Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium review: Authentic arcade action comes at a cost

Lawrence Scotti
capcom arcade 2nd stadium

Capcom has released a second collection of arcade games with Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium, delivering a fun and authentic retro experience on modern consoles.

Back in February 2021, gaming giant Capcom released a massive collection of throwback arcade titles with the original Capcom Arcade Stadium.

The compilation of games brought back fan favorites like Final Fight and Ghouls n’ Ghosts. Although the titles satisfied retro gaming enthusiasts, there were still tons of deeper cuts from the bygone era that older gamers wamnted to see make a return.

Capcom has heard those cries from fans and has now put out a follow-up collection of arcade titles that put the spotlight on lesser-known names.

Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium: Key Details

  • Developer: Capcom
  • Price: $39.99, or $3.99 per title
  • Release Date: July 22, 2022
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

Enter the arcade

Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium isn’t satisfied with just delivering up-resed versions of vintage arcade titles. The menu and game selection system are all centered around being in an actual arcade, and it works wonderfully.

The bright neon lights of the home screen and the act of actually inserting coins into each arcade cabinet are a nice touch and add enough flare to make players see how much care was put into this collection.

What also helps makes the game shine from the get-go is the incredible amount of customization options in the Display Settings — players have the freedom to play from the viewpoint of an actual arcade machine, or to make the game fit your full-size TV or monitor. While it seems more efficient to play games in the full-screen mode, I ended up playing from the cabinet viewpoint way more than I believed I would, a testament to how sleek the design is.

Games, games, games

While the ports of these classic games are clearly treated with care, the most important thing about this collection are the exact titles that were chosen.

In total, there are 32 arcade games that made the cut. Here are all of the games available in Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium:

  • 1943 Kai
  • Block Block
  • The King of Dragons
  • Knights of the Round
  • Magic Sword
  • Vampire Savior: The Lord of Vampire
  • Avenger
  • Black Tiger
  • Capcom Sports Club
  • Chariot: Adventure through the Sky
  • Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors
  • Eco Fighters
  • Exed Exes
  • Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition
  • Last Duel
  • Mega Man: The Power Battle
  • Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters
  • Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge
  • Pnickies
  • Rally 2011: LED STORM
  • Saturday Night Slam Masters
  • Side Arms: Hyper Dyne
  • Street Fighter
  • Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors’ Dreams
  • Street Fighter Alpha 2
  • Street Fighter Alpha 3
  • Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
  • The Speed Rumbler
  • Tiger Road

Since the original Capcom Arcade Stadium brought back so many of the popular titles, this allowed the company to get some deeper cuts the second time around. Some of the more notable hidden gems that shine here are Black Tiger, Saturday Night Slam Masters, and Capcom Sports Club.

Capcom Sports Club offers up arcade fun for three different sports packed into one game: soccer, basketball, and tennis. As a sucker for any sports arcade title, this one is exceptional.

Of this list, one soaked up much of my time. Eco Fighters is a gorgeous horizontal shooter where the players control a ship with a rotating gun, blasting away machines and protecting the environment. I cannot believe how incredible the backgrounds are, and the level of detail on the models, both big and small, make them a delight to destroy.

Another of my favorites is Rally 2011: LED STORM, a vertical racing game from 1989. Players control a vehicle that transforms between a bike and a car, ripping through various levels by leaping through the air and eliminating fellow racers by knocking them off the track or bouncing on their heads.

The strangest part about the games chosen for the 2nd Stadium is the high amount of Street Fighter and Darkstalkers selections, many of which are available in the Capcom Fighting Collection which launched on June 23, 2022. With so much crossover between collections, it’s hard to understand why the publisher would pack so many games into 2nd Stadium when Capcom just released a similar bundle just a month ago.

black tiger
Black Tiger is a classic arcade game brought back in Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium.

Unfortunately, there is no online co-op available for 2nd Stadium. In the modern gaming landscape where nearly everything includes online play, this is a massive sore spot. The sad part is that so many of these games would’ve been perfect to play through with a buddy.

Capcom making each of the games within 2nd Stadium available for stand-alone purchase makes the retail price of $39.99 seem steep. If you are a die-hard arcade or Capcom fan, then that price probably won’t bother you much.

Verdict – 7/10

For those who merely dabble in arcade classics, then the way to go may be to hand-pick the games you want to play and checkout with a cheaper cart in hand. There are some real highlights in this collection that would be a shame to miss out on for a gamer of any flavor.

Reviewed on PS5

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