Review: Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium dives deep and comes up trumps
This second helping of 32 retro games offers some interesting titles
- Takashi Matsuda
- Key Credits
- Michiteru Okabe (Producer), Thomas Veraart (Producer)
Capcom has been leaning heavily on its retro archives in recent times.
The Japanese publisher has never shied away from re-releasing its classic content, but in the last few years it’s given us a whole host of old-school compilations, most of which have been high quality efforts.
One of the most notable examples of this was Capcom Arcade Stadium, which was released last year and offered 32 vintage coin-op classics spanning 1984 to 2001.
It turns out that collection must not have been definitive enough, because Capcom has now returned with a second helping of titles, adding a further 32 games to the mix.
Our immediate reaction is one of disappointment that Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium needs to exist at all. When the first Arcade Stadium launched it did so with a single free game, and was accompanied by three DLC packs each including around 10 games.
The implication was that more packs would be released in the future, but instead 2nd Stadium is an entirely new title, starting again with a single free game and the others available as DLC.
Games Included (chronological)
- Savage Bees (Exed Exes)
- The Speed Rumbler
- Side Arms: Hyper Dyne
- Hissatsu Buraiken (Avenger)
- Black Tiger
- Street Fighter
- Tiger Road
- 1943 Kai
- Last Duel
- Rally 2011: LED Storm
- Magic Sword
- Three Wonders
- The King of Dragons
- Block Block
- Knights of the Round
- Saturday Night Slam Masters
- Eco Fighters
- Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors
- Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge
- Street Fighter Alpha
- Mega Man: The Power Battle
- Street Fighter Alpha 2
- Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
- Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters
- Vampire Savior: The Lord of Vampire
- Capcom Sports Club
- Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix
- Street Fighter Alpha 3
- Hyper Street Fighter II
We would have much preferred these 32 new titles to be added as DLC in the first game, giving us one huge 64-game compilation. Instead, players have to jump between the two separate pieces of software to access every game.
Still, in terms of what’s actually here, we’re more than happy with the selection of titles on offer, especially considering some of Capcom‘s most iconic games were already released in the previous collection.
Once again, the new library goes as far back as 1984 with SonSon, the free game this time. The idea is that players will download the free ‘shell’ of the game with SonSon included to make sure they’re happy with how everything works, before then buying the other games – either individually or as one big pack.
Once purchased, the rest of the games are presented in chronological order and are displayed in a virtual arcade powered by the RE Engine, with players able to customise the cabinets and replace them with different designs. It’s purely eye candy, because once the games themselves actually start your surroundings are no longer visible.
Emulation is as accurate as you would expect from a modern retro compilation, with no noticeable issues or glitches. There’s your typical selection of screen filters designed to replicate CRT and scanline displays, as well as the option to resize the screen or stretch it to widescreen if you’re some sort of savage.
It also offers some of the other features seen in similar collections, such as the ability to create save states, add infinite credits or rewind the game at any point if you make a mistake.
Slightly less common, but present here, is the ability to adjust the game speed. This lets you play games at a reduced pace for practice purposes, or ramp up the tempo to make them more intense once you’ve mastered them.
In all, the compilation is a solid second helping of Capcom favourites, and the general quality of the selection on offer is high. It’s practically impossible for compilations like this to provide a game list that completely satisfies every player, and as is always the case your mileage will vary depending on your own personal tastes.
In our eyes, however, the only real stinker here is the original Street Fighter, which feels like it was added purely for completion’s sake because it wasn’t present in the first Arcade Stadium. Thankfully, its intrusion of an inclusion is more than made up for with the presence of all three Street Fighter Alpha games, the three main Darkstalkers games and 2003’s Hyper Street Fighter II.
Indeed, the only people likely to be disappointed by the selection here are those who bought Capcom Fighting Collection when it was released just last month for $40.
Of the 10 games offered in that compilation, six of them are present here, meaning fighting game fans who haven’t bought it yet would be advised to consider buying this instead – that way you get the lion’s share of what was in Fighting Collection plus the Street Fighter Alpha trilogy and another 20 or so non-fighting games for the same price.
“Of the 10 games offered in Capcom Fighting Collection, six of them are present here.”
For everyone else, the only other real let-down here is the lack of any sort of archival material as seen in the retro compilations produced by Digital Eclipse.
Some of these games are rarely given the spotlight, and we would have loved to have seen the Capcom archives opened up and original design documents and concept art shared for the likes of GunSmoke and Saturday Night Slam Masters.
As it stands, though, what you’ve got here is a solid collection of 32 more titles from Capcom‘s golden era of arcade games.
The original Arcade Stadium perhaps still boasts the ‘better’ collection in terms of iconic titles, in that it boasts Street Fighter II, Final Fight, Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, Strider and the like.
But Arcade 2nd Stadium digs a little deeper into the publisher’s back catalogue to provide an arguably more interesting selection of games, some of which may become new favourites.
Another wonderful retro compilation from Capcom. It's sorely lacking in supplementary behind-the-scenes content, and it's a shame it couldn't have just been a big DLC pack for the first Arcade Stadium, but what's here is a nice, varied selection of vintage coin-op titles.
- A really interesting selection of titles, many of which are deep dives
- Solid emulation with no major issues to speak of
- Typical compilation features plus some interesting ones like game speed adjustment
- Should have really been DLC for the first Arcade Stadium
- No archive artwork or behind-the-scenes content at all
- Contains more than half of Capcom Fighting Collection, released just a month ago