Back in the ‘80s there was no game cooler than a beat ‘em up. Part of what made them so fun is the fact multiple people could play at once and work together for a common goal. Sure, multiplayer wasn’t uncommon at arcades, but there was something to be said for four people taking control of the X-Men or Simpsons in an attempt to complete the adventure. Capcom had among the best games, so Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle is a welcome title. Combining seven different titles, does Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle seem like a must for fans or did time kill these titles?
One thing that stands out about Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle is a lot of love went into this game. Players have the ability to play online, a feature that many recent entries oddly lack, or play offline, another equally confusing omission. This allows players to get the full experience regardless of their set up and makes for a fantastic overall adventure.
From there, players are given a lot of control over each title. There is a difficulty slider, various life set ups, the ability to control the number of potential players and more. Arguably the most surprising and welcome addition is the ability to swap between the Japanese and English versions of the game. Not only does this change the games’ logos from the selection screen, there are a couple differences that allows veterans to experience something different.
Even if there is a lot of good, there is still some issues with certain titles. For the most part, these games feel quite dated. They’re fairly slow, at times clunky, with odd mechanics or unable to do seemingly simple tasks. None of these things are enough to ruin the experience, it just might limit your enjoyment.
Even though these games are held back by their age, Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle has the good sense to diversify, instead of doubling down on a specific title. Knights of the Round has different player stats and some weapons, Captain Commando takes place in a more futuristic setting, Warriors of Fate has mounts, with Final Fight being the most traditional experience. This choice allows every game to feel different, even if they’re conceptually the same. Sure, you’re punching and kicking your way to victory, but what that means varies depending on the game.
In addition to the more well known games, Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle includes Armored Warriors and Battle Circuit. Both of these have not appeared on consoles and will be, for many, their first experience with either title.
Armored Warriors is a mech based fighter, complete with multiple units with their own quirks. Stages consist of fighting other mechs, breaking buildings for rewards and doing everything in your power to make it out of the war alive. Units also have weapons, so if you don’t want to bash a robot in, you can opt to shoot them. It makes for a different but familiar experience.
As for Battle Circuit, it’s a title that shows off Capcom’s quirky side. With weird characters, one of which is a plant, players need to work together to stop a mad genius. Since this is the most recent title, it also features some more modern features. There is cash that can be used for upgrades, said upgrades use more advanced moves, such as quarter turn and punch, with even basic functions like dash being present (Armored Warriors also has dash). It also has some more amusing fights and experiences, resulting it in being a welcome addition to the collection.
Overall, Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle isn’t perfect but it hits the right spots. The ability to play online or with others offline is the best of both worlds. A diverse selection of games makes similar experiences feel different, where as multiple versions of a single game would feel like more of the same. While some of the games feel dated, the addition of two previously unreleased to console titles makes it a big enough experience to make it worth the cost of entry.
[Editor’s Note: Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle was reviewed on PS4 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]