Capcom has a ton of games I wish to see remaster or compiled. Thus far, they’ve been working on the Resident Evil games (with remakes) and the Capcom Arcade Stadium series (with emulation). Let’s not forget the excellent Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection from just a few years go.
To date, that is still one of the most comprehensive compilations I’ve ever seen.
It not only included pretty much all of the Street Fighter games (barring the Street Fighter IV and V, Street Fighter: The Movie and X-Men vs Street Fighter) but it also had tons of extras.
I was honestly hoping for a Darkstalkers collection in a similar way. Though it looks like that’s not a possibility in the foreseeable future, does the Capcom Fighting Collection fill the void since it has quite a few games from the series included?
Read on to find out.
What is the Capcom Fighting Collection?
Capcom Fighting Collection is a compilation of 10 of Capcom’s arcade fighters, reproduced via emulation to be practically arcade perfect. It’s currently available for the PC, Nintendo Switch, Playstation and Xbox consoles.
Our copy was graciously provided to us by the awesome folks at Capcom Asia! Thanks everybody!
Capcom Fighting Collection comes with 10 games from the company’s arcade days. All of them are online enabled (which means multiplayer hijinks online) but sadly there’s no crossplay between the different platforms.
That’s a bit unfortunate but at least there’s a sizeable amount of extras included in the collection.
In the Museum, you can take a look at thousands of concept art, design documents and promotional material. Unfortunately, most of them remain untranslated from Japanese, so a good chunk of the content is unreadable to English readers.
Disappointingly, there aren’t any developer interviews, so there’s no insight on what went on behind the scenes during each games’ creation. There’s no video content whatsoever as well. I’d have loved to see archival footage of the games in development or even tournaments of the games back in the day.
Speaking of games, here’s a list of what’s included:
- Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors
- Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge
- Vampire Savior: The Lord of Vampire
- Vampire Hunter 2: Darkstalkers’ Revenge
- Vampire Savior 2: The Lord of Vampire
- Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
- Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix
- Cyberbots: Full Metal Madness
- Red Earth
- Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition
Now here’s the kicker; the Darkstalkers, Night Warriors and Vampire Savior games all belong to the Darkstalkers series. Also, Vampire Hunter 2 and Vampire Savior 2 don’t have English ROMs (the rest of the games have both their Japanese and English ROMs included), as they were never translated and released outside of Japan.
Confused? Don’t be.
Here’s a handy chart from Capcom Database that shows the order of how they’re supposed to be played.
It’s confusing as hell but just go with the flow. On top of that, there exists even more Darkstalkers games (including Darkstalkers 3 on the PS1) that aren’t included in here. Hopefully one day we’ll get a true Darkstalkers compilation that has all the games in it.
If you’ve never heard of the Darkstalkers series (and wonder why I’m so pumped about it), know that it’s a fighting game that’s almost as revered as Capcom’s Street Fighter series. The difference between them is that the Darkstalkers games were more horror tinged, with succubi, undead and other supernatural monsters instead of chop socking karate fighters.
The more eclectic cast aside, the Darkstalkers game were flashier too, filled with fantastic effects and moves. It’s what set the series apart from Street Fighter. Sadly, while some characters from the series have gone on to appear in Capcom’s other games, the games never really caught on as well as Street Fighter, despite its more flashy elements.
Now’s a great chance to experience (or reexperience) them since most of them are all packed in the collection.
Apart from the 5 Darkstalkers games, the other games are pretty good too.
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo is a puzzle game spin-off of Street Fighter II.
In it, you combine colored gem shards to create huge gem blocks, which you can then destroy to drop fighter specific gem blocks on your opponent. It’s a great competitive puzzle game, but its inclusion in a compilation called Capcom Fighting Collection is a bit weird.
If they needed to make it an even 10 games, why not include Ring of Destruction II: Saturday Night Slam Masters? It’s a game that has never come out on consoles and wrestling is technically fighting.
The other four games are pure fighters though, so that’s a relief in case you’re worried.
Super Gem Fighter uses the chibi style from Super Puzzle Fighter II and couples it with a casual friendly button masher fighter. It’s simple to pick up and play but its cutesy style might turn off hardcore gamers.
It’s a great pick up and play game though, and even my wife (who doesn’t play games) enjoyed giving it a go.
Cyberbots is a sequel to a beat’em up game called Armored Warriors (which was included in the Capcom Beat’Em Up Bundle). It’s a standard one on one fighter (with mechs instead of humans) and marks the first appearance of Jin Saotome, a stalwart in the Marvel vs Capcom games. Devilot (or Devilotte as she’s called here) also appears as a hidden boss/playable character in Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo as well.
The main feature here are the Cyberbots. Each of them is unique and are really cool in combat. It’s a shame the game’s the arcade version and not the console ports (which had more playable pilots) though the quicker loads and better animation does salve the wound.
Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition is an arranged version of Super Street Fighter II Turbo, with the ability to choose different versions of the playable characters from all the arcade versions of Super Street Fighter II. It was weirdly missing from the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection so seeing it turn up here was certainly a surprise.
Finally, there’s Red Earth.
It’s the first (and only) CPS-III fighting game released by Capcom that’s not a licensed property (like Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure) or a Street Fighter III game. It’s also notable in that it has never been released on any console until now.
I remember playing Red Earth as a kid in an arcade at Funan. It was decades ago but one thing stuck with me throughout the years; it’s hard as hell. It’s still infuriatingly difficult in its emulated form but at least I don’t have to pay $1 a pop to continue when I die.
It’s a fun game, mixing elements of Dungeons & Dragons style fantasy with Street Fighter and it’s certainly a different style of fighting game than usual. That’s due to the game having only 4 selectable characters, and your opponents having more in common with bosses (including a huge lifebar at the bottom of the screen) than your average Shotokan master.
There’s also a levelling feature that makes your character stronger and gives them special perks and gear (such as increased poison resistance or better weapons). Even better, if you memorize the password the game gives you (and then reenter it when you start a new game), you can use that powered up character in future matches.
This is the precursor to arcade memory cards (like the ones used in Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection and Virtua Fighter 5) which could save your character data on them for subsequent usage. The passwords are waaaaay too long to memorize (so just snap a pic of it with your phone instead).
Playing the games, you get the feeling that perhaps this collection didn’t really need to exist, especially with Capcom Arcade Stadium Vol 2 having quite a number of the titles already present here.
True, the ones in Capcom Fighting Collection have network play but I struggled to find players for all of the titles this launch weekend (25 – 26 June).
Out of the handful of matches I did encounter, I only managed to find one lone match in Cyberbots but it was laggy as hell and I got disconnected in the middle of the match. The Hyper Street Fighter matches I joined were adequate but there was still input lag, which resulted in sluggish responses.
I really wished Capcom had made the collection crossplay, if for no other reason than to consolidate the player pool so that you have more choices in picking matches online.
Local matches are pretty much all you have then, and with that in mind, it feels like Capcom’s double dipping with some of the titles here, especially when Capcom Arcade Stadium Vol. 2 hits next month and lets you buy the titles you want piecemeal.
Honestly, if it was up to me, I’d do a Darkstalkers collection instead with every game in the series, while leaving out the rest of the titles here for Capcom Arcade Stadium Vol. 2 (and taking out the Darkstalkers games from there). That way, there’s incentive to buy this and Capcom Arcade Stadium Vol. 2, without any of the games overlapping.
That’s not saying it’s a waste getting this collection.
The Museum extras are more than worth it if you’re into the artwork and promo material (like I am). Plus the games themselves are great, with no input lag or any aberrations that’d set them apart from their arcade counterparts due to shoddy emulation. The tons of options to modify DIP switches (such as allowing secret characters to be selectable) is also much welcome and gives you some customization to the games present.
The Bottom Line.
The Capcom Fighting Collection is a great compilation of the company’s arcade heritage. The Darkstalkers games alone are worth the price of admission, and the others are no slouches either. Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo is still one of my go to games (I regularly play on the Xbox Live Arcade version of the game on the Xbox) and Red Earth is an incredibly unique (and historic) game in Capcom’s lineup.
Unfortunately, some of the titles here will also be available in the Capcom Arcade Stadium Vol. 2, which hits next month. If you’re planning on buying both, it definitely stings to be shelling out money for the same games multiple times for different collections.
If you’re content with just fighters though, the Capcom Fighting Collection is a great compilation though its lack of crossplay means you’re going to be relegated to local matches pretty much all the time. Couple it with the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection and you have pretty much all of the great Capcom fighters (apart from the licensed and VS titles) in two great collections, accessible for all modern platforms.
Great games in the collection with awesome extras.
- 10 great games.
- Lots of extras.
- Ability to customize options.
- Some games will be in Capcom Arcade Stadium Vol. 2.
- Online play is pretty non-existent.
- Japanese text is untranslated for a lot of content in Museum mode.