It’s official, I had superpowers after the 80s and early 90s. How could I have finished Capcom’s 1943 vertical shooter without breaking a sweat-let alone amassing thousands of pounds of indebted debt in 10 horsepower. These days, while my only special skill is to be able to adequately whistle the end of the session on the Bay Dock, I find it difficult to take the second step, and with Infinite continuity. Fortunately, not all the games in this Capcom compendium are so difficult, otherwise it would be a very short review.


The second collection of Sony’s renowned handheld coin editor includes no less than 19 lovingly worn arcade trinkets, many of which have not lost their glossy shine after all these years. This action-packed collection takes us from 1984 to the mid-1990s and is aimed directly at the ever-growing retro audience. Today, Capcom is perhaps best known for its hit series such as Devil May Cry and Resident Evil, but back then its gourmet cabinets competed for attention with those of other greats such as Namco and Taito. Vintage titles from those beautiful days like 1942 and 43, Ghouls ‘N Ghosts, Gun Smoke and Commando are included here, along with some not-known jewels that are worth hooking up a few virtual pieces. As with every collection, there are also a few duffel bags, but I’ll come back to that afterwards.

Apparently, the star of the Street Fighter II series is Capcom’s genre-defining beat ’em up and-like countdown host Carol Vorderman- seems impervious to the ravages of age. There is still an incredible amount of joy to be with Chun Li, Balrog and Vega in the three incarnations of the game included here (the World Warrior, Champion Edition and Hyper action). It is a testament to the series of sublime movements and character design inspired by this Sacred Game, which is still the most addictive and playable fighter in the world for this critic’s money more than a decade after Street Fighter II. Climbing the ranks alone to compete against the infamous Bison M is still a challenge of a few hours, but thanks to the ad hoc wireless mode in this collection, two PSP owners can once again compete in a classic Ryu Vs. Ken Grudge-match up against each other-as we did in 1993. Haduken, indeed.


If you manage to exhaust the endless remnants of Street Fighter, you will have to play 16 more games, most of which are from the popular Capcom Classics collection of the PS2 and Xbox versions. In general, they fall into four camps-vertical shooter, horizontal shooter, platformer and beat-scrolling-with a single pirate ship of higemaru-derived puzzles to provide a little variety. 1942, 1943 and 1943 Kai are still the quintessence of frantic fighter jet fighters (even if the hardcore versions included here may be a little worn out), Ghosts ‘N Goblins, Ghouls ‘N Ghosts and Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts, remain as terribly addicted as you can remember, and commandos and mercenaries are still the pinnacle of military chaos. Unfortunately, the two contenders here, King of Dragons and Knights of the round, are little more than golden axe blows that can roll in one sitting.

These may not be the best-stored titles, at least outside of their native Japan, but the Ex Volgus, Sound and Exed are acceptable blasters that are easy to pick up and enjoy if you have a few minutes. Meanwhile, Eco Fighters is by far the most addictive side-scroller with its plot “save the world from a global catastrophe” and imaginative character design. In addition, of all the games except Street Fighter II, it is the most satisfying in the long run – end-level bosses are getting crazier and crazier as you progress.


Some of these games are really, really difficult.

With this portable version, Capcom did not hesitate on the presentation side. Each of the emulated games offers perfect arcade sound and can be played in a variety of screen modes, including the ability to rotate your console vertically for games like 1942. This significantly increases the size of the playing field on the screen, but the control turns out to be decidedly cumbersome, which makes it far from ideal for titles based on fast, brightening reflexes. After each game session, it is possible to check your achievements on a score card, and the chips earned by playing through the games can be put into the game to collect some of the 900 unlockable goodies available, from official works of art to remixed music and (sometimes vital) tricks. All this can be viewed in the convenient gallery section of the game. Many games can also be played together over Wi-Fi, which is an added bonus for aging players like me who fondly remember the action next to a buddy in a 1943 closet.

Overall, it’s a collection full of mostly excellent games, and at a reasonable price, it’s a must-have for any discerning retro head. The only serious disapproval I have is the brutal loading times, which seriously detracts from the attractiveness of the game, and the fact that we have to buy a lot of collections to get all the great Capcom alumni.

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