Capcom, a company who have as of late struggled to find their place in the current generation of consoles has taken a long look back and raided their heritage of rich coin-op arcade titles. From now and over the next few weeks a large selection will be released under one heading, the Capcom Arcade Cabinet with the first batch covering 1987 and includes 1943: The Battle of Midway, Avengers and Black Tiger.
1943: The Battle for Midway is as pure an arcade classic as they come, happily sitting beside the seaside and in cafes for hopefully another 25 years, letting you control the iconic Lockheed P-38 Lightning high above the clouds taking on all manner of attack jets and huge flying fortresses and then diving to sea level to battle heavily armored battleships in this vertically scrolling shooter.
The dead simple gameplay allows for you to dart between enemy fire as you collect Powerups that include wide angle shots and even two smaller wingmen that act as a shield whilst increasing firepower. If it all gets too much, and it will, you can always use your limited amount of special powers that creates a ship destroying tsunami or fills the sky with deadly lightning bolts. 1943: The Battle for Midway is an arcade classic and well worth the asking price alone if you have never played before.
Once the initial disappointment faded having confused this Avengers with the Data East arcade classic Captain America and The Avengers this retro title does not get any better. Rather, Avengers is a vertically scrolling beat-em-up, a genre that is all but clear why it did not last. Played very similar to scrolling shooters, you guide your avenger Ryu (no not that one) through Paradise City, throwing a flurry of punches, kicks and roundhouses at whoever dares get too close, trying to clean up the streets of Geshita and his unruly gang.
Though Avengers may be an arcade classic for some, for me it is instantly forgettable and one to avoid with some insanely high difficulty settings and a very one sided feel to the incoming attacks with all enemies paced so much faster than you and so making it very hard to avoid taking any damage, using all the classic money guzzling tricks that arcades used to employ.
Tying up the 1987 release list is Black Tiger, a side scrolling sword and sorcery game that reminds of my of old favorite Rastan and more than a passing resemblance to Ghost N Goblins. Playing as a barbarian who uses a chain attack and also throws numerous knifes at the same time, you jump and climb your way through mysterious caves and lands, ridding them of the monsters and three dragons that have taken over. Though it seems like a little overkill, the constant barrage of offensive weapons comes in handy against the threat of enemies all aiming for you, with skeletons leaping from the ground, snakes gripping to vines and boobytrapped treasure chests, the whole world seems against you.
Along with your jumping, slashing and platform antics you need to save frozen dwarfs who will reward you as they see fit, be it with cash or even opening a shop to purchase more weapons and armor. The ability to venture away from the obvious path adds an unexpected element of discovery and is rewarded with plenty of cash and secrets to make you quest to slay the dragons that little easier.
As with many of these retro collections there is an abundance of ways to play each game with options full of screen resolution and image stretchers and flippers to emulate the original screen layout. The in game rewards also grant you some more appealing border art work plus loads of interesting facts and a game track replay function, Capcom have really covered all bases with these re-releases, even adding online two player options and leader boards when the game allows it. A great addition and function that the PS4 has already been lauded over is the ability to save your gameplay and then upload to your YouTube channel, ideal to show of just how you aced a level, or in my case, get killed by the first enemy you come across.
I mentioned earlier the difficulty of Avengers but this applies to all titles, they were originally designed to eat your change so there are plenty of challenges in here, thankfully via the options you can also change the difficulties, change the country of release and also how many credits and continues you can use before the inevitable game over screen.
With titles spanning the 1980's and later including Ghosts N Goblins, Commando, Gun Smoke and 1942, I for one really hope this works and maybe allowing for a similar approach for CAPCOMS 90's arcade releases, here's hoping for Alien vs. Predator (doubtful) and Cadillacs and Dinosaurs.
Words by Ash Buchanan.
(Version Tested: Xbox 360/Xbox LIVE)
- Plenty to unlock
- Faithful recreation of some gaming classics
- Faithful recreation of some gaming classics
- Some games should stay in the past