I don't think it's too controversial to say that this year's Summer Game Fest presentation wasn't very memorable. Geoff Keighley's show was by no means abysmal, but there were few highlights between a plethora of pointless CG trailers and perhaps too many games set in space.

About halfway through, though, there was an instant reveal of Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium, launching on all major platforms on July 22. The vibrant trailer felt like a brief but welcome change of pace. largely innocuous announcements that preceded it.

As a fan of old Capcom arcade games, most of which I had played through numerous PS2 compilations like the Capcom Classics Collection and Street Fighter Alpha Anthology, the announcement of Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium brought me back to my childhood, where it is I may have also spent a lot of time satisfying my curiosity for old-school arcade games.

But why bother getting excited about a bunch of old arcade games when there are plenty of new games to look forward to? Well, I think the answer to that goes a little deeper than simple childhood nostalgia.

(Image credit: Capcom)

Capcom has released so many compilations in the past few years that your head may be spinning. There was the Capcom Home Arcade console, a rather garish arcade device that came with 16 arcade titles. We also had the Capcom Beat 'Em Up Pack, the upcoming Capcom Fighting Collection, the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, and there's no shortage of Megaman and Megaman X compilations. That's a lot.

And to be fair, it's not like the new Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium is made up of entirely new games for the publisher's compilation efforts. Featured here are the Street Fighter Alpha and Darkstalkers games, both of which have appeared in builds before.

However, the vast majority of the 32 games in the collection have yet to be re-released on modern hardware like PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch. And the inclusion of the phenomenal Saturday Night Slam Masters marks, to my knowledge, the first time Capcom's iconic fighter has seen a release outside of arcades and fourth-gen consoles.

Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium's business model is also very interesting. You can of course buy the full collection which includes all 32 games. Alternatively, you can purchase sets individually. So if you want the Saturday Night Slam Masters, and just the Saturday Night Slam Masters, it's only $3.99 (about $3.29 / AU$5.69) for a single match. It's a great option if you're also planning to buy the Capcom Fighting Collection, as it means you won't have to buy the same games twice.

Collections like this are always a great opportunity to provide the player with a variety of extras and bonus content. At their best, the builds are wrapped in a thematically pleasing aesthetic, sometimes featuring games in fully modeled arcade cabinets.

Not only that, but classic game collections can feature extensive galleries, often with never-before-seen concept art, dev notes, and insightful tidbits. Additionally, many also have common emulator features like save states, rewind buttons, and visual filter options to give you more control over how you play. It's perhaps the closest gaming equivalent to a lavish movie box set, packed with extra goodies for die-hard fans to enjoy.

Mega Man 2: Powerful Fighters

(Image credit: Capcom)

Surely a common thought is: why should I buy all these collections of old games when I could just imitate them? Arcade emulators like Fightcade and MAME can offer near-perfect arcade experiences on PC. Both are great programs, but there are a few caveats to keep in mind.

To begin with, emulators almost always require a PC or laptop to run. They're not necessarily the best gaming PCs on the market, but downloading and setting up emulators is a process that, while second nature to some, may not be as simple a process for the less tech-savvy or those unfamiliar with the systems. emulators in the first place.

Classic game collections are desirable because they do not require such an intermediary. There are a significant number of gamers who would rather not have to deal with the emulation process, and the convenience offered by collections like Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium is ideal if you just want to kick back on the couch or lie in bed and play simple retro titles.

It's the same reason Xbox backwards compatibility, or PS Plus support for older titles, resonates with gamers. Having workable, up-to-date methods for playing older games is wonderful from a preservation perspective (assuming those games' performance is up to scratch, of course, which is unfortunately not a guarantee), and avoids the step of having to rely on on additional software or shelling out money for old hardware.

While I can't say for sure that Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium will be worth every penny, it includes some all-too-familiar names, and not every game featured is a must-have, I think it's another victory for the preservation of accessible gameplay.

Capcom, more than most of its peers, has done well to embrace its past in recent years. Its big franchises continue to do well thanks to games like Monster Hunter Rise, Resident Evil Village, and the upcoming Street Fighter 6. And while we may not be getting a new Darkstalkers or Megaman title any time soon, it's still nice to see the editor shine with a CRT. illuminate its iconic history.

Share This