What is the perfect recipe for handheld gaming? Classic compilation packs chock full of retro gaming goodness. First it was Namco and now Capcom has joined the fray with its latest entry into the PSP library, Capcom Classics Collection Remixed. You may recall that Capcom also released a very similar collection a while back on both PS2 and Xbox, while the PSP version does contain a few of the same games, for the most part this compilation is chock full of fresh new titles just itching for you to take them for a spin. So the real question on everyone’s mind now is, is this pocket-sized collection really worth twice the price of its console brethren?
To be completely fair though calling the PSP versions a mere port is kind of an injustice. In fact aside from five titles (Final Fight, Section Z, Bionic Commando, Legendary Wings, and Forgotten Worlds) the entire collection is completely new including some truly classic titles such as the original Street Fighter, 1941, and everyone’s favorite Marvel Capcom hero, Captain Commando. All of the titles represented here are perfect examples of how gaming used to be about eating quarters and simple mindless button mashing, any fan of retro 1980’s arcade gaming will be in utter heaven with some of these titles.
Being able to play Strider anywhere is almost worth it alone!
Developer Digital Eclipse has also done an amazing job of emulating all of these titles flawlessly onto Sony’s handheld marvel. Loading in between games is relatively short, usually less than fifteen seconds and the beauty part is that once a game is loaded you will never have to worry about it again until you decide to switch titles. On top of this they have also thrown in the ability to switch the perspective on most of the titles so you can view the game in the full-screen stretch mode, flip it vertically for a full view of the glorious shooter action in 1941, and even a sort of arcade enhanced view mode that displays stats and such to the side of the game screen. They have also thrown in the ability to switch the controls so that you only use the analog and d-pad for vertical screen gaming, be warned though, if you have large hands prepare to cramp often. There is also a large collection of goodies such as artwork and game hints scattered throughout the title giving you reason to keep playing these titles for months on end.
The most appealing aspect of this remixed collection though is its multi-player capabilities. The buddy location system is quick and easy and hosting a game is one of the simplest functions I have seen in a multi-player PSP title. You even have the option of banning certain players from your rooms indefinitely if you so choose. All of your high-scores can also be saved locally on your PSP as well as anyone who is currently connected to your network. The biggest downside however is the fact that this game doesn’t support any type of game sharing function, which is odd considering the miniscule size of all of the titles available on the disc.
Before Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 he excelled at kicking random thugs!
Another annoying flaw is the game does not have a save function for switching between titles. So if you decide to play up to the final boss in Strider, get frustrated, and shut off the system, its back to square one when you return. This feature is sorely missed on the longer titles, but for games that were always meant to be a quick arcade fix, the lack of a save option is rarely ever noticeable. While this feature may hinder the overall appeal of this title a bit the final downside almost kills the collection altogether, game selection. While there are some truly astounding titles to be found such as Strider and 1941 there are also some truly atrocious games mixed in with the bunch. Games like The Speed Rumbler are a perfect example of why we have never heard of them before they appeared on a 20-year old compilation of games simply to fill a roster quota.
While there are certainly plenty of problems with this collection it really does end up managing to entertain the arcade junkies from the golden age of gaming. Realizing just how damn hard Strider gets towards the end and of course just how generic the original Street Fighter game is compared to the sequel are reason enough to purchase this collection. However if you are not a fan of classic button mashers then the forty bucks may seem a bit steep for twenty titles that most people have already downloaded onto their PCs. The price is the only thing keeping this game from being a must own even with its minor flaws this is a really good collection of titles that will keep arcade enthusiasts entertained for months. Only recommended for die-hard arcade junkies with deep pockets.