Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium REVIEW (PS5)
Updated: Jul 18
''Hi. I didn't know what to write here''
Genre: Arcade Collection
Release Date: July 22nd, 2022
Platforms: PS4/Xbox Series/Switch/STEAM
*Review copy provided to me by Capcom*
''Blast From The Past''
Capcom is a Arcade Collection title that is developed and published by Capcom. Coming off the successful first entry, Capcom Arcade Stadium, 2nd Stadium roars onto the scene with an all new entry and 32 classic games to play and enjoy. With new features and quality of life additions, 2nd Stadiums aims to be a pretty good time.. but is it? well there's only one way to find out, so, are you ready? duh, OF COURSE!
It all started on a hot summer night, just like this one. The full moon had just run red with the blood of the sky gods thanks to the 20 year blood moon that has engulfed the land since the reign of the Lahakiri started. Evil has enchanted the land - food, shelter and comfort is nary a thought in todays world. If you survive the night, you succumb to the scorching heat of a once docile earth that fed us in nourishment, but now punishes us during our plight. Lord imashuki is the last known leader of what is left of our dying planet and the last line of defense against the Lahakiri. Low on soldiers, he turns to you, a would be tech head who's expertise lies in the field of eating doritos, burping soda and getting high scores on Arcade cabinets at the old Pizzeria. Lord Imashuki, in all his wisdom, has found out that the source of the blood moons power comes from a magnetic field that is emitted from the old Arcade. He has devised a plan, go to the Arcade and play at least 32 Arcade titles from the previous gods of this world, Capcom, and only then can we weaken the power of the Lahakiri and reclaim this world... or rather.. what's left of it. Will you, YourMomIsHot561979, take on this burden and save all of humanity?
Ok. Sorry. That's clearly not the story. This is just a simple Arcade Collection. It was interesting though, right?. Capcom is known today for its many titles and franchises like Resident Evil, Mega Man, Monster Hunter, Dead Rising, Ace Attorney, Devil May Cry, Okami, Dragon's Dogma, Street Fighter, etc, you get it, they're an absolute juggernaut, especially in todays market. Roughly ten years ago, honestly, you couldn't really say they were hitting their strides due to a lot of their titles feeling underwhelming or just missing the mark quite a bit, they fell off. However, within the last two generations of last gen and current gen, they've literally put out some of the most fun titles you could ask for. Switching up the Resident Evil series formula by going first person with Resident Evil 7 and Village and going back to their roots of traditional horror in two amazing titles, great remake of Resident Evil 2, my favorite Resident Evil game, superb Monster Hunter entries with World, Stories and Rise, Intense gameplay of Devil May Cry 5, upcoming titles like Resident Evil 4 remake, Dragon's Dogma 2 and the brand new IP, Exoprimal, which I have tried in the Closed Network Test, etc. Too long didn't read version, Capcom has been back and better then ever in the modern day. But.. what of their beginnings? what of their past? well that's why you're here ya big goof. After seeing this review, it might end up being the most important day of your life, but for me? It was a Tuesday. So let's kick this puppy off, starting with some of its features and then diving into some of the gaming categories.
Booting your game for the first time is where you will already run into your first problem with this title. No not because there's something wrong with the game, no that's not it. It's because the dang theme song is just too dang catchy and makes you just want to drop everything you're doing, whether you're at home or in a bar and just dance your booty off. Two hours later when you finally actually start your game, you will be put inside of an arcade room that is filled with cabinets of every title that is apart of this collection, 32 in all. Pressing start will let you scroll through every single one left to right, as every game, yes every game, plays itself in real time, giving you a glimpse of the type of game play it offers. On top of that, by pressing up and down you can choose to switch each cabinet from a traditional Upright position that you're used to at every standard arcade, classic Capcom Impress cabinet style, the 1991 Mini Cute series cabinet design, Capcom Status 25 cabinet from 1992, change the coloring of each individual cabinet, or keep them all one design. The rooms lighting and design looks so dang good and feels completely authentic with what its trying to portray. THIS is how you do arcade cabinet designs for a game of this nature. The only things missing now for full immersion are the sounds of kids screaming, skee balls clanking, the smell of pizza, hands smelling like peter piper coins and tickets wrapped around our neck as a necklace or shoved in our pockets because were trying to win that 1000 ticket super soaker. Man I miss those days. So awesome. As you browse around at the glorious lights of the cabinet, you will also see that you have multiple gaming categories to choose from too, categories such as Action, Shooter, Fighting, Puzzle and Sports, all housing many of Capcom's most obscure and even classic games from the 80's and 90s, with some emulating their titles via English roms and others requiring you to press the touch pad on Playstation 5, to switch it to the Japanese rom, where its most compatible. It's as easy as a click of a button. So easy in fact, you're going to give up on all of life's hardships, the things that anger and bug you, leave it all behind you, and go home and be a family man. 2nd Stadium, making the world a better place, one game at a time.
Before we hop into the games in just a second, there are some major features that this collection gives you that make each game in this compilation, a different experience depending on which settings you change. When selecting any game, no matter what it is, you're able to change the view of every title you play, from a full screen view, full screen view with borders, or an eye level view of the cabinet for an authentic arcade experience. On top of that, by going to Game Settings, you can change every game by speed adjustment, change game difficulty from easy to hard, time limits, continues, how many extra lives you start with, and so on. But the amount of content to bolster your game play doesn't stop though, I am serious. Let me say this first, some games in this compilation are freaking hard, mainly the shooters like Gun.Smoke or other shoot em ups. In order to stand a chance though, you must defeat Shen Long. Well ok, no, not that. But you will have to utilize some features in the game, such as Gameplay Rewind and Save States. These two additions are a god send and will make you giggle for joy more than Chun Li... or Jackie Chan, after a victory. Should a game keep kicking your butt at any point in your playthrough, you can use save states to save your game versus a hard boss fight or tough area or to give yourself a second chance, but if you also feel like it, you may hold down R2 on the Playstation controller to rewind your game play roughly 10-15 seconds and re-do parts of that level that keep killing you. Sure, this may seem cheap, but trust me, you'll thank me later for telling you about it. Expanding on that, there is also the ranking system that lets you compete with other players times and scores for bragging rights and your Status of your games and Class. What are those? Well how much time do you have? Because 7 minutes is all the time I can spare to play with you guys. But ill give it a shot.
The last feature I want to talk about are Status and Class systems. These both act as your play history for each game and your level up system. Along side play history showing your time played for every game, your Class system shows you how much Caspo (experience points) you have earned from your play sessions. The more Caspo you have and acquire, the more you'll be able to unlock. You can collect Caspo through regular gameplay, challenge modes or ranked gameplay. The overall amount of Caspo earned however, depends on how you actually play each game using specific features or COMPLETE. GLOBAL. SATURATION. Uhh. I mean, if you use features like invincibility or assisted play, you will earn less Caspo do to that handicap it gives you, but if you play normally, for most games, your points will be rewarded based off accomplishments like high score and first time clearing. Should you want to challenge yourself even further going forward, you can earn even more Caspo by leveling up your own personal skill as a gamer and attempt to gain Caspo Bonus's by an even larger scale by completing tasks like using no continues, overall completion of every game, as well as taking on its three challenge modes, Score Challenge, Timed Challenge and Special Challenge. However, you should be warned, the ranking version of Caspo bonus's are much harder to complete due to specific features not being usable for this mode, but on the flip side, you gain WAY more Caspo points for not sucking. So its really up to you how crazy you want to get with this one. With 9 different ways to earn bonus points, you can learn to earn Caspo at your own pace and in way that feels natural to YOU, its pretty great. So now that you got the low down on the features, ranking system, leveling up, game categories, play time, cabinet room, challenges, etc, its time to dive in to see some games included in this collection.
Saturday Night Slam Masters, released in 1992, is an all action no nonsense wrestling beat em up where insanity and over the top, reign supreme. It was one of the early bar setters for later arcade titles that we would see on future consoles like Nintendo 64. Great game to pick up and play if you just want to crush peoples skulls in like Bonesaw or Captain Insano. But what also makes it cool is its inclusion of Haggar of Final Fight. I love this game. Its hard hitting and fast paced.
Oh boy, the big boy who started it all and the game that eventually made it possible for Street Fighter The Movie to become a reality and give me hours of entertainment for a life time. Originally released into Arcades in 1987 and ported to PC Engine/Turbo Grafx in 1988, the original Street Fighter then and even now in this collection is REALLY REALLY bad. Controls are a mess, characters aren't modeled very well and it does not feel good to play. Unlike titles like Street Fighter Alpha series 1,2 and 3 which control great and are a ton of fun and Street Fighter 2 with its 30 other versions of the game. If you want a good classic Street Fighter feel, best bet is to stick with good ol Street Fighter 2 with its amazing controls, classic characters, great music and all around my favorite Street Fighter game till this day.
Shoot Em Ups:
Eco Fighters is an environmental shooter released in 1993. In this title you take on the role of a group that is laser focused to stop a company determined to destroy the environment, boost deforestation and are aiming to kill the planet, all in the name of making a quick buck. Hmm, sorta sounds like Shinra. Jerks. This game is a basic horizonal shooter where you upgrade your massive weapon rod on your ship and mow people down to hell and back. Simple but extremely fun.
1943, released in 1988, is another scrolling shooter that can have the potential to frustrate you quite a bit if you aren't ready. Fly your way across the vast oceans while dodging fighter jets, enemy planes and their barrage of bullets, warships and more. This is a game I used the rewind feature on quite a lot because it was hard for me to concentrate on all the tiny bullets, explosions and planes at the same time. While I still prefer 1942, this is still a very solid entry into the series and a blast to play through.
Hyper Dyne Side Arms, a 1986 release, is a horizonal scrolling shooter that has you flying around as a mech with up to five weapons at your disposal and blowing the living crap out of everything in your way. The game is a tad bit hard but perfectly beatable. Just the right of amount of difficulty, looks great, and control feels very smooth. Easily one of the most fun shooters in this collection.
Tiger Road is a game released in 1987 that has you play the role of a monk who must save a group of kids who were kidnapped by the Dragon God and his warriors. Its your basic fighting platformer, one jump button, one basic attack button, press jump to do baby jumps and hold jump to do giant leaps to reach platforms above you. This title is a decent game overall, but not great. As you play through it, it starts feeling tedious with having no variety to its melee attacking, and second, the jumping feels really stiff and you carry no momentum when high jumping forward. But on the plus side, its funny watching the Monk run up the stairs with his little quick steps as he does it. Makes it look like he's gotta poop really bad and going as fast as he can. I know, I'm immature. Sue me.
SonSon, a game released in 1984, and is very loosely based off the chinese novel Journey To The West, where you take on the role of a Monkey Boy, similar to Son WuKong. This one is more frustrating than it is hard because of the screen constantly scrolling around and you having to strategically move up and down platforms to get away from enemies, which makes staying alive pretty intense at times. Needless to say this is one title that you want to give your full attention to and not... monkey around with. Ok I'm sorry that was bad. Its short, sweet and to the point and runs great.
Gun. Smoke, an on rails vertical shooter originally released in 1985 that has you taking on the role of Billy Bob as you hunt down the most wanted people in the wild west. This game is hard as nails and a tad bit frustrating, even more frustrating than sitting through Will Smith singing ''Wild Wild West''. But the control scheme is actually really fun and unique with X shooting your bullets forward, Circle shooting to the right, Square shooting to the left and Triangle shooting in a V shape. Shooting people sticking out of windows, popping from side of the screen, or taking down all wanted bandits, It's just a really fun time.
At the end of the day, Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium offers a ton to gamers that grew up in that generation or even newer people who are curious. There's so much content that is squished into this collection that I talked about and even titles that I didn't talk about like fighting games of DarkStalkers 1-3, King Of Dragons side scrolling beat em up, Last Duel, Sports titles like Capcom Sports Club, puzzle titles like Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo, Action games like Mega Man Power Battle and Fighters, etc. All these titles, along with rewind mode, save states, custom cabinets, smooth running roms for both english and japanese sets, ability to edit game play to your skill level, class leveling up system that gives you incentive to continue playing all these titles to unlock new display sets, there's just so much to unpack here. Would I recommend this to people who aren't into classic gaming? absolutely not. But if you're a fan of the arcades, grew up around that era or you are fond of it, then yes, I highly recommend this title if you fit that description. Now I know what you're thinking, ''Umm its $40. have you lost your mind?'' and to that I just have to say ''uhhh, no, you've lost your balls''. So now with that having been said, my verdict is clear. GameNChick says BUY NOW