Capcom Home Arcade Review
Reviewed on Retro
I spent many of my youthful hours in the arcades. There was something great about standing side by side against your opponent and using the big chunky controls to pummel each other to death. Unfortunately, it seems arcades have virtually died out and gaming is done over the internet on home consoles these days. It is sad really, playing in arcades was something special.
Riding on the wave of mini classic home consoles such as the SNES mini, Mega Drive mini and other miniature classic consoles, Capcom and Koch Media have released the Capcom Home Arcade. Featuring 16 classic arcade games from Capcom's back catalogue, this impressive piece of hardware tries to conquer both the mini home console market and also quell our love for that classic arcade feeling.
Let's get one thing straight, this thing is massive. When I picked it up I was in awe of the size of the beast, it is one massive chunk of classic arcade goodness. It comes in a big, well-made box emblazoned with Capcom logos and a big picture of the hardware on the front. It looks nice and is very well presented.
Inside there are foam protectors to make sure the arcade sticks and buttons take no damage in transit. Included in the package are the arcade system itself, USB charger, USB cable and an HDMI cable. I would have liked the cables to be a tad longer but they are adequate enough so you can sit far enough back from your screen. Its all packed in nicely and protected well enough.
First things first, this thing feels lovely. From its weight, its size and its glossy top to its clicky controls and rubbery bottom, it is a very well made piece of kit. It's absolutely beautiful. The system is designed to be played by two players side by side like the arcades of old and it does feel great to be playing classic games next to a friend, or one of your children. It is nice for gaming to go back to its roots and go side by side, fighting against your foes.
Setting the system up was a breeze. It's clean, simple and very easy. You plug the system into the TV via an HDMI cable, plug it into a power source and turn it on, It could not be simpler. You are then free to play the system how you like, I played mostly with it on my lap, with another player next to me but you could easily mount it, play it on a table or lie on the floor with it. The system is very light for its size.
The controls are made up a pair of competition class Sanwa JLF-TP-8YT sticks with 8-way GT-Y directional gates and two sets of OBSF buttons. As soon as I started playing you can tell the quality of the control systems, they have that satisfying click that you only get when playing with arcade sticks and they feel great. I loved the feel of playing games with this form factor, it was satisfying and definitely took me back to the arcades of my youth.
As I stated earlier, 16 of Capcom's classic arcade titles are included in the package. Included are 1944: The Loop Master, Alien Vs. Predator, Armored Warriors, Capcom Sports Club, Captain Commando, Cyberbots: Full Metal Madness, Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors, Eco Fighters, Final Fight, Ghouls 'N Ghosts, Giga Wing, Mega Man: The Power Battle, Progear, Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting Edition, Strider and Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo.
I will not go into the software line-up too much, reviews of the games can be looked up online, in fact, most people have played these games already, they are classics after all. What I will say is that Progear and Alien Vs Predator have never been available domestically before and it was nice for Capcom to include these niche titles. I do feel, even though the game selection is great, I would have liked more games on a system retailing for about £200. Especially when you compare it to other mini consoles on the market that have a lot more games on them.
Another nice, if an underused feature is the consoles network connectivity. You can connect your Capcom Home Arcade to your WIFI network and update its software or upload your scores to global leaderboards. I do think Capcom would have made a killing if they offered more games to buy and play. They might in the future but I severely doubt it.
The games you get run at 1080p and look absolutely lovely on modern flat-screen TV panels. You can even select the output to be 4:3 and look like the original versions of the arcade games. To be fair though, they looked great, even when stretched to a widescreen aspect ratio. The 16 pre-installed games are from the original Capcom CPS1 and CPS2 arcade ROMs with emulation provided by CPS emulation developer Barry Harris. All the games play great and feel authentic. A very good job has been done with the emulation.
I did have a small issue using the Capcom Home Arcade. I did not like the way the system rebooted every time I wanted to change the game I was playing. It is only a minor gripe but it was irksome when your boys wanted to change the game they played every 13 seconds. Just a boot back to the game selection screen would be better, like other home mini consoles. I will say one thing though, it was very snappy and I could go in and out of games very quickly.
I had also read online about some audio lag and slight stuttering but this is easily fixed with an update and a factory reset. Luckily, my review unit was up to date, software version 1.3 and I had no such issues. I think if anyone buys one now they will have no issues either as the unit should be up to date. If not it is easily fixed, the menu system is very simple and intuitive.
Other than that it was a pure joy to play, I loved enjoying arcade classics of old with my boys. Sat side by side thrashing them at Street Fighter like me and my friends used to at the arcades. Listening to the satisfying clicking of the arcade sticks, listening to the laughing of pure joy and wonderment. It brings gamers back together, to play together and have fun together.
- Great feeling arcade controls.
- Nice selection of games, including some unseen on home consoles.
- Great emulation and a true arcade feeling at home.
- Brings people together to play classic games.
- The system is quite expensive.
- I would have liked more games, even a store to buy more over the internet would have sufficed.