PLATFORM: PC, PS4, SWITCH, XBOX ONE (REVIEWED) | RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Since the release of Vulgus in 1984, Capcom have been one of the biggest names in arcade gaming and, during their late 80s to mid 90s heyday, they (along with the likes of Konami) ruled the coin-op roost, dominating almost all other previously-successful companies. Since the decline in popularity of coin-op machines during the early 2000s, Capcom’s focus has been more on the home videogame market, but their enduring arcade legacy remains and this neat compilation of some of their most memorable hits from those neon-filled glory days packs in 32 games, many of which have never seen a previous official home release.
All 32 games are available as one complete package or in 3 separate downloadable bundles, divided equally into the categories “Dawn of the Arcade” (spanning the years 1984 – 1989), “Arcade Revolution” (1989 – 1992) and “Arcade Evolution” (1992 – 2001). All the franchises you would expect to be present are covered here, from the likes of Street Fighter and Ghosts n’ Goblins to Final Fight and Bionic Commando. Iconic action titles such as Strider and Forgotten Worlds make an appearance, there's an abundance of classic Capcom brawlers such as Captain Commando and Battle Circuit, and both vertical and horizontal shmups are very well-represented with the likes of Gigawing, Progear and the 194X series all making welcome additions. Basically, every major type of arcade game you could possibly think of has an abundance of titles here, so there really is something for everyone (assuming the ‘everyone’ in question really likes arcade games).
Despite the wonderful and rather vast amount of games available, where Capcom Arcade Stadium really shines is in the presentation, amount of customisable options and the amount of care and effort that has clearly gone into this whole product. Along with a myriad of audio and visual options, players have the ability to not only save states but also rewind on the fly and adjust the game’s speed (to 5 available settings) at the touch of a button. Control settings are fully customisable, each game has multiple separate in-game challenges and there's a very fun and addictive levelling up system which rewards players with Caspo (the equivalent of XP) the more they play, the more they progress and the more challenges they complete. Not only is this now the absolute best way to enjoy a lot of these games, we’re also happy to report that the replay value on CAS is extremely high – you could say that Capcom’s curious claims to have copious cavalcades of content contained within this collection are categorically correct!
Capcom Arcade Stadium is about as good an arcade compilation as you will find anywhere. If there were any doubts that they’re the absolute coin-op kings, this glorious trip down memory lane will amend that immediately. If you’re a fan of videogames, fun and not having to chuck away 50p every time you want to continue, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a great time with this.