Perhaps if you wished that Double Dragon IV followed in the first two arcade games' presentation style, then Jay and Silent Bob: Mall Brawl's 8-bit throwback approach is not for you. Regardless, for those of us who crave more in the same vein of Technōs NES bickety bam beat-'em-ups, then playing Mall Brawl may just be your retro Wolvie berserk style. What else are we gonna do? Snootchie Bootchies!
Viewed as a traditional 32 game retro collection, there's value in journeying through PS4 Capcom Arcade Stadium's history from 1984 to 2001. It's a pleasure to revel in the origins of CP System, as it evolved from CPS-1 to CPS-2. There's a celebratory feel in the balance between Pack 1 and 2's popular hits, alongside Pack 3's cult favourites, plus targeting leaderboards to achieve Timed and Score Challenges is addictive when earning CASPO to reach a higher Class. As Zac Zinger's infectious song, A Brand New Day, plays over Capcom Arcade Stadium's title screen, there's a party vibe to dancing between game selections, especially when discovering Pack 3's superb, less widely available shmups like CAVE's Progear.
There's replay value to be found in the Hard difficulty setting, or chasing 29 Trophies for a Platinum, as well as an unlockable New Game+ challenge. Yet, even the inclusion of an extra Infinite Mode highlights how the core gameplay becomes repetitive, plus the four main areas of Arcade Mode can be beaten in less than an hour. If the idea of exploring to save villagers reminds you fondly of Zombies Ate My Neighbors, or perhaps you remember isometric arcade brawlers like Dungeon Magic and Wizard Fire, then the nostalgia conjured up from Battle Axe mixing together two formidable old genres may still hack-and-slash its way into your heart.
With four games as a showcase of the exploratory level design of early 1990s European-style run-and-gun titles, Turrican Flashback's ex-Factor 5 games had an undeniable x-factor, and the first two Amiga Turrican releases are noteworthy as some of the best 16-bit computer games. Alongside the console bedazzlement of Super Turrican and Mega Turrican, there's plenty of platforming fun to be found, and the 2D visuals are well presented through varied display options. Yet, the gameplay becomes repetitive when bouncing between four titles, and Turrican Flashback feels incomplete as a collection representing the scope of the series. Still, retro gamers might not dwell on the modest number of games included, as soon as they hear Chris Huelsbeck's sublime soundtracks booming once again.
With two brilliant retro games in one bundle, the gameplay in Castlevania Requiem is excellent.
It's tempting to gorge on this collection of seven distinctive arcade games as an all-you-can-eat brawler buffet, but the genre's innate repetitiveness means it's most enjoyable to feast on one quality Capcom coin-op at a time. The Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle is a delightful history lesson in the technical pixel-artistry of CPS brawler design, starting in 1989 with Final Fight as a genuine classic, and then continuing through the 1990s with fondly remembered street fisticuff games and hack-and-slash fantasy titles. Over twenty years later, Capcom's style and craftsmanship showcased in the coin-ops previously unavailable on console -- Armored Warriors and Battle Circuit -- justifies a purchase of the Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle in its own right.