A select few obscure games are the cherries on top
If you forgot that Capcom announced another compilation a few months ago, I wouldn’t blame you. It feels like Sega and Capcom could subside on retro re-releases alone, given how heavily they dominated that era of gaming. But we were given access to a Capcom Fighting Collection preview edition, and things are looking up in terms of its adherence to preservation; and for Darkstalkers fans.
As a recap, here are the games included in the Capcom Fighting Collection:
- 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
- Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition
- Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
- Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix [Pocket Fighter]
- Cyberbots: Full Metal Madness
- Red Earth
It’s an eclectic mix, especially when you consider that five of the 10 games are Darkstalkers games. As a package, you’ll get the 10 aforementioned games (which support online/offline play where available), a museum (of concept art and music tracks), and “fighter awards” (which are like achievements, seen below). In-combat options include a full movelist, controller customization, quick save/load, and the ability to change wallpapers (there’s three by default, and an option for none), display filters (seven and an option for none), and size (full, full 4:3, original, original 4:3, wide).
If I had to pick a favorite game overall, it would be Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo. The formula still works, and the “versus” Panel de Pon/Puyo Puyo-like setup is a genius way to keep puzzle games fresh. But my favorite choice to include in this compilation from Capcom itself is probably Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix. Red Earth is another smooth pick that I’m going to be digging into in the coming weeks (and plays out more like a beat ’em up format than a fighting game, as you can only select from four fighters, but more are technically in the game as bosses). It’s been fascinating to see Capcom trot this oldie out as recently as a Teppen (that Capcom card game) inclusion.
Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix is incredibly obscure, and was only released several times overseas on select platforms (arcade, PS1, PS2). I’ve only met a select few people who have even played it in its original form, and I consider myself one of the lucky ones. It’s a super weird chibi rendition of the Street Fighter formula, complete with a gem gimmick and insane specials like riding on animals and wielding weapons in combat. I’ve had a blast getting back into it, and it ended up being one of the highlights of the collection.
I’ll need more time to dig into these games on a more mechanical/technical level, but on paper, I’m fairly happy with the choices in the Capcom Fighting Collection: though it would have been nice to see even more included. Although this is a decidedly 2D collection, bringing back a game like Powerstone would certainly turn more heads than a heap of Darkstalkers games and a few weird titles from Capcom’s past. Still, there’s plenty of merit to most of the games here, as their legacy holds to this day. Expect more thoughts in the future.