If one thing is for certain with Capcom, it's that it's a company that truly cherishes its classic arcade history. It's been around for years now, producing a number of hits like Street Fighter II, Final Fight and countless others. And if you somehow missed out on their previous collections for PS2, Xbox and the PSP, relax – Capcom Arcade Cabinet will give you an all new reason to indulge, starting next week.
This collection features 15 classics that will be released over the next few weeks, with two additional games joining at the end if you manage to buy all of them separately or in one flail swoop in May. A lot of these games will instantly bring back memories from playing in the arcade, as they're perfect renditions of said classics, right down to the leaderboards. Some games are rather forgettable – what are SonSon and Pirate Ship Higemaru doing here in place of King of Dragons?! – but there's no question the value these games bring.
For our strategic preview, we've decided to look at some of the better games in the collection, and provide some words of advice when it comes to beating them. Obviously, having enough virtual credits on hand to keep coming back is a novel idea (here's hoping a "free play" option is included), but these tips should help you out as well.
Let's start with the first Game Pack, (due February 19th) which includes…
Black Tiger – this side-scrolling action game features a nifty hero that can launch a chained weapon and knives at enemies who get in his way. Our best advice for this one is to not charge forward too quickly when battling enemies, as you can easily lose some of your armor or, worse yet, get hit by a poison flower that pops up. Strike hard, strike often, and, when you're clear, then get moving.
Avengers – a top-down beat-em-up for up to two players. The punches work all right, but the best move in your arsenal is the kick. By pressing the kick button and moving the joystick around, you can actually perform an effective spin kick. Keep that in mind when you're surrounded.
1943: Battle of Midway – a remarkable top-down shooter, this sequel to 1942 comes with a series of power-ups that are unique, and you'll need them all to survive boss encounters. You have a wave/lightning attack that can clear the screen, but it comes at the cost of your energy. Use it when you absolutely need it the most. Otherwise, just keep firing.
Now, onto Game Pack two, which arrives on March 5th…
Section Z – side-scrolling shooter in space, basically. But Section Z is good fun, and up to two players take part. The rules are pretty basic for this one, but just make sure you keep the right gun on hand, or else you're toast. Play around with various power-ups to see which one is ideal for you.
Gun.smoke - an awesome top-down cowboy shooter, this one pits you against some of the West's worst enemies. You can shoot in three directions here, so the best thing to do is to move around and line up your shots on enemies as well as you can, while avoiding bullets and bombs. Oh, and if you see the horse power-up, NAB it. It'll grant you invincibility, even if just for a little while.
Ghosts n' Goblins – this side-scrolling action game is a toughie, as a lone knight has to battle an evil demon army. For this, we recommend sticking with one of the better weapons in the game, the knife. It's fast and accurate, and perfect for taking on bosses without losing your precious armor. Good luck!
Moving on to Game Pack 3, arriving March 19th…
The Speed Rumbler – this top-down driving game is a lot of fun, but your view range is somewhat limited, so make sure you proceed into each area with caution, unless you feel like getting run down by enemies. Strategy makes perfect, even if time isn't on your side.
Side Arms - the cool thing about this shooter is that you can shoot to your left or to your right, though that means enemies will be coming at you from both sides. Stay in the middle of the screen to avoid taking the most damage.
(Exed Exes is also included in this pack, but we haven't gotten around to playing it too much yet.)
Onto Pack 4, which is due on April 2nd…
Commando – this top-down shooter can be a bit insane in the later levels, but you can survive. Just make sure you don't go running into each gun battle too quickly, and stock up on grenades if you can.
Legendary Wings – a fun top-down shooter with Olympian style themes, this one's a lot of fun. The best tip we can give you here is to make sure you keep on firing, and watch out for surprise enemy attacks. You might just lose your wings if you're not careful.
Trojan – it's weird seeing a modern-day Trojan in New York with this game, but it's a decent action title regardless. Remember, your shield is your friend, so make sure you have it handy when you're taking on tougher enemies in the game. And if you see an open spot, strike quickly.
Finally, there's Game Pack 5, due April 2nd…
(We won't talk too much about SonSon or Pirate Ship Higemaru, but here's a tip on the third game…)
1942 – the prequel to 1943 is a little more basic in nature, as you have a flip technique to evade enemies and firepower you can level up a few times. Your best bet is to watch out for fleets of red ships and take them down quickly, and you'll acquire a power-up as a result. Oh, and bigger planes, watch out. They like to spread around their gunfire.
Capcom Arcade Cabinet will release next week for PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade.