Capcom has been releasing compilations of its old arcade games for years, but the company reset its classics packages last year with the formation of a new series, Capcom Classics Collection. This year's follow-up contains 20 games from Capcom's back catalog, as well as some good extras and unlockables. If you're still interested in Capcom's old arcade releases, you'll find some bona fide classics on this disc, as well as some lesser-known games that may or may not grab you.
The games in this collection span a large chunk of Capcom's history, going all the way back to the pre-CPS era and up to the CPS2 days with games like Super Street Fighter II Turbo. The games you'll get in this collection are 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. The well-emulated version of SSF2T is the highlight of the package, but other games, such as 1941, Strider, and Speed Rumbler, hold up nicely. Some games, such as Last Duel, don't fare so well. Quiz & Dragons is a fantasy-themed trivia game that asks questions that were more relevant back when the game was released in 1992. Now, those current events aren't so current anymore. To rectify this, Capcom has included a special Capcom Quiz version of the game that replaces all the questions with trivia about Capcom's games. Unfortunately, the Capcom questions get even more obscure. Do you know what the S stands for in Leon S. Kennedy? Do you remember what sorts of gems Ryu could drop in Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo? If so, you'll probably do fine.
The emulations in this package are accurate to the arcade versions they're attempting to re-create. This hasn't always been the case in these collections, especially when it comes to Street Fighter games, which are often saddled with loading issues. So it's nice to see that Super Street Fighter II Turbo is essentially intact. On top of that, one of the cooler extras in the package is a three-part tutorial on how to play SSF2T. It goes well past the basic "here's how to throw a fireball" instructions and gets into competition-level strategies, such as knowing each character's basic range and knowing when it's OK to jump in against characters with good antiair attacks. It's a real eye-opener, if you're unfamiliar with how deep 2D fighting game strategy can get, and you just might learn something in the process. You can also unlock cheats for some of the games, as well as the standard assortment of concept art, music, and other extras. It all adds up to make this a very well-rounded package that has more to offer than just the games themselves.
Since these games are from all over the arcade timeline, the graphical quality varies wildly. Some games, such as Strider, Magic Sword, and SSF2T, still look nice, for 2D games. However, the older stuff looks about as dated as you'd expect from games that are 15 or 20 years old. But it all looks accurate, which is what really counts in a collection like this. The same goes for the sound and music. It's all re-created faithfully here. To help with the graphics, both the Xbox and PlayStation 2 versions of the game offer 480p support, which helps bring out the sharpness of the original arcade games.
Of course, this collection isn't for everyone. Many of these games work only on a nostalgic level--if you were to pick up and start playing something like Captain Commando for the first time in 2006, you'd rightly realize that it was just a less-interesting take on what Capcom did with Final Fight. Also, this collection is shorter on hits than some of Capcom's other compilations. So unless you were spending a significant amount of time in arcades throughout the '80s and '90s, you might not have even known that some of these games existed. But if you're interested in these sorts of retro compilations, Capcom's second installment in the series is a solid choice, thanks to its interesting extras and quality emulation.