Capcom Classics Collection Volume 2 PS2 Review

May 31, 2010 by  
Filed under PS2, Retro Content, Retro Reviews

Capcom have long been aware of the value of their back catalogue, updating old characters and releasing compilations of their arcade hits (for example, the Capcom Generations series for the PlayStation). So how does this latest set of 20 games put together by developer Digital Eclipse compare?

After a brief intro, the title screen appears with the list of games to be scrolled through. Leaving the selection on a title for a short while will replace the logo with a brief glimpse of the game in action, which is a nice touch. Square leads to the options screen, while Circle takes you to the bonus features (more on these later). R2 brings up the high scores for the current game. Cross loads the games, and in most cases this is a very short delay. While loading the default controls are displayed to help you. Once the game has started, Cross lets you start the game and Start pauses.

Each game comes with three bonus items to be unlocked by achieving set targets (which can be viewed from the pause menu). Generally, tips are the easiest to unlock by reaching a set score/level, artwork comes available by beating a particular boss whilst the music player is unlocked by completing the game. The targets are well pitched, and relatively easy to achieve with infinite continues available. To test the player’s knowledge of Capcom’s history, there is an extra quiz (based on Quiz & Dragons) available from the main menu. It’s worthwhile playing this – it unlocks cheats for the other games, although you cannot earn bonus features while using a cheat. It’s a good idea to switch auto-save on to make sure the unlockable items are saved onto your memory card, although some may find it irritating when the bonus panel appears in mid-game.

FIGHTING

Capcom’s most famous beat ‘em up is represented by two versions – the original Street Fighter (with 6-button control replacing the original’s pressure-sensitive pads) and Super Street Fighter II Turbo (with the four new fighters).

Avengers is less well known, a vertically scrolling game where the player uses fists and feet to defeat the bad guys.

Captain Commando builds on the Final Fight template with four different heroes including a baby!

King of Dragons and Knights of the Round are very similar, Capcom’s take on the Golden Axe fantasy style. King of Dragons has some nice set pieces like the final red dragon, and Knights has the ability to ride a horse.

JUMPING

Strider was eagerly awaited for this second volume, and doesn’t disappoint. The athletic main hero fights across some great backgrounds.

Black Tiger was heavily promoted as one of the first CPS boards and it has some good moments, but the difficulty level is rather steep.

Tiger Road is very frustrating with short levels and the limited range of the main weapon.

Magic Sword sits halfway between platform and horizontal scrolling beat ‘em up, with sidekicks adding extra firepower when they are released from their cells.

Playing a lot like the later Wonder Boy games, Mega Twins is very cute with its big-eyed enemies.

SHOOTING

One of my favourite Capcom games is on here, The Speed Rumbler. Cute cartoon graphics contrast with the tough gameplay as the hero somersaults in and out of his car to rescue the kidnapped residents.

Last Duel has a neat twist in the form of a trike that turns into a flying spacecraft, but again it is a tough game.1941 was the third of the series, and features an energy bar rather than lives. The roll manoeuvre has become an offensive attack, unleashing death.

Playing in a similar style is Varth, with its choice of rotating or static pods to defend the player’s ship.

The environmentally themed Eco Fighters plays well, with its unusual power-up – a rotating arm that can be used to kill enemies, and will unleash a more powerful burst of fire after holding down the shoot button.

Side Arms has aged badly in comparison to games like Gradius, partly down to the use of separate buttons to fire left and right.

THINKING & BOUNCING

Quiz & Dragons adds a fantasy element to the trivia machine, with the player fighting monsters by answering questions correctly. The four face buttons select the answer, and also the direction to travel on the map screen.

Block Block is a very dull Arkanoid clone that is not redeemed by colourful level designs.

Possibly the most unusual game here is Three Wonders, effectively a compilation of three separate games – the platform-based Midnight Wanderers, the shoot ‘em up Chariot and puzzle game Don’t Pull.

The emulation throughout is excellent, with very few problems. The ability to view an enhanced display (with game logos) and switch between 50 and 60Hz is also appreciated. The whole package is well presented and is easy to navigate. Care and thought has obviously been poured into it, from the configuration options to the tutorial videos for Super Street Fighter II Turbo. The list of games is perhaps not as strong as the first volume, but that is a minor point. Capcom fans will lap up another excellent compilation and it comes recommended for anyone interested in the roots of one of the top companies still in the business.

8/10

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