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Capcom Classics Collection: Reloaded (PSP) artwork

Capcom Classics Collection: Reloaded (PSP) review

"Amazingly, I remember finishing Ghouls ‘N Ghosts, and Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts in their heydays. I would have two questions for my old self were able to ask him now, a good one, and an even better one: how, and why?"

If you’re dying for a Capcom Classics Collection, you should pick up the one subtitled Remixed, and not the subject of this review, the one subtitled Reloaded. That’s my best advice after having played both. Remixed not only has a more balanced group of quality titles, but Reloaded does itself and fans a grave disservice by bringing substandard emulations of its big names to the table.

It only takes a cursory glance at the back of the package to determine this compilation’s primary selling point: the Street Fighter II series. The original Street Fighter II, Champion Edition, and Hyper Fighting, are all included on the disc – a fact that would have any fan of the franchise drooling in anticipation.

Time to clean up that spittle. Because all three games are plagued with the same emulation problems. Inexplicably and frustratingly long load times between fights, music that cuts in and out, and inconsistent controls. This last issue cannot be understated: while the controls actually do allow for every move to be executed, they can't be counted on to register. And after playing Street Fighter Alpha 3 on this system, I know that the PSP’s D-pad can do better than this.

It’s infuriating to have a decent round with Ryu, your favourite hero with a headband, pummeling bendable Indian mystic Dhalsim with the punishing Dragon Punch – only to have that same Dragon Punch fail you continually the following round at the most inopportune moments. Any fighting game fan knows that a missed counter spells disaster, and with the imperfect fashion in which Capcom presents its trifecta, there will be missed counters aplenty.

So, with the main draw this regrettably flawed, can those games bringing up the rear save the collection? Not really. And the problem is the distinct lack of variety in the package. In much the same way that the trio of marginally different Street Fighter II games spearheads the disc, the supporting cast features the Ghosts ‘N Goblins series, the 1942 series, and the very similar The King of Dragons and Knights of the Round games.

While I enjoy the old school vertical shooting action of 1942, its sequels offer little variation, and in the end we feel as if we are playing nothing more than three iterations of the same game. This is particularly troubling considering the fact that any given 1942 game is already an unequivocally repetitive and straightforward exercise.

The Ghouls ‘N Ghosts games manage to offer much more unique missions; however, the feeling that playing each elicits is the same: complete and utter disgust. Old school gamers would do well to hear me out – I too, looked back on this series of games fondly. Unfortunately, it seems as though that old man nostalgia is the culprit again. Amazingly, I remember finishing Ghouls ‘N Ghosts, and Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts in their heydays. I would have two questions for my old self were I able to ask him now – a good one, and an even better one: how, and why?

Like Ghosts ‘N Goblins before them, the two games in the canon which I managed to best feature unwieldy jumps and checkpoints spaced ridiculously far apart. A towering boss will vanquish you and send you minutes back to an area that doesn’t even look similar to the one in which your life came to a sudden and unceremonious end. Brilliant music and wonderful scenarious? Sure. A joy to play? Another story entirely.

Moving on, The King of Dragons and Knights of the Round are decent beat-em-up distractions in the Golden Axe vein, but Final Fight of the Remixed compilation has a lot more personality. Commando is actually decent fun, involving a lone commando (surprise) versus a million other guys. It’s what you expect: vertical shooting action with guns, grenades and flamethrowers, but it’s very fast paced and very fair, which amounts to it being one of my favourite distractions in the anthology.

By contrast, another vertical shooter on the disc, Gun.Smoke, is an abomination. This is no fault of the emulation – the game was never good. It plays like Commando on crack, involving a double pistol-toting cowboy dragged greasily on rails through saloon-bordered streets, with everything happening quite a bit too fast. Expect deaths to come early and often before you inevitably get fed up and move on to something else.

Unfortunately, there's not much else to turn to. Rounding out the list of games worth mentioning, are a few pleasant surprises like Eco Fighters, a decent horizontal shooter with a good gimmick (a mechanical arm that can spin 360 degrees, attached to the front of the ship); and Mercs, a solid Contra-esque title that features diagonal scrolling and the freedom to blow lots of things up.

The way I’d sum up my feelings about Reloaded is like this: I’d love it if Capcom got Street Fighter II and its derivatives right – the rest of the bunch would make a competent supporting cast. But with Ryu and Ken and the guys making such a mediocre showing, the rest of this compilation simply cannot carry the day. Remixed didn’t look as good to me on paper, but if you want Capcom-to-go, it’s Strider’s Hiryu, Cody and the gang who are the Capcom performers to be reckoned with.


Masters's avatar
Staff review by Marc Golding (July 02, 2008)

There was a bio here once. It's gone now.

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If you enjoyed this Capcom Classics Collection: Reloaded review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

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Felix_Arabia posted July 02, 2008:

Good review, Masters. I was engaged all throughout. Too bad SFII has issues.
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Masters posted July 02, 2008:

Yeah, sucks. Made the whole thing almost worthless. Almost.

I dunno what's with me and all these compilation reviews. Good training in trying not to be boring I guess.
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Felix_Arabia posted July 02, 2008:

Use that training to write a Yoshi's Island review!
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Masters posted July 02, 2008:

Haha, what's with you and Yoshi's Island?
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dagoss posted July 02, 2008:

You did not just imply that Yoshi's Island boring...!
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Masters posted July 02, 2008:

I think he did.
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Felix_Arabia posted July 02, 2008:

I didn't mean to. If you go to the game's page, you'll find my old account has a 9/10 review up for the game.

But as for why the reviewing world wants to see you write about Yoshi's Island, it's simple. Retro and I demand it. So that's everyone.
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Masters posted July 02, 2008:

Haha. You know Retro? I thought he was around well before your time..? He's a good man. Sometimes. =D

If I can get a hold of the GBA version, I'll play it on my DS and see what I can put together.
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Felix_Arabia posted July 02, 2008:

No, I don't know Retro. But you told me that he wanted you to review Yoshi's Island. I'm just restating what you told me!
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Masters posted July 02, 2008:

Wow, I didn't think anyone listened to me. That's impressive. Are you also of the opinion that Yoshi's Island is the best 2D platformer of all time?
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Felix_Arabia posted July 02, 2008:

Unfortunately I am not, but I do think it ranks pretty high up there.
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Suskie posted July 02, 2008:

For a second I figured Yoshi's Island would be a good game to review for the Alpha Marathon, getting that pesky Y out of the way, but then I realized the real title of the game is Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. So, uh, eff that idea.

Seriously. Who the hell calls it that?
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Masters posted July 03, 2008:

Ha, nobody does. The GBA title is even more retarded, if I recall correctly.

On a completely unrelated note, why does the new James Bond title have a Castlevania title? :T "Quantum of Solace?" Are they serious...
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psychopenguin posted July 03, 2008:

Well there is always Yoshi's Island DS I suppose. I don't even think Nintendo would call YI SMW2 now, they obviously just did that to sell a few more copies (and it probably worked).

lol at the Castlevania thing.. I definitely thought that as well. I honestly thought QoS was the next CV game until I read it was the name of the new James Bond movie.

Another good review although I disagree with some of it. I love this collection for 1942, King of Dragons, and Knights of the Round alone. I found KoD and KotR to have great gameplay ideas with the leveling up systems, and found them to be far better games than FF which was fine but basically a typical beat em up with "attitude". And I liked Gun.Smoke even though it's hard >.>

(Also, good to hear good old Retro is alive and well. i miss that dude.)
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Masters posted July 03, 2008:

Haha, I'll pass along your sentiment to Retro. Or better yet, I'll just direct him to this thread so he can bask in the love. ^_^ As far as the hack 'n slashers... I can see how you'd like them. I just found them to be slick Golden Axe wannabes... they just didn't do much for me. Gun.Smoke is ridiculous. =D Oh, and thanks for the positive feedback.
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honestgamer posted July 03, 2008:

I've always preferred King of the Dragons and Knights of the Round to Final Fight. This was a great review, by the way. Once again, you really wrote a compelling review for a compilation. Capcom's attempts to emulate the arcade Street Fighter titles in their collections have been a disgrace compared to the excellent job they do on console ports, so I'm inclined to agree with this even without having played this particular edition.
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Masters posted July 03, 2008:

Thanks Venter. Yeah, nothing worse than setting a guy up to jump at you, priming your uppercut, only to throw one of those pitiful jabs -- and ending up getting crushed by a energy draining combo.

I gotta say that I'm surprised that there are so many fans of that Knights of the Round game. Comparing it to Golden Axe makes me wanna go play Golden Axe again. But we know that that's probably a bad idea. =T
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overdrive posted July 03, 2008:

I have to say I'm surprised there are so many fans of Knights of the Round. It's not a bad game, but didn't really stand out THAT MUCH in my mind. I think I mentally classed it as a decent Final Fight clone in a medieval setting, but nothing extraordinary.

Then, I've only played it on the SNES. I do have to give the system credit, though, in that they couldn't have neutered the standard difficulty nearly as much as they did with Final Fight in porting it over. I'll have to give it another try and review it sometime, like when I'm not making much headway in my main projects (in other words, probably in the next week or two, as I've been way more disorganized in my gaming than I need to be).
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Masters posted July 04, 2008:

Speaking of the pedestrian quality of KotR... anyone have any thoughts on the similarly ho-hum Magic Sword?
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overdrive posted July 04, 2008:

Magic Sword....

Well, a few years back, when I discovered the magic world of emulation, I was going berzerk, snapping up virtually any console game that looked intriguing to me (both ones I owned and ones I'd just seen in magazines). Some I kept, others I dumped off after a few minutes of gameplay annoyed or bored me. I have no recollection of this game (SNES port), although I'd be surprised if I hadn't DLed it, as I remember thinking it looked fun in Nintendo Power.

So, to make a long story short, assuming I HAVE played it, it left no impression on me whatsoever.

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