I don’t think it’s too controversial to say that this year’s Summer Game Fest presentation wasn’t very memorable. Geoff Keighley’s show wasn’t terrible by any means, but there were precious few highlights among an abundance of insubstantial CG trailers and perhaps too many games set in outer space.
Halfway through, however, there was a reveal of Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium, which will release on all major platforms on July 22nd. of the largely ho-hum ads that came before.
As a lover of old Capcom arcade games, many of which I’ve played through various PS2 compilations like Capcom Classics Collection and Street Fighter Alpha Anthology, the announcement of Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium took me back to my childhood, where maybe I I also spent a lot of time sating my curiosity for old school arcade games.
But why bother getting excited about a bunch of old arcade games when there are so many new games to look forward to? Well, the answer to that, I think, has a little more depth than simple childhood nostalgia.
Capcom has released so many compilations in the last few years that it can make your head spin. There was the Capcom Home Arcade Console, a rather flashy arcade that came packed with 16 arcade titles. We also had the Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle, the upcoming Capcom Fighting Collection, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection and there’s no shortage of Megaman and Megaman X compilations. That’s a lot.
And, to be fair, it’s not like the new Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium is made up of entirely new games for the publisher’s compilation efforts. Street Fighter Alpha and Darkstalkers are featured here, both of which have been featured in builds before.
However, the vast majority of the 32 games in the collection have yet to be re-released on modern hardware like PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch. And the inclusion of the phenomenal Saturday Night Slam Masters marks, to my knowledge, the first time Capcom’s iconic fighter has been released outside of arcades and fourth-gen consoles.
Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium’s business model is also quite interesting. You can of course buy the complete collection which includes all 32 games. Alternatively, you can purchase games individually. So if you want the Saturday Night Slam Masters, and just the Saturday Night Slam Masters, it’s just $3.99 (about £3.29 / AU$5.69) for a single game. This is a great option if you’re also planning on buying the Capcom Fighting Collection, as it means you won’t have to buy a bunch of the same games twice.
Collections like this are always an excellent opportunity to gift the player with a variety of extras and bonus content. In the best cases, the builds are wrapped up in a pleasantly themed aesthetic, sometimes featuring games in fully modeled arcade cabinets.
Not only that, but classic game collections can feature extensive galleries, often containing never-before-seen concept art, development notes, and insightful trivia. In addition, many also have common emulator features such as save states, rewind buttons, and visual filter options to give you more control over how you play. It’s perhaps the closest gaming equivalent of a luxurious movie boxset, packed with extra goodies for die-hard fans to enjoy.
A common thought is certainly: why should I buy all these collections of old games when I could just imitate them? Arcade emulators like Fightcade and MAME can provide near-perfect arcade experiences on PC. Both are exceptional programs, but there are a few caveats to keep in mind.
Emulators almost always require a PC or laptop to run, to begin with. Not necessarily the best gaming PCs on the market, but downloading and configuring emulators is a process that – while second nature to some – might not be such a straightforward process for the less tech-savvy or those unfamiliar with emulators on the go. first place.
Classic game collections are desirable because they do not require such an intermediary. There are a significant number of gamers who prefer not having to deal with the emulation process, and the convenience offered by collections like Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium is great if you just want to relax on the couch or lie in bed and play some retro titles in a capacity. meaningless.
It’s the same reason Xbox backwards compatibility, or PS Plus support for older titles, resonates with gamers. Having viable, up-to-date methods of playing older games is wonderful from a preservation point of view (assuming these games perform well, of course, which is unfortunately not a guarantee) and skips the step of having to rely on extra software or shelling out the money for older hardware.
While I can’t confidently say that Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium will be worth every penny – it includes some very familiar names and not every game featured is mandatory – I believe it’s another win for the game’s affordable preservation.
Capcom, more than most of its peers, has done well to embrace its past in recent years. Its great franchises continue to run well thanks to games like Monster Hunter Rise, Resident Evil Village, and the upcoming Street Fighter 6. CRT-beam light over its iconic story.