I'm gonna paint quiz my wagon dragon

I am convinced that Capcom Classics Collection Remixed for PSP is going to be the single best retro compilation ever. Ever ever ever. I mean, yeah, having arcade-perfect ports of Strider and Magic Sword and Black Tiger to take with me everywhere is more nerd-bliss than I could ever have hoped for back when I was hooked on those games in their coin-op incarnations. And the wi-fi “quarters” mode where anyone else in your vicinity with a copy of the game can interrupt your session to challenge you is brilliant. But there is one thing that sets CCCR [1] above and beyond the competition is one single title:

Quiz and Dragons.

You’re forgiven if you’ve never heard of this particular chapter of Capcom’s history, because I hadn’t either. But it’s basically a trivia game gussied up as a Dungeons & Dragons board game. (ATTN SHIVAM: If you do not own the PCB of this I will be very disappointed in you.) That in itself would be interesting, but what pushes it well beyond “novelty” status isn’t the fact that you can play as any of four Gauntlet-approved character classes. It’s not the fact that “battles” are trivia contests versus various D&D monsters like ogres and black puddings. It’s not even the “magic spells” you can use which weight the quizzes in your favor.

No, what makes Quiz & Dragons completely incredible is the fact that it is frozen in 1990 stasis. Capcom hasn’t updated the questions to be more contemporary, and while that doesn’t affect, say, entries about James K. Polk (the president, not the song) or the biological classification of a mushroom, the pop culture elements are completely incredible. Do you know which movie the Fat Boys played a team of hospital attendants? Or the hot sitcom which stars George Wendt? (Hint: Not the Cosby Show.) Playing the game makes me feel like I’m being headlocked by high school, assaulted by a curious world in which Nirvana has yet to exist and President Bush has initiated a war in Iraq. Well, OK, not that different, then.

I know classic collections can be a hard sell for younger gamers who didn’t experience the arcade originals first-hand, but I think this is the first compiled game I’ve ever seen that is actively antagonistic toward them. Needless to say, I highly recommended it. Damn kids these days.

1. Not to be mistaken for CCCP, which only appears in Strider.