Capcom Classics Collection PS2 Review

With an amazing backlog of games, arguably one of the largest in terms of high quality, its no surprise that Capcom's compilation, Capcom Classics Collection, is one of the best to date. This is a set of the company's best (and a few of their lesser titles just for historical sake), almost all memorable and instantly recognizable. The variety is amazing, and for $20, this is a steal.

The full list of games is enough to induce a nostalgic seizure:

1943 Kai
Bionic Commando
Exed Exes
Final Fight
Forgotten Worlds
Ghost n' Goblins
Ghouls n' Ghosts
Legendary Wings
Pirate Ship Higemaru
Section Z
Son Son
Street Fighter II
Street Fighter II Champion Edition
Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting
Super Ghouls n' Ghosts

Purists will waste no time in pointing out that Strider is the most obvious deletion even though it falls within the same time frame as the rest. Aside from that gaffe, the rest of the games are necessary in Capcom's long history. It's important to note that aside from Super Ghouls n' Ghosts which was on the Super NES, the rest of these are the arcade versions. Bionic Commando is radically different then the game we all played on the NES, and not for the better.

That oddball arcade game falls in line with a few others in this set, including the awful Exed Exes, dull Pirate Ship Higemaru, and Capcom's first game ever released Vulgus. Those are the true missteps in this set, and there are plenty of other games in their storied line to choose from. It's important to note that these are all amazingly well translated, bad games or not. Most come with remixed soundtracks (though not Final Fight, which would have benefited tremendously from the music on the Sega CD port) and plenty of extras that need to be unlocked. The company offers plenty of reasons to play through each game, and mercifully offers auto-fire on everything that needs it.

As for the games everyone will buy this collection for, there's not much to discuss. These are almost flawless translations, and any mistakes will only be found by insane die-hard fans. Added bonuses are some of the games in this compilation that were never released in the US, including the touched-up 1943 Kai and bland Higemaru. Regardless of quality, it's great to play these games outside of emulators.

The final complaint is the glut of sequels. There are three games in the Ghost series, three from Street Fighter II, and three from the 194X series. The Street Fighters are the biggest complaint, given their inclusion in the PS One Street Fighter Collection 2 and the recent release of Street Fighter Anniversary Collection. Even with the incredible variety, the inclusion of so many sequels is disappointing.

Still, it all adds up to 22 games, one of the largest game collections outside of the early-80s Intellivision and Atari sets. It's hard to criticize Capcom for anything here other than with personal selections not included, and the almost guaranteed follow-up will likely take care of that. There's little reason for any classic gaming fan not to own this. Actually, it should be a requirement.

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