XBOX REVIEW: CAPCOM CLASSICS COLLECTION

Capcom has a large and varied body of work. Due to high level of quality control - or self-consciousness - the company's product is almost beyond reproach. Sure there are companys with bigger blockbusters but few can match the level of consistency that Capcom has with producing such high quality games in their body of work.

Mention Capcom to any self-respecting gamer and they're liable to think of fighting games. And who could blame them? With titles such as Street Fighter, Final Fight and Capcom Vs SNK, Capcom virtually wrote the book on the fighting genre. But Capcom is synonymous with more than just fighting games. In this compilation you can expect shooting, puzzles, platformers, racing and action adventure games. There are more than 20 titles that showcase Capcom's diversity; some are classics and some are just old. There are bound to be some games that you've never heard of or at least never played before. I can't say that they're all excellent but they are certainly worth playing. Obviously you'll find favor with a handful of them and probably ignore the rest - just like in a real arcade. Even if you only manage to get an hour out of each game that's probably more than you would have spent with each one at the arcade.

Some of the games featured are Street Fighter I & II, Final Fight, Merc, Bionic Commando, Attack of the Savage Bees, Son Son, Trojan, Gun Smoke, Vulgas and the 1942 series. There are no horror survival games in the vein of Resident Evil but how about Ghosts N' Goblins? How about Ghouls N' Ghosts? How about Super Ghouls N' Ghosts? These are all included and offer countless hours of frustration.

Nearly all of the games are identical ports of the original. Some graphics are a little more low-res than I remember them but for the most part they have been ported as good as can be expected. Each game comes with some background information that you should find useful and interesting. You'll learn who came up with the idea and what inspired it in the first place. Original artwork is included as well as some tips and tricks on how to better master the game. Some of the games have remixed tunes that you can access. Most of the music is original but some of those older games suffer from some really sappy and repetitive tunes so it's nice to have an alternative.

The gameplay hasn't been tinkered with on any games that I am aware of but some new features have been added to games to make them more interesting and challenging. For instance, you can import some fighting characters from other games and access more difficulty levels in others. New challenges have been established to unlock some of the above-mentioned goodies. It gives you something more to aim at than just beating the game or attaining high score. The multi-player modes manage to keep the arcade simulation in high gear. Your old pals will beat a path to your door just to try to kick your ass at a favorite game once again.

Some compilations can be a crap shoot since there are a few good games but also a lot of filler that you will never play twice. There are few duds in this collection but which ones are duds will likely differ from person to person. There are more good quality games in this compilation than in most others so if you see a handful of games that interest you, by all means get your hands on this as you'll likely be exposed to another handful of great games.

Preview by Vaughn

If you've never heard of the arcade emulation software MAME then you'll probably freak out when you read what games Capcom is including in their upcoming Classics Collection.

The compilation disk available for PS2 and Xbox (sorry GC owners) features 22 games, 99% of which are EXTREME videogame classics in the truest sense of the word which encompass a variety of genres including fighting, beat-em-up, side-scrolling, vertical shooter and just plain shooter.

The games included are the actual arcade games, not console renditions from the early 90's found on the Nes, SNES and Genesis. These are the real deal.

Check out what you'll get for $19.99: 1942,1943, 1943 Kai, Bionic Commando (yes!), Commando, Ghosts & Goblins, Ghouls & Ghosts, Super Ghouls & Ghosts, Exed Exes, Gun.Smoke, Street Fighter II, Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting, Street Fighter II Champion Edition, Trojan, Pirate Ship Higemaru, Vulgus (Capcom's very first game!), Section Z, Forgotten Worlds, Legendary Wings, Son son, Mercs and Final Fight.

Needless to say we're pretty excited about getting our hands on these treasures. Sure I can play them anytime on my PC with MAME, but it will be nice having everything all one disk that I can play on the Xbox or PS2. The Ghosts & Goblins series are some of the most difficult side-scrolling affairs ever created and if you're even thinking that you're an uber-gamer, beat these first and then come and talk to us. You haven't paid your dues until you've reached the final boss in any of the Ghost games and then....oh, why ruin the fun by telling you? Let me just say that in my youth, I hurled a joystick across the room after a certain something....play it to find out it's devilish dark secret.

If classic arcade compilations are your thing, watch for Midway Arcade Treasures 3 and an upcoming collection from Taito entitled Taito Legends.

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System: Xbox, PS2
Dev: Capcom
Pub: Capcom
Release: Sept 2005
Players: 1 - 2
Review by StewXX
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
4.0
GRAPHICS
4.5
CONTROL
4.0
MUSIC/FX
3.5
VALUE
3.5