can customize your perfect arcade experience.
Each title is extremely customizable, allowing you to tweak most aspects of your experience. You can change basic settings like difficulty, attack power, and how many turns a match will last, or more specific things like allowing mirror matches or choosing a secret character from the menu. For example, in the case of Hyper Street Fighter II, you can select Akuma by pressing on Ryu’s portrait instead of remembering the character’s hover combo.
Red Earth also has some good starting options, allowing you to set your character level before you begin, in case you don’t feel like the RPG grind of earning points to unlock trains. I can only imagine how much money players would put into the arcade cabinet back then to reach the max level. However, if you want to be authentic, and I would highly encourage you to try it, then you should use the password system and go all classic.
It’s what’s encouraged, but it’s also nice that they’ve made it accessible to those who don’t want the rock-hard arcade experience. All the games have that classic arcade short timer difficulty ramp designed to eat your money so I can get through the first few games and then hit some nonsense that would have me yelling swear words at my TV. Thank goodness there are infinite virtual currencies!
Another nice addition to this collection is the ability to switch to a practice mode for each game, where you can practice combos, special moves, and other specific game situations. It’s presented in a bit of an odd way, but I think it makes sense because these are arcade ports and not console versions, so there’s no “menu” as such.
The controls are fully customizable, which is great, but the more notable addition is the ability to perform one-button special moves. It’s been a big topic of conversation around Street Fighter 6 lately, as it will also feature a simplified control system for beginners. I’m ready to include more casual gamers, and I think this is an excellent way to do that, especially given that some of the original Darkstalker move inputs are not only finicky but also a bit complicated to remember. Of course, veterans of fighting games will not have this problem, but for beginners it will be a godsend.
To round out the collection, there’s also a museum with over 500 artworks and 400 music tracks to delve into. There are some shots of old Japanese box art and instructions that really got my nostalgia juices flowing. This can also be searched while waiting for online games.
At the time of writing, I wasn’t able to test online play, but Capcom has promised a “strong and stable online experience with up to nine players across all 10 titles in ranked, casual, and custom lobby matches.” It will also use rollback netcode, which is pretty much an accepted standard for fighting games now.
– PAGE CONTINUES BELOW –