Capcom Fighting Collection is around the corner this summer and with it comes a delightful group of classic arcade fighters from the well-known to the downright obscure. I had a chance to sit down and re-explore a number of the games in Capcom Fighting Collection in offline arcade play. These games were built to eat quarters and that much has remained intact, but it’s still shaping up to be a great trip down memory lane.
Cyberbots, a Red Earth, and a whole lotta Darkstalkers
Unlike the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, Capcom Fighting Collection has more variety to it. Yes, it still has a Street Fighter game with Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition, and actually, that’s a good choice because that game is 5 different versions of Street Fighter 2 in one (even if the CPU doesn’t seem to like to play the characters from the version you pick).
Nonetheless, the point is that there’s a bit more variety here. I liked being able to dip in and out of Darkstalkers games, Street Fighter, Cyberbots, and the reason I flipped my lid when I first saw this collection announced: Red Earth. Red Earth is such an outlier of Capcom fighting lore and many may not know of it outside dedicated fighting fans. It’s basically a gauntlet of fantasy-fiction boss fights in fighting game form and I’m glad that more people get to see it here.
That said, I won’t pretend this isn’t top-heavy on a certain brand. Five of the ten games are from the Darkstalkers/Vampire series. I don’t mind that because this is the most love Darkstalkers has gotten in a long time and I hope it’s a sign of Capcom being interested in reviving this series for a new fighter. It’s also just fun as heck re-exploring the games that iconic Capcom characters like Morrigan, Hsien-Ko, and Talbain came from. Some of the games are Japan-only variants and I feel like only the most discerning will really get the modicum of differences between versions. To top it off, Super Puzzle Fighter 2 and Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix round things out with a cute and light-hearted touch and there are English and Japanese arcade versions of pretty much all games.
Each of these games are pretty much arcade tough in their default settings, too. In the original Darkstalkers and Hyper Street Fighter 2, it’s pretty easy to tell that the CPU is input reading you from pretty much Round 1. Other games like Super Gem Fighter, Darkstalker’s Revenge, and Cyberbots are more forgiving, though. And even then, you can adjust the options of any of these games to reduce (or increase) the difficulty to your liking. There’s also a quick save feature in the game that can be accessed from a universal pause menu to allow you to cheese some situations if you just want to beat a game.
One thing I really enjoyed as I was playing through the preview was the training modes built for each game. Move lists are nice, but being able to actually practice those inputs and figure out what strategies work for me is something the old arcades and some of the console ports didn’t offer. In most games, you can change the stages, the characters you fight, their behavior, and other options to practice to your heart’s content. I feel like that’s something that will be delightful for a lot of players and fans.
I got next
Capcom Fighting Collection is shaping up to be a fantastic walk down memory lane and a great variety pack for any fan of old school fighting games. It would be cool even if it was just that, but the features such as changeable settings like difficulty, quick-saving, English and Japanese versions, and training modes really bring the most out of the offline experience. Of course, there’s a lot that remains to be proven in the online experience, the ease of access in its lobbies, and the netcode, but if one just wants to play around with any of these games in offline arcade mode, it looks as though they’re in for a treat when the game launches this summer.
This preview is based on an early build of the game supplied by the publisher. Capcom Fighting Collection is slated to release sometime in June 2022 on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam.