Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2

[Mini-Review] Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2

Arcade-perfect retro golden oldies by the fistful? What's not to love?
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: December 10, 2006
[The Good]
I mention this just about every time there's a news story as a sort of catch-all lead-in to talking about a retro compilation, but that doesn't make it any less true: when you're a developer with a history as long as a Capcom or Namco or Konami, you build up a healthy back catalog of games that are, well, timeless. Capcom, specifically, was one of those development powerhouses that managed to weather the storm as the industry rather violently transitioned (at least here in the states) from arcades to home consoles, and Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2 represents about 15 years worth of arcade hits lovingly compiled into a single offering.

It helps that Digital Eclipse, who have been working with emulated hardware for years now, were at the helm of this project, but the real stars here are definitely the games. From Strider to 1941 to Knights of the Round the beat-em-up-heavy collection isn't universally awesome, but the stuff that is here is so good that it makes up for any of the rougher spots -- particularly because some of these games haven't been available outside of straight PC arcade emulation, and certainly not on the PlayStation 2.

So what you're getting here are perfectly emulated versions of arcade hits from yesteryear. As is often the case (and rightly should be for all of these kinds of collections), various hits and light historical info have been collected. By completing specific goals like scoring points, or passing a certain level or actually beating the game, you'll unlock hints, photos (which include everything from concept art to the original and always amusing arcade machine sales materials) and music from the game. Completed goals popu p as soon as you've notched the proper number of points or progress, which is a nice touch.

Though it's not all-encompassing, it is nice to have something, and by virtue of the fact that we're talking about Japanese-developed arcade games, the number of hoops that DE had to jump through to get the info they did on the game (y'know, beyond a Wiki lookup) was probably more than just asking some dude for some random facts. I can always want more, mainly because part of the fun of replaying these games from my youth is learning about what went into making them.

[The Bad]
All retro compilations are, by their very nature, only as strong as the number of good games thrown into them, and there are a few stinkers here. Games like Avengers and Varth and The Speed Rambler are mainly throw-away as far as I'm concerned, but they're all pulled off with great emulation (which, frankly, they should be given the age of the original hardware).

Really, it's all I can complain about unless I want to start seriously nitpicking and complain about the menu system being initially a little confusing, but even that quickly disappears. It would have been nicer to have more goals for the games, since three fairly easy ones isn't a terribly compelling reason to try for them -- especially since you can tweak the number of lives or continues or difficulty or any of the other little dip switch/debug menu options to make the games easier.

[The Verdict]
Reviews for retro compilations always devolve into simple "well, these games are good, these are bad" breakdowns, but that's all going to be largely subjective. I never played Quiz and Dragons as a kid, but I sure as hell played a lot of Strider and Super Street Fighter II, so just to have those games again replicated so nicely not only gives me reason to bust out my arcade stick, but lets me at least relive some of the better gaming experiences I had as a youngin'.
No, it's not a universally awesome list, but CCC is certainly packed with enough gems that it justifies the measly $20 entry price. And in the end, that's what it all comes down to: bang for the buck. CCC has plenty of it.
The Verdict