Capcom Classics Collection
Release year - USA:2005
Company: Capcom
System: Playstation 2
Genre: Compilation
Players: 1-2

Review by: PrimeOp

This compilation of Capcom's arcade outfit charts their journey from the beginning (Vulgus) to the height of Street Fighter II mania.

ScrollBoss is all about the side-scrollers, so let's talk about them first. The biggest draw of this whole thing for me is an unbutchered version of the arcade Final Fight. None of the names (Damnd and Sodom) have been changed, all women of questionable origin appear in their hot pants-wearing glory and booze can found on the streets (and oil drums) of Metro City again. It took a long time to get, but it was worth the wait! Ghosts n' Goblins fans rejoice, for both arcade games of the series appear as well as the much beloved SNES game, Super Ghouls and Ghosts. Maximo followers who never had a chance to play that game's inspiration finally have a chance to roll with King Arthur and his infinite stash of javelins. Fans of the NES game Bionic Commando need not look for that game here, because the arcade version is much different, but even those who like that version better will want to beat it for the art gallery. Trojan, one of the first games Capcom ported to the NES, shows how early the company planned to master the art of the platform game. If you're looking for a real challenge, this game is no joke. Well, except for the obvious condom jokes, but that's not the point.
Finally, Final Fight can be played as it was meant to be played.

Although it doesn't have the highly expanded extra mode of the Genesis version, there's no denying the thrill of playing a full-color, all-out arcade version of Mercs at home. If you have a good system, explosive moments like this will sound glorious.
Let's move on to the largest genre represented on the disc: the shooters. The 'top-down/bird's eye' character shooter is represented by the game that may have started it all, Commando. This is much tougher than the NES cart, since there are many more enemies and bullets there to kill you. Gun.Smoke is like a wild-west version of Commando and just as filled with bullets. Legendary Wings does not feature Michelle Heart who only appears in the Japanese version, Ares no Tsubasa. This one's just the sausage party that the U.S. got the first time. Oh well. The games in the 1940's aerial combat series include 1942, 1943 and 1943 KAI. Forgotten Worlds features the two Unknown Soldiers (the 2nd of which is said to be the inspiration of Two.P's name)flying through the remains of the apocalypse and shooting down otherworldly attackers. The 360 degrees shooting feature is lovingly recreated with the analog stick. Section Z is much more linear in arcade form than it's NES port, but is still action-packed. The shooters are rounded out by the legendary Exed Exes and Vulgus, Capcom's first game ever. In short, you can find a high-quality example of any type of shoot-em-up (no first-person stuff here) on this disc.

Finally, there are a few others games in other categories or that just defy being categorized. An earlier game, Son Son, is an auto-scrolling platform shooter with cute, charming character that look great even in such a small sprite size. In fact, you'll find that Son-Son sprite as a bonus in later Capcom games like Strider 2. The same goes for the barrels in another early Japanese hit, Pirate Ship Higemaru, an action/puzzle game where you must fight off a pirate raid by rolling barrels. Like Bosconian on Namco Museum 1, this is an addictive game that I'd never heard of before. Finally, there's the first 3 editions of Street Fighter II. For you new jacks who think that the upgrades were unnecessary, play them all in order to fully appreciate them. Thanks to the SNES version, many people forget that the arcade version of SFII didn't allow mirror matches. Each game has a wide assortment of unlockable goodies and bonus options by completing certain tasks. Final Fight's gallery even includes some line art that was later converted to sprites. Quite a few games also feature BGM remixes of the music. As any good classic compilation does, it entertains and educates at the same time.
Unlock a mad amount of bonus content in this game, including character biographies and official artwork.

2005 was a great year of compilation titles and Capcom hit us with one of the best. There is obvious magic in playing arcade versions of games like Final Fight & Mercs on a home system. This is a solid buy if you're a fan of Capcom's earliest years, a Final Fight fanatic, a G n' G junkie or a fan of classic shoot-em-ups.

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