Capcom Arcade Stadium: Stadium events

Arcade works but with quirks like no Mercs

Capcom get their classics out for every new set of consoles, it seems. Capcom Generations back on PlayStation, the two Capcom Classics Collections on PS2 (and their dimunitive revisits) and - most recently - the bizarrely-named Capcom Arcade Cabinet for PS3/360, which presented a package-based approach similar to what's on offer here - though the value in Capcom Arcade Stadium is honestly through the roof by comparison.

I'm not going to list all the included games again, even though it would probably be really useful. Please refer to this preview for said info. Now that I've had some time with Capcom Arcade Stadium (and seen some of its reception), I feel like I can offer you something worth reading. And here it is: Capcom Arcade Stadium is great.

The piecemeal packs, at $14.99 each, are all good value - however, I'd recommend going for the $39.99 all-in package as it represents the best value and there are many excellent titles in each one. The presentation is ace, too - I was quite surprised to see the RE Engine ident when I launched the app but I can see where that power went - the rendered arcade cabs look fantastic and the available filters and options are pretty good, not to mention unique - adjusting game speed isn't something I've come across before outside of PC emulation (besides the en-vogue and cowardly Rewind feature).

A lack of online multiplayer is a theoretical downer, but not one that bothers me personally. Something I find curious, though, is the lack of English versions of Mercs, Trojan and Armored Warriors. They're all present and fully playable, but only in their Japanese flavours. The oddest thing about this is that, well, these games have been re-released in English before, and in the case of Armored Warriors, on the same consoles as part of the Capcom Beat-'Em-Up Bundle. Considering that every single other game on the set lets you alternate between regions, there must be some kind of weird logistical reason why they weren't included here. It's not a dealbreaker, but it is worthy of note.

There have been issues noted with the emulation here, and I can say, hand on heart, as a lifelong classic gamer and enormously respected voice of the retrogaming community akin to Jeff Minter himself - that I did not notice them. I am not saying these issues are not present, but merely that you are unlikely to notice them or find they impact on your experience unless you are very committed to these games. Not excusing! But don't write this compilation off for some hitching/slowdown that 99.9% of its audience will not even register.

Do so and you'll be overlooking an extremely fairly-priced and full-featured way to play 32 games that range from "good" to "unassailable classic". There are other features worth noting, such as the online leaderboards and associated challenges, but the meat of the package is having a new hub for your Capcom collection. The hit rate is shockingly high with only the likes of Bionic Commando lacking much appeal (though it is a classic). I don't understand why they didn't include Son-Son, probably because I'm the only person on the planet who loves it. But the best thing I'll say is this - I booted up the set to write it up and found myself playing Ghouls 'N Ghosts for absolutely ages. That's the kind of stuff you're dealing with here. A very good effort.