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PS2 Review: Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2

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Playing Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2 had an interesting effect on me. At first it was offered nostalgia for the days when I used to wander from glowing screen to glowing screen in the dimly lit arcade, pocket full of quarters jingling, enjoying the finest fruits gaming had to offer. Nothing on the home consoles at the time even compared.

The next feeling was one of confusion at how gamers (myself included) can complain about tiny gameplay issues now that pale in comparison to some deliberate design choices from a decade or so ago that intentionally ripped off the player, yet we happily fed the machine another coin to keep on dying. With the demise of arcades and the fact that most of these games aren't in production or functional use anywhere now, dropping a few Hamiltons for some of the greats of yester-year probably amounts to a better deal than what you spent on them in their heyday.

Capcom produced a slew of games similar to their more memorable Final Fight, several of which are included here. Captain Commando brought back some memories. Palette-swapped enemies, bosses with so many life bars they merely change color for the first two minutes, cheap counter attacks that you can't possibly avoid that WILL cause your death…good times. Thankfully, you get unlimited continues now. Knights of the Round, a similar, Arthurian-inspired side-scrolling beat-em-up, always caught my eye, but somehow I never got a chance to play it till now. Somehow it wasn't quite the second coming I'd hoped for, but nevertheless it and all the other games here are perfectly faithful translations of the originals, for better or worse.

Some of the games still look decent (Strider and SSF2Turbo come to mind), especially at 480p; others haven't aged quite as well (Quiz & Dragons' trivia will be hopelessly lost on newbies or casual players). Still, the shooter action in 1941 is as relentless as ever, the very first Street Fighter proves it really was a huge leap from there to its infamous sequel, and the emulation of Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo is spot-on. Each game has unlockable bonus features and cheats you earn simply by playing through them. Adjustable settings for each exist as well, like difficulty, customizable button configs, number of default lives, and even enabling rapid fire. The unlimited credits was enough for me, but throwing in the extras was nice of them.

The full list of titles includes: 1941, Avengers, Black Tiger, Block Block, Captain Commando, Eco Fighters, King of Dragons, Knights of the Round, Last Duel, Magic Sword, Mega Twins, Quiz & Dragons, Side Arms, Street Fighter, Strider, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, The Speed Rumbler, Three Wonders, Tiger Road, and Varth.

If you played these at the mall growing up, you already know if you want this disc or not. If you started gaming with the PSone, I doubt you've heard of most of these unless you really know your gaming roots, and the appeal could be pretty limited. Let's face it, games have come a long way since 1990. It's not quite as packed with infamous hits as the first collection, but the two together combined with an arcade-quality joystick (if you can find a decent one) is a solid investment for fans of ye olde arcade.

Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2 is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence. This game can also be found on: Xbox.


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