Whether you’re a casual or hardcore gamer, there is no denying that visiting the arcade is still an exciting venture. If you were born in the ’80s like me or even the ’90s, you’ll remember some classic titles such as Street Fighter II. Crowds of adults and children crowded around these machines waiting their turn made the experience so memorable. This was the first sign of competitive gaming for me. Online gaming didn’t exist and grabbing some of these classic titles on a Sega Mega Drive or SNES was an ask from your parents for a birthday or Christmas. Games were still expensive, even back in the heyday of these cartridge-based consoles.
Now, what if I told you that for less than the cost of one of these titles even thirty years ago, that you could bring a plethora of classic arcade to your home screen. Capcom Arcade Stadium was developed and published by Capcom themselves. Injecting those retro vibes and swarming your console with all manners of nostalgia. This is one for the amusement arcade fans across the world or even just fans of anything from the era of the Sega and Nintendo generation.
A real blast from the past!
Capcom Arcade Stadium is available now for the Xbox family of consoles and offers different ways of purchasing. You can choose to buy all the content on offer for one price, or choose from three packs of ten titles.
Dawn of the arcade is the first wave of content. This pack features games from the period of time between 1984 and 1988. True addictive classics such as 1942 and Ghouls n’ Ghosts feature here. I was still very much a baby in this timeframe so I picked these up much later in life. These experiences paved the way for the future of gaming and can still be enjoyed to this day.
Next up is Arcade Revolution which spans three short and sweet years. Huge smash hits such as the original Street Fighter II and Strider make appearances here. Last but not least, the final wholesome package is titled Arcade Evolution. This makes up a collection over a nine year period between 1992 and 2001. Featuring two more iterations of Street Fighter II and one of my personal favourites Giga Wing, there is something for everyone here.
Just one more go please!
With all of these games being from my childhood, I recall playing some of them on real arcade machines on holiday. Begging my parents for more cash once I’d rinsed through my pocket money for one more go. My entire trip away turned into trying to get high scores on a machine with anonymous people I’ve never even met. But to get on that leaderboard on these machines just so I could put my three character name “JOR” on the main screen, was a real sense of elation and achievement.
So understandably I was super excited to relive my youth with this collection. Scrolling through the games on offer is pleasing as visually it appears as if you’re walking down a line of arcade machines. The games run in an emulator which adds an ability to rewind gameplay, select difficulty and adjust game speed. What I especially liked was the nostalgic filters that simulate old CRT screens. This gave the entire experience with Capcom Arcade Stadium a real aura of authenticity.
Rack up those points!
Whilst I understand why Capcom added the function to change game speed and rewind your mistakes, this wasn’t for me. Though you have to appreciate that from the development perspective this was to ensure accessibility for all age groups and more casual gamers. If you want the true feeling of the past or want a real challenge, then you’ll want to select the score and special challenges. Games such as 1942 and Giga Wing present you with the original settings with minimal lives. This gives you that real tense, on the edge of your seat gameplay with a real addictive nature. Those who adore statistics and leaderboards will be pleased to learn that these are all present.
Each individual title has its own set of global leaderboards. Plough through coin after coin as you aim to compete against the greatest players in the world. Each run through any game also provides you with CASPO points. These points don’t do much more than essentially give you a ranking. Some cosmetic items such as backgrounds will unlock for you over time.
Retro games, original visuals
Capcom Arcade Stadium stays true to its roots with all games being in their original glory both in graphics and sound. Having these titles laid out on virtual arcade machines and animations of you putting a coin in to trigger the game to start, really give it the essence of being at the arcade. Background changes and the option to view the game as if you were looking at an original CRT screen. You can also switch to fullscreen giving you flexibility on the way you want to play. Menus and scoreboards are well laid out and easy to manage and read. Capcom have done an exceptional job with this collection. The whole range of games is beautifully presented and isn’t just a bunch of old games bunched together.
Capcom Arcade Stadium took me right back to my early days as a gamer. It really brings back an appreciation of where gaming first started to excel. For us older players out there it is a chance to show our own children what we used to play. There are endless hours of exhilarating fun to be had here depending on your taste. Score and special challenges along with daily ones add longevity and replayability way into the future. The foundations are set to increase the number of titles on offer here should Capcom choose to introduce more. This is a must for fans of retro titles of the 80’s and 90’s.