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iPhone  header logo

Capcom Arcade

For: iPhone

Old and musty

Product: Capcom Arcade | Developer: Capcom Mobile | Format: iPhone | Genre: Conversion | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: US | App version: 1.00.00
Capcom Arcade iPhone, thumbnail 1
Free can make a mediocre game worth a try, but for a lousy effort like Capcom Arcade the price is still too high.

Time spent on Capcom's freemium arcade compilation is time wasted on poorly emulated games, intrusive advertising, heavy-handed in-app purchases, and an unattractive interface.

While the idea of offering legacy arcade games for play and purchase within a central app is a good one, Capcom Arcade is so thoroughly botched that the core concept is unrecognisable.

It started with an idea

It's a shame, because the idea is clever: bring classic Capcom arcade titles together in a single app where you can play them free for a limited time every day.

If you take a liking to a particular game, you're able to purchase it outright at a premium. Alternatively, you can buy tokens that enable you to play for longer (just as extra coins extend your time at a real arcade).

The biggest problem is that the games aren't fun. Just as you wouldn't spend money in an arcade filled with lame games, you're unlikely to be motivated to play the underwhelming slate in Capcom Arcade.

It's not that the games are inherently bad - it's that Capcom has ruined them with ill-conceived controls and clunky interfaces.

Good games gone bad

Take Street Fighter II, for example. Not only are the virtual buttons clunky, but the introduction of a 'special attack' button dismantles the game's original design. Fights are no longer about skill and tactics - just play as Ryu and mash on the 'special attack' button to execute Hadouken over and over again to win. It's absurd.

On the other end of the spectrum is Commando, which has been faithfully preserved when it needs modernisation to make it playable.

Having only one analogue stick in a top-down shooter is painful, particularly because your gunfire is tied to your direction of movement. Should you move away from an enemy, you're unable to fire at them. A second analogue stick would help.

Ghouls 'n Ghosts and 1942 are only marginally better. The assembled games are disappointing without even considering their freemium trappings. They're poorly adapted, clunky, and lack the same retro appeal that has propelled other classic games to success on iPhone and iPod touch.

Gold over gameplay

Cluttered menus and a heavy-handed pricing structure put salt in the wound. In an effort to offset giving the app away for free, Capcom has opted to integrate mobile advertising in the main menu. Unfortunately, the main menu wasn't designed around these ads and so part of the menu is obscured from view.

Given that Capcom botched the four games included in this initial release, the ads are necessary to offset the fact that you won't want to spend £1.79 / $2.99 to own these games. You probably won't be motivated to part with cash for extra tokens, additional lives, bonus power-ups, or any other unnecessary virtual items either.

Capcom Arcade started out as a great idea, but it turned out a mess. Entirely too much energy spent on structuring in-app purchases and mobile ads has resulted in gameplay being kicked to the curb. There's no way to convince gamers to part with their money without delivering gameplay worth the expense.
Capcom Arcade
Reviewer photo
Tracy Erickson | 9 November 2010
A good idea executed poorly, Capcom Arcade offers little worthwhile gameplay
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