Capcom has no shortage of nostalgic properties to hoist above its head but, for better or worse, the Capcom Arcade Cabinet pack releases have been sticking to early, lesser-known titles in the company’s stable. The 1986 pack continues this trend resolutely. The three offerings – Legendary Wings, Trojan and Side Arms – each offer a slightly different piece of Capcom’s early-goings, but nothing resonates near as strong as Capcom’s true arcade classics. There’s nothing outright offensive about these titles, but it’s hard not to feel like they’re flat reskins of more enjoyable and iconic Capcom classics – some of which exist elsewhere in this very collection. Legendary Wings is more or less a poor man’s 1942 (with some horrendous, Actraiser-esque platforming intervals);Trojan is a far less inspired Ghost’n Goblins. Side Arms‘ host of cool weapon upgrades (that snap on and off of your frame Transformers-style to boot) lend it some additional variety and personality, enough to get me to come back to it for a couple of playthroughs, but it’s still a relatively safe, side-scrolling shooter.
There’s no pleasant, unexpected surprises to be found within these games. You move and shoot and collect power-ups that let you move and shoot better. The visuals look faithful to the original release, but there’s no personality to latch onto in these games, no memorable landmarks or powerups. Again, Side Arms is less guilty of these issues than the other games, but it’s just one third of this ten dollar package. It seems like a good value, but without any nostalgia to back you, the blandness of these titles rises immediately to the surface.
That’s really the root of the problem with Capcom Arcade Cabinet; it’s tough to get excited about this pack or others because, for the most part, their curated titles are less fondly remembered and celebrated for a reason. Unless you remember these three fondly from your youth, there’s little reason to pursue them now. Being able to reach back to the origins of one of gaming’s biggest companies continues to be an act of at least some historical interest, but little amusement.