Capcom Classics Collection Remixed

“Where the hell is Strider?” we wondered when reviewing Capcom Classics Collection on PlayStation 2 late last year. The answer, it would seem, was that it was being saved for this 20-strong portable compilation. Problem solved, then. But now we have another predicament: Street Fighter II and Ghouls ‘n Ghosts – which took pride of place in the aforementioned collection – have been omitted and held back for the forthcoming handheld Capcom Classics Reloaded. So we’ve gained one good game but lost two in the process. That ain’t right.

Capcom Classics PSP screenshotThankfully we’ve still got the renowned Final Fight and Forgotten Worlds. The latter works really well on PSP. So much so, that we revisited numerous times, trying to save enough Zenny (read: money) to buy the more ridiculously powerful weapons on offer. A few other games, like Section Z and Bionic Commando, have made the jump too while the menus – based on a scribble filled notebook – echo that of the ‘home version’.

There’s also a fair amount of extras which have to be unlocked by meeting certain criteria in certain games, plus history and random facts can be viewed. The best thing that developers Digital Extremes have included though – two player Wi-Fi action notwithstanding – is the ability to play a handful of games with the PSP on its side. This works pleasingly well for horizontal 2D shooters 1941 and Varth not to mention Block Block – an addictive clone of Breakout that proves to be one of the few hidden gems on offer.

The same can’t be said for Quiz and Dragons, a bizarre hybrid of Who Wants to be a Millionaire and Lord of the Rings, in which a goblin once asked us if we know what school Richie Cunningham attended in Happy Days. Despite not being a broken game in any form, it’s nearly unplayable as most of the questions are about ’80s American sports trivia. And Happy Days.

Also of note, but on the more positive side, is Three Wonders – a compilation within a compilation. This package dates back to 1991 and includes Midnight Wanders – a Metal Slug-style run and gunner with a similar graphic style to Capcom’s 16-bit Disney games – a twee vertical 2D shooter going by the name of Chariot and Don’t Pull – a puzzle game staring the Duracell bunny. Well we think it’s him, anyway.

In place of the legendary Street Fighter II we’ve been dished up the original Street Fighter. It was crap then and it’s still crap now. And that’s all we have to say about it, really. Magic Sword really tested our patience too, being a mindless side-scrolling iteration of Gauntlet with 50 levels, only with the ability to rescue AI controlled team-mates. Mega Twins, Strider and Captain Comando (Cap-Com – see?) hold up well but it’s doubtful that you’ll want to finish them more than once. As for the largely anonymous Avengers, Last Duel, Legendry Wings, Section Z, Side Arms and The Speed Rumbler, you probably won’t even want to finish their first levels.

Even with its fair share of misses, if you’re after some safe and legal retro action on your PSP then this is your best bet, but it goes without saying that Capcom were a bit stupid to announce a tastier looking sequel before this collection even made it onto the shelves.