I love compilation packs. I love Capcom. It stands to reason then, that whenever Capcom releases one of these compilations packs I’ll be all over them like white on rice. In fact, the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is still one of the best compilation packs I’ve ever seen. What about Capcom Arcade Stadium though?
Unlike the Street Fighter collection, this is more of a generalized pack with Capcom’s arcade titles thrown in without much cohesion. That really doesn’t matter though…what matters is that is it fun?
That’s what you’ll find out by reading on!
What is Capcom Arcade Stadium?
Capcom Arcade Stadium is a compilation set of 32 of Capcom’s old school arcade classics. All of the games are the arcade roms (most of the games have their US and JP roms are included, though EU ones aren’t), which means they’re exactly what you’d have found in arcades back in the past. That also sadly means that additions that might’ve been added to the home versions are missing.
The Capcom Arcade Stadium is available now on the Playstation 4, Steam, the Nintendo Switch and the Xbox One.
We’re reviewing the Playstation 4 version of the game compilation, courtesy of a review code from Capcom Asia. Thanks guys!
The games are available in 3 different packs, or as a singular purchase with everything inside.
I’m a bit confused why the titles aren’t available ala carte though.
The bundles are fine, but why not also give gamers the luxury of only buying what they want? It’s weird and I can really see a ton of miffed gamers bitching about not having the choice of getting just a game or two.
Hopefully, Capcom will look into this.
Now, some of these games have been in previous compilations before (such as the Street Fighter II games) but a couple are new.
What are they?
Here’s the complete list (in no particular order).
- Pirate Ship Higemaru
- 1941: Counter Attack
- 1944: The Loop Master
- 19XX: The War Against Destiny
- Ghosts ‘n Goblins
- Section Z
- Tatakai no Banka
- Legendary Wings
- Bionic Commando
- Forgotten Worlds
- Ghouls ‘n Ghosts
- Dynasty Wars
- Final Fight
- Senjo no Okami II
- Mega Twins
- Carrier Air wing
- Captain Commando
- Varth: Operation Thunderstorm
- Warriors of Fate
- Powered Gear: Strategic Variant Armor Equipment
- Cyberbots: Fullmetal Madness
- Battle Circuit
- Giga Wing
- Street Fighter II
- Super Street Fighter II Turbo
- Street Fighter II’ Hyper Fighting
One thing you might notice is that all of the games are in-house Capcom projects., running on the CPS and CPS-II arcade boards. That’s no issue though, as those are the games that we want to see.
As a kid growing up in the late 80s/ early 90s, Capcom’s dominance of the arcade scene was incredible.
It seemed like every other game that was popular came from the company. While most people remember their Marvel VS titles, I recall playing Cyberbots (waaaaaay before Jin Saotome was in Marvel vs Capcom) and Aliens vs Predator most of all.
Unfortunately, Capcom’s lineup of awesome licensed titles (Aliens vs Predator, Dungeons & Dragons, Cadillacs & Dinosaurs, X-Men: Children of the Atom) that made the 90s arcades so memorable are MIA. It’s understandable since licensing fees would’ve been required but it’s still a major disappointment.
Thankfully, there’s still hope for those games to come on board as DLC one day.
It might be just me, but I’d pay good money for Aliens vs Predator, Marvel Super Heroes, X-Men and the other licensed properties, just to have the entire Capcom arcade library in one place.
In fact, I think that’s the plan here.
Capcom still has a TON of other great games that are still not available yet, including its CPS-III titles like Red Earth, the awesome Super Puzzle Fighter II or even the cutesy Pocket Fighter. The modular style of the Capcom Arcade Stadium means integrating a new game is a simple matter!
That’s talk for the future however…What about the games that are available now?
With 32 games present, you’re sure to find something that fits your playstyle.
I personally prefer the beat ’em ups and the shooters out of the titles available right now. Unfortunately, if you own the Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle or Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, a couple of the games in this set will be the same. It’s unavoidable, but there’s a silver lining.
Both prior compilations had their share of extras not present in Capcom Arcade Stadium, so it’s not a total loss. I will admit that it does sting though.
I do feel that the initial 32 games could’ve been a better representation of their eras.
We get Giga Wing, but then no Mars Matrix. We get Final Fight, but no Saturday Night Slam Masters. It’s seemingly arbitrary what titles are chosen and I’ve have love more focus on games that haven’t been in other compilations before.
As mentioned earlier, these games are all arcade roms, so you’re getting perfect representations of the games as they were. You can even plug in an arcade stick (like Razer’s excellent Panthera Evo) to further the illusion. In fact, it’s heavily recommended because of the nostalgia factor alone!
While Capcom’s done compilations before, I think this is first one that really nails the feeling of playing back in an arcade. Being able to look around at other arcade games while playing via the Right Analog stick rocks! I just wished that Capcom’s gone one step further and created a completely virtual arcade!
One you can walk around in, with VR support. Just imagining it has me excited!
Thankfully, we do get the next best thing here.
While you can’t walk around, you can customize a ton of stuff! I love that Capcom has included a ranking system using Caspo (Capcom Arcade Stadium Points). You get them by playing the game (or doing special challenges) and you’ll level up once you have enough. Oh yeah, leveling up gives you goodies you can use to customize the arcade further!
You can change the arcade cabinet styles and even their decorations.
Hell, you can remove the cabinets altogether and play the games no-frills if you like. It kind of defeats the purpose though if you ask me because make no mistake, Capcom Arcade Stadium is as much a nostalgia trip as it is a games compilation.
You get the usual scanline options to replicate the CRT monitors but I especially love the curved monitor effect. It gives the games a 3D look, almost as if you’re peering into a cabinet.
On top of that, the games themselves support modern features like Save States (where you can save where and continue the next time), speed adjustments and my favourite feature, Rewind!
It’s pretty self-explanatory, you hit R2 and the gameplay rewinds! It might seem like a novelty but it’s an invaluable feature for me in shooters! I’m decent in them but I still die a ton! Being able to rewind mistakes is even better than having Free Play!
Individual games also have their own option settings so you can adjust difficulty and the like. There are also manuals included for the games that instruct you how to play, which is a pretty cool addition. Sadly, the cabinet inserts (pieces of art and movelists) aren’t an option, so the arcade cabinets look a tad too clean and naked.
Finally, there are the Challenges!
These are game dependent but are worth mucho bragging rights. Remember the days when a high score was the king? Now you can compete against the whole world! It’s definitely something interesting that I didn’t expect from compilation and is a very pleasant surprise to keep playing.
You also get extra Caspo when you attempt the challenges so it’s all good!
The Bottom Line.
I’m not going to lie, there are some numerous issues with the Capcom Arcade Stadium.
The lack of licensed properties is the main one.
Like it or not, some of Capcom’s best work are in that category and not having them available is a major blow. It’s like watching a movie with bits and pieces missing. Not satisfying at all.
Not being able to buy games individually also is a major problem (that can easily be addressed). Nobody likes to be forced into making a purchase and letting gamers pick and choose is always a good thing!
Of course, the lack of online multiplayer in modern compilation release is also another huge strike.
Considering some of Capcom’s older compilations had this, it being missing in this is a weird omission. Thankfully, remote play can alleviate some of those issues, but it’s still a pain in the ass.
Despite all the issues, all the missing stuff and whatnot, I’m still smitten with Capcom Arcade Stadium.
There’s no other compilation that goes above and beyond like it does in trying to simulate a bygone arcade experience. While gamers who didn’t experience that the first time around won’t get it, old fogeys (the target of this compilation) who were around when Street Fighter II hit the arcades in the past will love it!
I just wish the compilation had VR support, so I can look around the arcade in 3D.
Great presentation and games but some nitpicks detract from the overall enjoyment.
- Tons of awesome titles.
- Presentation is top notch.
- Cool features like rewind and save states.
- Arcade stick support.
- No button lag.
- Special Challenges gives incentives to replay.
- No licensed properties.
- Missing some great games.
- No ala carte purchases, only bundles.
- No extras.
- Only local multiplayer.