Capcom Arcade Cabinet is a game that intends to bring a string of Capcom’s early hits to us on the home consoles. They are doing so by releasing the games in packs. the Packs will be staggered, with the last pack releasing on May 21st tentatively. Below we will be taking a look at the initial launch of the Cabinet, and the first three games. The three games we will be visiting are 1943: Battle for the Midway, Avengers (no, not that Avengers), and Black Tiger. These are the three games that launched on Xbox Live with the cabinet app. We will take a look at all three games individually, then briefly at the end we’ll touch on the overall value of the pack. Let’s get right to it, shall we?
1943: Battle for the Midway
Believe it or not, this is the only game from the initial release that I had played before. Come to think of it, this is the only game in the initial batch that I am even familiar with. I remember playing this game ad nauseum on the old NES. This game being the arcade version, is slightly different from what I remember on the NES. I remember the NES version having some permanent upgrades that were available for your plane as the game went on. For the arcade version, which I had never played, the upgrades were not permanent, and were given with a limited amount of time to use them.
Aside from that, things are pretty much how I remember them. The gameplay is still highly addictive, and very fun. the only thing that improved the gameplay for me was having a friend grab the second controller, and jump into the game with me. What’s better than one person playing 1943? You guessed it, two people playing. Grabbing a friend also seems to take a bit of the edge off the difficulty of some of the later levels, they can be a bit overwhelming with all of the enemy planes flying at you(You can turn down the difficulty to casual play, but achievement hunters beware: you cannot garner achievements on casual play).
The look and feel of the game has been pretty faithfully reproduced, everything looks and feels exactly as you will remember it. The sound is a bit of a throwback as well. From my memory, all the sounds are recreated fairly well. The subtle difference in the sound your gun makes depending on which weapon type you have active at the moment. All of the bells and whistles being faithfully recreated makes this a good port of the old arcade game.
Here is a game, that I had not ever even heard of prior to this compilation. It was never in my local arcade (man, I sure miss arcades), and not even in any of the eateries around town. Not having had any experience with this game in the past, I can’t really do a comparison to the old arcade game. Instead we will just take a look at the game, and give merit based on what it was intended to be at the time of release.
Avengers is a top down beat-em-up game, and very basic in nature, and also has a suprisingly similar story to another certainly more popular, and better looking beat-em-up game from the same year *cough* Double Dragon *cough*. The game takes place in a city called Paradise City. A villain known as Geshita has kidnapped 6 girls, and it is up to you to get them back.
In order to do so, players are equipped with the ability to punch, kick, or deliver a roundhouse kick. Throughout the level there are things to break that will occasionally offer a power up for your player, but the boost they offer is negligible, so don’t expect anything huge out of them. The game does offer plenty of baddies up for you to serve your Roadhouse style ass-whoopin’ to, they vary from easy to take down, to nearly impossible to catch unless they happen to hop right in front of you. That can be a bit frustrating at times.
Looks wise and sound wise, it seem s as if they have recaptured the game, having never played the game myself, I can only go off of images and video’s found on the internet. Though the gameplay itself leaves something to be desired. I understand that we are basically looking at the same sort of top down view, enemies swarming game as 1943, but it doesn’t translate well to this particular game.
Black Tiger is a side scrolling action-platforming game game, that is very reminiscent of Castlevania. You work your way through areas, saving little old men who have been turned to stone, and fighting a whole host of creepy dungeon crawling enemies. Not surprisingly, this is another game that I had not even heard of before this collection. I don’t want to call it an obscure title, because there is every chance it just didn’t make it to small town Iowa, but this is my first go round with this game.
The game, as I said in the opening paragraph, a side scrolling game in the vein of Castelvania, or Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts. It has more platforming than Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts, but not as much exploration, it seems, as Castlevania. You make your way, as you do, you will find these old men turned to stone. By freeing them you will be treated to rewards. Some will offer more time for the level, others offer money. Occasionally, you will save an old man that is a shop keep. He will give you the opportunity to purchase upgrades for your weapons and your armor. Doing so is important, as the enemies can be overwhelming, and even a bit cheap at times.
One interesting thing I noticed here is that this may be the game that got Capcom started on leaving the hero in his underwear. Something that was made a bit more hilarious and famous in a future title by Capcom, the aforementioned Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts. Anyways, you fight your way through dungeon after dungeon, and eventually you will challenge one of the dragon bosses. There is no real pattern here, just attack and avoid being hit.
The game looks okay, the visuals aren’t quite as crisp as they could have been, but the game was originally released in 1987, so that is most definitely forgivable. There are plenty of variety of enemies to face here, which is a nice surprise after the mundane looking enemies in Avengers.
All in all, this first set of games from the Capcom Arcade Cabinet is a good start. 1943 alone is worht it for me, I have many fond memories of that game. Check this out if you are looking for a bit of nostalgia. The games are faithfully recreated, and I believe you have the ability to purchase the games in a pack, or individually, which is a nice option.