Now almost absent from the American landscape, arcades filled our desire for interactive entertainment before home consoles became commonplace. As these dimly lit gathering halls started disappearing, so did a lot of classic games that were never available outside of the arcade. Capcom Arcade Cabinet is a platform for bringing some of those treasures home. If the first pack is any indication, fans are in for a treat.
Arcade Cabinet is a central hub containing all of the games, which are being released in packs of three. The first group includes overhead military plane shooter 1943, the side-scrolling, Castlevania-ish Black Tiger, and the top-down brawler Avengers. All three games include the original and Japanese ROMS, as well as a brief history of the title.
In addition to the original mode, each has training, casual and score attack modes, the latter with Xbox LIVE leaderboards. They also support the ability to record play sessions and save the replays for later viewing, and upload screen shots to Facebook. Each game also includes access to the original arcade machine DIPswitch settings, allowing you to change the difficulty, number of lives and other options. If you’re a real arcade purist, you can even set it up so you have to enter credits with the left trigger before you can continue.
In addition to the game play settings, there are a host of sound and graphical options as well. All of the titles look, play and sound great, although enemy fire in 1943 can be hard to see because the vertical viewing area only takes up about 1/3 of the TV space. Among the graphical options is the ability to widen the view, but that just ends up cropping the top and bottom. It isn’t a great solution. If you have a modular screen (or don’t mind playing on your side), you can rotate the display, to take full advantage of your nice HDTV.
The option to record play sessions is a nice feature, but it’s too bad that sharing is limited to still images. It feels like a little bit of a tease to be able to record your skills, and not be able to share them with anyone who isn’t sitting next to you on the couch. Another minor complaint is the download size, which weighs in at 1.2 GB, presumably including all of the future releases as well. For most people it won’t matter, but it’s clearly more space than these three games require, and potentially problematic for those with limited storage capacity.
Capcom Arcade Cabinet Pack 1 brought back memories of playing 1943 in the arcade, and gave me a chance to try Black Tiger and Avengers for the first time. Arcade games are, by nature, quarter munchers, and it’s nice to be able to tackle them with an unlimited supply. The Arcade Cabinet platform adds some nice options and extras to each game, and allows players to tailor the experience to their skill level. For the cost ($4.99), it’s a bargain and an opportunity to add some classic arcade games to your collection.
Review copy of game provided by publisher. Primary play on Xbox 360.