Top Ten Must-Play Capcom Brawlers
10. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: SHADOW OVER MYSTARA
During the mid-Nineties, Capcom had a habit of taking film licences, such as Willow and Alien Vs Predator, and moulding them into excellent scrolling fighting games. Each was good in its own right but it was the Dungeons & Dragons titles that really added the most to the genre. By using the RPG tropes of experience points, upgradeable spells, secret weapons and branching stories, this underrated brawler redefined the arcade experience, but nobody seemed to notice. The game was ported to Saturn as part of a double pack in 1999 but was a far from perfect conversion. Stick to the arcade version for the real deal.
9. VAMPIRE HUNTER
Made some time between Street Fighter II and Street Fighter Alpha, the Darkstalkers series, tends to be one of the most overlooked franchises in Capcom history. It really doesn’t deserve such treatment, though, as it’s just as good as either of those series. Classic horror character designs and suitably fantastical special moves mark this out as a more playful 2D fighter. Vampire Hunter, the second in the series, is arguably the best.
8. Marvel Vs Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes
While filling Street Fighter Alpha 3 to bursting point with characters and features didn’t have an adverse effect on that game, the same cannot be said about Marvel Vs Capcom 2. Riddled with balancing issues and suffering from the overuse of ‘shake out’ moves the superhero/fighter crossover is hardly the game for fans of technical beat-’em-ups. But, much like its visually-sumptuous (and some would argue better) sequel, when there’s a screen filled with tons of over-the-top characters and ridiculous special moves, it’s hard to care too much about that.
7. STREET FIGHTER IV
After patiently waiting for eight years, Capcom finally released the next numerical addition in the Street Fighter canon. Street Fighter IV’s return was painted in broad strokes, both visually and in its new approach to gameplay. No doubt more accessible to newcomers, it didn’t come at the detriment of the fanbase, who found one of the most intricate and rewarding entries in the franchise to date.
6. POWER STONE
For all their technical excellence, the likes of Virtua Fighter and Tekken barely make significant use of the third dimension. That accolade belongs to Capcom’s all-but-forgotten Power Stone, a three-dimensional beat-’em-up game that took the emphasis away from purely physical attacks and shifted importance to exploitation of the environment. Feel free to spring from a wall back into your opponent, hit them with an uprooted telegraph pole, or just fling a nearby object at them. It’s just like a bar room brawl… except you get to do it with super powers.