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GBA Review: Capcom Classics Mini Mix

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Contained on Capcom Classics Mini Mix is a roster of three NES titles. Each becomes memorable for its own reasons, and those who grew up playing them fondly remember them. At a price of $20 though, it’s nothing short of absurd.

Bionic Commando, Strider, and Mighty Final Fight are the titles emulated on this cart. These are the NES versions, so Bionic Commando and Strider are widely varied from their arcade counterparts included on Capcom's other compilations. Mighty Final Fight is the obscure one here, a widely changed version of the arcade classic beat-em-up, and one of the best the NES has to offer in that genre.

Strider is a unique standout, offering some innovative-for-its-time trial and error gameplay. While the action remains the same, travel plays a key role in progression. Strider earns various power-ups, which eventually enable him to overcome various level-blocking obstacles. It’s a far cry from the pure action of the arcade game, but still fun in its own right.

Bionic Commando is more of a classic for the designers call to eliminate jumping from the game completely. All of the platforming moves are handled with a segmented robotic arm, a great change of pace from the standard run-and-gun shooters of the era. Difficulty is definitely set to fiendish, and newcomers will be stunned to learn how much skill was required to complete something this simplistic.

Mighty Final Fight was a late release on the NES, and as such, not many have seen it. It follows the same path as the 16-bit Final Fight, only with deformed characters and less action. It's a single player only affair, and there's a max of three sprites on screen at once. All the moves are here, giving the game a superb sense of variety. Boss fights don't start before some enjoyable taunting from both sides. It's a lost favorite, and it's great to see it getting another shot at increasing its reputation.

According to early previews, Mini Mix should have the option to adjust the screen to the original aspect ratio. That's not included. There's no save feature, staying in pure form. Some flicker problems have been addressed (especially in Mighty Final Fight), but slowdown occurs where it would have on the original hardware.

With the only real additions being an emulator and a title screen, it's only natural to wonder where all the free memory went. While many of Capcom's early NES games were licensed out (including a great line of Disney related properties), there are plenty of choices out there waiting for a release on this set.

Any of the Mega Man Game Boy games (which were set to be released in their own compilation before that product was cancelled) are the obvious missing links, and brutally difficult Street Fighter 2010 would fit here too. Actually, the NES Mega Man games seem to fit here as well, regardless of whether or not they've been released on the home consoles.

All three of the original carts for the games included could be picked up for the same price as this compilation. While not as cheap as Nintendo releasing even earlier NES titles for $20 each on the GBA, this is a slap in the face to fans who were anxiously awaiting the Mega Man Collection. This is a lost chance for something special in the Game Boy Advance’s final days.

Capcom Classics Mini Mix is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Blood and Gore and Mild Violence.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.