Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium is the second dose of retro goodness we’re getting from Capcom in about a month. How does it stack up against the first Capcom Arcade Stadium? We tested the PS4 version.
We reviewed Capcom Arcade Stadium when it launched about a year ago and then checked out the Capcom Fighting Collection just last month. With forward compatibility across console generations, it’s a good time for retro gaming enthusiasts who lost access to their PS2/PS3 bundles a while ago. There’s a catch though – how interesting Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium is going to be to you depends largely on what you already have access to. That might sound odd, but is especially relevant if you enjoy Capcom’s fighting games.
For example, last month’s Capcom Fighting Collection features all of the Darkstalkers games, yet three of them return for this collection a month later. If you own Capcom’s previously released Street Fighter 30th Anniversary bundle, then the total number of new games you get drops drastically from the 32 that are on offer here.
Luckily, overlap or not, there are a lot of gems here, spanning close to two decades of arcade gaming. The oldest game on offer is SonSon, which may not be a household name but is a great side-scrolling action platformer. Unlike the other games in the package, this one is free to download and play as well. The rest of them you can purchase individually or as part of a package – so that’s something to look into depending on what you already have access to, although it’s a shame that you have to navigate between bundles to play them and there are functional differences as well, like the lack of online multiplayer in Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium while you can play the same games online elsewhere.
As with the previous bundle, you can navigate between virtual arcade cabinets and select different versions of the games on offer, collecting Capcom Arcade Stadium Points as you go – which lets you unlock a variety of extras. CASPOs don’t carry over from the other bundle (or vice versa) though, which is a shame even though we understand it from a ranking perspective. Oddly enough though, the actual ranking system is somewhat bare bones.
Luckily, the games themselves are excellent, and there’s a good spread across genres. If you didn’t get the aforementioned Street Fighter bundle, then the inclusion of all three Street Fighter Alpha games are welcome inclusions, and having the original Street Fighter here is nice as well – although it’s clear to see why Street Fighter II became such a hit as it’s vastly superior to the first game – it’s represented here by Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition from 2003. Looking beyond Street Fighter and the Darkstalkers games we mentioned earlier, you also get two Mega Man titles and lesser known classics like Saturday Night Slam Masters, for close to a dozen’s worth of fighting games.
In other genres, there’s the excellent top-down racer LED Storm while The Speed Rumbler features Mad Max-inspired car combat. You also get a few shooters like Eco Fighters, Gun.Smoke, Exed Exes and 1943 Kai, which are all fun but also reminders that this genre wasn’t Capcom’s focus despite their earlier success with 1942.
What’s also nice is to see Capcom’s brief period of fantasy-heavy titles represented here, with the likes of Black Tiger, Magic Sword, Knights of the Round and The King of Dragons – most of which can be played in (local) co-op as well. Outside of that, the collection is rounded out with an eclectic bunch of other titles, from the excellent Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo to Block Block, Avenger, Tiger Road, Pnickies and Capcom Sports Club.
With some good emulation features (including the ability to rewind), this is another must-have bundle for retro enthusiasts – though the biggest is probably whether or not you want the full package or just a hand-picked selection of its games. Perhaps Capcom would be better off with a singular platform to support all of their retro titles to avoid this, but for now we’re happy with another good and diverse collection from the masters of the coin-up.