Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium review: An amazing collection of arcade-perfect classics
As a child of the 80s, I loved the arcade scene. So, I was delighted to see Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium come to life. It’s a collection of arcade-perfect titles, recreated and collected into one place.
Players can adjust the difficulty, have unlimited tokens, and can even get an invincibility mode. The games can be as easy or hard as the player wants, and even has some challenge modes to allow leaderboard competition.
However, if I could nitpick about one or two things, I would highlight the lack of certain Capcom games, and that there are no online co-op/versus modes. The ability to play Magic Sword or Saturday Night Slam Masters online would be a seriously amazing feature. Even with these negatives, this is an incredible offering from Capcom.
Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium packs a ton of classic arcade titles in one place
Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium, another collection of incredible arcade games, comes hot on the heels of Capcom Fighting Collection. This is a sequel to the original Capcom Arcade Stadium, which had its own list of games.
There isn't much overlap between this and the previous Capcom Arcade collection. There is also some overlap in the recent Capcom Fighting Collection, though, which makes me think there could have been other games put in those spots instead. Even with those decisions, there’s a ton of amazing titles in this collection for players to pick up.
I love that there are some Japanese-only games on this list, and players can select between the JP and ENG ROM boards if they so desire. Exactly what games are on this list though? Just look below.
Capcom classics in this collection
- 1943 Kai
- Black Tiger
- Block Block
- Capcom Sports Club
- Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors*
- Eco Fighters
- Gan Sumoku (GunSmoke)
- Hissatsu Buraiken (Avengers)
- Hyper Dyne Side Arms
- Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition*
- Knights of the Round
- Last Duel
- Magic Sword
- Mega Man: The Power Battle
- Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters
- Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge*
- Rally 2011 LED Storm
- Saturday Night Slam Masters
- Savage Bees (Exed Exes)
- Street Fighter
- Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors’ Dreams
- Street Fighter Alpha 2
- Street Fighter Alpha 3
- Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix*
- Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo*
- The King of Dragons
- The Speed Rumbler (Rush & Crash)
- Three Wonders
- Tiger Road
- Vampire Savior*
Games with asterisks by them are present in Capcom Fighting Collection. So, as you can see, there’s a fair amount of overlap. That doesn’t make the collection worse by any stretch, but I do wonder if there were other choices that could have been made. But how is the gameplay in Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium?
The gameplay in Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium is exceptional
I have spent the past week playing almost just this collection of games. Some of my all-time favorite arcade titles are now in one place, so I can play them whenever I want. Whether I used a PS5 controller or my Razer EVO Panthera Pro arcade stick, both were quick and easy to dive right into the experience.
One of the few frustrations I had were the fast-forward/rewind buttons that the games offered. More often than not, I’d hit those instead of a button in Street Fighter Alpha 3, but thankfully you can just remove them from your button setup.
I love that players can add their favorites to a list in Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium, and that the titles can also be sorted by genre. Upon loading the game, there is a line of arcade cabinets, each showing their game’s demo.
When a player loads a title, they can see the other arcade cabinets playing — thereby creating some great immersion. It felt like being in a real arcade again.
However, if the screen is too small, there are several adjustments that can be made to the screen — from size to filters. It’s easy to find settings for the game that are agreeable for the player.
They don’t have to worry about tokens either, because there is an infinite amount of them! They can also adjust the difficulty if the default arcade experience is too hard. There’s nothing wrong with adjusting the difficulty, either.
Other game modes exist besides the standard gameplay
If you are feeling competitive, there are also score attack and challenge modes in Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium that judge the player by how many points they score or how far they get in a game.
In particular, I tried the one-coin challenge for Street Fighter Alpha 3 to see how far I could get. I enjoyed being able to challenge myself in these classic games.
The action in in Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium was just as difficult and enjoyable as it was in my youth. From The King of Dragons to Magic Sword, I loved playing so many of these titles. Quite a few of them were ones that I dumped tons of quarters into as a kid, so being able to play them for free is quite nice.
Local co-op is available, but not online co-op, unfortunately
The gameplay is great, that’s no doubt. Each game in Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium is perfectly emulated, and I did not notice a single bit of input lag.
Players can enjoy local co-op/competitive matches, but perhaps the biggest misstep in my eyes is a lack of online co-op. The only thing that could take this further for me is to play Street Fighter Alpha 3 or Mega Man: The Power Battle with my friends online.
I have people to play locally with, but it’s just not enough for me. Perhaps that’s nit-picking, but I hope that’s a change that comes to the game in a future update. At least, players can use the challenge modes to climb a leaderboard, to show off just who is the best at the Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium's titles.
These games look and sound exactly how I remember them from my youth. On a personal level, some of them are much better than others, but I loved playing each one of them. Some titles certainly have a greater appeal to me personally, but this collection has something for everyone.
Sports, fighting, beat ‘em ups, shoot ‘em ups, you name it, Capcom has you covered. Since the games have not been updated, Gunsmoke's clunky controls still exist, and Magic Sword’s weird hitbox for unlocking doors is also still around.
But the good stuff is still here too. Having the whole Street Fighter Alpha trilogy in one place, in perfect arcade form? That’s worth the price of admission for me.
Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium
Reviewed On: PlayStation 5 (Code provided by Capcom)
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC
Release Date: July 22, 2022