CAPCOM ARCADE STADIUM | REVIEW | NINTENDO SWITCH

  • Developer: Capcom
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Price: £29.99 / $39.99 for the complete collection
  • Release Date: 17/02/2021
  • Review code provided by Capcom

Introducing: Capcom Arcade Stadium Switch Review

Amongst the lengthy 50 minute Direct that Nintendo casually dropped on the 17th Feb after a 530 day hiatus was the announcement of Capcom Arcade Stadium for the Switch. The impressive 32 game collection showcases the highlights from Capcom’s hefty back catalogue spanning 3 decades. Fans won’t have to wait long either for the virtual arcade doors to open, with the sweet sweet words ‘Available Today’ appearing on the screen during the Direct, Capcom’s compendium of arcade games is available on the eShop right now. So gather your loose change and get ready to beat that top score as you soak up that nostalgic goodness.

The digital arcade is a free client to download which gives you the opportunity to peruse the collection. The generous guys over at Capcom have even thrown in a little something, 1943 – The Battle of Midway is available to play. Capcom is offering a lot of flexibility when it comes to owning the rest of the games in the collection. You can straight up buy the whole catalogue for £29.99/ $39.99 or if a certain era is calling out at you there is the option to buy a pack each containing 10 games costing £11.99/ $14.99. Each pack captures the evolution of Capcom:

Capcom Arcade Stadium Pack 1:Dawn of the Arcade (’84 – ’88)Capcom Arcade Stadium Pack 2:Arcade Revolution (’89 – ’92)Capcom Arcade Stadium Pack 3:Arcade Evolution (’92 – ’01)
-VULGUS
-PIRATE SHIP HIGEMARU
– 1942
– COMMANDO
– SECTION Z
– TATAKAI NO BANKA
– LEGENDRY WINGS
– BIONIC COMMANDO
– FORGOTTEN WORLDS
– GHOULS ‘N GHOSTS
-STRIDER
– DYNASTY WARS
– 1941
– SENJO NO OKAMI 2
– MEGA TWINS
– CARRIER AIR WING
– STREET FIGHTER 2 THE WORLD WARRIOR
– CAPTAIN COMMANDO
– VARTH
– WARRIORS OF FATE
– STREET FIGHTER 2 HYPER FIGHTING
– SUPER STREET FIGHTER 2 TURBO
– POWERED GEAR
– CYBERBOTS
– 19XX
– BATTLE CIRCUIT
– GIGA WING
– 1944
– PROGEAR

Get That Trigger Finger Ready

When cycling through the menu you instantly feel that this isn’t just a lazy compilation of games from the publisher to earn a quick buck. The level of detail that has gone into Capcom Arcade Stadium is remarkable. There is an insane amount of options and the customization feels endless including display settings, difficulty adjustment, save and load functions and the controversial rewind feature. The display settings let you change every visual aspect from arcade cabinet colours, borders, screen filters, screen size and orientation.

The arcade cabinet view and customisation is a fun and novel way to play and it does scratch that nostalgic itch but I found it impractical due to the size of the actual game screen especially when in handheld mode, there is way too much emphasis on the arcade cabinet rather than the game itself.

The enjoyment from dunking that virtual coin into the slot and watching the joysticks flail about to every Joy-Con movement wore off pretty quickly and I ended up changing the view to max especially for fighting games like Street Fighter and Cyberbots. This can make the game look stretched out though, especially when playing in docked mode. If you are enjoying the arcade classics on the big screen I would recommend keeping the original aspect ratio and choosing the normal display size option. For players who own the flip grip they can also enjoy vertical shooters like 1942 and Giga Wing full screen by changing the orientation.

Climb The Ranks

Just like your local arcade there is a sense of community and friendly rivalry thanks to the addition of online rankings and an RPG style leveling up mechanic. Earn CASPO (Capcom Arcade Stadium Points) to increase your status and unlock new content in the form of new frames and backgrounds. For the competitive gamers out there you can compete in various online challenges and climb the leader boards. Capcom have also added in-game achievements called triumphs giving the player an incentive to explore through the collection and jump into the more obscure and lesser known games.

The Switch handles the emulation of games extremely well both in handheld and docked modes. I did experience frame rate issues with certain games, mainly vertical shooters like 1942, as the scenery was constantly moving there was a noticeable flicker but it wasn’t enough to impede gameplay and the problem was negligible. There is also the option to change the ROM version from English to Japanese giving that authentic feel of regional differences. For example Chiki Chiki Boys was named Mega Twins for the Western market.

Player 2 Has Entered The Game

Capcom Arcade Stadium does lack online multiplayer but honestly it is not missed and this collection of games proves sometimes multiplayer is best experienced in person. All 32 games offers local multiplayer, so pass your friend the Joy-Con and work together in titles like Legendary wings and Forgotten Worlds. Or why not settle an argument the only way that makes sense and battle it out against each other in Street Fighter 2.

Conclusion

When it comes to classic game compilations they are usually lacklustre with poor emulation and generally overpriced, but Capcom Arcade Stadium is different. It offers an authentic arcade feel which can be enjoyed by players of all ages thanks to the extensive features Capcom have crammed into this collection. The customization makes the game accessible and fun, especially with a friend. The long list of games included is impressive but it can feel a bit repetitive especially with 3 versions of Street Fighter 2 and 1942 with its 3 sequels thrown in but there are still plenty of options to keep the player engaged. The different pricing tiers can leave the consumer confused and overwhelmed but I feel the prices are reasonable and whatever collection you choose, it is value for money.

Pros

  • Impressive collection of games showcasing Capcom’s highlights
  • Local multiplayer
  • Online leader boards
  • Insane amount of customisation

Cons

  • Pricing options seem convoluted and could be simplified
  • Arcade cabinet view can make the game screen too small especially in handheld mode.
  • Don’t get me wrong I love Street Fighter 2 but 3 variants of the same game is too many.

Verdict
Capcom Arcade Stadium is an essential collection of arcade classics that can be enjoyed by all, regardless of their skill.

Scoring Policy