Review – Capcom Fighting Collection

When I first heard about Capcom Fighting Collection, I’ll be honest, I wasn’t that excited. Capcom does a good job with its retro compilations, be them based around old-school arcades, Street Fighter or beat ’em ups in general, but something about this one in particular wasn’t clicking with me. After a while, I started to think a bit more about the prospect of said collection. Putting Street Fighter II Turbo aside, for many people are ultra fed up of playing it, Capcom was bringing back the entirety of the Darkstalkers series, the excellent Puzzle Fighter games, plus the horrendously underrated Red Earth back to the spotlight, complete with online play for all of those titles. I love when I’m wrong about a game, I love when I’m won over with a final product. Capcom Fighting Collection is the company’s best retro compilation to date, by a mile.

Capcom Fighting Collection Darkstalkers

Darkstalkers is much more than just “that fighting game with Morrigan from Marvel vs. Capcom”.

Upon booting Capcom Fighting Collection up for the first time, you’re greeted with a simple, but satisfactory UI and overall presentation. For starters, someone at Capcom USA had the brilliant idea of hiring the guy from the Honest Trailers YouTube channel to shout out the name of any particular title whenever you decide to boot it up. His voice is golden, and I can’t help but love this little cameo. You have access to some concept art, a sound test, and you can freely tinker with each game’s controls, screen filters (none of them will improve the overall “pixelation” of the titles, but it isn’t a deal-breaker), and difficulty settings. Everything you need from a retro collection, but you’re here for the games, and boy, does this compilation deliver.

First of all, Darkstalkers. A lot of people only vaguely know about this franchise due to Morrigan’s inclusion on pretty much every single Capcom fighting crossover ever since the mid-to-late 90’s. Granted, she is the star of the series, but there’s more to Darkstalkers than just a sexy succubus. I see them as the basis to the juggernaut success of the Street Fighter Alpha series, which shares the same arcade board and engine. They look great, they feature some of the best (and creepiest) fighter designs in Capcom history, and play as well as any other Capcom fighting game from that era. It’s hard to complain about them when they feature the same backbone as some of the most iconic fighting games of all time, as I honestly consider the Alpha series the pinnacle of Street Fighter as a whole.

Capcom Fighting Collection Puzzle Fighter II

Puzzle Fighter II with online play. Perfection.

Despite being a collection focused on fighting games, my favorite title in Capcom Fighting Collection has to be Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo. Sure, it mostly plays like Puyo Puyo, but the combination of a really addictive gameplay loop and one of the best art styles in Capcom’s history just makes this game impossible to stop playing. Furthermore, it has online play, which runs like a dream. Its sequel of sorts, Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix, is also included in the collection, and it is as good as its predecessor. These two titles add an extra layer of variety to an already excellent collection of games.

Before I talk about the last major game in Capcom Fighting Collection, I need to point out that Hyper Street Fighter II and Cyberbots are also included in here, but their inclusions don’t feel as special. We’ve all played Street Fighter II to exhausting degrees ever since the 90s, and Cyberbots was also available in last year’s Capcom Arcade Stadium. I’m not going to complain about their inclusion, as I’d never say no to more games adding value to a purchase, but they feel like filler when compared to the rest of what Capcom Fighting Collection has to offer. Now, onto Red Earth.

Street Fighter

Hooray. Street Fighter. Again.

Red Earth is amazing. It’s also different from any other Capcom fighting game I have ever played, as it follows a more single player-oriented loop, complete with some RPG elements. It feels like Capcom’s answer to SNK’s more experimental RPG arcades from the Neo Geo era, but with more blood, guts, gore, and better visuals. Basically, you choose between some mythological heroes and fight against a series of gigantic bosses, all in a fighting game engine, with traditional fighting game moves and fatalities. The game runs, looks and plays like a dream, and feels so ahead of its time. Hell, it feels novel for today’s standards, let alone 1996’s.

Red Earth

Not exactly a fighting game, not exactly an arcade game, not exactly an RPG. Red Earth still feels unique to this day.

I love Capcom Fighting Collection. It pays respect to the company’s past, all while giving players a brand new (and refined) way to play some of the best fighting and puzzle games of all time, complete in one, smooth-as-silk, pristinley remastered package. Its online play is reliable, its presentation is sublime, and its extras are satisfactory. Furthermore, it lets me dream about the possibility of a sequel containing other hidden gems for players to experience in modern consoles. A compilation with Rival Schools, Star Gladiator, Power Stone, Street Fighter EX? I can only dream while spending countless sleepless nights playing against other people on Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo.


Graphics: 7.0

Decent recreations of the original arcade visuals, even if they look a bit too stretched and pixelated onscreen.

Gameplay: 9.0

Pretty good emulation, pretty responsive controls. It runs well online, and there are multiple options to tinker with each game’s difficulty, speed and damage output options.

Sound: 8.5

The collection retains all songs from all games included in it with a high level of restoration. There is also a sound test mode. Shout out to whoever decided to hire the Honest Trailers guy to say a game’s name whenever you boot it up.

Fun Factor: 10

This collection would have been worth it if it was just a compilation of Darkstalkers titles. It would have been worth it as a Puzzle Fighter remaster with online play. It’s both, with even more content added to the package. Plus Red Earth is an underrated gem of a game.

Final Verdict: 9.0

Capcom Fighting Collection is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch.

Reviewed on Xbox One.

A copy of Capcom Fighting Collection was provided by the publisher.