The third expansion to Capcom’s Arcade Cabinet platform (original review here) adds three more games from 1985 to the collection. Aside from changing the naming scheme somewhat, 1985 Pack 2 doesn’t really add a whole lot of variety. Savage Bees, Commando and The Speed Rumbler are all similar, both amongst themselves and others in the collection. For fans of these specific titles it’s a solid collection, but most others will want to pass.
Savage Bees is a vertical scrolling shooter where the player pilots a spacecraft fighting off hordes of insectoid creatures. If it sounds a lot like 1943 that’s because it is, only it’s not as much fun to play. With limited upgrades and music that could drive someone mad, it’s bland in comparison to other games of its type already available on the platform.
Commando is vertical scrolling shoot-em-up. Players take control of Super Joe as he fights his way through waves of enemies in an attempt to rescue captured comrades. The game changes things up a little with enemies that hide behind cover (and grenades to take them out), but is otherwise the same style of game that has appeared a few times already.
The Speed Rumbler is yet another vertical scroller, this time putting Super Joe behind the wheel of a car, taking out terrorists and rescuing hostages. As the car is hit by enemy fire or takes other damage the health meter goes down, until eventually it is destroyed and Joe must fight on foot until he finds another ride. It’s a welcome change from the “one shot and you’re dead” mechanic of the other two games, but the handling is so loose that it kills the fun. I’m sure it’s a faithful recreation of the arcade, but it’s one that doesn’t translate well into modern times.
Up until now, The Capcom Arcade Cabinet packs have included a nice variety of titles, and it’s been fun watching the arcade progress as a medium. This time around, the variety is mostly gone, and the experiences are very similar to, if not inferior to, ones already available. As always with classic games, those who have fond memories of these specific entries will still enjoy them. For anyone else though, there are better options within Capcom’s arcade library.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.