Review: Remixed. Reloaded. Rehashed.
Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded is PSP's second round-up of old Capcom games. It follows Capcom Classics Collection Remix, which released on the portable system in March 2006. While this new compilation contains 19 retro titles that weren't in the first Collection, it spans only three genres: shooters, side-scrollers and, well, Street Fighters, if you want to give that franchise its own genre. Depending on what you're expecting from this backward-looking game, you'll find its limited number of genres to be either repetitive due to minor changes between titles or reminiscent thanks to including all series updates, large and small. If you're the latter description sounds like you, there's single-disc multiplayer that makes Reloaded worth loading in your PSP and then game sharing with another PSP-owning friend (or two).
The early 1940s trio:
, 1942: Midway Kaisen
don't feel or look different, the series has always been the ideal top-down shooter. Plus, if you didn't check out 1942: Midway Kaisen on the console version of the first Capcom Classics, this is the first time you can play it in America. It wasn't released in the arcades outside of Japan in 1987. Another plus to having this trio on PSP is that you can utilize the handheld's widescreen to adjust the ratio. With Screen Type C and Screen Size Full, the games go from moving vertically from a top-down perspective to moving horizontally also from a top-down. Even though that's not how it was originally played in the 80s, it helps not having to deal with smaller resolutions and black bars.
Standalone Flying Shooters: Eco Fighters
is a fast-paced and colorful shooter compared to the 1940s and it holds up well 15 years after its debut. It uses the Right and Left buttons to rotate its futuristic guns around 360 degrees and sports a side-scrolling view, horizontal traveling (without the need to switch to a Screen Type C). Exed Eyes
(once called Savage Bees) and Vulgus
are the opposite of Echo Fighters with a vertical, top-down display, duller colors and dated graphics. Granted, the games are eight and nine years older than Eco Fighters, but the levels in Exed Eyes look like something out of a Zelda dungeon and its trembling music wears thin quickly, almost as fast as the inferior gameplay.
Standalone Run-and-Gun Shooters: Commando
is Capcom's classic jungle shooter in which you can move a soldier all around and fire endless bullets at Nazis. Merc
is its improved Genesis follow-up with spiffier graphics and easier gameplay. Gun.Smoke
changes the theme to a Western one. The game automatically moves your character forward (so you only shift side to side) and you dual-wield pistols, pointing them left right and forward, aiming for outlaws. Both Commando and Gun.Smoke are still difficult, but play well on the PSP, which doesn't make it harder or easier.
The last two run-and-gun shooters are a little different. SonSon
has you hop from about a dozen platforms while enemies charge in your direction from the front and back. By jumping back and forth from the lowest level to the highest, you have to dodge them and blast them while collecting fruit. Pirate Ship Higemaru
isn't a run-and-gun-shooter, per se, but you're still running and throwing barrels at pirates, so it has the same end result. Both of these games blends action and puzzle elements, so it adds a little variety compared to the more straightforward shooters.
The three Ghosts:
Putting you in knight armor and in charge of hunting the undead, Ghosts n' Goblins
, Ghouls n' Ghosts
, Super Ghouls n' Ghosts
provide you with one of the hardest games in side-scroller history. You'll lose your metal shell in less than a minute and be in a pair of briefs with just one hit. However, in addition to being one of the most difficult of all time, it's also one of the best side-scrollers (right next to Metal Slug) if you're up for the challenge.
Standalone Side-Scrollers: Knights of the Round
and The King of Dragons
are a pair of medieval arcade games released in 1991, and the theme and release date similarities aren't the only things they have in common. They're both beat ?em up-style action games and they both support three player wireless gameplay. While both games don't stray far from each other and it's hard to tell them apart (even their names are alike), Knights of the Round is a little more detailed, whereas The King of Dragons is a little more simplistic and fun.
The Street Fighter II Trio Street Fighter II
, Street Fighter II: Championship Edition
and Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting
contain minor updates. But, while the changes among 1941, 1942, and 1942: Midway Kaisen felt like more great levels to play, the changes in the Hyper Fighting version just make the first two Street Fighters feel inferior. It's faster and better looking, and in a fighting game you never really want to play older backdrops in the same way that you want to play a top-down shooter's older levels. There's not much difference, and that could be said about this trio in general.
The multiplayer via single game disc (and up to three PSPs for some games) is a big incentive if the aforementioned titles are something you're interested in. There's also comprehensive stat-tracking, which the game converts into coins for a slot machine. By playing the virtual slots, you can win game artwork, music, cheats or more coins. That may not seem like a big deal for some players. However, diehard retro gamers will surely appreciate it when reminiscing about these 19 games that are light on variety, but heavy on nostalgia.