Bite-sized nostalgia from Capcom

Capcom knows how to throw a party. At a press event held last night in San Francisco, the publisher presented a veritable circus of spectacular sights. We saw new games or media for franchises Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, Mega Man, Lost Planet and Phoenix Wright. We were introduced to a brand new way to play the Wii with Project Treasure Island Z. Heck, they even had half-naked trapeze artists twisting and gyrating above an open bar and buffet table.

Yet, despite all the dazzle and distraction, a handful of small and inexpensive titles still managed to draw a crowd. They were part of Capcom's recently announced "Digital Iniative," a series of downloadable games to be released over Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network and, in some cases, PC.

First up is Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, scheduled to hit all three of the aforementioned platforms this summer. In this cult puzzler, two players compete to group gems of the same color together. With a well placed bomb of that color, they can then clear those groupings and send a shower of obstacle gems over to the other player's half of the screen. During the entire showdown, comically deformed versions of Street Fighter characters act out their signature moves based on how well the players are doing.

This re-release will also include the two new gameplay modes that recently appeared in Capcom Puzzle World for PSP. The first is more Dr. Mario like, with gems disappearing as soon as three of the same color are lined up, while the second forces you to make matches by rotating gems one 2x2 grid at a time. In a final mode, players can edit the order in which their gems drop.

The AI, patterns and tricks specific to each character are being kept intact as much as possible, but there will be some rebalancing to ensure that each adorably deadly warrior has an equal shot at victory. The graphics are being enhanced, too, with stylish new art from Udon Comics (opens in new tab), improved animation and 1080p crispness. If you prefer the classic look, however, that option is available.

As fun and quirky as Puzzle Fighter is, we were more excited to hear the simultaneous announcement of its big, bad brother - Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix - on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network. It's getting a similar treatment - faithful gameplay, better graphics. The original code is being used and all 18 familiar fighters will appear, but the art will be completely revamped by Udon and displayed in 1080p. We didn't see the game in action, but the static character art of Ryu they shared with us looked absolutely amazing. Almost too pristine to imagine in motion. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait until this fall to get our hands on it.

Charlie Barratt
I enjoy sunshine, the company of kittens and turning frowns upside down. I am also a fan of sarcasm. Let's be friends!