Developed and Published By: Capcom Categories: Retro, Compilation, Fighter Release Date: 06.24.22
Oh my god, Red Earth finally has a console port after over twenty years. Oh yeah, there’s a bunch of Darkstalkers games too. Capcom Fighting Collection is the latest in Capcom’s endless saga of re-releasing their old games.
I wonder if this started as a Darkstalkers/Vampire collection at one point. We have Darkstalkers, Vampire Hunter, Vampire Savior, as well as Hunter 2 and Savior 2. Half of our collection. We then have Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, a fun competitive puzzle game that’s a bit of a Capcom crossover as well as Super Gem Fighter. Finishing up, we have a port of Hyper Street Fighter II, as well as Cyberbots, and for the first time ever, Red Earth!
Of Course I Main Felicia
Lets start with the Darkstalkers games. If you’ve played any of the Marvel Vs games, you probably have this series to thank and not just for the endlessly reused Morrigan sprite. Imagine Street Fighter, but smoother, more wacky, and with some of the absolute best sprite animation done by Capcom. Now theme it around classic horror films. Capcom was starting to make some of their best and most popular fighters around this time of 1994 and 1995, and this series stands with them. I’m also sure you remember Midnight Bliss too.
I’ll admit, I don’t really like the original Darkstalkers. This is a series that evolved as it went on. To me, the original game seems a bit stilted and slow. Special Moves aren’t as plentiful as you’d expect and chances are you’ll be doing a lot of EX Combos instead, something that SSF2T did. That said, it’s improvements like air blocking is stuff you STILL see, it’s invaluable. I love this cast too, so lets move onto the next game, Vampire Hunter.
You can immediately feel the difference. New to the game as Hsien Ko and Donovan, the Dark Hunters. I will still main the sexy catgirl nun, Felicia however. The animation is so much better this time around, putting it up to what people probably remember a tad closer. Chain Combos and banking your special meter are introduced, something you’ll definitely recognize in a Vs game. On top of that, you can even play as the bosses from Darktalkers!
Sequels to Sequels
Vampire Savior is next. The peak of the series. Gone is traditional rounds, now you just have one continuous round. You health bar depletes, you just continue and the opponent is the same until as many “rounds” you have are gone. You can also auto-recover if you don’t take damage, but only to a certain point. Also New is the “Dark Force System”. You can use your Super meter to get enhancements and abilities you normally ever would. More newcomers and fan favorites like Lilith and Jedah are added, but we also lose a few, leading to…
Vampire Hunter 2 and Vampire Savior 2 are quite curious. Want to play a specific sequel with the removed or replaced characters? Here you go! Characters don’t really have endings anymore. These almost seem like they’d be bonus console port extras, but nope. These were both released in arcades in Japan shortly after Vampire Savior came out. Nowadays, these’d be update patches.
Chibi Fighters Go!
A competitive puzzle game…in a fighting game collection? Sure, why not. Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo is silly, and one of these two games that do not take itself seriously at all. You’ll be stacking gems, make as big of a single colored gem as you can, get a “Crash Gem” to touch it and it clears. You clear enough gems and a diamond drops, which can clear entire colors. Street Fighter, Darkstalkers, even Cyberbots representation, you have quite the cast to play with, each having their own gem layout.
I absolutely adore Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix. Take some aesthetics from Puzzle Fighter, then make it an actual fighting game. Devilotte may be gone, but we have Tessa from Red Earth now! You can collect gems on the field to power up your special attacks, giving them that Light, Medium, and Heavy attributes as well as visual changes. You can toss Elemental Orbs too, with each character having their own. I mained Tessa and she starts with an Ice Orb. The thing this game is probably most known for are the Flash/Costume Combos. These are reference ahoy. These are also my introduction to this game via an article in the defunct GameNOW, covering Mega Man’s 15th Anniversary and showing off one of Felicia’s Costume Combos, turning into Mega Man. Hit at least four times with a punch, then do one more attack and viola!
To the Odds and Ends…
Remember Jin from Marvel Vs. Capcom? Well he’s actually from a game called Cyberbots! A fighting game spinoff of Armored Warriors, which was on the Belt Action Bundle a few years back. A Fighting game starring Mecha? Always up my alley.
Pick your character, pick your mech. Arms for reach and attacks, legs for speed, and weapons for strength. There’s a bit going on here. Cyberbots is another cast of misfits I love including “Princess Devilotte de DeathSatan IX”. What a name. Gameplay wise, this definitely feels like a Capcom fighter. If not with a smaller button count. It’s not heavy or chunky like you would think, or even like Armored Warriors. Good to see an arcade perfect port, especially in the west.
I’ll be honest, I don’t like Street Fighter II. I admire how much Hyper Street Fighter II has going for it however. Want to play a style for any previous version Street Fighter II, you can totally do it, from the original to even Super Turbo. It is definitely *the* definitive way to play Street Fighter II if you’re not going to play the terribly overpriced Ultra Street Fighter II.
Of the Red Earth!
Red Earth finally has a console port! One of the few CP System III titles. All of the games on this arcade board are absolutely gorgeous and Red Earth is no exception. This next to Street Fighter III are truly Capcom’s peak in spritework and animation. Red Earth this time however has some HUGE sprites. Like every other CP System III game, Red Earth is a fighter. Though this time with a twist.
A mix of RPG and fighting game. Red Earth has you pick from your cast of heroes to defeat the even Scion, which comes in the form of monstrous boss fights. Hitting these monsters will get you coins, doing well will get you coins. Coins are gonna give you experience, and doing well in fights will also give you experience. Red Earth is a hard game, but when you level up, it can get easier. I’d recommend playing it with a friend, otherwise, you’ll be continuing quite a bit. You can definitely tell this is an arcade game.
And What a Collection.
If you played Belt Scroller Bundle, you’ll get the gist of how this collection is set up. You have your ten games, you can play Japanese and English editions, which means a lot of different names. Standard emulation fare with savestates and the like. These are all the arcade editions, so while they may be very hard at times, you can edit all of these little settings like you would with dipswitches.
There’s a gallery, as to be expected. Some nice music in there, no issues there. You even get some really nice remixes if you buy an early run of the game. Love, love, love the characters from these games. And because of this, this is such a great art gallery. There’s plenty of promo art for majority of the games, and there is an absurd amount of concept art, some even never before released. If I had a complaint though, it’s that it’s less of a gallery and more a slideshow, since you can’t just pick which images to look at.
If you’re a fan of Capcom fighters that aren’t Street Fighter (go buy Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection), then you should definitely buy this. You might be disappointed with these not having console port extras, especially with Cyberbots, but these are all arcade perfect ports. This is definitely something to not just write off, especially with Red Earth having it’s first port ever. And better yet, they all have sweet, sweet Rollback netplay.
Buy Now: $39.99
*Game Download Code graciously provided for the purpose of review