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Capcom Arcade Cabinet

Platform(s): PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: M2
Release Date: March 20, 2013 (US), March 19, 2013 (EU)


XBLA Review - 'Capcom Arcade Cabinet' Game Pack 3

by Adam Pavlacka on May 30, 2013 @ 1:30 a.m. PDT

Capcom Arcade Cabinet is a collection of 15 classic 8-bit titles transforming your console into your very own customizable, HD '80s arcade.

The third installment of the Capcom Arcade Cabinet offers up original editions of Legendary Wings, Side Arms and Trojan. Assuming you have purchased the base pack (Game Pack 1), you can add these three titles to your collection for 800 MSP ($10 USD).

Since all of the game data is already included in the first pack, downloading Game Pack 3 takes mere seconds. The purchase grabs a key file, and the games are immediately available.

Legendary Wings is the most impressive game in this pack, highlighting some of Capcom's best shooter work. As far as classic arcade games are concerned, this one is a definite winner.

Mixing elements of Greek mythology with a futuristic apocalyptic wasteland, Legendary Wings has you donning angelic wings at the behest of Ares and taking flight to combat Dark, a supercomputer that has gone insane and threatens all of humanity. Released to arcades at the end of 1986, Legendary Wings stood out because of the way it mixed overhead shooting with side-scrolling adventure segments.

The majority of the game consists of overhead shooting, but when you enter a base or a secret area, Legendary Wings switches to a side-scrolling view. Here you make your way on foot, maneuvering left and right, and jumping over obstacles. Character sprites during the side-scrolling segments are large and detailed, which was impressive for the time.

As with most shooters, the challenge is in staying alive. Once you are powered up, it is relatively easy to cut through large swaths of enemies. However, take a single hit, and you respawn with the weakest weapon.

One interesting tidbit to note: In the original Japanese version of Legendary Wings, the player one character is female, while player two is male. In the international version, both player characters are male.

Side Arms is another classic Capcom shooter, offering up large sprites, horizontal and vertical movement as well as a number of upgrades and power-ups. Set in space, Side Arms has you manning a mech in a last-ditch effort to save humanity from an alien invasion.

The "hook" in Side Arms is your ability to fire both left and right. In that respect, it is similar to (and feels like an evolved version of) Section Z, which was one of the featured titles in Game Pack 2. Thankfully, it's not just a retread of Section Z, as Side Arms is a better game all around.

In addition to shooting, Side Arms also incorporates weapon management. Instead of simply picking up a new weapon and automatically equipping it, Side Arms allows the player to switch between any owned weapon on the fly. This quickly becomes important, as the different weapons have different levels of effectiveness, depending on the scenario.

Where Side Arms starts to show its age is in the difficulty curve and boss design. The game is generally well balanced, so long as you don't die. When that happens, expect to lose a few lives in short order, as the invincibility respawn window is very short. The boss design complaint is due to lack of variety. There are two basic forms used throughout the game, plus the final boss. Regardless, it's still a fun game to play.

Sadly, that cannot be said for Trojan, which is the black sheep of Game Pack 3. Most players who know the game are likely to be familiar with the 8-bit NES incarnation. Any fond memories of that version don't apply to the arcade ROM featured here.

Unlike the NES version of Trojan, the arcade release was designed to eat quarters, and that it does (even if they are virtual ones). Enemies are faster than the player character, always have priority when it comes to attacks, and deal large amounts of damage. You have a shield that can block incoming attacks, but your timing has to be perfect. The same is true of your sword. When it connects, it can dish out the damage, but its range is limited. Strike a few pixels too early, and it's a miss.

Trojan is interesting from a historical perspective, especially given Capcom's later side-scrolling beat-'em-ups like Final Fight, but as a game in its own right, it simply isn't that much fun. Yes, this is an arcade collection, and yes, the arcade version of Trojan does look better than the NES version, but when it comes to gameplay, the NES version is the superior one. It's a shame that it wasn't included here.

Just like the games in the first pack, each title in Game Pack 3 features a number of configurable video options, allowing you to adjust the aspect ratio, apply smoothing or emulate CRT scan lines. You also have the option to rotate the screen. Both the original Japanese ROM image and the international ROM image are selectable for each title, so you can choose which version to play. Individual game settings, such as difficulty and number of lives, are also available if you want to tweak the setup.

Casual mode turns down the difficulty and increases the player's power level, making each game a breeze. The hardcore won't use it, but it means non-gamers (and young kids) can get some enjoyment out of the collection.

Other gaming options include a score attack mode, where you compete under specific settings to earn a spot on the leaderboards, and a training mode, which gives you the ability to play specific levels to improve your performance. Both Legendary Wings and Side Arms also offer online co-op play via Xbox Live in addition to local co-op.

Playing through each game multiple times unlocks artwork in the gallery mode. This can be a new background for the overlay or various pieces of advertising and concept art. Replays can also be viewed here, with additional options, such as input display and frame-by-frame playback. Individual screenshots can be uploaded to Facebook, but there is no option to share video.

Finally, there is the sound player, which serves as a jukebox for each game. Think of it as including the entire game soundtrack, with each loop available as a separate track. There is a default playlist for each game that includes all tracks; you also have the ability to create your own playlist. You can mix and match tracks between games (up to 100) when creating a custom playlist.

Capcom Arcade Cabinet - Game Pack 3 is a good choice if you're a shooter fan, as both Legendary Wings and Side Arms are worth owning. Trojan is a bit of a miss, with the title feeling more like filler rather than anything substantial. Like the previous packs, deciding how to purchase the games (individually or in packs) depends on how interested you are in the other titles in the collection. If you want all (or even most) of them, the all-in-one option for 2,000 MSP ($25 USD), which includes Game Packs 2-5, is a much better deal than purchasing all of the add-on games individually.

Score: 7.0/10

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