STAFF REVIEW of Capcom Arcade Cabinet (Xbox 360 Arcade)

Monday, March 4, 2013.
by Brent Roberts

Capcom Arcade Cabinet Box art If you're reading this and you consider the original Xbox an antique and you wonder to yourself "What exactly, is an arcade?" then what you're about to read may astonish you. Back in the day there wasn't facespace or mybook or gitter or toogle, instead there were arcades. Areas that was local around your city where masses gathered and not only gamed together but socialized together. Instead of spending money for digital content on a facespace game, gamers poured small fortunes of quarters over and over again until closing time. This "Golden Age" of gaming resulted in some of the most iconic games we have ever played and could easily be considered the foundation of the games we know and play today. Many companies tried their best to bring gaming to a whole new world and without question Capcom could be considered one of the best.

To bring this classic feel to life, Capcom has attempted to deliver some of these amazing games to us in a virtual arcade cabinet form. The setup is fairly straight forward but the amount of content provided is absolutely staggering. For starters, Capcom is offering a triple pack of games for 400 MS points. This could be looked at as the "starter pack" for the arcade. The virtual cabinet you access should be considered more of a portal where you can scroll through the onscreen games list, select the game you want and whisk yourself away to days of big hair bands, spandex, and leg warmers of the mid to late 1980's. This however isn't just a one trick pony ride. Included in the first pack of games that you get for your initial 400 MS points are: Black Tiger, Avengers (no not those Avengers), and 1943: The Battle of Midway. While the first two may be unknown to some of the gaming community, 1943 becomes the "one you know" game to play. This gives you the feeling of going to a concert hoping to hear one song, then finally you hear it and all is right with the world again.

Capcom isn't stopping there thankfully as there will be additional games introduced between now and May 21. These packs will cost 800 MS points each but if there is only one or two games you want, then Capcom is allowing you to purchase each game individually for 320 MS points. In total there will be 15 games released and if you pick up all the other games, then Capcom will give you a bonus game pack of two games to be named latter so ultimately you will end up with a total of 17 brilliant arcade games! Some of the other games to be released that could be considered must haves are: Ghosts n Goblins, 1942, Section Z, Commando and more. After the dust has settled and the magic day of May 21 arrives, you will be able to purchase a complete arcade package for the price of 2000 MS points. While that sounds like a big price, this game actually becomes cheaper if you pursue this option and that to us doesn't provide any reason to purchase these when they release. Here's what we mean. There are a total of five game packs and outside the initial starter pack for 400 MS points, each is priced at 800 MS points, so for you to purchase everything is 3,800 MS points. According to Capcom though, if you wait until May 21 then you get everything including the bonus games for only 2,000 MS points. So let me repeat that, you get everything for 1,800 MS points less than you would if you were to buy all the packs when they release. This right here folks is the find of a lifetime.

Yes these are the original games that brought us years of enjoyment back in the day, however, Capcom has allowed us to configure the play, difficulty, screen size, and more of each and every single game released. While achievements won't be earned in most of these more casual game modes, these do offer you the chance to enjoy a game that may have haunted you before with failure in the past without having to worry about breaking your controller or swearing like a sailor at the screen. One beauty of these games that we miss in some of today's titles is the simplistic ease of use controls. No messy camera angles only you, your game, and the challenge that waited ahead. True we won't get to see realistic lighting and shadow effects that resemble reality or character facial expressions that are so lifelike we could swear we were looking into a mirror. Instead we are given 8-Bit greatness. Graphics from a time where artists had to become magicians with squares and still managed to surprise us for many years to come.

So now the big question, is the Capcom Arcade Cabinet worth the MS points? Well the honest answer is both yes and no. If you enjoy going back in time to a "Golden Age" of gaming, then yes, without question you should pick it up and enjoy every moment of it. However, if you only want a couple of the games, then picking them up individually is more suited for you instead of the massive 800 MS point game packs, but if you want all the games and all the content, then wait until May 21 and pick everything up for 2000 MS points. Thank you Capcom for giving a vast majority of gamers their childhood dreams back.

Overall: 7.3 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 5.5 / 10
Sound: 7.0 / 10


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