Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded
New set of classic Capcom games... in a collection.
So here we have the second Capcom Classics Collection for the PSP - another set of classic Capcom games... In a collection. On the PSP. So what's new, bar the games themselves, in Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded? Well, Capcom have chosen a new method for players to unlock artwork, cheats and the like - using tokens accrued through playing the games on offer a slot machine is played.
It's simple and the tokens are plentiful, meaning it's never too hard, but it can take a while to unlock just one piece of music thanks to the random nature of slot machines. I mean, I'm sure there's a technique to the slot mini-game, but I can't pick up on it. Maybe I'm just rubbish. Ah well. Either way, this isn't an addition that will shake the very foundations of the world as we know it, and in fact comes across as nothing more than a very mild distraction, if not a bit pointless.
Other than this addition comes checkpoint saves - now these are a more pointful (word © Ian Dransfield 2006) addition to the collection, with games automatically saving player's progress at set points in each game; the beginning of a new level, for example. This makes the collection ideal for short bursts of play, which fits in delightfully well on the PSP. It also means I may finally, finally finish 1942.
So what about the games themselves? Well it's hard to go about this in any other way, so here comes the magical list-o-vision:
First up comes the trilogy of 1942, 1943 and 1943 Kai - surely familiar to everyone who has ever so much as lightly caressed a joystick, this wonderful shoot 'em up trilogy sees players taking the role of a couple of Second World War fighters as they cut through swathes of enemies in the air and on the sea. 1943 and the remixed version Kai took things off in a more elaborate direction with over-the-top power ups and energy bars for players, but for me personally the best of the three has to be the original 1942 - simplistic in design yet never boring, harsh but never unfair and with a soundtrack that - pierced eardrums aside - defined a generation. Wonderful stuff.
Next up comes the Ghosts trilogy - Ghosts N' Goblins, Ghouls N' Ghosts and the SNES offering Super Ghouls N' Ghosts. All three games offer classic, heartbreakingly difficult platformer action and all three are just as much fun to play today as they have been any time in the past - Super probably takes most plaudits here though, thanks to some advanced graphical techniques it helped introduce to the world. Plus Ghosts N' Goblins is too hard, and I don't want to throw my PSP at the wall. Arthur's pants still raise a smile today and it's nice to play the classics in between bouts on the PSP remake, Ultimate Ghosts N' Goblins.
"Checkpoint saves are a pointful addition, automatically saving progress at set points in each game."
Next up we have a few small games, mostly unheard of in the West - Street Fighter, Champion Edition and something called 'Hyper Fighting'. Doesn't ring a bell, to be honest. Crap 'humour' aside, these are mostly faithful conversions of the arcade classics everyone knows and loves. I say mostly as there are a few niggles that stop each version from being perfect - loading times before fights, ala the console Capcom Classics versions, and a pause at the beginning of every round before the music starts. Neither are gamebreakers, but they are irritating nonetheless. The controls on the PSP D-pad are pretty much rubbish, but the analogue nub comes into its own here, making it easy to pull off all the Hadooooookens and Tigeeeeerrrrrs you see fit to. It's a bit odd that Capcom decided on these three versions in particular - the original SFII and Hyper, plus one of the Supers would have made more sense, but as things are it's a bit of a weird one, with differences between the three not as huge as one may have hoped for. Oh, and as these are based on the arcade games; Bison cheats so much it's unreal.
Next, Son Son, a side scrolling shooter/platformer than can be enjoyed by two players. You run, you shoot and you collect fruit. That's about it really. It isn't the deepest of experiences and doesn't last that long. A mild diversion at best, and probably only included as it was one of Capcom's first arcade games in the West.
"It's odd Capcom decided on these SF games - original SFII, Hyper, plus a Super would have made sense."
Pirate Ship Higemaru is a bit of an odd one, with players controlling a little man - look, I don't know if he's a pirate or not, but he's a man - anyway, he's certainly fighting off pirates on his ship by throwing barrels at them in a Pac Man-esque maze. The interesting thing here is the fact that the maze is formed by the barrels that the player uses to fend off the fearsome (i.e. mildy camp) pirate assault, meaning the maze is altered by the player as the level progresses. There's certainly more strategy in the game that you may first think, and this proves to be a great little game to waste ten minutes on. A lovely surprise.
Exed Exes is another vertical-scrolling shooter, this time with players shooting wave upon wave of little insects and collecting, once again, fruit. It's not terrible, but again it's one of the games on the compilation that isn't going to hold a hell of a lot of attention, especially not on repeated plays. It's just a bit boring, to be frank.
Next up we have Gun Smoke, yet another vertical scrolling shooter. This time, however, we have a bit of a different setting with players taking control of a lone gunman in the Wild West as he cleans out town after town of varmints and their crime bosses, bagging rewards on the way. The controls to this one are a nice touch, with each of the four face buttons shooting in different directions - it makes the game a heck of a lot easier to play than Commando or Mercs as there aren't as many constant minor adjustments to the direction of fire. This is a good, fun game that will certainly be played time and time again, if only for the horse power up. Whoa!
Down to the final three and in comes King of the Dragons. Now this is the first game I played on loading up Capcom Classics Reloaded - I don't know why, but I felt a strange compulsion to do so. An hour or two later and I'd finished it, enjoying every second of things. This is a fantastic scrolling hack 'em up that sees up to three players battling through around 20 stages to rid the land of dragons, demons and black knights. The real draw comes in the levelling up system - characters increase in power as the game progresses and receive new magic attacks as well as weapons and defensive capabilities. It doesn't compete with Final Fantasy XII for RPG depth here - that would be a stupid comparison made by a stupid person, ahem, but it's a nice addition anyway and makes a great game even more fun. The Cleric rocks, by the by.
The penultimate entry comes in the shape of Knights of the Round - another game in the vain of King of the Dragons, with players this time taking control of Arthur, Percival or Lancelot on a quest to rid the world of evil, or save someone. Or something. I really didn't pay that much attention. Anyway, this is another fantasy realm hacker with very mild RPG alike elements - levelling up Percival to be the human tank that he truly is is a wonderful thing, it has to be said. This, along with King of the Dragons, is a fantastic game and a lot of fun. I wasn't able to try out multiplayer, but it looks certain to be utterly wonderful.
"Eco Warriors pits you against a corporationy corporation destroying worlds with its general toxicy evils."
The wi-fi and ad-hoc modes add the ability for multiplayer in most games and some can even be played through the PSP's game sharing, though only in limited demo modes. All the games look spot on and sound nigh-on perfect, even if some of the older games are shockingly high-pitched. Oh, and playing things like 1942 whilst holding the PSP vertically, while it takes a while to get used to, ends up being an inspired way of doing things. Though, to be fair, this feature was present in the last Capcom collection on PSP.
This is not a perfect collection, however. Loading times can prove a bit silly, considering games are around 15-20 years old you would think that a modern handheld would be capable of loading them up in quicker than a minute, but no. The slot machine is a bit of an oddity too, and can keep rightful bonuses out of reach of even the most dedicated players. Everything will be unlocked, don't get me wrong, but it seems to take longer than it should.
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Capcom Classics Collection
Direct feed trailer (PS2, Xbox - Capcom)
|00:57||13MB||DF, SD, 4:3
Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded
Direct feed trailer (PSP - Capcom)
|00:54||13MB||DF, SD, 4:3
Capcom Classics Mini Mix
Direct feed trailer (GBA - Capcom)
|00:55||7MB||DF, SD, 4:3
Capcom Classics Collection
|0.57m||9MB||DF, SD, 30