Capcom, a staple in the world of video gaming for decades, is celebrating their 30th anniversary with the release of Capcom Arcade Cabinet, a downloadable game pack for the XBox 360 and PlayStation 3.
For 400 Microsoft Points (or $4.99) players can now purchase the initial release pack containing classic shooter 1943: The Battle of Midway, side scrolling Black Tiger and the hardly remembered Capcom arcade release Avengers. Other games will be made available for add-on packs to Capcom Arcade Cabinet periodically, all at a higher price per-game than this introductory release.
Seemingly influenced by the earlier Game Room download for the XBox 360, Capcom's multi-game set-up doesn't exactly provide the same arcade-like feel. The majority of the screens are filled with a generic backdrop that is more akin to a plain arcade cocktail table kit than anything distinctive to the original arcade feel. Given how perfectly the ambiance of the arcade was captured in Capcom's previous Final Fight download, this comes at a bit of a surprise and disappointment.
The emulation of the games included thus far appear to be spot-on, even providing the options for different versions of the game from around the world. Graphics, sounds and music look and sound just like the arcade originals and controls are very responsive.
One of the potentially biggest issues I can see with Capcom Arcade Cabinet, however, will be the depth of game selection. While several early Capcom arcade titles proved popular when new, the average gamer never saw the majority of them. Capcom's main claims to fame in the 1980s came from it's successful Nintendo Entertainment System releases, followed by the Street Fighter II series in arcades the following decade. For every Ghosts 'n Goblins will be a lesser title such as Son Son that most gamers simply won't remember.
This first game pack represents this perfectly. While 1943 was a huge coin-op success across the world, Black Tiger saw far less success and distribution. Avengers seems to be included only due to the name, perhaps trying to capitalize on a familiar sounding name instead of nostalgia. The game has nothing to do with the comic book or popular film, providing players with a weird top-down beat-em-up game that is totally lacking in appearances by Iron Man, Captain America and Scarlett Johansson.
That being said, the early price point isn't a bad deal for the still-fun 1943, and worth a download at least to have that as a fun way to pass the time. Otherwise, the player's experience with Capcom Arcade Cabinet will live and die mostly on what they knew or remember from the earliest arcade releases from the now-iconic video game company.
This review was done on the XBox 360 and a purchase of the title at full price. Capcom provided official press materials but did not provide a sample copy.