Capcom is on a roll these days with not only their recent games, but they are also releasing many of their legacy titles as a collection. Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle is their most recent effort and needless to say, if you remain a fan of the Beat ‘Em Up genre, this is a hard deal to pass since it includes many timeless classics.
One of the perks of having a Beat ‘Em Up Bundle is that these games still hold up relatively well. In most legacy collections, nostalgia fulfills a substantial role in making players enjoy them, even if the gameplay is dated, however, in the case of this bundle, the gameplay is surprisingly good and the addition of co-op support means it is a fun multiplayer game that is worthy of the Nintendo Switch library.
To start off, there is a grand total of seven games included in this package. These are the following: Final Fight, Captain Commando, The King of Dragons, Knights of the Round, Warriors of Fate, Armored Warriors, and Battle Circuit. The last two games might not sound familiar, because it is the first time they are releasing in any capacity for consoles. This significantly increases the appeal of the bundle making it avoid the stigma of being just another legacy collection.
I have personally only played Final Fight, Captain Commando, and Knights of the Round, so the other games were all an unfamiliar experience for me. Going back to engage in them, I genuinely enjoyed the experience as much as I did in the past because as I have said formerly, the controls still hold up well after all these years.
These types of Beat ‘Em Up games are best experienced in a co-op environment and while it is not possible to replicate the true Arcade experience, with its high stakes due to the limited life, and a sense of excitement by playing with random strangers, the online multiplayer does try to achieve it. Sadly, the multiplayer experience is not exactly smooth since a lag can manifest on occasions creating a rather immersion breaking experience. It is certainly not ideal unless you can ignore it.
After playing Final Fight and Captain Commando, I am still amazed at how such a simple control scheme can work so effectively. You have a standard attack and jump button to fight your way through the countless enemies and boss fights. This control scheme serves as the basis for most of the games in this bundle. The way the developers have achieved this is by focusing on the level and encounter design. Each enemy or boss that you will encounter demonstrates a weakness which you can take advantage of to defeat them easily. You can additionally exploit the environment to your advantage which means this is not just an ordinary game where you punch dudes and move to the next objective. The attention to detail put in each level is simply astounding.
Each game in the bundle offers a new gameplay experience, unlike the others. Final Fight is more about the hand-to-hand combat but there are fantasy games like King of the Dragons where you ride creatures, fight dragons, and other crazy bosses, or Captain Commando with its unique twist on the sci-fi genre allowing you to ride robots and use special moves. Warriors of Fate, meanwhile, feels like a side-scrolling Dynasty Warriors game while Armored Warriors represents a full-on mech experience with action-packed fights.
It is hard to stress how co-op shapes the overall gameplay because it is really integral to the enjoy these old classics. Capcom has thankfully implemented all the necessary control methods along with a local multiplayer mode that lets other Nintendo Switch users join your party. The options that you can select here are limited and simply let you restrict the number of players or settle on a background, but there is no way to tweak the visuals. In this regard, the bundle can feel rather lackluster, and you have to just learn to deal with the default display screen options.
I have heard some complaints about how this package lacks any ‘notable’ bonus but considering the launch price is just $19.99 and with 7 games offering basically unlimited replay value due to co-op, I feel like this is a worthy trade-off here. You can not only enjoy these classic games on your preferred platform, but there is, in addition, a detailed and extensive art gallery of interesting artwork from every game included in this collection. I obtained many never seen beforehand artwork for Final Fight and Captain Commando which made me happy as a fan.
The implementation of online multiplayer is not ideal though and requires some patience if you want to genuinely enjoy this mode. Otherwise, this is a substantial collection of games that is a must buy for fans of the old-school Beat Em’ Up genre. I hope Capcom can continue to release more bundle adding games from the likes of Final Fight sequels and more.
Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle Review (Switch)
Game Reviewed on: Switch
Game description: Capcom Beat ’Em Up Bundle, which features seven classics in one package, arrives on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Steam on September 18 for $19.99!
Final Score - 8/108/10
As a fan of the Beat Em' Up genre, this collection strikes the proper balance with each game providing its own unique experience. There is a lack of bonus material and the online multiplayer is a little spotty, but the support for couch co-op is great.