Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Capcom Classics Collection: Volume 1 (PS2)

Another week, another Retro collection hits the shelves. After the excellent Taito Legends, Capcom has seen fit to issue their own disc of delights. The titles on offer are mainly from the eight and sixteen-bit days of the company and unfortunately many have been released before on PSOne collections, but if this is to be the first in a series of compilations we hope that later editions will fill the gaps for fans waiting for games such as Sunset Riders, Strider and Knights of the Round.

So let us look at a selection of the better titles on offer in this compilation:Capcoms seminal fighting title, Street Fighter 2 is represented with three games on the compilation: Street Fighter 2, SF2 Championship Edition and SF2 Hyper Fighting. Unfortunately we dont get a version with Cammy, Dee-Jay and the later characters in the series, but the versions present are emulated well enough (bar a few sound issues). The basic template of the series may have been improved with Street Fighter Alpha 3 but the original titles still offer a great arcade experience.

Heroic Sir Arthur also gets three games on the disc; Ghosts n Goblins, Ghouls n Ghosts and surprisingly even the SNES title Super Ghouls n Ghosts. Each of the games retains their rock hard difficulty level and offer up some of the best platforming action gaming has to offer. The graphics remain clear and well drawn and with the three titles so full of personality it helps to ease the frustration of not being able to get off the first level without dying several thousand times.The 1940 series also make a welcome inclusion with 1942, 1943 and 1943 Kai in the collection for your playing pleasure. The 1940 series has always baffled us, simply because while 1943 and Kai are clearly superior games to 1942 with better graphics and more varied enemies, when it comes to actually picking a game to play 1942 is always the one. There is just something about its simple approach that endears it to us.

Final Fight, the sideways-scrolling Beat'em up, where you must rescue a damsel in distress from a street gang shows that apart from playing a little slow, it is still an absolute joy. The characters, Cody, Haggar and Guy, are large and colourful and there is a decent assortment of levels and enemies to get through. The three characters all play slightly differently and Haggar especially can pull off a variety of moves. Final Fights inclusion also means this is the first time on a home console that a complete version of the game has been available.

Bionic Commando, always a title overlooked when people think of Capcom, provides a nice touch of variety to the pack. A platform shooter, Bionic Commando equips our character with an extendable arm that can be used to swing from ledges and knock enemies back. The game itself may be a little short but it's enjoyable and still plays well, which shows that Capcom generally build games to last.

Forgotten Worlds is definitely one of Capcom's better side scrolling shooters, but was always the game that caused the most problems when it was converted, with most of the home computer versions being near unplayable. The PS2 Pad is not perfect for the game, but after a while you do get used to the controls, which allow the experience to be passed off adequately enough.

Section Z is also here (but the less said about that the better).Everything else on the compilation is of no real long-term interest and contains nothing that will make you go out and part with your cash. Mercs, Commando and Gun Smoke are entertaining in small bursts but have aged and feel clunky. Trojan is simply awful and Exed Exes, Legendary Wings, Pirate Ship Higemaru, Son Son and Vulgus do give the compilation a more complete look, but are unlikely to become mainstays for gamers.

The Compilation is presented well, and each game has various extras that can be unlocked. We truly hope that Capcom continues with the compilations in the future and gets to showcase more of their arcade titles along the way. Maybe this is not up to the high standards of Taitos eclectic first compilation but it still has more than enough to interest most gamers.

7/10

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