Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded Hands-On

We get a look at Capcom's remixed classics collection for the PSP.

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Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded is Capcom's second classics compilation for the PlayStation Portable, and it refits the Capcom Classics compilation, which was released last year on the PlayStation and Xbox. The game wisely follows the feature-rich precedent set by last year's Capcom Classics Remixed for the PSP and offers up a mess of extras ranging from control customization to a grip of unlockable content. We had the chance to get our hands on a work-in-progress version of the game to see if it matches its slick predecessor.

Prepare to get your retro on with Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded for PSP.
Prepare to get your retro on with Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded for PSP.

You'll find five options on Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded's main menu: play, slot, collection, sharing, and extras. Play lets you dive into the collection's 19 titles: 1942, 1943, 1943 kai, Ghosts 'n Goblins, Ghouls 'n Ghosts, Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts, Commando, Mercs, Street Fighter II, Street Fighter II Championship Edition, Street Fighter II' Hyper Fighting, Son Son, Vulgus, Pirate Ship Higemaru, Exed Exes, Gun.Smoke, The King of Dragons, Knights of the Round, and Eco Fighters. Each game will feature customization options for controls, screen configuration, and in-game save states that will let you save on the fly and resume playing at your leisure.

Once you finish playing one of the games, a stat screen, which tracks your time in the game, will pop up and bestow tokens on you for your efforts. The slot option is a slot machine that lets you play some slots with your tokens. You'll be able to bet single rows or all three to maximize your wins. If you line up images, you'll win more tokens or you'll win unlockables that fall into one of three categories: art, cheats, or music. The collection option lets you browse through your wins, which are organized into the three categories. The volume of content is impressive--it appears that there will be 895 bits to open up in the game. The sharing option will let you play six games with a friend: 1943, Pirate Ship Higemaru, Son Son, Mercs, Ghosts 'n Goblins, and The King of Dragons. Finally, the extras option houses a trailer for the previous PSP compilation. If you aren't up on your Capcom lore, we offer a quick trip down memory lane to fill you in on some of the old-school goodness contained in the collection.

1942 is a World War II-themed shooter that appeared in arcades in 1984. The game has you blasting enemy planes out of the sky and collecting power-ups to upgrade your ship's weapons. Though the odds are daunting, you'll be able to perform loop-the-loops to avoid enemy fire, but you're limited to three of these maneuvers per level, to keep things challenging.

1943, the sequel to 1942, followed in 1987 and features enhanced graphics and gameplay. You'll take control of a P-38 jet fighter packing six secret weapons. Besides being able to loop-the-loop, as in 1942, you're also able to make use of natural phenomena, including lightning, cyclones, and tsunamis, to help you.

The more planes come, the more we like to shoot 'em down.
The more planes come, the more we like to shoot 'em down.

Ghosts 'n Goblins is a side-scrolling platformer released in 1985 that casts you as Sir Arthur, a knight out to rescue his honey from the depths of hell. The game features a number of memorable elements, such as Arthur rocking boxer shorts when his armor is hit and a level of difficulty that makes grown men cry.

Ghouls 'n Ghosts is the 1988 sequel to Ghosts 'n Goblins, and it finds Arthur back on the hunt for his special lady, who has wound up in hell again. This was a common problem back in those days; Mario was having similar problems with Princess Peach, who wound up with Bowser all the time.

Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts is the 1991 Super Nintendo Entertainment System game that finds Arthur back on rescue duty. The game made use of such futuristic technology as scaling, which elicited "oohs" and "aahs" from the masses when it first hit.

Gun.Smoke is a 1985 Western-themed shooter that casts you as Billy the Cowboy, a bounty hunter who seems to be OK with bringing in his targets more dead than alive. The game puts a Western spin on traditional shooter elements, such as power-ups from picking up boots, horses, bullets, and rifles.

Mercs, the 1990 sequel to 1985's two-player Commando, is a third-person action shooter that casts you as a mercenary sent out to rescue the president of the United States from kidnappers. The three-player cooperative game offers a more polished experience than its predecessor and features plenty of different weapons and vehicles for you to play with.

Street Fighter II Championship Edition is the 1992 sequel to the original Street Fighter II. The new release offers better gameplay balancing and the ability to play as the four boss characters: Balrog, Vega, Sagat, and M. Bison. The game was part of the wave of titles that marked both a change in the fighting genre and a shift in Capcom's forte, as this was the start of Capcom's reign as the preeminent developer of 2D fighters.

Street Fighter II' Hyper Fighting is the 1991 follow-up to SFIICE, released in response to the various hacks that arcade operators were installing on the previous game that were messing with its delicately tuned gameplay balance. In an effort to restore some order, Capcom released Hyper Fighting, which incorporated some of the popular elements from the hacks while keeping things balanced. The result of all these tweaks and additions was a finely honed installment most have come to view as the best in the series.

Son Son is the 1984 side-scrolling shooter that marked Capcom's debut in US arcades. You'll take control of one of two brothers, Son Son or Ton Ton, who are on a quest to rescue their friends. As you would expect, much shooting and collecting of food ensues as they conduct their mission of mercy.

Both Street Fighter II CE and Street Fighter II' Hyper Fighting will be found in the collection.
Both Street Fighter II CE and Street Fighter II' Hyper Fighting will be found in the collection.

In addition to the other titles included in the console compilation--Vulgus, 1943 kai, Pirate Ship Higemaru, Exed Exes--CCCR will include three new titles from its arcade heritage: Eco Fighters, which is a side-scrolling shooter that hit arcades in 1994; The King of Dragons, which is a 1991 side-scrolling beat-'em-up; and Knights of the Round, which is a 1992 side-scroller that featured King Arthur, Sir Lancelot, and Sir Perceval as playable characters that would level up as you advanced through the game. The work-in-progress game we played was looking and sounding good for the most part. The old games were bright and clear on the PSP screen, and the various screen and control configurations were welcome touches. There were a few rough spots here and there, such as audio weirdness in spots (pitches varied for voices and effects) and longish loads, but overall the game looks like one tight little package.

If you're hankering for another Capcom compilation for your PSP, CCCR should definitely be on your radar. The game is packed with old-school gems, and it looks great and plays well. The additional content offers a good mix of functional goodness, plenty of configurations and customization, and a ton of content to plow through. The addition of game sharing is a nice cherry on top of an appealing package. Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded is currently slated to ship this October for the PSP.

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