Saturday, February 11, 2006

Capcom Classics Collection Review!

Call me a conservative gamer. I started in the SNES age, and even in this age of graphical marvels and sophistication, I still kinda prefer the arcade-style straightforward, simple, but hellishly fun (and usually difficult) games of old. So, it came as no surprise to God and Jesus that I exploded orgasmically when I found out Capcom was selling a collection of 22 arcade classics in one collection. I had to have it. And when the time of release came, and it was only $30, well, the only way I wouldn’t buy is if my grandmother was dying of cancer and needed all my money or my torso would be devoured by a rabid tiger from India. And, as luck had it, that event did not occur. Now I own 22 Capcom arcade titles on my PS2.
Okay, now you’re wondering what I thought of it. To make it quick and to-the-point: I love it. So much fun is to be had. However, I need something to fill a full article, so why not go over each of the 22 games in painful detail? That’s the stuff. So, done with the intro trivialities, I can go on to the games:

You know, it seems really odd that a Japanese company would make a game about American planes shooting up the Axis hordes, but then this is the same company that would later make a game about an alien annoying the hell out of people for kicks, so maybe it isn’t all that odd in the end. What sets 1942 apart from the other vertical flying crap shooters is that you can perform a loop-the-loop. What exactly this aerial feat is meant to do for you is still unclear. Maybe I need to log in some more time in this one.
Overall, not the best on the disc, but still decent enough for a 5 minute Jap-shooting spree before moving onto the big boys…

The sequel to 1942 is far superior to its predecessor, for more than one reason, the main being your ships new ability to CONTROL THE WEATHER. A historically-accurate fact, I’m sure, American fighter crafts now can cause lightning strikes and large tidal waves to appear and massacre the Axis scum, quite evidently showing how God was clearly on the American side. Or it’s a just a stupid bomb in the game. I prefer the first theory, because it has more Jesus in it. A great game overall, especially with a buddy to double your God-powers and loop-the-looping for no reason.

1943: Kai
Wait, another 1943? What makes this one different? Well, according to the instructions and game facts and stuff, it’s faster and more difficult. Okay. Pretty much cut and paste the above opinion. Let’s move on.

Bionic Commando
Bionic Commando is a cult game on the NES, infamous for awesome gameplay and an exploding Hitler head. The arcade version featured in CCC lacks the latter, and a little bit of the former. The grappling-hook is fun to use, for sure, but the enemy soldiers and stupid bees and pointy things get a little too many cheap shots in for my taste. And the level design isn’t all that great. And all this could’ve been saved by an exploding Hitler head.

Nothing is as fun as just shooting swarms of faceless soldiers, nothing. And so Commando earns its keep. It’s a bird-eyes-view version of Contra, basically, and as such you’re going to die, a lot. Thank Moses for unlimited continues, because I doubt any of you would keep playing the damn thing if you had to start over again and again. Even the well-trained man in the art of losing at arcade games is not that persistent.

Exed Exes
Exed Exes is a lot like 1942, except replace all the Japanese fighter jets with bees and floating skulls. Exed Exes is surprisingly fun, almost feel like Galaga, if Galaga had you collecting tomatoes for some reason. I became strangely addicted to this, partially due to its hypnotic repetitive background tune. Definitely exe-cellent. Oh my God, I didn’t just day that.

Final Fight
Now here’s fun in a bag. You walk your mayor/wrestler, ninja, or non-descript guy across the screen and beat the shit out of every punk you see, sometimes with a lead pipe, or a samurai sword. You pick up priceless gems, cash, and food that are stored in trash cans, obviously because they were useless items to the people of the city. Some may say it is repetitive. I say those people are booger brains. Plus, this is the only game where you beat up a transvestite and an autistic guy. I learned this from the unlockable character profiles, and they are facts that will stay with me forever, or at least until I learn something even more useless, which should be in another five minutes. Even better, the final boss rides around in a wheelchair and attacks you with a crossbow, and he’s not even a cripple. Probably does it so he can push the buttons to open the doors in the mall or to win the Special Olympics every year, just to be a real jerk.

Forgotten Worlds
Whoever designed this game is on the kind of weed that is sent to only a select few over the decades, possibly by gremlins. You’re two commandoes (named Unnamed soldier 1 and Unnamed soldier 2, showing the creativity of their parents) as they shoot down lizards on jetpacks, robot walkers, some very phallic critters, and Cossack-dancers that look like flying Michael Jacksons for cash so they can buy awesome power-ups from the hot satellite shop owner. Even more f’ed are the bosses: a rotting dragon corpse, a odd red thing that may look erotic to some, the sphinx, Sun god Ra and his ‘jaws of death’, a giant armor-wearing ‘God of War’, Cleopatra’s big-ass sarcophagi, two loin cloth-sporting statues and Satan himself, who for the first half of the battle refuses to get off his chair, the lazy-ass. You must want to play the game already, and you should, because it’s awesome, one of the best games on the disk...

Ghosts ‘N Goblins
What is to be said of G ‘N G aside from ‘IT’S FREAKING HARD!’ And yes it is. I’ve yet to reach the third level. And yet…the game is fun, very fun, even as it repeatedly serves your ass on a silver platter. Shooting zombies with lances is a good time.

Ghouls ‘N Ghosts
The sequel that will nipple-twist you until you cry, and that’s no lie. It took a special kind of sadist to make this game as hard as they did, with its constant barrage of enemies and traps, and precision jumping. But, like its prequel, it’s still hella fun. Added for this game, aside from the obvious graphical improvements, the armor upgrades with the super shot, and the ability to shoot up, both of which will not stop you from dying a million times. Masochistic fun for the whole family.

Packing six-shooters and tracking down criminals in the Wild West is the shit, really. This is quite a bit like Commando, except it’s automatically scrolling up and each button shoots in a different direction, allowing you to take out ne’er-do-wells from your stationary spot. It’s freaking hard, but it also has a ninja boss. A cowboy ninja? Capcom obviously has a better idea of history then I do.

Legendary Wings
Here’s a weird one. It starts as your basic vertical shooter, only now featuring two people with wings and guns. But, enter a danger zone or the boss area, and its sidescroller city filled with orange balls that grow when you shoot them and your usual assortment of baddies. This one is sort of middling, as it can be a good time, especially with a buddy, but the levels are fairly straightforward. Not the best, not the worst. But, hey, you can get wings without Red Bull.

Remember Commando, from a few paragraphs ago? This is the sequel to that, and it kicks your ass and ass in general. You now have a variety is crazy weapons to shoot the hordes of soldiers with, like a Contra-style spread gun, and a flamethrower (my favorite), and it has awesome boss battles against huge military vehicles (obviously, your enemy military isn’t with the times in creating monsters and cyborgs for use in combat). There really is nothing else to see, grab a buddy and a flamethrower and plow through this. You won’t regret it.

Pirate Ship Higemaru
Apparently one of Capcom’s earliest titles and it shows. I don’t know, maybe I am expecting more from a game featuring pirates, but running around throwing barrels at them just isn’t very exciting. Had there been a few ninjas thrown in (why not? There’s a ninja in the cowboy game), maybe I’d like this one a little bit more. Otherwise, it’s just the Adventure of Lolo’s mediocre daddy.

Section Z
I’d probably talk more about Section Z’s gameplay, but the story just stood out like…something that really, really sticks out. Take a gander:

As a sole astronaut, you must penetrate the alien Balangool space craft...

Stop right there. Balangool? I’ve heard some silly alien species names in the past, but this makes about NO.8. Okay, maybe the story isn’t that silly or noteworthy, but this game sure is fun. Horizontal shooter, jetpack guy, yadayadayada. However, I’ve heard about the NES version of this bastard, and how it’s actually superior to the arcade original. Really? I might have to check that out. But, right now, I’m stuck with the fun arcade version. Sucks to be me.

Son Son
Another early Capcom title, this one answers the eternal question ‘Who the fuck is that monkey girl in Marvel vs. Capcom 2?’ This game features Son Son and pig-armed-with-a-pitchfork Ton Ton running forward constantly, while you jump up and down platforms to collect food and shoot bats, piranhas, things that look like kangaroo skeletons and armadillos, angry bomb-wielding Chinese guys, and evil wizards riding clouds and carrying shields. I find this to be surprisingly fun, and it is quite possibly the easiest game on the collection (but still no walk in the zoo). You may want to take a round of this after Ghouls ‘N Ghosts or Commando kicks your ass for the 50,000th time.

Street Fighter II
Ah, the fighter to start them all. If you’ve been playing games for a while, you’ve probably played this and helped its 8 stereotypes crack skull. Still pretty fun after all these years, but it has some balance issues, which is fixed in….

Street Fighter II Champion Edition
…Champion edition, also featured on the disk. It also adds the 4 boss characters to your playable roster, which is great if you love Mike Tyson knock-offs, pansy-ass Spanish guys and being cheap with M.Bison (but I still love them all) or if you’re tired of making Dhalsim’s yoga limbs stretch. Still fun, but aside from the two additions above, it’s not that much different from Street Fighter II. This didn’t stop Capcom from also including…

Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper fighting
…this game, the definitive Street Fighter II, with the best balance and being uber fast. Also included in all three SFIIs is a ‘deluxe’ mode that allows you to pit the different versions of each character from each edition against each other, obviously inspired by last year’s Street Fighter Anniversary Collection, allowing people who can actually tell the difference between them figure out which ones were unbalanced.

Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts
My favorite member of the G’NG family but that’s probably because I can actually make it to the third level in this one. You lose the ability to shoot up, but gain a whole slew of super-duper-explosion-inducing power-ups, which do absolutely nothing to make the game any easier. And, of course, once you are able to beat the game once (which I doubt any of you will), you will learn that you have to beat it AGAIN to face the final boss, because you need a specific weapon that wasn’t available to you the first time through. Now, that’s just cruel. I mean, really. I’ve seen evil armies from the pits of Hades with gentler torture methods using hot prods laced with explosives and tacks. And yet, I am still compelled to play it. I’m starting to turn into that guy from Little Shop of Horrors.

I’m not a big fan of this game. Continuing the trend of games that are really, balls-breakingly hard, Trojan has your sword-and-shield clad freak traversing downtown Las Angeles (yes, it is always that abandoned) to fight hordes of other freaks. You can guard and attack high and low, but I have yet mastered the ability to do either in a vaguely effective manor. This means I’m getting whacked in the shins by bikers all day long. And getting whacked in the shins hurts. I’m going to cry.

Last, but not least, is Vulgus, another one of Capcom’s early games. And liked Exed Exes, you spend the entire time shooting giant robot bugs. I’m starting to think that Capcom has it in for insects. Why else would they force you to blast so many of the buggers in this endless game? Okay, I enjoyed shooting down the bugs. But…I mean, who doesn’t? This isn’t exactly amazing stuff, but it is a good waste of time. You could be curing cancer or something, but wouldn’t you rather shoot bugs? Of course you would.

As you can see, for $30, you get a wide array of titles; from the amazing to the amazingly poopy; from pleasant to suicide-inducingly tough; from shooting soldiers to shooting ninjas in the Wild West to shooting bugs, and lots of ‘em. So, if you enjoy quarter-eating abominations like these, you buy. And if you don’t, screw you, you’re stupid. I don’t actually mean that, but I kinda do. Seriously, everyone should like Final Fight. Everyone.


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