CAPCOM Digital Collection (XBOX 360)
In the last few years browser games have really taken off as Facebook users (as just one example) plough through endless hours of games which often have their roots in classic titles. The concept behind the likes of Theme Park from the 90’s has been tweaked and twisted into money making machines and for those casual gamers not playing in their browser, they might well be doing their gaming on a tablet or phone. With free and low cost games a plenty there is a huge amount of content out there for the casual gamer but what about those who yearn for something with a little more substance? Well that’s where the PlayStation Store and Xbox Live Arcade often fill a need, containing classic titles re-mastered for today’s home consoles.
Capcom have been one of the big supporters of downloadable classics with games such as Street Fighter 3 Online Edition making their way to the home consoles. Now they are taking eight titles of varying styles and combining them on one disc, calling it the Capcom Digital Collection. Fancy a bit of Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo: HD Remix followed by Flock, or 1942 Joint Strike followed by Bionic Commando: Rearmed 2 for a value price… look no further.
Within Capcom Digital Collection we have 8 full games, some classic, some new and some based on classics…
Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo: HD Remix
A whole generation of gamers grew up with Street Fighter 2 and its various incarnations with this version being based on Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo. Within the game we have the same collection of characters and two single player game modes, classic and HD Remix which both follow the standard theme of our character flying round the world to battle a range of opponents in a best of three scenario. All of the familiar backgrounds are here as well as the characters and everything has been brought up to date with new visuals that still remind us of the original. Also present are some classic sounds, merged into a new soundtrack and also available are multiplayer modes including local and online with and without ranking.
Final Fight: Double Impact
Final Fight was released in 1989 and unlike modern fighting games this beat ’em up is a side scrolling affair with this version being viewed through an arcade cabinet surround as if we are at the machine or in full screen with various quality options to smooth out or sharpen the 80s graphics. We take control of a character from a choice of three (Haggar being the most familiar to gamers) and work our way through waves of bad guys kicking, punching, throwing, stabbing and bludgeoning our way to save a kidnapped girl from a street gang. A simple premise and quite a bit of a button masher it was one of the classic games of this style to be released and comes to the home consoles with multiplayer intact, including drop in and a new soundtrack and an added bonus.
Where do we start with Flock? Well its one of the new titles in this collection, released originally in 2009 for PS3, 360 and PC. Within it we play an alien spaceship who must guide sheep, chows pigs and chickens through various environments until they reach the Motherflocker, a larger spacecraft where they are abducted. Along the way we must solve puzzles to get our animals from point a to point be and each interacts with the ever changing environment in their own unique ways, cows battering down fences, sheep needing to get wet and shrink to get under them. As we progress through some mind bending levels (including pits of death, enemies to avoid, etc) points and scores are awarded and new items are unlocked in the editor which allows us to make and share our own levels.
Super Puzzle Fighter 2: Turbo HD Remix
Continuing on the puzzle based madness is Super Puzzle Fighter 2: Turbo HD Remix which as the name suggests makes more than a nod to Street Fighter 2. Essentially take Tetris, twist the concept to coloured jewels rather than blocks, include bombs and then battle against the console or another player to see who can complete each level the fastest. Actioning particular combos results in our Street Fighter (and Darkstalkers) style avatar (rendered in a cutesy style) taking out some aggression on the opponent while our blocks end up in their pile as we surge towards victory.
1942 Joint Strike
Returning to the more traditional games we have 1942 Joint Strike. Based on an arcade game from the mid-80s, brought up to date with new graphics and containing gameplay elements of the original and its sequels. Joint Strike see’s us take control of an aircraft in a vertically scrolling shoot ’em up where we can perform various attacks and manoeuvres against waves of enemy fighters and mid/end of level boss aircraft.
Rocketmen: Axis of Evil
Adding another gameplay style to the bundle is Rocketmen: Axis of Evil, a top down shooter which is heavily comic book influenced both in the style of the cut-scenes and the overall rendering of the game. In this sci-fi blaster we run with the left stick, shoot at 360 degrees with the right and essentially travel through around 10 linear levels. There is the occasional fork in the road but otherwise we need to choose our character type, solo or co-op play and then find as many weapons as possible, shoot as many aliens as possible and head for the exits.
Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3
Commando 3 takes us to the top down style of gameplay again (left stick move, right shoot to 360°) but the level of polish here is some of the best in the bundle. For a title which was download only the graphics as we take our commando (from a choice of three) through various war torn environments are impressive and the action pretty frantic. Thrown in to spice things up are vehicle based sections, bosses and a wide range of weapons, power ups and collectibles to grab as we take on the enemy and rescue prisoners of war.
Bionic Commando: Rearmed 2
Another "new" title Bionic Commando: Rearmed 2 is a follow up to Bionic Commando: Rearmed which itself was based on then original Bionic Commando from the late 80s. Rearmed 2 see’s us take control of Nathan Spencer to once again save the world from tyranny and destruction. This time standing in his way is the evil General Sabio who, despite not matching up to the Nazi dictatorship of the original Bionic Commando on the evil scale, is a pretty nasty guy who threatens to launch a missile strike on all things pure and good. Anyone who has played the game before will know what to expect and Rearmed 2 follows the same formula as its successors where we navigate our way through treacherous levels and wipe out legions of enemies using the trusty bionic arm whenever needed in a side scrolling 2.5D platform romp. (You can read our full review from the original launch here)
In our opinion Rocketmen is probably the weakest title in the bundle, offering a very average story and limited gameplay. This is very much a case of badly written cut scene… run and shoot… badly written cut scene… run and shoot… and not a lot of anything else.
Somewhat surprisingly though Puzzle Fighter is rather fun. As we stated in the recent Lumines review for PS Vita "humans love blocks" and while we are really playing with gems here the concept is the same and a lot of mad, addictive fun can be had with a friends as we battle through the Tetris like game. Puzzle fighter is also backed up well by Flock! which has some of the most impressive graphics in this gaming selection being a reasonably new title. It offers some light hearted fun and requires a significant amount of thought as the levels get more complex which gives it that fun yet frustrating though addictive blend that all decent puzzle games need.
It is also interesting to see how some of the classic remakes have been approached, Final Fight for example is faithful to the original, this is no HD remake and so we get a large arcade border around our gameplay area with limited graphics on top of more modern code. Taking the opposite approach is 1942 Joint Strike which, like Final Fight, has the core gameplay of the original but takes the graphics into this millennium for a visually impressive vertical shooter.
Capcom have suggested this bundle of games will retail at around £24.99 which is decent value but we have seen it available for pre-order for as little as £17.99 which is an absolute bargain. Street Fighter 2 alone is probably worth more than half that value such is its quality and of course with most of these games offering varied gameplay styles, online play and achievements there is plenty to keep gamers coming back for more.