Developer: Capcom / Publisher: Capcom / Played On: PS3 / Price: Varied (Game Packs: $4.99 – $9.99, Individual Games: $3.99, Full Bundle: $29.99) / ESRB: Teen [Fantasy Violence, Partial Nudity, Use of Tobacco]
Capcom is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Thirty years of video games from one of the world’s most well known game developers. In those three decades we’ve seen bona fide classics including Street Fighter, Mega Man, Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, and that’s only naming a few. What better way to honor Capcom’s storied history than by reliving some of the Japanese company’s earliest arcade titles? Capcom Arcade Cabinet is no mere collection of retro arcade games, but rather a platform to rekindle the feeling of being in an arcade in the 80s as well as open up these classic games for a new generation to enjoy.
There are a total of fifteen games available to download and play, as well as two “bonus games” that become available when you purchase the whole package. At the time of writing, only one pack of games is available. For reference, here’s the games coming out and their release dates:
- Game Pack 1: Black Tiger, 1943, Avenger (Available now)
- Game Pack 2: Ghosts’n Goblins, Gun.Smoke, Section Z (Available March 5th)
- Game Pack 3: Legendary Wings, Side Arms, Trojan (Available March 19th)
- Game Pack 4: The Speed Rumbler, Exed Exes, Commando (Available April 2nd)
- Game Pack 5: 1942, Pirate Ship Higemaru, Sonson (Available April 16th)
Since all the games aren’t out yet, and you can save a lot of money by purchasing the fifteen game bundle once they are all released, I recommend only picking up the games now if you simply cannot wait another month and a half.
Capcom Arcade Cabinet isn’t a game, but rather an application to house all the titles included. Rather than booting up 1943 from your dashboard, you’re taken into a Capcom-themed menu where you can select which game to play. After you make your selection you’re given a handful of options, and it’s here that Capcom Arcade Cabinet stands out from other classic re-releases.
The original arcade version is included with each game, as well as a score attack mode which saves your high score and compares it to everyone else’s score from around the globe. If the game supports multiplayer a network option is available to play online. While online you can strictly play with friends or you can open up the game for anyone online to join, emulating as best it can the feeling of having a complete stranger hog half the cabinet for themselves. Playing online is seamless and having the option to turn on limited continues means you can further replicate an authentic arcade experience.
The best part about Capcom Arcade Cabinet is the inclusion of a “casual” mode. Starting a game in casual mode gives you a bunch of options to alter gameplay and make the game easier. In Black Tiger you can flip a switch in casual mode to start each life with max vitality, or weaken the attacks of your enemies. It’s a great way for beginners to play through the entirety of a game, and considering some of these games are ridiculously difficult (I’m looking at you Ghosts’n Goblins!) it may be the only way to play a game through to the end.
Beyond completing each game there are unlockable art galleries for each title, as well as a mini history of each game, giving facts and release dates about the arcade cabinet. Overall the presentation and extra modes make Capcom Arcade Cabinet better than standard re-releases because it has more to offer to a wider range of gamers. It doesn’t feel like the games were rushed to market, but instead were prepared with care to create a wholly worthwhile platform.
The games themselves range from the memorable to the odd. Classics like Commando and 1942 hold up well to this day. Ghosts’n Goblins is still impossible to beat. I have never heard of Black Tiger nor do I have any idea what is going on in it but damn if it wasn’t fun! Each game has been ported well and the variety of titles means you’re introduced to some older titles that have been largely forgotten. There are enough titles here to please everyone should you buy all of them. That’s the crux of the whole deal: you need to pick up all the games to get the fullest out of the package, but it’s foolish to do so until April.
All of this might sound familiar to those of you that have played either of the Capcom Classics Collection compilation games released around 2005. All of the games included in Capcom Arcade Cabinet have literally been re-released in the earlier PS2/Xbox era, and the games included a similar gallery and history section for each title. The difference here is online multiplayer and HD visuals.
Capcom Arcade Cabinet looks much smoother by comparison and playing online is a major advantage for the downloadable versions. The presentation and interface of CAC is much better than CCC but the gameplay is identical. If none of these matter to you then you can happily pass on Capcom Arcade Cabinet and continue to enjoy the games you bought eight years ago.
As a package deal with every game included Capcom Arcade Cabinet is a great way to relive Capcom’s origins in the arcades. The HD treatment, online multiplayer, casual mode for newbies, and extra goodies to unlock ensure plenty of playtime for each of the various titles. The biggest fault to the deal is the immediate pricing: it’s foolish to purchase each game pack individually when we know they will all be released as a bundle for a cheaper price at a later date. And, while these are good ports, each game included has already been released in a compilation disc years ago. If you can get over all that Capcom Arcade Cabinet is a good way to play some older games, familiar and otherwise, as well as celebrate 30 years of Capcom.