Game Review: Capcom Arcade Cabinet: Pack 1
QUITE often as I play games of today I think back of the times I used to ask for my pocket money early from my mum so that I could go to our local arcade with my friends.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that Capcom developed the best arcade games and so to celebrate their 30 years anniversary, they have developed Capcom Arcade Cabinet for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Capcom plan to release a total of 15 classic arcade games that helped them gain the popularity they have today in packs of 3 over PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade. This review is based on the first game pack containing coin-op classics Black Tiger, 1943: The Battle of Midway and Avengers.
Coin-ops of the 80s didn’t have much of a story as they focused on pure gameplay to captivate audiences but will try to explain them as they just merely acted as some reason to play. Black Tiger sees a world in utter chaos caused by unimaginable black magic, then from the suffering rises a hero to battle this mystical destructive force.
The story of Black Tiger is only told through the animated intro and ending and is a traditional world-in-chaos/chosen-one-must-save-us. It would have been nice for occasional screenshot to carry the story right through the game but this is non-existent. 1943 is a kind of loose re-enactment of the Battle of Midway which happened during World War 2 and Avengers is not our favourite team of super heroes kicking backsides left, right and centre as you may think, its actually just a generic martial arts guy, busting into a Japanese town to kick the backsides of all of the thugs that have terrorised it.
The stories of 1943 and Avengers are scarce and only act as a backdrop for the gameplay. There are no intros or cut scenes but let’s not forget these games were fresh in the 1980’s so hardware was limited.
All three games are completely different to one another, 1943: The Battle of Midway is a top down vertical scrolling shoot-em-up with players controlling fighter planes specific to the WW2 era shooting anything that comes towards you and blowing things up.
Black Tiger takes the form of a side scrolling platformer with a degree of combat thrown in. The players’ character only has 2 abilities, jump and attack which utilizes the heroes’ morning star which also fires a trio of daggers which all plays similar to Rygar.
Avengers is a vertical scrolling beat-em-up with player controlling a generic male character that is meant to represent a martial arts expert due to his abilities. They are extremely limited unfortunately, no combo’s, special moves, finishers, none of that…..just a punch button and a kick button. That is it, almost zero depth but ten out of ten for creativity seen as though games developers were only just finding their feet with regards to what they can conjure up, but we soon learned that vertical scrolling shmups and side scrolling platformers work, vertical scrolling bmups don’t.
Out of the entire Capcom library that they could have started with, these three games are not the best. Saying this, 1943: The Battle of Midway is by far the best of the three and the most successful, however the other 2 games flopped. This was mainly due to the cheapness of them.
Rygar **ahem** Black Tiger consists of endless unavoidable traps and cheaply placed enemies and an easily avoidable attack and Avengers has awful graphics, unresponsive controls and endless waves of enemies that love to hug you which you can’t escape.
Speaking of graphics, Black Tiger is quite impressive for an 80’s title resembling something from the come to be successful platform Super Nintendo. Avengers is downright awful, with characters moving like zombified wardrobes and then there’s 1943: The Battle of Midway which is equally as impressive as Black Tiger with its assortment of well-designed levels and enemies.
Capcom has chosen three partially forgettable titles to kick off its collection of arcade titles to mark its 30th anniversary, we can forgive them as it spans the late 80’s time scale which we know is the era developers were finding their feet.
1943: The Battle of Midway is the best of the bunch and shows us why it spanned many ports over countless consoles however Black Tiger is visually impressive for its time but cheap and Avengers is just plain terrible. Let us hope Capcom redeems itself by serving us some of its better known and better designed games.
Capcom Arcade Cabinet: Pack 1
Release Date: 19th February 2013
Story – 1/5
Gameplay – 3/5
Graphics – 3/5
Overall – 2.5/5