Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium Review (PS4)

Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium Review: Back In The Stadium

Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium

Capcom has really been leaning on their history lately, releasing a ton of collections that give modern players the option to play some of the greatest games ever made. While some may wish they would do more to include console versions of these games, which have often had cool new modes even if they were a bit less graphically impressive, it’s great that so many of the best arcade games ever made are so easy to play in 2022. This continues with Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium, a follow-up to Capcom Arcade Stadium, released last year. This time Capcom has brought 32 more classic arcade games together into one package, and there’s a lot to like still, even if this time around, they perhaps had to loosen the definition of classic.

Those who played the first Capcom Arcade Stadium will be right at home when they pop into 2nd Stadium. Everything is so familiar that it’s almost a shame that Capcom didn’t release this as additional packs for that original game, keeping everything in one convenient package. I understand that marketing a separate title is easier, but it feels like a missed opportunity. All of the games you have available will show up in a virtual arcade, with cabinets you can select between. Ideally, perhaps these would be a bit more customized with all of the actual original cabinets available, but it sets the mood for the game easily enough.

 

Play Your Way

 

Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium

After you select the game you want to play, you’ll have a variety of options. You can customize each game’s settings to change things like difficulty, rounds in fighting games, the power of your character, and much more. All the settings arcades used to be able to customize in these games to try to gobble up your quarters are now available to the player. You have many more options than that, too, with a wide variety of graphical filters and display options to help customize the experience. Want to play the game while looking at the arcade cabinet in 3D? Sure, you can do that. Prefer to just use your display as a display? Me too. You can even change the screen orientation, which is great for certain SHMUPs. Each game has a manual to teach you how to play it, which is useful for those new to some of these titles and most of the included games have both English and Japanese versions available.

When it’s time to actually play the games, you have a variety of options. In addition to just jumping into the game itself, you can play score attack and time attack modes which let you chase a high score or a best time. There are also unique challenges for each game, allowing you to chase something dreamed up by the developers specifically for that title. They’re cool options, and if the first Capcom Arcade Stadium is anything to go by, there’s a solid chance there will be more of these released in the future.

 

True Classics?

 

Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium

There are a lot of great games included in Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium, some of which are among my favorite arcade games ever made. I’ve spent years wanting a rerelease of games like Magic Sword and Knights of the Realm, and they’re here. Saturday Night Slam Masters remains an excellent mix of a fighting game with a wrestling game which is wildly underplayed. 1943 Kai is a classic SHMUP which I’m thrilled to have easy access to. Several games surprised me too. I had forgotten how much I like The King of Dragons, having not played it in years. It holds up next to Capcom’s very best beat ‘em ups of the era. Block Block is a creative Arkanoid clone that I really enjoyed.

There are a lot more games here that just don’t really hold up, though. Stuff like Sonson, and Rally 2011 LED STORM aren’t particularly fun nowadays. The original Street Fighter remains an awful game, the ultimate example of how a franchise can turn itself around. The Mega Man fighting games included here are fun diversions for fans of the character but don’t have the depth to offer lasting appeal. Capcom Sports Club is simply outdone by other classic arcade sports games that competed in the same space.

At least some of those games, though, are unique to this collection, and including them has historical value. They don’t bring the collection down too much because, unlike the first game, which was initially sold in packs of ten games, where one pack could be held back by too many weak titles, Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium is only being sold as a whole package or individual titles. Selling games individually was later added to the first Arcade Stadium, and it’s a great option for those who only want to grab a couple of these games, and it takes away the chance that the game you want gets stuck in a pack with a bunch of games you have no interest in, making it prohibitively expensive.

 

Doubling Up

 

Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium

That’s more likely than ever, though, because so many of the games included this time around have been in other recent collections. Between the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection released in 2018, the Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle released that same year, and the Capcom Fighting Collection released just last month, a full 12 of these games were already available in recent collections that are still available for purchase on the same platforms this collection is releasing on. It isn’t like that’s a new issue, it was true of 8 of the games in the first collection, but the percentage of games in other readily available collections has grown this time.

Worse, these games are better in those other collections. Unlike in those collections, Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium still doesn’t support online play. There are online leaderboards, but if you want to play with others, the only option is to face off against your friends locally. Sure, playing here offers the score attack, time attack, and special mode options, but in some ways, that’s worse. It means there’s no true definitive version of these games. They still play well enough here, and if you don’t plan to play online, these versions will definitely suffice, but being able to take this arcade online would have given Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium ongoing life. It feels especially strange when six of the eight unique titles in Capcom Fighting Collection are here only a month after that game’s release.

 

Conclusion

 

With 32 games included, most players are going to be able to find a few titles to fall in love with in Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium. With more duds in the lineup this time around, though, combined with a higher percentage of the collection being featured in recent collections you may already own, the value proposition is a lot harder to judge. Thankfully, this time around, Capcom are letting you buy just the individual games you want from the start. Most players with a love of classic arcade games will want to grab at least a few titles from this collection, even if the collection as a whole isn’t quite the no-brainer some of Capcom’s recent classic offerings have been.


Final Verdict: 3.5/5

Available on: PS4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, Switch, PC; Publisher: Capcom; Developer: Capcom; Players: 4; Released: July 22nd, 2022; ESRB: T for Teen; MSRP: $39.99

Full disclosure: This review is based on a copy of Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium provided by the publisher.

Andrew Thornton
Andrew has been writing about video games for nearly twenty years, contributing to publications such as DarkStation, Games Are Fun, and the E-mpire Ltd. network. He enjoys most genres but is always pulled back to classic RPG's, with his favorite games ever including Suikoden II, Panzer Dragoon Saga, and Phantasy Star IV. Don't worry though, he thinks new games are cool too, with more recent favorites like Hades, Rocket League, and Splatoon 2 stealing hundreds of hours of his life. When he isn't playing games he's often watching classic movies, catching a basketball game, or reading the first twenty pages of a book before getting busy and forgetting about it.

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