I’m all for Capcom classic arcade fighting games collections, but I’m also not so fast to forget the likes of the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, which was not terrible, but left quite a few things to be desired. That said, Capcom Fighting Collection leans into the Darkstalkers side of Capcom history with a few rather fun add-ons to make it a solid gathering of old school fighting games. While it still doesn’t quite hit all of the marks I would like, it’s a pretty good collection for the connoisseur of old-school arcade punchies.
Put your quarter up
What do you get here with Capcom Fighting Collection? The 10 following games:
- Darkstalkers (English & Japanese)
- Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge (English & Japanese)
- Vampire Savior: The Lord of Vampire (Darkstalkers 3) (English & Japanese)
- Vampire Hunter 2: Darkstalkers’ Revenge (Japanese)
- Vampire Savior 2: The Lord of Vamprie (Japanese)
- Red Earth (English & Japanese)
- Cyberbots: Fullmetal Madness (English & Japanese)
- Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo (English & Japanese)
- Hyper Street Fighter 2: The Anniversary Edition (English & Japanese)
- Super Gem Fighter Minimix (English & Japanese)
This is a pretty neat mix of games for a number of reasons. Two of the Darkstalkers games (Vampire Hunter 2 and Vampire Savior 2) have never been released in the United States before and Red Earth has never been playable outside of hard-to-find arcades. Even then, having Puzzle Fighter, Cyberbots, and a solid Street Fighter entry alongside those aforementioned games, all in one place, is a delight.
This is made even more special by the fact that Capcom created quite a few fun features on top of these games for Capcom Fighting Collection. Quick-saving or quick-loading a state returns (though you only get one slot shared across all games), but it’s the addition of training mode that really makes me happy. You can actually go into Red Earth, Darkstalkers, or Cyberbots and practice with your favorite characters and a bevy of customizable options such as opponents, their state, and various life bar, super meter, and other arrangements to hone your craft. The only issue here being that not every game has a training mode. Super Gem Fighter Minimix is excluded from this feature for some reason.
Eclectic battles online and offline
It’s all well and good to see all these games here, but an important factor is in how they play. Old school tournament enthusiasts and attendees will also be happy to hear that Capcom went out of its way to ensure that the games included in this collection are the versions that are generally used in tournament play as well. For instance, there are a number of different versions of Darkstalker ROMs and not all of these versions are considered the proper tournament variations with proper balancing and all. Every one of these games is the proper version to tournaments still going on today. The only difference is some feature a game-breaking bug fix here or there, all of which are notated by game on the Capcom Fighting Collection website.
Ultimately, these games all play wonderfully, and as close to the original as possible. That’s sometimes for better or for worse as a few of these games epitomize the label of “quarter eater.” For instance, right from Stage 1 in the original Darkstalkers, you’ll find the CPU blatantly reading your inputs and countering your moves. Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo is another game where the computer will mercilessly crush you if your gameplan isn’t optimized. The fact of the matter is that on default, some of these games are just insanely hard because they were built to take your allowance. Thankfully, there’s difficulty adjustments too if you want an easier challenge. There are also ease of access features like one-button special moves and supers in each game. I loved having this, but you can also turn the one-button specials/supers off in offline and online play if you want.
Then there’s online play. Capcom Fighting Collection lets you play ranked or casual matches with any of the games available, or create a custom lobby with one chosen game for a room of up to 9 players. Here again, you can pick customizable options such as tournament settings, adjusted rules allowing for things like first-to-5-win matches, or when a player bows out to let the next in.
The lobby system sucked in Street Fighter 30th Anniversary collection and I’m glad to report that it’s been much improved here. It feels easy to set up and get into matches in any given game on ranked, casual, or custom lobbies and the lobbies themselves feel much easier to navigate. The only thing that’s missing is crossplay between the various platforms, which Capcom has confirmed is unavailable at this time. It played well with other players online, but I sure would like to be able to play against others regardless of whether they were using console, PC, or whatever.
Treasures of a bygone era
I never thought we’d see love for Darkstalkers again outside of something like another Vs. Capcom game. Not only am I happy to have been wrong, but I’m glad it came in such generally high quality as Capcom has given us here in the Capcom Fighting Collection. More than that, having Red Earth, Cyberbots, and Super Puzzle Fighter alongside options like training modes, one-button specials, and other quality-of-life features is just excellent. I lament the lack of crossplay, and some might not be fond of the arcade-hard mentality of some of these games. Still, Capcom Fighting Collection is a delicious buffet of classic fighting goodness that plays quite well across the board.
This review is based on a PC digital copy supplied by the publisher. Capcom Fighting Collection comes out on June 24, 2022 on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam.
Capcom Fighting Collection
- 10 excellent games
- Tournament edition JPN & US ROMs
- Training modes on most games
- Solid online play & lobby system
- QoL features such as difficulty, save state & one-button specials
- Some games are arcade hard on default
- No crossplay
- Some games don't get training mode & other features
TJ Denzer posted a new article, Capcom Fighting Collection review: A punchy treasure trove