Last year, Capcom released Capcom Arcade Stadium. It contained 32 arcade titles, with such greats as 1942, Ghosts ‘n Goblins, Strider, Final Fight, and Street Fighter II. The compilation clearly did not have all of Capcom’s best games, so there had to be a sequel. Enter Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium, coming to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam on July 22 and in my hands for review. A collection of an additional 32 Capcom arcade games, the compendium has a nice mix of genres, though the titles vary in quality.
Here are the games included in Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium:
- 1943 Kai – Midway Kaisen –
- A.K.A. BLOCK BLOCK
- A.K.A. KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND
- A.K.A. MAGIC SWORD
- A.K.A. THE KING OF DRAGONS
- A.K.A. VAMPIRE SAVIOR – The Lord Of Vampire –
- BLACK TIGER
- Capcom Sports Club
- DARKSTALKERS – The Night Warriors –
- ECO FIGHTERS
- Gan Sumoku
- Hissatsu Buraiken
- HYPER DYNE SIDE ARMS
- HYPER STREET FIGHTER II – The Anniversary Edition –
- LAST DUEL
- MEGAMAN 2 – THE POWER FIGHTERS –
- MEGAMAN – THE POWER BATTLE –
- NIGHT WARRIORS – Darkstalkers’ Revenge –
- Rally 2011 LED STORM
- SATURDAY NIGHT SLAM MASTERS
- SAVAGE BEES
- STREET FIGHTER
- STREET FIGHTER ALPHA 2
- STREET FIGHTER ALPHA 3
- Street Fighter Alpha – Warriors’ Dreams –
- SUPER GEM FIGHTER – MINI MIX –
- SUPER PUZZLE FIGHTER II TURBO
- The Speed Rumbler
- THREE WONDERS
- Tiger Road
SonSon is a free download, while Gan Sumoku is a special bundle bonus. For $39.99, you can buy the whole collection, or you can cherry-pick titles for $3.99 each. Preordering or purchasing the compilation before August 5 gives you custom frames for each game in your digital arcade cabinet, though they have to manually be applied one by one. Gamers who own Capcom Fighting Collection get Three Wonders free. And if you have the original Capcom Arcade Stadium, you’ll get access to “Capcom Arcade Stadium Music & Lights” and “Instruction Card Backgrounds” bonus content. An Invincibility Mode is available for free, as well.
Modern Features for the Current Generation
There are a bunch of features that have been added to Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium that make these punishing arcade games fun to play. Most games are co-op or competitive. You can have custom filters for each title and have them displayed fullscreen, with borders, or as a virtual arcade cabinet. Speed-up and rewind features are included, the latter of which is perfect for a round of Street Fighter Alpha 2 to make sure the CPU didn’t get away with that last cheap hit. Every ROM can be played in either English or Japanese, with some only being available in the latter language. Changing one ROM to Japanese changes all titles to that territory, though, so you’ll have to switch things back and forth if you want to play games in English.
Filters are present for genres, like Sports, Puzzle, Fighting, etc. There are Challenges where you compete with others on the score leaderboards, Triumphs that are basically Achievements like beating a game for the first time, and Game Manuals that explain the buttons and gameplay of each title. Best of all, Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium recognizes arcade sticks and automatically defaults the top row to punches and the bottom row to kicks for fighting games. I love this feature!
Nostalgia for a Bygone Era
As for the games themselves, well, there’s good and bad. Standouts include Saturday Night Slam Masters, where you can play as Haggar from Final Fight in a wrestler/beat ’em up hybrid. Gun.Smoke is a unique vertical shooter where you can only shoot straight or diagonally. Three Wonders is three games in one, with two shooters and one puzzle game. Knights of the Round is sick, a beat ’em up featuring knights like Arthur and Lancelot where you can level up your weapons and armor. You can also split the health and treasure you find on the ground to share with a co-op partner.
Mega Man – The Power Battle and Mega Man 2 – The Power Fighters are fantastic action titles where you can choose from multiple characters, change weapons, and select the order you fight opponents. Street Fighter Alpha 1 – 3 are some of the best fighting games ever made and include such novel ideas as the ability to block in the air and do reversals. The hidden gem Capcom Sports Club is another three-in-one game where you can play basketball, tennis, or soccer. Matches can get intense, especially with a friend!
However, there are many duds in this collection, too. SonSon is a boring sidescroller. Pnickies is like Puyo Puyo without the ability to sabotage your opponent’s screen. Block Block is just an imitation of Breakout. And, my God, the original Street Fighter. Terrible music, AI, sound, and input delay. It’s incredible this got a sequel that happened to revolutionize the entire fighting game genre.
The worst part is that so many of these games are available in other Capcom collections. The Alpha titles are in Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, the Darkstalkers series and the other Street Fighter games are in Capcom Fighting Collection, and The King of Dragons and Knights of the Round are in Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle. Capcom loves to double dip. If you never owned these collections, Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium is a sound purchase, but otherwise, you’ll feel a bit slighted. However, those collections do have the added benefit of online multiplayer (multiplayer in both Stadiums is strictly local).
The Review Verdict on Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium
After review, is Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium good? I think so, but your mileage may vary. If you have all of Capcom’s previous compilations, you’ll be annoyed by the repeat titles. The ability to purchase games individually helps you avoid duds, but $3.99 each can add up. However, if you’re diving in for the first time, there are some hits here worth checking out. And if you combine these titles with the ones from Capcom Arcade Stadium, it adds up to a spectacular history of Capcom’s arcade days. Gamers who end up owning both, feel free to mentally add a point to my review score.
A PlayStation 4 review code for Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium was provided by the publisher.