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Capcom Classics Collection Remixed

For: PSP

Retro quantity or retro quality? Discuss...

Product: Capcom Classics Collection Remixed | Developer: Backbone Entertainment | Publisher: Capcom | Format: PSP | Genre: Arcade, Conversion | Players: 1-2 | Networking: wireless (adhoc) | Version: Europe
Capcom Classics Collection Remixed PSP, thumbnail 1
Believe it or not, there was a time when classic status was earned not through the passing of time, but rather for an exceptional set of robust, enduring qualities. Obviously these days anything older than a week, regardless of its subsequent worth, automatically becomes eligible for the accolade.

The problem with that is that it devalues the entire system. And this, in turn, destabilises the universe. Which may mean we all die sooner than we should.

Or not. The point is, just because a game was made towards the end of the last century, that doesn't inevitably make it a classic. And someone should tell Capcom's marketing team because in the litigious society we now inhabit, there's bound to be a pedantic individual prepared to sue for misrepresentation.

They'd have a case. Capcom Classics Collection Remixed may feature a selection of 20 games from the developer/publisher's golden arcade years (that's, roughly, the mid-1980s to the early 1990s), but only a handful could be genuinely termed 'classic'.

Of those, Strider (essentially a platform game featuring one of the most versatile characters ever created), side-scrolling beat 'em up Final Fight, and the platform shooting antics of Bionic Commando are arguably worthy of the honour. At a squeeze you might also include Side Arms Hyper Dyne, an innovative bi-directional shooter.

Which still leaves 16 not-so-classic classics. (See the PG Tips at bottom of page for the full list).

At this point, our pedantic friend's prosecution counsel would be patting themselves on the back with delirious delight, throwing their paperwork in the air and high-fiving complete strangers while running through the corridors of justice and into the nearest bar to swap their excessive fee for intoxicating spirits.

But don't let their disproportionate celebratory behaviour fool you into thinking the other titles in this package are worthless has-beens best confined to gaming history. There's decent enjoyment to be had from the likes of Captain Commando, 1941, or Forgotten Worlds, for instance. Just as long as you don't mind your fun being very similar from one game to the next – because if there's one thing you can criticise CCC Remixed for, it's a certain lack of variety.

Sure, something like Quiz & Dragons – a quiz game underpinned by role-playing elements – immediately stands out, but generally speaking there's an overabundance of certain genres, particularly shooters.

And the problem with this is that despite the technical accomplishment of the developer (who has, it must be said, done a magnificent job of converting the original arcade games to PSP with the level of accuracy a Swiss watchmaker might demand), these games were never meant to run on a screen only slightly longer than a credit card. So even though there's the possibility to switch between various stretched displays to take advantage of the widescreen LCD (and, brilliantly, even opt to run games vertically, for those whose original aspect ratio is taller than it is wide), you need the eyes of a hawk and the reactions of a cobra to avoid all of the bullets that inevitably end up littering the screen.

For the other games – mainly platform and beat 'em up stuff – the size of the display isn't really an issue. No, the main concern is how well the gaming experience translates to the 21st century. Indeed, this affects all 20 titles crammed into the UMD. And if you make sure you remove your rose-tinted glasses, the (expected) answer is many simply don't cut it – in fact, some, like the original Street Fighter, never did.

Many of the games' mechanics are hopelessly outdated. Which is great if you're a fan of the 'three hits and you're dead' school of gaming, but for anyone not used to anything other than today's fare, they'll feel impossibly harsh and shockingly primitive.

Ultimately, however, that isn't what we're basing this assessment on – it would be unfair to criticise a retro compilation for offering a disc full of ageing game dynamics, after all. Our main reservation remains that the selection is more feeble and less discerning than it ought to be.

Less could have been more. In the distant future, when Capcom undoubtedly puts together compilations of its past compilations, this one – despite a handful of great, faithfully recreated games – may just not make the cut.
Capcom Classics Collection Remixed
Reviewer photo
Joao Diniz Sanches | 27 July 2006
A little light on true 'classics' and over-reliant on shooters but excellently converted to PSP, which should at least delight the old-skool crowd
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