Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium: Stadium events, again

A packed compilation/service, but one that raises questions

I was a little surprised by the announcement of Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium. I got a kick out of the first one, despite some minor confusion in its presentation of regional variations and crossover with, at the time, the Capcom Beat-'Em-Up Bundle. That confusion has not abated, and I will endeavour to explain why after listing the software line-up:

1943 Kai
Black Tiger
Block Block
Capcom Sports Club
Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors
Eco Fighters
Exed Exes
Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition
Knights of the Round
Last Duel
Magic Sword
Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters
Mega Man: The Power Battle
Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge
Rally 2011: LED STORM
Saturday Night Slam Masters
Side Arms: Hyper Dyne
Son Son
Street Fighter
Street Fighter Alpha 2
Street Fighter Alpha 3
Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors’ Dreams
Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
The King of Dragons
The Speed Rumbler
Three Wonders
Tiger Road
Vampire Savior: The Lord of Vampire

Now, you are probably looking at this list and salivating. You are correct to do so - with only a couple of minor exceptions that are entirely subjective, this is a banger of a line-up. The confusion on my end comes in when you account for the fact that this is a 2nd Stadium, as opposed to an expansion of the first Capcom Arcade Stadium. Given the way these games are sold individually (at a very reasonable $3.99 a pop, thangyew), it seems a little strange to split the pack like this. I'd love to have the opportunity to hop out of Stadium 1's Ghouls 'N Ghosts, say, straight into Stadium 2's Black Tiger, but I can't. I'm sure there's a good reason for this, but... I don't know it. So I briefly, somewhat pitifully, lament it.

An additional oddity stems from this collection's rather overt crossover with the Capcom Fighting Collection, which... only just came out. The Darkstalkers titles included here, as well as Gem Fighter and Hyper Street Fighter II from that same compilation. Now! I understand very well that the piecemeal nature of 2nd Stadium makes it something of a more viable option for a gamer who doesn't feel as though they need every version of Night Warriors, but it's still worth noting - if you buy Capcom Fighting Collection (which you should, it's brilliant), you'll already own a fair chunk of 2nd Stadium. The Digital Eclipse Street Fighter Anniversary Collection has a fair bit of crossover here, too.

But that's not a negative. None of this is intended to be negative! Capcom 2nd Stadium is a rather excellent set of titles, and of course you can simply dip into your favourites or get the lot for forty dollars - good value for 30+ games. If you're wanting my hot picks, see below for some choices. If you're wanting my hot pics, DM me. (This is a terrible joke, even for you - Ed)


Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition

Trivia: this one was sold for £19.99 as a standalone on PS2, or at least it was in the UK. It came with a bonus disc that featured the Street Fighter II anime movie, but I think they censored the bit with Chun Li's chebs. That's not me desperately trying to evade the idea that I'm intricately knowledgeable of the censorship history of the Chun Li cheb scene, I genuinely don't know. Oh god, what was I talking about. Ah yes, every version of every SFII character ever, in one game. Brilliant!

Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters

Good old Mega Man. This one hasn't been seen since, erm, the Capcom Home Arcade, so it's nice to have the chance to own it on something that isn't just a big logo. It's a really fun, breezy little boss rush, pitting you against classic Robot Masters from the series. Every boss has been spruced up into Mega Man 7-style visuals, which is great for me but your mileage may vary. Crucially, it's also one of the easiest arcade games to 1cc ever made. Which is great, because I'm crap.

The King of Dragons

Sacrilege time. I think Capcom's Dungeons & Dragons games are a bit rubbish. A belt scroller where you're constantly holding up the game for other players by faffing about with spells? Barge! Flimshaw! Anyway, The King of Dragons is a sort of proto-Shadow of Mystara, only it's much breezier and better because it doesn't have that. Stuff. That I said I. Don't. Like. Cough.

Three Wonders

This compilation of beautifully-drawn games is so good that I'm not surprised it keeps turning up on compilations. Side-scroller Midnight Wanderers has gorgeous Top Hunter/Spinmaster vibes, shmup Chariot is a fun follow-up, and block-pushing arcade puzzler Don't Pull is... also included as part of Three Wonders. Look, I just really like Midnight Wanderers, okay?

Son Son

Bloody love Son Son, mate. Absolutely quality game. I first played it back in t'day on the PAL Capcom Generations four-discer, and I still get a kick out of its multi-level shooty-jumpy bamboo-collecty Journey-to-the-Westy goodness. I'd go so far as to say that anyone who doesn't enjoy Son Son is like school in summertime - a wretched parody of a human being. Alright, cheers.


There are many other good games included, but I'm running out of space and I haven't eaten anything yet today. If I could make one more tiny, weeny little gripe, it'd be that they didn't include the version of Quiz and Dragons that they put in Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2 all the way back on PS2, because it had Capcom-based quiz questions and was generally an enormous amount of fun. Still, I'm not actually saying that's a valid complaint - that would be absurd. Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium is an admirable compilation, packed with excellent games. I didn't notice any input lag or emulation problems, but I freely admit that I'm not the most sensitive to that sort of thing at the best of times. I heartily recommend getting stuck in.