I tend to stay away from personal indulgence when it comes to reviews, but I feel it necessary to share with you my initial reaction to Capcom Classics Collection Remixed (CCCR). I was scrolling down the list of titles in the selection menu thinking to myself about how, yes, Strider is certainly a classic, but I bet they don’t have Three Wonders. Now there was a classic game! And as I continued to scroll down, what did I see but Three Wonders. The amount of glee that filled my being was beyond comprehension.
You see, Three Wonders was a classic arcade game that I pumped a small fortune into as a child. It consists of three arcade games of different genres, remotely related, that players could choose from. It has never received a port outside of dodgy MAME ROMs, so I was elated to find it nestled away on CCCR.
And Three Wonders, in all its obscurity, represents the essence of CCCR. While the Playstation 2 and Xbox versions contained such notable and obvious classics as Street Fighter II, 1942 and Ghouls’ N Ghosts, the PSP version decides to include some of Capcom’s forgotten classics.
Yes, you get some of the titles recycled from the console version: Bionic Commando, Final Fight, Legendary Wings, and Forgotten Worlds. However, you also get Strider. Strider: one of the best games ever made, and it’s a crime against humanity that it’s not recognised for its excellence more. An arcade perfect port is almost worth the price of admission alone. But you’re also given arcade perfect ports of games like the aforementioned Three Wonders and the vertical ‘shmup’ Varth.
Essentially, you’re getting 20 games, most of which easily stand strong against the current crop of new releases. Sure, there are a few duds in there – why anyone thought it was a good idea to include the original Street Fighter will be an eternal mystery – but the majority has aged well.
CCCR also offers some decent ways to tweak the game settings to appeal to gamer tastes. Most games can be stretched nicely to fill the screen, and vertical shooters work best when the PSP is held vertically. Don’t worry, custom button configurations allow for the analogue nub to serve as buttons, and since most of the vertical ‘shmups’ require only a few buttons, the system works well.
Because these games were arcade games, they were designed to suck as many quarters as they could. Hence, a vast majority of the games are insanely difficult. Fortunately, Capcom had the common sense to offer infinite continues. They also had the sense to include an auto-fire option into every game, so not only are the games slightly easier, but also the chances of getting carpal tunnel from button mashing have been greatly reduced.
Additionally, CCCR offers a series of achievements for each game: when certain tasks are completed, a reward is unlocked. Tasks range from scoring a certain amount of points to finishing the game, and the rewards are usually to unlock artwork or game soundtracks. It may not give the bragging rights that come with 360 achievements, but the rewards are far more desirable. It’s also a nice touch that will encourage players to explore each of the included titles.
Overall, CCCR offers a nicely polished package of some classic arcade games. Again, unlike other ‘classics’ collections that consist of rudimentary games that grow stale after 5 minutes, many of these games have aged extremely well and can easily hold their own against the current crop of releases. It comes especially recommended to fans of old school arcade games: those who find the current generation lacking in the simplistic depth that made the ‘Golden Age’ so great and should have no hesitation in picking up this title without delay.