The review of Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium, a new rich bundle in arcade sauce in which the Japanese publisher collects some of its most famous pearls.
Retrogaming will never die, rather it will evolve in new directions. This Capcom has understood for some time, as has also understood the ever-aroused interest of the players for the titles of the glorious cabinets of the past. We had a first try last year, when the first Capcom Arcade Stadium arrived on all consoles and on PC; we have a confirmation right in these days, now ready for the debut of Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium. Which presumably represents the second stage of a larger operation, perhaps destined to continue with two, three, who knows how many packages.
No particular preambles or digressions are needed: the Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium review will briefly explain which new games are ready to return from a very remote past for our sector, and above all in what form. We tested it on PlayStation 4, but the substance shouldn’t change much on all other platforms the game will be released on.
The contents: 32 titles from the arcade era
If you have already had the opportunity to try the first Capcom Arcade Stadium, you will already have clear how this new operation of the publisher works, side contents. In short, anyone will be able to download (starting from July 22, 2022) the “general container”, that is the virtual arcade with all its beautiful arcades, known as Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium. You will even find a free game waiting for you and that is SonSon. You may already know it, given that in recent years it has also reappeared on Virtual Console for Nintendo Wii: it is a horizontal scrolling platform video game, starring a very determined monkey in eliminating all the enemies along its way, based (but very freely) on the Chinese novel The Journey to the West.
Nothing is ever thrown away for free, so you could consider downloading Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium even just for this proposal; after all, if we remember well, the first Capcom Arcade Stadium had also given everyone another video game, but certainly better known: Street Fighter. Now, it is clear that SonSon represents the mere tip of the iceberg in this nostalgia operation. Because besides him, there are thirty-one other names ready for you, for a total of thirty-two titles. Only that they will be purchased and added to the game room, in order to be enjoyed: and here you can opt for bundles including a certain number of cabinets or for single choices. But be careful, because buying a cabinet and then immediately after a bundle that already includes it inside it does not give the right to any refund. It is advisable to study the list of titles and their subdivision in the store of your console (or Steam).
On the quality in itself of the thirty-two Capcom proposals, the matter becomes more complex. Probably many of you will have memories related to some specific names, and this may already be enough for a possible purchase. For those who are completely unfamiliar with the history of cabinets, it must be said that overall we are dealing with a variegated chessboard, both in terms of the years of publication and the genres of reference. Lovers of fighting game they will not necessarily be able to stay fasting, as there are (among others) Street Fighter, Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter Alpha 2 and Street Fighter Alpha 3. But the puzzle Block Block is also appreciable, which you may remember by other names and on other places: you have to throw a ball upwards, break as many bricks as possible, and then receive it and send it back to the bitter end, without letting it fall to the ground, using a platform of limited length.
It seems that an attempt has been made to satisfy all tastes and tastes all genres. In fact, in addition to the vast majority of titles based on frenzied shootings horizontally and vertically (the aforementioned SonSon, Savage Bees, Gan Sumoku, The Speed Rumble) and names that stand out with their notoriety above all the others (Megaman The Power Battle, Black Tiger, The King of Dragons, Darkstalkers) there is no shortage of much less known productions, but none the less able to entice certain players. And think, in this regard, of Capcom Sports Club, Three Wonders and Pnickies – the latter, probably, the member of the Puyo Puyo family that everyone forgets to invite to birthdays.
Personalization is everything
As with other operations of this type related to retrogaming, also in Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium the main objective of the developers was not only to offer an emulation as fluid and effective as possible (however, we did not encounter any problems or distortions of any kind. ) how much to allow to modify at will every single element that constitutes the context of the emulation itself. In other words, personalization is everything, and invests in different degrees the gameplay, the game view, the cabinets and the surrounding environment. Let’s try to better understand what is possible to do, review, change.
First of all, you can modify it at will the appearance of the screen, and for each single title of the collection. For example, those who love to have the feeling of being right in front of a cabinet can keep their presence in 3D on the screen; Those who want to go straight to the point will simply want the game window, with no other frills to distract the viewer – and we know how important concentration is for old arcades. Furthermore, the number of filters available is considerable: for example, they allow you to add, modify or remove scan lines, in a simulation of your choice more faithful than in the past or adapted to modern times. Some possibilities include adding CRT scan lines, LCD RGB grid, or general pixel softening. Curious is also the rotation of the screen, which now allows you to enjoy the traditionally vertical shoot ’em ups even horizontally. And vice versa, if you want …
As well as the general appearance, the gameplay can be changed at will. Apart from the invincibility, which can still be activated from the settings of the individual cabinets, you can change the general difficulty, the number of lives, the damage inflicted by (and to) enemies. Perhaps, for those who want to train and then seriously challenge themselves in old school experiences, the Rewind will be very useful. It is a feature that allows you to turn back time almost entirely at will: in the event of death, therefore, you will be able to understand what you did wrong, and perform a different action. Maybe that jump was too short, or the punch against the enemy was thrown not upwards but downwards, or else your plane had to swerve left instead of right. “Practice makes perfect”, as they say: Rewinding is the practical application of the saying in question.
- 32 titles worthy of being known (or rediscovered)
- Good emulation, excellent customization
- Online leaderboards
- Some titles are just too similar to each other
- There is still a lack of historical insights and various curiosities
- Without an arcade stick, the experience loses a lot
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