Capcom Arcade Cabinet – 1984 Game Pack review for PSN, XBLA

Platform: PlayStation Network
Also On: XBLA
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

Capcom Arcade Cabinet has been updated once again with the latest pack of retro games, and this time it’s focused on casual gaming. The three you have to pick from this time are SonSon, PirateShip Higemaru and 1942. Unlike some of the previous game packs, all three offer a challenge that doesn’t take away from the intended fun. While SonSon and Higemaru MAY be relatively unknown to many players, they do deserve your attention. Let’s take a look at what this latest game pack has to offer.

Before we dive into the unknown, let’s take a look at one that most players are familiar with. 1942 is of course the sequel to 1941, (in real life too? haha, sorry.) Here you once again take command of your fighter plane and shoot down all of the enemy army. It’s virtually the same game as 1941 in almost every way, except the control and power up system is different. Moving the plane seems smoother and faster, while you get to keep power ups you find for a lot longer time period. Enemies seem a bit smarter this time around, so they aren’t just going to fly into your bullets. Graphics, while not too different from 1941, are a step up with more detail used in the effects and character sprites. Once again, this is is only a single player affair, so you’ll be spending most of your time with the score attack mode to better your scores on the leaderboards!


Our next title is SonSon, a quirky yet fun title where you have to save your friends from an evil wizard. Some gamers might recognize the title character from Marvel vs Capcom 2, but SonSon began his life in this fun platformer. You control him by jumping and descending a constantly moving series of platforms while picking up bonus items and shooting the enemies that are trying to make you fall. The baddies come in waves like a typical horizontal shooter, you can either shoot them or avoid them if they get past you. Sometimes they turn around if you try to sneak by, so it’s easy to get surrounded. The only break in the constantly moving level are the sort of boss areas where you need to break through an enemy barrier. Fortunately you don’t have top go it alone. SonSon is a two player game where a friend can join the fight, either online or off. It’s a fun game that really grows on you, but can get tedious the farther you get.

The third and final game of the pack is PirateShip Higemaru. The best way I can describe it is a cross between The Sega Classic Pengo and a little bit of Hudson’s Bomberman. You control Higemaru, as bad pirates have taken control of your ship. You have to navigate a small maze of barrels and boxes while you avoid being caught. To clear the stage, you need to use the barrels as weapons and roll them over the bad guys to get to the next deck. The more enemies you hit with one barrel, the more bonus you score. They won’t go down without without some skill though, as they hide in barrels and move more quickly as you progress. There is also a time limit that shrinks your play field as you spend time mowing down the evil pirates, so there is a lot going against you. Occasionally you can find a flashing ring that will give you temporary invincibility so you can knockout all of the enemies really fast. Like 1942, Higemaru is a solo affair, so again you’ll be battling the leaderboards and trying to get to a higher level. It’s fun for a short while, but you will soon move on.

This pack contains 3 games that are all fun and challenging. You won’t be shouting at the screen or throwing the controllers across the room here. Beginning players will be able to get the hang of these games quickly, while vets will appreciate the challenge offered. They aren’t the best looking games by any means, but their simple presentation and easy to grip gameplay are a nice change from some of the other games in the Capcom Arcade Cabinet app. It’s a pack where you should’t skip any titles, but at the same time it won’t make anyone download the Arcade app. Try out the demos offered to see if you want add these to the collection.

Grade: B