Capcom Fighting Collection is out and more importantly, the entire Darkstalkers arcade collection is included and available in the West for the first time. That series specifically is one I have always wanted to try, but the others included here are not bad either.
Alright, so basically this game is a collection of ten different Capcom arcade releases from the Darkstalkers series, Street Fighter series, and a couple other original ones. That said, it is a little bit misleading to say “ten games” because technically Darkstalkers 3 is split into three separate games here: Vampire Savior, Vampire Hunter 2: Darkstalkers’ Revenge, and Vampire Savior 2: The Lord of Vampire.
Vampire Savior is the main game and Hunter 2 and Savior 2 are updated versions of it that split the character roster Pokémon-style and introduced some gameplay changes that remain controversial within the Darkstalkers community. From my research, most tend to just stick with the original Vampire Savior, so these other versions are mostly there for completion’s sake.
Regardless, the other three Darkstalkers games are solid and Vampire Savior was easily my favorite of the bunch. Very fast gameplay, fluid animations and movement, unique characters and movesets – It just feels good to play and I can see why it is considered one of the greatest in the genre. Considering that this was the main reason I wanted the collection, it’s already proven itself worthwhile there, but there’s more than just that.
Next up you got Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, which is the only game in the pack that does not play like a traditional fighting game. Rather, it plays like Puyo Puyo or Tetris, where you drop blocks onto your side of the screen in an effort to match them up by color and then send waves of garbage blocks to your opponent’s side every time a match is made. Bigger chain combos lead to bigger attacks and it’s honestly a lot more fun than I thought it would be. It’s never not satisfying to get a massive dump of garbage blocks on your screen and then ignite this mega combo to send it right back at your opponent.
Anyways, that leads into the next game – Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix. This one returns to the traditional fighting game formula, but uses the same character assets from Puzzle Fighter II and has some dumbed down gameplay to match the chibi designs. It’s got this cool mechanic where you can upgrade your moves by picking up gems mid-match, but it’s not as fun to play as others in the pack and was a bit too casual for my tastes. It’s fun for a little bit – it just doesn’t have the depth to really carry it beyond that, ending up as my least favorite game in the collection.
Then you get Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition and honestly, what is there to say about this one. It basically takes all of the previous Street Fighter II releases and cobbles them together into one, allowing you to pick not only characters from any of those releases, but their specific variation based on that release. You can end up with something like base Ryu from the original Street Fighter II against Turbo E. Honda from Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting. I’ve never really been into the arcade Street Fighter games, but even I can appreciate the sheer magnitude of options here.
Then there’s Cyberbots: Full Metal Madness, the first game in the pack not from the Darkstalkers or Street Fighter series. It’s a 2D fighter like the rest, but played with very large and clunky mechs – which sounds awful, but was actually some of the most fun I had with the collection. Something about swinging around these giant limbs, shooting off rockets and grenades, and tearing off your opponent’s limbs to limit their attacks is just so satisfying and while the game may not be as “competitive” as the rest, it is definitely fun.
The last game is Red Earth and unlike the rest of the games in the pack, it’s more of a singleplayer-focused boss rush game with some light RPG elements. You run through a gauntlet of bosses, leveling up your character with new skills, and there’s even a password feature so you can bring your leveled-up character into the next session and so on. It’s definitely not the greatest for a versus experience – there are only four characters after all – but it’s a cool twist on the genre norm and worth a shot.
So yeah, that’s all the games in the pack. Solid variety there and they are all ported faithfully to PC with a few quality of life features on top of that, such as different graphic filters, screen sizes, and some insanely advanced controller customization on both keyboard and mouse and controller. Like, you can literally bind individual moves to certain buttons and any number of button combinations. Some may see this as cheating the system, but as far as accessibility goes, Capcom went above and beyond here.
There’s also practice mode so you can lab an individual game, a museum mode where you can view artwork and behind the scenes stuff, and of course, online mode too. While it does have rollback netcode, the online mode does not have any crossplay, so I honestly do not expect it to maintain that big a playerbase. It’s a shame, because if you go into this collection without someone to play it with, there really isn’t that much to do outside of just back-to-back arcade modes – which, while fun for a bit, doesn’t give the collection any real longevity. It’s a game that lives and dies by its multiplayer component, so that is definitely something to keep in mind before picking it up.
Capcom Fighting Collection is a solid collection of games and a great way for new players to get into some classics – such as me and Darkstalkers. There are a couple iffy games here, but the rest more than make up for it and are a lot of fun to mess around with in multiplayer. If you’re looking for singleplayer stuff, it probably isn’t worth it, but if you have friends to play it with then it is easily worth a look.
Quote: Capcom Fighting Collection is a solid collection of games and a great way for new players to get into some classics. There are a couple iffy games here, but the rest more than make up for it.
Capcom Fighting Collection retails for $40 USD on Steam, but you can get an official Steam key for 10% off using my Gamesplanet partner link. Gamesplanet is also running a bunch of summer deals right now, plenty even cheaper than the current Steam summer sale – including stuff like BlazBlue and a whole lot of Sega games, so give it a look if you’re interested.
I was provided a review copy of the game in order to write this review. Read more about how I do my game reviews here.