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November 17, 2005
Capcom Classics Collection - Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
28/11/2005THQCapcom /
Digital Eclipse
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen

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Mercs, still awesome.
It seems that every game company is making retro packages. Sega, Taito, Midway, Namco. They've all been there (or are in the process of) but Capcom has one of the strongest arcade histories and any retro package from them is bound to turn heads. It must be said that ours was turning quicker then most. This isn't a half assed compilation with a couple of games poorly ported. No. This is 22 arcade titles ported almost pixel perfect and with a tonne of unlockable extras for you to discover. These 22 games were released in arcades (actually Super Ghouls and Ghosts is from the Super Nintendo, so 21 arcade games) in the late 1980's and very early 1990's so there's a plenty of variety here.

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So let's look at what games are in this title. First up is a trilogy of shooters from the one series. They are 1942 (released in 1984), 1943 (1987) and 1943 Kai (1987). These are widely regarded as being among the best shooters during the late 1980's and indeed they hold up pretty well today. Bionic Commando (1987) is a rather interesting side scrolling action title which still holds up today and is quite a challenge. Commando (1985) is one of the absolute classic titles on this compilation, and while the controls make it a little awkward it's well worth your time. Exed Exes is one of the lesser known shooter titles.

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Forgotten Worlds.
Next up is confirmation of one of the greatest beat 'em ups of the 16-bit era - Final Fight (1989). Unlike the Super Nintendo game this includes all three main characters - Cody, Guy and Hagar. This is one of the greatest beat 'em ups of all time and was the first game we headed for when we booted up this compilation. It's amazing how well this game still holds up today.

Forgotten Worlds is widely regarded as one of the best side-scrolling shooters of its era and there's little doubt that it still holds up well today. Also holding up well is Capcom’s trilogy of Ghosts n' Goblins (1985), Ghouls 'n Ghosts (1988) and Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts (1991). Those unfamiliar with the series are in for a massive treat as all three games are among the best side scrolling action/platform games available. They were rock hard though with pixel precision needed for King Arthur to land jumps and kill enemies but for fans of the series their inclusion is worth the price of the package alone.

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Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts.
Gun Smoke (1985) and Legendary Wings (1986) are both lesser known titles. The former being a shooter set in the old west and the latter a top-down shooter. The next game however, Mercs (1990) is one of the newer titles on this compilation and a fantastic top-down shooter often referred to as the spiritual successor to Commando. The graphics and gameplay were engrossing and this is certainly one of this compilations highlights. Pirate Ship Higemaru (1984) and Section Z (1987) are, to be honest, games we'd never heard of until now but are both very early Capcom titles. Both SonSon (1984) and Trojan (1986) are side scrolling games - both quite highly respected in their day so they are likely to have a few fans. Vulgus (1984) is another top-down shooter which we weren't familiar with here at Future Gamez but turned out to be a fine addition.

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The original Street Fighter 2!
It's an impressive list but there's one game which may sway more people to buy it then any other - Street Fighter 2 (1991). Yes, Capcom are including their biggest fighting game of all time in the compilation. Not only that but they are also including Street Fighter 2: Champion Ed. (1992) and Street Fighter 2 Turbo (1992). With perfect arcade ports these games are as perfect, and classic, as we could ever hope. If you've never played these games then you've missed out on some of the greatest one-on-one beat 'em ups of all time, but not any more.

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Cody in Final Fight.
One of the fantastic things about this package is that the developers haven't just dumped the games onto a disc and that's it. Digital Eclipse have also included unlockable content for each of the games be it original artwork, bio's for the games characters, music tracks and more. These are unlocked by completing goals in each game. It may be that you have to play with all the main characters, or reach a certain score, finish the game, or use one of the items in the game and so on. This is actually quite a challenge and will take you a considerable amount time to unlock everything.

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Bionic Commando.
Graphics, as you can imagine, are night on pixel perfect to the original arcade games. Running emulation of the original ROMs means that there is very little missing here although there was the odd occasion where there was some flickering of sprites, especially in larger explosions. Perhaps these were a part of the original games too, we can't remember, but it never affects the gameplay in any way.

One very neat aspect to the graphics is the ability to pause the game being run and then either re- configure the graphics to put the scores off to the side, or to actually stretch the image in both vertical and horizontal directions. I would love to know why more developers haven't used this in PAL territories to remove the borders in more games, or at least give gamers the option to do so.

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1943 Kai.
With audio in Capcom Classic Collection's games taken directly from the original arcade games much of it is very basic but you will notice that as you progress through the decade covered in this pack that both the music and effects improve significantly. One must remember that these games, in their original arcade form were on ROM chips, and certainly not CD or DVD, so the audio was heavily compressed as a result. It may sound average by today’s standards, but in their day even the smallest bit of speech (such as the country names in Street Fighter 2) was something to be amazed by. On some of the bigger games the developers give you the option of playing remixed music for a little more quality which is a nice addition.

The equation is simple. If you love retro packages, or indeed played many of these games back in their day, then Capcom Classics Collection is an essential addition to your library. For only $49.95 (even cheaper if you shop around no doubt) this is a bargain purchase that will have you hooked for days trying to unlock all the bonus content and reliving many fond memories. A sensational package.

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version) or Amazon (NTSC Version).
GRAPHICSNear perfect ports of classic arcade games. Looks fantastic.
SOUNDPerfect reproduction of originals, some games have remixed music!
GAMEPLAYIf you were a gamer in the 1980's and 90's this has great memories.
VALUE22 games, with almost a dozen stand outs. Superb unlockable content.
OVERALLCapcom Classics Collection is everything we hoped for and then some. If you're an old school gamer then this is an essential purchase on PS2. Without a doubt the best retro package ever.

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