Capcom is known for creating great fighting game franchises over the decades, especially the Street Fighter series. While there have been a number of Street Fighter collections, there hasn’t ever been a collection of Capcom fighting games quite like the Capcom Fighting Collection.
The Capcom Fighting Collection is a series of fighting games (and one puzzle game) released by Capcom in the ’90s. This collection has a focus on the Darkstalkers series of fighting games, with two games in the series never released before in the west. There’s three Street Fighter titles, with only one of them being a “proper” Street Fighter game: Street Fighter II Anniversary. Then there’s Cyberbots: Fullmetal Madness, a fighting game featuring giant robots, and Red Earth, a fighting game and role-playing game mixed into one. I’m not complaining about the games that are available—they’re all fantastic—but it feels like Capcom wanted to make a Darkstalkers collection and rounded it out with a few unrelated titles.
While many people associate Capcom fighting games with the incredibly popular Street Fighter series, this collection is really more about Darkstalkers, with the first five games in the series making an appearance. Darkstalkers, to put it as simply as possible, is like a horror-themed Street Fighter II. This series spawned popular characters like the vampiric Morrigan and the cat fighter Felicia. With five games in the series to sink your teeth into, there’s a lot of horror-themed fighting to be done.
Still, it wouldn’t be a collection of Capcom fighting games with a Street Fighter or two. Technically, there’s only one main series Street Fighter game with Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition. This version of Street Fighter II is perhaps the definitive edition of Street Fighter II, and features every character from every Street Fighter II release. There is also Super Gem Fighter, with chibi characters and an interesting gem mechanic that allows you to level-up your fighting moves during matches. And then my personal favorite: Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo.
While Puzzle Fighter might not technically be a fighting game, it’s one of the best versus puzzle game I’ve played. This isn’t the HD REMIX version that released on Xbox Live arcade and other platforms a decade (or so) ago, but the original arcade version—something that hasn’t been available at retail since the PlayStation and Sega Saturn versions. Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo features Puyo Puyo meets Tetris type gameplay, where you combine colored gems that can be destroyed by crash gems. The larger the gem, and the higher the combo, the more gems you drop onto your opponent’s side. It’s simple, but definitely one of the sleeper highlights of the collection.
Then there are two games unrelated to the rest of the series that have been featured: Red Earth and Cyberbots: Fullmetal Madness.
Red Earth is a game that takes fighting game mechanics and combines it with RPG-like progression. It can almost be described as a boss rush as you take one of four different fighters and pit them against a series of monstrous foes. The Capcom Fighting Collection is the first time Red Earth has been released outside of arcades.
Cyberbots: Fullmetal Madness takes familiar fighting game mechanics, and adds in giant stompy robots. I can never get enough of fighting mechs, and Cyberbots is one of the best fighting games ever to feature such combat. Unlike most fighting games where you choose a fighter and learn their moveset, you can mix and match fighters with different styles of robots called Variant Armors.
While you can play all of these games in single player and couch versus modes, each of the games now feature rollback multiplayer netcode. This ensures that you can play with people all over the world in casual or ranked matches. There is even a spectator mode so you can watch other fighters and possibly even learn a few tricks.
One of the best parts of the Capcom Fighting Collection is its Museum. I am all about game preservation, and the Museum is exactly the type of game history that should be digitized and made more widely available. The museum features sketches, concept art, promotional art and music across the games. I wish the museum was more consistent with the type of items it featured, but I appreciate what we get. I would have loved to have some arcade cabinet art, too, but alas, there is none.
While the Capcom Fighting Collection seems like an eclectic mix of fighting games, they’re all excellent. Not only is the Capcom Fighting Collection feature 10 great fighting games, it has modern rollback netcode added, and a museum to check out pictures and music from each of the games. Even if you’re not a fan of the Darkstalkers series, games like Red Earth and Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo are gems that weren’t easily available until the release of this collection.
A Steam key was provided to us for this review