Capcom: The excitement of visiting an arcade is already a distant memory for most players, and many of our readers may not even know what it was like to have to use tokens in exchange for continues, not even know the adrenaline of being abruptly challenged by a stranger in your favorite fighting game.
Arcades were a unique and vibrant social space, and represent a crucial chapter in the history of video game development. Home to some of the biggest franchises in history, they really are something worth preserving in museums, which is why it’s so cool to see them being treated so well at Capcom Arcade Stadium!
Fun in packages
Revealed by surprise during the presentation of The Game Awards 2020, the collection first arrived on the Nintendo Switch in temporary exclusivity, but will soon also receive versions for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. In its current form, it houses no less than 32 classics of the video games spread across three distinct packages.
Dawn of the Arcade focuses on games released between 1984 and 1988 (Vulgus, Pirate Ship Higemaru, 1942, Commando, Section Z, Trojan, Legendary Wings, Bionic Commando, Forgotten Worlds and Ghouls’ n Ghosts), while Arcade Revolution brings the titles made available between 1989 and 1992 (Strider, Dynasty Wars, Final Fight, 1941: Counter Attack, Mercs, Mega Twins, Carrier Air Wing, Street Fighter II, Captain Commando, and Varth: Operation Thunderstorm).
Finally, Arcade Evolution features the latest games, released between 1992 and 2001 (Warriors of Fate, Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Armored Warriors, Cyberbots: Full Metal Madness, 19XX: The War Against Destiny, Battle Circuit, Giga Wing, 1944: The Loop Master and Progear). Each package costs R $ 62.00 in the national eShop, but you can also pay R $ 169.00 for the complete collection.
As soon as you download the game you will still receive free 1943 – The Battle of Midway, while Ghosts ‘n Goblins was available free for a limited time, but today it costs R $ 8.00 and can be purchased individually. Although the current moment is quite complicated for the national economy, the amount charged seems somewhat salty if we take into account how short the majority of these arcades tend to be, especially when we abuse the infinite credits to progress quickly in them.
A spice of modernity
As soon as you start Capcom Arcade Stadium you are greeted by a beautiful menu made up of dozens of offices lined up. Each of them is running one of the games in the collection, so you can take a short walk while choosing what to play next. It is certainly a nice and immersive presentation, especially since it is well integrated into the layout seen in gameplay sessions.
As the games were originally released in low resolution, something totally incompatible with the most modern televisions, Capcom needed to find a way to replicate the original experience without much loss of quality. In addition to the different image filters already seen in the other great collections from the same producer, by default we started playing on a small screen, since almost the rest of the space is occupied with a replica cabinet, as you can see here:
If you don’t like this style of play, just pause the game and, in a few clicks, try out the various different combinations between different frames and ways to stretch the image, even being able to reverse the orientation of the game screen. But its control goes far beyond dictating technical and cosmetic changes:
In all titles it is possible to change the speed of the action with just one button, slowing down or speeding up your gameplay, or even rewinding to undo the mistakes made. It is also possible to record your progress at any time, although the recording slot system is somewhat inconvenient, as all games share the same save “folder”.
For example, slot 1 can have a Forgotten Worlds save and then overwrite it with a Ghouls’ n Ghosts save. It would be better if each game had its own internal save folder, even to prevent you from accidentally saving over another game unintentionally, which ended up happening to me in the first hours of gameplay, before I got used to the strange system.
This choice is even more intriguing if we take into account that, when trying to load a save, the screen only displays the recordings of the game that is currently running. That is, the loading is shown in isolation, which is good, but when it comes to recording progress, everything is shared. Needlessly confused!
It deserved even more variety
Other modernities have been better implemented, such as an online leaderboard system in which you can compare your score with that of your friends or players around the world. There is also a system of internal achievements, in addition to unique challenges for each game and Weekly Challenges that Capcom itself makes available weekly, as the name implies.
It’s also fun to follow the internal shared scoring system, which rewards your profile with more points as you play more and more of the different titles, giving a good sense of progress and making the player feel purely gratified by exploring the rich collection library .
As it is a relatively large collection, you can even separate the games in different ways, such as genre or release date, with the right to a filter that highlights your favorite games. It is not appropriate to discuss the quality of each of the games present at Capcom Arcade Stadium individually, but the feeling is that there is a good variety of options for all tastes.