ReviewsReview: Capcom Arcade Stadium

Review: Capcom Arcade Stadium

Packs 1, 2, And 3

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The world of arcade gaming has a strong fan base that loves hardcore titles. Hundreds of pounds worth of coins have been invested to try, and fail to get the top score. People love them as they offer something to everyone. Practically every genre is covered and there is instant gratification when you beat your friends. Capcom Arcade Stadium attempts to capture this feeling with its base game and three add on packs.

Developed and published by Capcom, this is a nostalgia-filled title that will make retro fans weep. I received the full package for this review, which comprises over thirty games from across the ages. If you don’t want them all, you can pick up the base model and download the pack that you fancy.

Time to get angry with Ghouls ‘n Ghosts.

Capcom Arcade Stadium is a blast from the past.

If any part of your being likes arcade gaming, there will be a title you will be dying to play. Ghosts ‘n Goblins, Final Fight, Strider, Street Fighter II Turbo, and more await. Capcom Arcade Stadium has an eclectic mix of games to play, so no matter your genre, you’ll be looked after.

Pack One – Dawn of the Arcade (’84 – ’88) Pack Two – Arcade Revolution (’89 – ’92) Pack Three – Arcade Evolution (’92 – ’01)

What I love about arcade gaming is the difficulty and almost harsh nature of the beast. Perfection and high scores can only be obtained through hours of practice. Now, Capcom has experimented with this much-loved foundation, and I worry it’s not the right approach.

With unlimited lives, the ability to speed up or slow down the action, and be able to rewind gameplay, it’s possibly a step too far. Removing the fear factor that surrounds failure eliminates most of what makes these games desirable. Luckily, Capcom redeemed itself by creating special challenge modes.

Old-school flying games….you can’t beat them.

Capcom Arcade Stadium is accessible to all.

The Score and Special Challenge modes retain the old-school approach. With only one life to your name, you must play through your game of choice, aiming to live as long as possible. The further you go, the more CASPO points you are awarded. Score enough and you can see where you stand in the global rankings. Older gamers will remember the competitive nature of the leaderboard. Multiply that feeling by ten and that is how this feels.

Though I disapprove of the “cheats” that the standard mode allows, I understand why they were created. Capcom Arcade Stadium is really accessible because of its user-friendly approach. It removes the frustrations associated with the platform allowing you the chance to try otherwise unwelcomed titles. You can of course still play each machine with a higher difficulty. But the challenge is nullified because of the rewind function and the unlimited lives. Purists will lean towards the two challenge modes to get their fill as they capture this culture’s essence.

Authentic arcade look.

I have to applaud Capcom for their attention to detail. The simple setup of the arcade machines all lined up together looks great. The authentic background and systems all look amazing. Chuck in the polished emulated games and brilliantly smooth gameplay and you have a wonderful nostalgia fuelled trip ahead. I loved the coin animation and the movement of the joysticks. The graphics transported me back to my youth and for that alone, it was worth playing.

The click of the buttons, the clunk of the coins in the mechanism, and faithful sound files, makes the audio just right. You won’t tire of what you hear, and you can relive the wonderfully sharp synthesised music and loud sound effects to your heart’s content.

The classic battle.

Nice with a controller, but it’s no arcade machine.

I was surprised by how serviceable the gamepad was when playing each title. The button mapping, though not always obvious, was easy to pick up. I simply mashed the buttons until the controls became clear. No tutorial is necessary, and this allows you to get on and play immediately. No matter how good and responsive the controls were, they’ll never compare to the original setup. Purists may be disappointed as this element doesn’t quite capture the arcade experience.

Capcom Arcade Stadium is addictive, especially if you have packs 1, 2, and 3. The variety of games will keep you playing for hours and there is plenty to pique your interest. With the CASPO points to level yourself up, leaderboards to aim for, and different games hitting the Special challenge mode weekly, you’ll want to keep returning. A tough achievement list is not for the faint of heart, so completing this is difficult.

Capcom Arcade Stadium does most things right.

With an eclectic bunch of titles, challenging additional modes, and an authentic feel, Capcom Arcade Stadium does most things right. Though it makes it much more accessible, I dislike the “cheat” features. It makes each game unnecessarily easy and cheapens the experience. Other than this, I loved it and recommend you to buy it here! Get in the old-school mood, fill the machines with coins, and aim to get a high score.  

SUMMARY

Capcom Arcade Stadium removes the soul of the arcade platform to make it accessible to all. However, redemption is found in the Score and Special challenge modes, and this is where you will find the purists.

+ An authentic experience.
+ Smooth gameplay.
+ Faithful sound files.
+ Easy to control.
+ Lots of replay value.
+ Packs 1, 2, and 3 are great value for money.
- The "cheats" undermine the arcade fundamentals.

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: [email protected]

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