The almighty ‘collection’. At some point in every game publisher’s life, a collection of games from the depths of the company’s backlog will emerge from the crusty embrace of old age. Some of those collections are good, some are dreadful, and some are great—the latter of which Capcom Fighting Collection falls under. Featuring ten games of yore, most notably the Darkstalkers series, Capcom has gone back and added some nice and very-welcome quality-of-life features for the modern gamer, such as multiplayer with rollback netcode, training modes, choosing the game’s release region, and more.
Capcom is no stranger to collections. Besides their older console collection releases, such as their Capcom Classics Collection on the PlayStation 2, I’ve found their modern releases to be poor to somewhat decent, like the Arcade Stadium and the Mega Man collections. See a collection of games might sound cool, but all it takes is added input latency and/or incorrect graphical representation to make that version one of the worst ways to playing that game (see Bandai Namco’s latest Pac-Man release for reference). So going into this collection I was a bit skeptical, but in the end, I came out pleasantly surprised.
As I mentioned earlier, the Capcom Fighting Collection features ten games. Five of which derive from Darkstalkers, three Street Fighter-related titles, and two one-off games called Cyberbots and Red Earth. Although being a very Darkstalkers-focused release, the addition of the two aforementioned one-offs I welcome with open arms, as they’ve never gotten a modern-day equivalent release. Yes, I’m going further back than the PlayStation 2, which at least has the 2005 Darkstalkers Collection. More ports are always welcome, even if they do lack a localisation, such as the Vampire Hunter 2 and Vampire Savior 2 titles in this collection.
Oh, and uh, Street Fighter is here, too. Puzzle Fighter, Gem Fighter, and Hyper Street Fighter II. Forgive the sarcasm, but it’s nice to see Capcom acknowledge their other fighters for once.
Each game is presented in a well-designed main menu (funky music a necessity) that separates offline play from online, the art and music gallery, and your in-game challenges. You’ll have no problem navigating this menu, and it’s easy to jump from game to game and switch the game’s region if you so desire (although there is a small annoyance with this feature caused by two of the games, it’s ultimately not a big deal). There are customisable controls with two slots if you desire another configuration plus turbo options and a handicap mode, although I’m not too sure how much that changes the game(s). Quick saving is an option for all games, but there’s only one global slot which isn’t the best but you can run through these games fairly quickly so it’s not the end of the world.
Each game has a training mode to help you practise your moves, and you can choose whether you’d like to start as Player 1 or Player 2. A friend can hop in at any time and play against you just by pressing a button on another controller. It really is seamless! And the best part is I noticed no input latency, which of course would be a nail in the coffin for a fighting game.
Another new feature is online play for all the games. Both casual and ranked matchmaking modes are available. And besides Puzzle Fighter, all of them feature rollback netcode. Explaining that goes beyond the scope of this review but know that you’ll be glad to see it especially as the game also allows for cross-region multiplayer. Sadly, there is no cross-platform matchmaking, and in my opinion, such a feature is a necessity for fighters because of how small the player pools tend to be past launch week. If that does come to pass, know that local play works very well.
Besides being a darn good collection, it all comes down to whether or not you’re interested in the games. For fans of Darkstalkers and Capcom’s fighters in general, the improvements and first-time ports are worth it, plus the museum has some nice goodies like concept art and design documents. These games are still visual treats with lovely spritework and animations, too. And while I don’t think this will net a tonne of newcomers into fighting games and Darlkstalkers, ports for today’s hardware (with good improvements!) are always welcome.
|Reviewed on||Windows PC/Steam|
|Available on||Xbox One and Series, PlayStation 4 and 5, Nintendo Switch, PC/Steam|
|Release Date||24th of June, 2022|
|Developer||Capcom Co., Ltd.|
|Publisher||Capcom Co., Ltd.|
|Game Rating||T for Teen – Blood and Gore, Mild Language, Partial Nudity, Use of Tobacco, Violence|