Capcom Arcade Stadium Review
Ah video arcades. At one time they were ever present but just like pool halls before them, are now mostly lost hangouts of the past. As technology brought more attractive forms of recreation to the masses, the former hangouts of youth have migrated largely to virtual locations. Nowadays home consoles can emulate and often, improve, the arcade experience. Those tall, free-standing cabinets that housed a single game are relics of an older gaming era. Though if you really want to recapture that arcade feel, home versions of arcade games are available. It’s become pretty standard for companies that made arcade games to bring them together in collections and release them for home consoles. Add Capcom to that list. They previously released this collection for the Nintendo Switch calling it the Capcom Arcade Stadium. Now the collection is being rolled out on the other platforms.
This collection of 32 arcade classics includes titles from multiple eras including ‘90s favorites like SUPER STREET FIGHTER II TURBO, and ‘80s mainstays like BIONIC COMMANDO, STRIDER, Ghosts ‘n Goblins and more. Players can get started for free with 1943: The Battle for Midway before choosing to purchase any of the three packs of 10 games each, the Ghosts ‘n Goblins add-on, or the bundle pack for access to all 32 games.
Capcom has placed quite an emphasis on quality-of-life improvements to accommodate a wide spectrum of players. Not only are there options such as a rewind feature, difficulty options, and the ability to save and load within each title at any time but you can also change all of them in-game. Arcade games can be tough, they weren’t called quarter eaters for nothing, and now you can adjust the gameplay to match your skill. So not only can those who find a particular game hard make it easier to play but those arcade aliens amongst us can make a game even harder to play.
The Pressure Is Off…or On
On the aesthetics side, if you want to simulate the arcade experience as much as possible, you can do so. You can play a game from an arcade cabinet perspective. 2D and 3D arcade cabinets are available. And it doesn’t end there. The arcade controls can be set up to mimic your inputs too! As expected, the options to display scan lines is available. What’s not expected however, is that you can really go crazy and turn the cabinet so that vertical scrollers can be turned into side scrollers. If going full arcade is not your thing, you can also choose to display only the game in full screen mode.
From my sampling of the various game genres available – Action, Fighting, or Shooting – they all play great. Inputs are fast and responsiveness and slowdown is never an issue. This was something previously noticed on the Switch with couple of titles. As this is targeted to the PS4 there’s no use of the PS5 DualSense’s capabilities. Not surprising but still a tad disappointing.
Arcade Sticks are Precise as Ever
What is a nice surprise though is support for Arcade Sticks. This is especially useful for certain genres such as fighting games. While the games are certainly playable with a conventional joypad, the precision of arcade stick controls cannot be denied. Diehard players will no doubt appreciate this. It’s also a welcome extra option to further replicate the arcade experience. With all the previously mentioned Quality of Life settings, Capcom has gone the extra distance here to allow you to tailor each game as best suits your skill level and/or desires.
Not only do these games support coop or head to head gameplay but you can also compete against the rest of the world through online leaderboards. As an further extension of the online leaderboards, Capcom is supporting Score and Timed Challenges modes. There will be weekly Special Challenges that are aimed to make players utilize the gameplay options. So one week you’ll be challenged to play a game at its highest speed setting while the next could see you trying your talents at playing a game upside down. Note: you’ll need to buy one of the DLC packs to obtain access to these special features.
Capcom Arcade Stadium is a solid mix of arcade classics and some lessor known titles. Unfortunately, there are a lot of Street Fighter games not included. Having one of the X-Men fighting games would have been awesome but the Marvel rights are probably too expensive to secure. Capcom certainly went beyond just straight porting of the games. The presentation of each game is solid with a ton of options. Another nice touch is that a manual for each game is included too. This will be a boon to newbies and veterans alike and will save players from making side trips to the internet looking for tips.
*** PS4 code provided by the publisher ***
- Mix of classic & indie arcade games
- Lots of different options
- Co-op, multiplayer & online support
- Ugly title screen
- Only 3 Street Fighter games are included
- Collection is limited in genre types