Capcom is one of the most iconic names in games, with a rich history dating back decades to their arcade glory days from the 80s and 90s. So it’s not a surprise that the Resident Evil and Street Fighter makers have a wealth of content at their disposal for the numerous retro collections they’ve released throughout the years. From the recent Capcom Fighting Collection, to more older compendiums such as the Capcom Beat Em Up Bundle there are so many different collections to choose from that it may leave you feeling a bit dizzy.
With its latest release, Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium, the Osaka-based gaming giant throws in a few curveballs and surprises to make sure anyone that has picked up past collections still has reason to invest once again.
Like its predecessor, this new retro release is available to download entirely for free with additional purchases available.
The free version of Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium comes bundled in with side-scrolling platformer SonSon as a free-to-play game.
This 1984 game – which has plenty of 8-Bit charm – may have passed plenty of gamers in Blighty by as it was just ported to home consoles from the arcade in Japan and the US.
And this little known release sets the scene for the rest of Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium, which includes plenty of Capcom games you may not have heard of.
A whopping 32 games can be played via Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium, which can either be purchased via individual DLC or through a bundle which includes all games.
The latter works out as more cost effective but if you’ve pickled up any other Capcom collections you may see some crossover.
Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium includes brilliant fighting games such as Pocket Fighter / Gem Fighter, Street Fighter Alpha 1 – 3, three Darkstalkers games and Hyper Street Fighter 2.
If you have bought any of the previous Capcom compendiums, such as the recent Capcom Fighting Collection or the Street Fighter Collection, then you’ll already have access to these games.
For those that don’t, you’ll definitely want to play these brilliant fighting games – especially Gem Fighter, a madcap, fast-paced brawler that features cute, chibi Street Fighter characters.
Apart from these familiar candidates Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium features plenty of surprise releases from a range of genres.
If you love beat-em ups, then you’ll want to try Final Fight-esque games like Knights of the Round and The King of Dragons.
While shoot-em up fans are well covered with an impressive selection of games including 1943 and Eco Fighters (which previously was included on the expensive Capcom Home Arcade machine).
Speaking of that device, another game which first got a re-release on that – Capcom Sports Club – also features in Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium.
As you can gather, there is a wide range of games on offer which cover a multitude of genres – and this helps address one of the main criticisms of the first Capcom Arcade Stadium which heavily leaned into the shooting genre.
Like with the first Arcade Stadium title, all of the games are accessed via a 3D hub world populated with different cabinets.
With actual arcades hard to find in the UK these days – unless you head to one of the specialist arcades left in the UK – this may be the closest you’ll get to experiencing what one of these insert coin dens is actually like.
Different cabinets are all on show, and whatever game you choose you can customise it so you see the cabinet of your choice – such as the adorable Capcom Mini Cute – or if you’d rather not have this distraction on screen you can just see the game on its own or with a less intrusive themed backgrounds.
If you used to sink pound coin after pound coin into games you just couldn’t clear at your local arcade Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium also helps make arcade games even more accessible.
You can rewind to a previous point when you make a mistake or want to retry a segment, can speed up gameplay to get past points in a game you have already played and find a doddle, and can save at any point.
Plus, you can even download DLC which gives makes you invincible – a handy option if you want a stress-free, relaxed way to play classic arcade.
Overall, Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium is yet another great collection from Capcom, with one of the few drawbacks being the ability to play online being strangely missing.
If this is something that doesn’t bother you then Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium is a great collection that lets you delve into some of the lesser known hits alongside more established classics.