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[PSN Review] CAPCOM Arcade Cabinet - 1984 Pack

Capcom’s pedigree arcade games are back! Take on players from around the world in ‘score attack’ and even play together with online co-op! (Only for titles that support this feature.) Check out these classic games, now loaded with a ‘casual mode’ geared towards newcomers and other new features. Play the full game of ‘Black Dragon’ for free!

Remember all the fun you used to have at the Arcades when you were young? All the great games such as Ghost and Goblins, 1943 or Gunsmoke? Well, CAPCOM definitely remembers, and they’ve decided to give us a chance to enjoy their Arcade releases from the comfort of your homes! CAPCOM Arcade Cabinet is a platform with an idea similar to Zen Pinball 2: download the free demo of the game to have access to trial versions of the games before you decide to buy them.

The platform has been created with great care to detail, and you’ll be able to play the games just the way you want to. You can change the aspect ratio, add scanlines, apply a smooth filter to blend pixels, and even flip the display so that you can move your TV to a vertical position to enjoy an experience that is as close to a real arcade as you can get without buying one! You can also access a virtual Dip Switch set to change the difficulty, life count and several other settings, just like arcade operators used to do back in the day to suck down your quarters. To make it even more interesting, you can enjoy either local or online multiplayer to make the most of your purchase, and you can upload your highscores to the online leaderboards to show everyone how good you really are. And for those of you that had a hard time beating the games at the arcades, there is now a casual mode for ALL games in the collection and this mode adds new tweaks and twists that allow even the most inexperienced player to have a good time.

But wait, there is more! All games in this collection feature unlockable bonuses that you can trigger by completing specific levels or even the full game, playing for a long time, or by unlocking the PSN trophies for each game. These rewards go from the original arcade flyers or the art used in the actual arcade cabinet to the audio tracks for each game or even a special piece of bonus art created for this collection. If you think your really THAT good at a game, you can even upload replays directly to YouTube (which is a PS3 exclusive feature) so that others can comment on your skills.

Each game will be priced at $3.99 by itself, or at a special price in a bundle. The bundle lets you save $2 for every 3 game pack, and $3 for the first pack that includes 1943 and Avengers and unlocks the Black Tiger trophies. Here is a list of the packs and their tentative release dates:

Game Pack 1 – Available February 19/20 for $4.99
-Black Tiger
-1943: Battle of Midway

Game Pack 2 – Available March 5/6 for $9.99
-Ghosts ‘n Goblins
-Section Z

Game Pack 3 – Available March 19/20 for $9.99
-Side Arms
-Legendary Wings

Game Pack 4 – Available April 2/3 for $9.99
-The Speed Rumbler
-Exed Exes (Savage Bees)

Game Pack 5 – Available April 16/17 for $9.99
-Pirate Ship Higemaru


The final Game Pack for CAPCOM Arcade Cabinet has finally been released, and now those of you that bought all other games can enjoy a complete collection. The 1984 Pack includes 1942, SonSon and Pirate Ship Higemaru, each one with its own quirks, highs and lows.

1942 is the prequel to 1943, a game I talked about when I reviewed the 1987 Pack, and it puts you in the shoes of a World War II pilot that is tasked with destroying the entire Japanese air fleet. Unlike 1943, there aren’t many power ups you can pick during your flight, and a single hit will put a stop to your aspirations. That’s right, one hit, and you’re dead. This is how it used to be in 1984, and it is the rule that is constant in all 3 games in the 1984 Pack. You will travel through 32 levels in total before you come face to face with Ayako: a bad, bad plane modeled after the Nakajima G8N, a heavy bomber used in World War II (for you history buffs out there).

SonSon is loosely based on the classic “Journey to the West” tale, and it brings a bit of culture into a fun co-op game. You control either SonSon or Tonton in their quest to save their friends after they were kidnapped by evil forces. Oh, and SonSon is a monkey and TonTon is a pig. The main premise is a classic, and it is still used as a storytelling tool in many recent games. The game itself is a 2D sidescroller in which the screen automatically moves forward, and you must quickly react and evade or destroy the huge number of enemies thrown your way. There are six platforms on screen, and you can quickly jump from one to another to escape from enemies or to grab food which increases your score and brings you closer to obtaining extra lives. If you collect a lot of small food, bigger food that is worth more points will start to appear all over the screen and, if you grab enough pieces of said big food, you will unlock a Pow that turns every enemy on screen into more big food!

In Pirate Ship Higemaru, we control Momotaro, a poor sailor that must get rid of all the pirates that are out to plunder the ship. Surely this intrepid sailor has something to defend himself and attack the pirates, right? Why, of course he does… Momotaro has barrels! No, no, you read that right. You lift barrels and then throw them to run over the pirates, and that is what you do in every single level in the game. Once you defeat all pirates, you’ll move into a harder level with faster enemies and a different layout for the barrels, and things are mixed up a bit by introducing levels with a huge potential for increasing your score since they feature only pirate captains instead of regular pirates. You see, every normal level has one pirate captain that is smarter and faster than the regular pirates, and defeating said captain will only work for a set amount of time since he will recover and once again roam the screen until you can defeat his crew.

The last Game Pack for CAPCOM Arcade Cabinet brings us the first set of games that the company released for arcades in the US back in 1984, and it serves as a nice way to bookend the whole package by coming full circle. Hopefully we get a CAPCOM Arcade Cabinet 2 because there are dozens of their releases that I’d love to see get the same treatment.

[review score=”80″ pros=”Solid ports for this collection.” cons=”Two of the games have no continues, which might frustrate some people.”]


This review is based on a PS3 copy of the 1984 Pack for CAPCOM Arcade Cabinet provided by CAPCOM.