An arcade with only 4 cabinets?
Nostalgia. It can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Capcom are no strangers to utilising it though, from the Street Fighter remakes on virtually every platform to the use of old 8-bit licences for new games such as Bionic Commando.
Capcom Arcade is nostalgia personified. Boiled down, it's simply a front end for a series of classic Capcom games. But Capcom have tried to make it feel like a real arcade with each game being represented by an arcade machine.
The App itself is free and you get three credits to use each day, giving you three chances to play whichever game you like. If you want to play more then you can buy more credits at 59p for a batch of 10 or choose to buy the game outright for just under £2. Whether this is a good price is really down to how good the emulation is and how much you like the game, but it does seem odd not to differentiate between older, less technical games like Commando and more advanced games like Street Fighter II.
Emulation is the key here and, while there will always be issues with creating what were typically physical button bashing arcade machines for a touch screen device, Capcom have tried to produce a control system that works for each game. While Commando gets a portrait view and space for controls at the bottom, Street Fighter II works in the same way as the recent Street Fighter IV on iPhone and the controls overlay the action.
For the most part the emulation itself does a good job of recreating the original arcade games from the sound and the graphics right through to the feel of the game. The issues, where there are any, are firmly with the controls, particularly where buttons are added for special attacks on Street Fighter II to save multiple button presses. It has been done before but each time these extra controls are tacked on it makes the game a whole lot easier and less desirable for purists.
That said, the games are all still pretty playable. 1942 and Commando being the best and Capcom have told us that more are coming soon. It’s not all good news though. Adverts help Capcom pay for providing the app for free, they’re ugly and sometimes get in the way as well as generally spoiling the effect of the arcade setting. The thing is, because of these ads and Capcom’s move into Freemium you have nothing to lose by trying out the app and finding out if the emulation works for you.
Ultimately, whether you enjoy this App will depend on how thick your rose tinted glasses are and whether you can put up with some changes in control system to take the touch screen into account or stomach the price point for some of the less technical games.
- Sound: 6
- Graphics: 6
- Gameplay: 6
- Longevity: 7
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