Capcom Fighting Collection Review

insert virtual coin.
Capcom Fighting Collection Header

Pretty much everyone’s favourite Capcom fighting game is Street Fighter, let’s be honest, but with such a focus on their premier fighting series, we often forget about some of the other beloved titles in their back catalogue that provided a little change from the usual Hadokens or Sonic Booms. Capcom Fighting Collection is a timely reminder of some of the other greats that Capcom has produced and Darkstalkers in particular.

Darkstalkers was one of those classic franchises that appealed to the edge lords in all of us and sadly got lost in time, forgotten as Street Fighter reigned supreme alongside Marvel VS Capcom and other non-Capcom fighters that people cared more about. Seeing Darkstalkers celebrated in Capcom Fighting Collection will bring joy to many, because there’s a lot of love for Morrigan and pals which can be explored to your heart’s content across five iterations of the Darkstalkers series.

Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors, Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge, Vampire Savior: The Lord of Vampire, and the two modded versions of the last two games – Vampire Hunter 2 and Vampire Savior 2, previously unavailable legally outside of Japan – are all included here.

Capcom Fighting Collection Darkstalkers

There’s five Darkstalkers games including in CFC.

But it’s not just about the Darkstalkers. Also included for the first time outside of arcades is Red Earth – a fantasy themed fighter that uses RPG elements in its quest mode – and Cyberbots – a mech-battler where you can customise parts to change your characters stats.

Now, I know I started this whole thing off by saying it’s nice to have a change from Street Fighter etc, but there are still three Street Fighter titles included. The first of these is Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition, a quintessential version of Street Fighter II, including all characters from across all iterations. Then you have Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo – a gem match battler – and finally Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix – a cutesy fighter featuring the same chibi combatants seen in Puzzle Fighter with a few additions.

One minor wish, and I do mean minor, is that they’d included Rival Schools in the collection. The original Rival Schools came out in arcades in 1997, so it fits the bill of the collection, only being different aesthetically. There’s a lot of love for the Rival School series so it feels like a missed opportunity.

Capcom Fighting Collection Street Fighter II

It wouldn’t be a Capcom collection without some kind of Street Fighter game included now, would it?

Each game included is a faithful recreation of its arcade counterpart and if you remember playing some of these back in the day, you won’t be disappointed. It’s small simple things like being able to change the filter, include a boot up screen or add the requirement to put virtual credits in which really bring it home. Alongside this, there’s an abundance of display modes and backgrounds to fiddle with, letting you customise your perfect arcade experience.

Each title is extremely customisable, letting you tweak most aspects of your experience. You can change base settings like difficulty, attack power and how many rounds a match will be, or more specific things like allowing mirror matches or how you select a secret character from the menu. For example, in Hyper Street Fighter II’s case, you’re able to select Akuma by pressing up on Ryu’s portrait as opposed to remembering the character hover combination.

Red Earth also has some good boot options, letting you set your character level before you start, in case you don’t fancy the RPG grind of getting points to unlock moves. I can only imagine how much money players sank into the arcade cabinet back in the day to hit max level. If you want to be authentic though, and I’d highly encourage you to give it a try, then you should utilise the password system and go full classic.

It’s what’s encouraged, but it’s also nice they made it accessible to those who don’t want the bolt hard arcade experience. All the games have that classic arcade difficulty spike after a short time, designed to eat your money so I’d breeze through the first couple of matches and then be met with some nonsense that would have me shout profanities at my TV. Thank goodness for infinite virtual currency!

Capcom Fighting Collection Red Earth

Red Earth gets its first release outside the arcades, and the infinite virtual coins you have is great to have!

Another nice inclusion with this collection is the ability to hop into a training mode for each game, letting you practice combos, special moves and other specific match situations. It’s featured in a bit of a strange way, but I guess it makes sense because these are arcade ports and not console versions, so there’s no ‘menu’ as such.

The controls are fully customisable, which is great, but the more notable addition is the ability to perform one button special moves. It was a major talking point around Street fighter 6 recently as it’s also going to include a simplified control system for beginners. I’m all up for getting more casual players involved and I think this is an excellent way to do so, especially given how some of the original Darkstalker moves inputs are not only finicky, but a bit complicated to remember. Naturally, veterans of fighting games won’t have that issue, but for beginners, it will be a godsend.

To round the collection, there’s also a museum included, with over 500 pieces of art and 400 music tracks to dive into. There are some shots included of old Japanese box art and instructions that really got my nostalgia juices flowing. This can also be browsed while you wait for online matches.

At time of writing, I’ve been unable to test any online games, but Capcom has promised a “strong and stable online experience with up to nine players across all 10 titles in ranked, casual, and custom lobby matches.” It’s also going to use rollback netcode, which is now pretty much an accepted standard for fighting games.

Capcom Fighting Collection plugs the gaps left in everyone’s fighting game collection, sans Rival Schools of course. With lots of customisation available for how you play, ten excellent ports and a loaded museum, you’d be remiss to miss out on this excellent piece of history.
  • Decent selection of Capcom fighting games
  • Very customisable
  • Museum is loaded with content
  • Rollback netcode for online
  • Even on lower difficulty, can still be difficult
  • No Rival Schools in the collection
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Consummate professional, lover of video games and all-round hero that can be found doing a podcast, writing about games and also making videos. Oh, I have saved the world 87 times and once hugged Danny Trejo. You're welcome.