Despite being old enough to have lived through the dawn of the Arcade, there wasn’t a decent arcade in my area. Thankfully, Capcom aims to bring the experience to the home console with Capcom Arcade Stadium.
Retro gaming is all the rage these days, as evidenced by the sheer number of mini consoles that have been sold over the last few years. Hell, I own two of them myself. The ability to rewind, slow down, and save your progress is a fun way to enjoy an old classic from your youth. Capcom Arcade Stadium brings 30 plus arcade classics straight to your favorite console. But is this collection worth a purchase, or is best left in the past from whence it came? Let’s find out, shall we?
Scoring a compilation is always tricky. With over 30 games on offer, you’re not going to like them all. For me, I haven’t even heard of some of these. Where I grew up, we didn’t have an arcade. I did, however, throw my share of quarters at the two arcade machines in the one gas station in my tiny hometown. I still have fond memories of my time playing Alien Syndrome and whatever that pro wrestling game was called that the Texaco station tucked into its backroom. In other words, my only experience with most of these games are from the NES ports. For this reason, I was mostly interested in the first pack of games, listed as the Dawn of the Arcade (’84 – ’88). Capcom classics Ghost ‘n Goblins and Ghouls ‘n Ghosts are still hard as nails but they hold up surprisingly well. Even with the rewind feature, these two games still make me want to toss my controller in a rage. Plus the inclusion of the original Bionic Commando was an added bonus. I judged all other video game endings against the excellent ending for Bionic Commando for years. It was the first game that made me feel like I was actually rewarded for beating it. I was surprised at how different the arcade version was from the NES port, but it’s still one of the highlights of this collection for me.
The next pack is called the Arcade Revolution (’88 – ’92). This pack features the iconic Street Fighter II – The World Warrior. You’ll also find a slew of brawlers like Final Fight, Dynasty Wars, and Captian Commando. The final pack is called Arcade Evolution (’92 – ’01). This pack features two more Street Fighter titles, 1944 The Loop Master, and a couple of mech fighters.
You can buy the game as a complete package, or buy them in the aforementioned packs of ten. There is a heavy bias to shooters and bullet-hell titles, and that is fine with me. There are 3 variants of Street Fighter 2 and some beat em ups, but this compilation favors the shooters. As you can see from the video, I suck at fighting games and much prefer the shooters and side-scrollers. But no matter your preference, there is plenty to love here.
As I mentioned, you can slow down the game, rewind, and save your progress. Some of them allow you to change the difficulty and even add extra lives. These modifiers affect your score, so if the worldwide leaderboards are your thing, prepare accordingly. You can also change the display setting to fill your screen or even show the cabinet. You can also choose to play the Japanese version of these rooms as well if that’s your thing.
A lot of you will no doubt own some of these titles making this collection somewhat redundant. But if you don’t, and if you haven’t played some of these since your days in the arcade, this is an attractive package, indeed. For me, it’s an easy recommendation as I still enjoy playing 1942 and all of its sequels. Plus Bionic Comando, Comando, and the Ghost ‘n Goblins series are a treat, even if some of them are probably easier to play with a joystick. While there are few titles missing, Capcom Stadium Arcade is a fun blast from the past with a little something for everyone. And you won’t even need to break that dollar bill into quarters to play it.
Capcom Arcade Stadium PS5, PS4 Review
Overall - Very Good - 7.5/10
Capcom Stadium Arcade is yet another retro gaming collection with its share of classics and rarities. If you loved the early Capcom shooters and bullet-hell titles then this is a collection for you. The iconic Capcom fighting titles feel a little light with only four fighting games, including three versions of Street Fighter II. Otherwise, this collection feels almost complete and would make a nice addition to any retro gaming fan’s library.
- Tons of new gameplay options, including difficulty settings and a rewind feature (old games are hard!)
- The ability to change the display to fill the screen, leave it original, or add the cabinet is a nice touch
- The selection of games feels fairly complete if somewhat shaded towards the shooters
- Fighting game fans may feel a little left out.
- $39.99 for the entire package feels a little steep
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Primary version tested: PS4. Reviewed using PS5, PS4.