Friday, August 16, 2013

Capcom Arcade Cabinet in brief, Pt. 2

at 3:47 PM
Some more Capcom Arcade Cabinet overviews.

1943 Kai - This is a (bizarro) arrange version of 1943 - the stages are essentially the same, but now there's weird anachronistic stuff like lazer-beams. What's strange is that Capcom felt they needed to reserve that kind of thing for a spinoff, as if the success of 1942/1943 had been based on their historical accuracy. Honestly it's not really its own game, so there's not much to recommend, but diehard fans of 1943 will certainly appreciate the new variety. 

Ghosts n' Goblins - The original Gs n' Gs, this is very familiar ground for anyone who's ever touched the series. The arcade version of Ghosts n' Goblins runs closer to its next-gen sequels (the Ghouls n' Ghostss) that it does to its own home console port for the NES, though admittedly there's little difference between any of the early entries. It has more of a shooter feel than the gimmickier, platformier Genesis and SNES games, but will certainly satiate anyone's hungry for more Arthur. Though I'd of course recommend Demon's Crest or Gargoyle's Quest first.

Gun.Smoke - I really hate this game. It's another basic variation on the vertical scrolling shooter, but by this point it feels like Capcom was really arbitrarily varying the rules to justify original releases. It's a hyper-primitized Commando, what perhaps we would get if someone forgot to have the second half of the idea for that game. And, while I may find Commando painful to play, it still gets credit for being its own thing. Gun.Smoke does not.  The player can shoot in three directions at a very limited range and the screen auto-scrolls. This is not a strong concept, but not an inherently bad one. What makes Gun.Smoke so unplayable is that A.) It doesn't realize it auto-scrolls and B.) the mechanical parameters (range and speed) are so heavily weighted against the player that it just feels quarter-feastingly unfair. B is self-explanatory; on A, the problem is that enemies crowd up near the top of the screen and just back up along with the rate of scrolling, so you get completely overwhelmed. This is just a wildly pointless and unfun affair, and I challenge anyone to stomach even the first level - especially with 16 other arcade games in the collection to tempt you away. Plus, love Wild Guns though I may, the Wild West is a really stupid setting for a shmup.

Trojan - Hey, an arcade sideways walker! Alright! Well, al-okay at least. ASWs, eh. Trojan certainly doesn't break the mold - it's gimmick to compete with Altered Beast's transformation and Astyanax's power meter is... a shield! I'd say it's almost too slow and boring to be considered an ASW, then I remember how Altered Beast plays. The particularly bothersome thing to me about Trojan is the attack range. See, it sounds like I'm complaining about really trivial things. But you play ~20 arcade games from the same company and the same four-year period back-to-back and try having deep thoughts. It's just boring. Arcade games weren't any good til at least the '90s, and even then I take them with a grain of salt. Anyway, frickin' attack range. It's one of those games where your range is so short that if you mistime a swing against an oncoming enemy, you immediately get hit, so you end up just spamming the attack button. Think Ninja Gaiden or Batman (NES). Also, what's going on with the setting in this game? It's like cyberpunk with a tiny dash of ancient Greek. Like if Spartans stalked the trashy streets of Double Dragon. Needless to say, no one needs to play this.

Avengers - This one's kinda unique in that it's so ill-conceived. All I can figure from playing Avengers is that someone at Capcom spotted Double Dragon and said "we have to one-up this concept as quickly as possible... can you guys make a street-fighting game from our Commando engine?"
I really hesitate to call it a beat-'em-up, because frankly, it's not, but that's the concept and the marketing tagline. "A top-down beat-'em-up". But there's really no fighting in the game - it's just Commando with a short-range attack. You steam-roll shmup-like swarms of dumb enemies who possess no sense of self-preservation and go down in one hit. There are separate buttons for punch and kick, but the attacks are largely identical (except that kick has longer range), so there's no incentive to alternate or create combos. It's almost worth playing just to ponder if this abject failure is what drove the company to produce the genre-defining Final Fight just two years later.

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This wasn't such a great group. Lotta yikesers. Can the last batch save the oven? We'll see what Section Z, The Speed Rumbler, and SonSon have to say about it, and if they have any cooking tips either.

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