A former master of the art of combining, Capcom offers a selection of the best fighting games. Along with Street Fighter II or the little -known Red Earth, the entire Darkstalkers series travels to Europe for the first time. Enough to crack?
True to the publisher’s compilations, the Capcom Fighting Collection focuses, as its name suggests, on good old digital fighting. Inherited from arcades, the various games have taken over the usual venues in two episodes of Arcade Stadium, one already released, the other available on July 22nd. Bathed in a colorful interface, the player is thus invited to (again) discover the fine and appropriate form of some of the licenses that have made the legendary Osaka studio a success. An interesting invitation… if you continue the saga of Darkstalkers (Vampire Savior of Japan).
Some fight a little prank
For this Fight Collection, Capcom is betting on a variety of titles that will delight regulars and newbies alike. In addition to the five episodes of the Darkstalkers franchise (Night Warriors, Vampire Savior 1 & 2, Vampire Hunter, Darkstalkers’ Revenge), the publisher has mixed the Cyberbots robotic combat game, the unique Red Earth (first time on the console!) As well a trilogy in honor of Eternal Street Fighter that combines Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition, Super Gem Fighter and… Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo! Yes, you’re not dreaming, even if the collection is called Fighting, which is fighting games, Capcom still mixes the spin off (parallel episode) of its flagship saga. What a great meditation game between two fights!
What are Darkstalkers?
Known as Vampire (Savior or Hunter depending on the episode) in Japan, Darkstalkers explores a darker universe than Street Fighter. Released in arcades in 1994, this game immerses warriors in a world of imaginary creatures and environments inspired by gothic horror. There we camped a pell-mell mummy, bounty hunter turned Red Riding Hood, samurai ghost, vampire, werewolf, zombie, succubus, catwoman, 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 imaginary creatures and beasts. This kind of lore was not taken advantage of by the publisher, everyone agreed and this is how this license was born. The artists then imagined many creatures, many from Japanese mythology. As progress progressed, they re-balanced the cast by drawing inspiration from Western mythologies and isolating many concepts (invisible man, wooden man, old man dressed in the costume of the worker, etc.).
Overall, Darkstalkers has 4 times more sketches and animation than Street Fighter II and it features ultra-smooth movements of its characters. As for the game, the license is based on six buttons (three for punches, three for kicks) and includes aerial blocks as well as a SUPER gauge that is empty when not in use when it is full. Taking pride in the area of combinations (combos) and seemingly bizarre attacks, Darkstalkers was then optimized to appear in 4 consecutive seasons between 1995 and 1997. If you’re not familiar in the series, this compilation has everything you need!
Virtues, robots and crunchy faces
And since these aren’t the only Darkstalker in life, players can fall into the Red Land (War-Zard in Japan). Inspired by Japanese role -playing games, this title released in 1996 was shocking! In a unique universe, characters with magical powers compete in an evolving combat game where each victory awards hard and soft coins. You can spend it to increase your skill (attack, defense, getting new hits, etc.). If it doesn’t know, it’s because it hasn’t yet set foot on European soil in the original arcade version. It’s a weird and nice looking game (at the time it used a very powerful system called CPS3), but it has two to four game characters (for a total of 12 warriors, including 8 bosses). For most, it’s a discovery, but don’t expect mountains and wonders unnoticed.
Cyberbots, on the other hand, take the opposite view of all its partners. Here, the nuts, the oil and the mechanisms speak for themselves! Make way for robots and six pilots willing to do anything to fight it! If it brings an original touch to this compilation, we should know that the title is pretty strict, albeit an interesting game. Undoubtedly this is one of the choices that is likely to be divided. But skeptics can make it to some good classics like the anniversary edition of Street Fighter II, but also and above all Super Gem Fighter and Puzzle Fighter II Turbo. It’s great to see Street characters in the SD look (Super Deformed, in child mode), both in a supercharged fighting game and an exciting puzzle game! Definitely the two most appropriate titles for a family night out!
Obviously, the Capcom Fighting Collection isn’t the only meeting of old titles. To enhance this return with some bonuses, the developers have combined some new features compared to the original. 2022 obligates, as far as possible to take advantage, for each of the games presented, an online mode accompanied by rollback to netcode. Behind this technical term hides a process that optimizes reaction time between players competing online. Concrete, latency time is reduced and fights are thus more loyal. Ranked matches, for beginners or personal, have it all! You can also watch a game as a spectator. During testing, there were a few people who took full advantage of it, but some online games were very solid. We will not hesitate to update the test if we notice an anomaly.
Requiring retro compilation, Capcom didn’t forget the display filters to transcribe the sensations of the time. At the same time, players can take advantage of quick storage, change their controls (with the option of “one button” to quickly trigger special moves) and set the difficulty . Finally, and it is often criticized for some titles forgetting these bonuses, a Museum mode (Museum) hosts more than 500 pieces of history. Drawings, temporary concepts, new elements not seen in games, design documents… players can dive back into the creation process! And if your thing is more music, you’ll be happy to know about the presence of over 400 tracks, both retro and remixed!
In all of this, what will be remembered from the Capcom Fighting Collection? That’s a much more interesting combination, but one that poses a huge problem if you don’t keep up with the Darkstalkers universe. You only have five titles left, including Cyberbots, which is probably the least interesting game (along with Red Earth and its four game characters). Everything will therefore depend on your feelings about the ten games on offer because we can only salute the museum’s interior, the apparent strength of the online game or the various customization options. But too bad there is no crossplay (possible online game between different platforms)!
- A museum with lots of documents and music
- All Darkstalkers games in Europe
- Many options (online game, customized controls …)
- Addition of Street Fighter sealed puzzle game
- Super Gem Fighter, a pleasure!
- Successful interface
- Doubtful choices (Cyberbots, Red Earth)
- No crossplay (cross-platform online play)
- Too many Darkstalkers for one compilation …
- … from just 10 games!
Overall, the Capcom Fighting Collection is a decent compilation. With a variety of bonuses, options and new modes, it appears to be an ideal companion for lovers of 2D fight games. On the other hand, some selections (Cyberbots, Red Earth) can be challenging and the Darkstalkers saga represents half of the titles available! A bold bet that won’t please everyone, but we have to recognize that the Street Fighter trilogy, along with the anniversary edition, the Super Gem Fighter and the Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, are worth the turn. Depending on what is included in the ten games in this compilation, they will have more or less expressed interest.
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