Release date: July 21, 2022
No. of players: Single System (1-4)
Genre: Arcade, Action, Fighting, Shooter
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
"Review Copy Provided By Capcom"
Over the last decade, Capcom has been rereleasing a lot of their classic titles in collections featuring the likes of Street Fighter and Mega Man and even a fighting game collection which brought with it the first ever time Red Earth was released outside of arcades and included the entire Darkstalker series for the first time ever having every game have online rollback net code. Capcom released in 2021 the Capcom Arcade Stadium of which included 32 classics of gaming goodness ranging from shooters, beat em ups, and fighters and was for all intents and purposes a hit. Here we are in 2022 and Capcom is releasing a follow up in the form of the Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium. Is it a worthy follow up to last year’s or is it a lackluster collection? Let’s find out!
To preface this entire review, I grew in the arcade era and have played every single one of the titles included in this collection so I will have a bias here and nostalgia glasses on as well as (although I am objective as well). I say all this to say that I remember when these games came out and the hype a lot of them had which may be lost on the newer generation. On with the review.
The Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium comes with 32 Classic Capcom Arcade Games
Savage Bees (Exed Exes)
The Speed Rumbler
Side Arms: Hyper Dyne
Hissatsu Buraiken (Avenger)
Rally 2011: LED Storm
The King of Dragons
Knights of the Round
Saturday Night Slam Masters
Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors
Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge
Street Fighter Alpha
Mega Man: The Power Battle
Street Fighter Alpha 2
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters
Vampire Savior: The Lord of Vampire
Capcom Sports Club
Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix
Street Fighter Alpha 3
Hyper Street Fighter II
If you’re feeling like there’s some overlap of titles from The Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection and the Capcom Fighting Collection then yes you would be correct, however you should also understand that those collections are done very differently with the competitive scene and eSports in mind with online Rollback Net code versus this collection giving you the arcade ports in their original glory for local play only with you having the option to get these games individually ala carte for your virtual arcade collection or as a complete collection.
Having this be the first time that Saturday Night Slam Masters is released since the Arcade and home console ports over 2 decades ago is truly amazing as that was one of the best arcade games from that era and best arcade wrestling game too. Having both Mega Man arcade games is truly insane as the last time we saw these released on a home console was with the Mega Man Anniversary Collection back in 2004 and to be able to play them again on modern consoles is insanely cool!
If you were to get the 2nd Stadium in it’s *free* format, then you’re able to download the shell of the arcade that comes with the 1984 SonSon game. As you buy more games, the virtual arcade will start to get filled with more of the titles and they will be shown in alphabetical order. You’re able to customize your cabinets by changing out the designs purely for the sake of cosmetics and having your arcade look how you want it to. You wouldn’t assume this to be the case, but the virtual arcade is actually powered by Capcom’s signature RE Engine.
Every game in this collection is perfectly emulated with no noticeable glitches or issues that I could see. Adding some quality-of-life changes to these games like save states, rewind ability, game speed, and infinite credits was a brilliant and needed decision as many of these games are incredibly difficult as many of them were made to be quarter munchers (Tiger Road and Black Tiger I’m ESPECIALLY looking at you) and greatly benefit from it. You can change which region of the games you play which changes the version of the games from either US or Japanese versions which in and of themselves changes various aspects of these games given how they were changed when they came overseas.
There’s also an online leader board for each of the games included so that you can track who has the highest scores in each of the games individually. What I love about this is that it gives you that 80s/90s arcade feel (especially for the newer generation who never got to experience arcades) as back then, we were all about who could get the highest score and being incredibly competitive.
You can customize each of the games’ screen filters to incorporate scanlines and CRT style displays along with being able to change the screen sizes by either putting them in Fullscreen, widescreen, pixel perfect, or even stretch out the display if you wanted along with putting games in TATE mode (aka vertical scrolling mode used often by SHMUPs) or upside down. There are custom borders for each game along with the ability to swap them out with a few others and view the games from an arcade view (on by default) that allows you to see the game and the arcade cabinet while using the right analog stick to look around the arcade cabinet and view the cabinets next to the one you’re playing.
As someone who grew up in the arcade era, this collection of games along with what we got in the first Arcade Stadium are some of the best from that era rivaled only by the likes of what Konami was making back in the day as back then it was always a back and forth between Capcom, Konami, and SNK (in the fighting game area). For the younger generation who weren’t around or weren’t born during this era, they may find some good times here with a lot of these games, however outside of curiosity of wanting to dive into the company’s portfolio of work, I don’t see many of the newer generation diving into this collection.
What’s also baffling to me is that many who are reviewing this collection are comparing it to the Capcom Fighting Collection and Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection and don’t realize that those two collections and this one is not at all the same nor does this one have an online competitive component or Rollback net code and match making.
With all that is on offer here, Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium is honestly one of the best gaming collections out there and while I would’ve loved to have had games included in this collection like Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, The Punisher, or Aliens Vs Predator (Licensing issues), the 32 titles included in this collection (minus Street Fighter 1) are all amazing games in Capcom’s legacy of games and shows just why they were and still are a gaming juggernaut.