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Quick Review: Capcom Arcade Cabinet

Capcom’s Arcade Cabinet is more of the same. The idea is to design a cabinet with select offerings from the publisher’s ’80s arcade catalogue. Sadly their best offerings from the era are non-options as well; only non-licensed works are included. So most wishlists can be scratched. There’s nothing here that hasn’t been rereleased several times over.

Emulation is derived from Backbone’s Capcom Arcade Classics, a mix of Vol. 1 & 2. Titles are cut into tight packs. 1987 is first, a cheap way to play the simple and good 1943. 1943 also comes with Avengers and Black Tiger. It’s unlikely they get much play and they’d be forgotten alone. Avengers is a flawed overhead beat ’em up that gets too much cache out of the unrelated comic book’s name while Black Tiger receives too little credit for the unclear attachment to Ghouls & Ghosts and Magic Sword.

The packs will prove representative in later months, with Ghouls & Ghosts, Gun.Smoke, and Section Z early this month, for double the price. It’s likely to be the most worthwhile compilation. Ghouls & Ghosts is the formative thing, what would come to shape Capcom’s identity and the perception of what retro difficulty is like. It’s their defining success and the model for any lasting ones. Section 7 is a fair-to-middling retro Dark Void and Gun.Smoke isn’t the NES version but remains quality, if not far less necessary post Red Dead Redemption. The underrealized Red Dead Revolver was originally purposed as Gun.Smoke’s spiritual successor, after all, the original vision being a bit genre confused and unsure of its linearity.

New features include YouTube capture (PS3 only; 360 gets FaceBook sharing) and online play. Generally nobody is sitting in the lobbies for these old games. There’s a good feature to search for matches and record while playing, but no real practical use for either.

Capcom’s Arcade Cabinet feels like a minimal repackaging of rereleases after a quick buck. There’s potential for some replay in Localized rules, score attacks, videos, but despite having an affinity for a fair few titles, it’s too little new for what’s asked. It’s Game Room from Capcom, with narrower concept and nothing we haven’t received several times since release. Many are likely played more in rerelease than they were arcades or in the ’80s by this point. Have to wonder what the nostalgia’s for anymore and whether fans should care when Capcom doesn’t.

The author of this fine article

is an Associate Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in July 2007. Get in touch on Twitter @Calvin_Kemph.

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