Also On: XBLA
Capcom has just released their first DLC pack for Capcom Arcade Cabinet (our review of the original, here), and this one brings even more familiar classics to the app. This pack contains Ghosts N' Goblins, Gun.Smoke and Section Z. Some gamers may only be familiar with the Nintendo Entertainment System versions of these games, since all three were released for that system around the same time. Few have played the Arcade versions and this pack hopes to rectify that.
All three games in the pack contain the same graphics, sound and gameplay of their arcade original. Everything is faithfully recreated with no corners cut, and that includes their insane difficulty. All of them have Arcade modes where you can keep playing until you are content, a Score Attack mode where you can upload your best scores after one round, and a Casual Mode where you can play the games with toned down difficulty. I didn't really touch Casual on the first set of games, but here with games like Ghosts N' Goblins, it's nice to have the difficulty toned down sometimes. You can't unlock any Trophies or Achievements in Casual, but that's a small price to pay. Unlike some other games for this app, these three do not contain any online modes (given that these 3 were originally only for 1 player), so you won't be getting help from friends here, it's all solo.
Now lets look at each game that is included. First up, we have Section Z. This is a straight forward horizontal shooter where you control a space soldier through a dangerous underground fortress. You can fire straight ahead and with a press of a button, turn around and shoot behind you. Almost immediately you will be surrounded by enemies and dodging their bullets until you reach the areas boss. Along the way, you can shoot capsules that can give you better weapons and speed you up. Out of the three games, Section Z is the most simple. It doesn't take long to get comfortable with patterns of the enemies, and the more you play the better you will get.
Moving on to Gun.Smoke, here you take control of an old west sheriff shooting towns full of bad guys. This is more or less a vertical shooter with a twist, as you don't just fire in one direction. You have the ability to shoot in front of you and off to both sides, which will come in handy when you are being bombarded from every direction. While you are dodging a thousand bullets, dynamite and the occasional ninja flying by, you can pick up power ups that will help you shoot further and run faster. There is also a horse you can ride that will give you a few extra hit points and speed you up. Each level has a wanted criminal (Boss) you must defeat before you can move on, but this will not be easy as the difficulty is set very high. Practice will help you, but it will take a lot before you can progress. Gun.Smoke is the first game that benefits from the Casual Mode setting when you are getting hammered.
The third and final game here is the iconic classic Ghosts N' Goblins. You control Arthur as he sets out across a dangerous world inhabited by demons, ghosts and other assorted creatures to save his girlfriend. You being with a throwing spear and a suit of armor to help protect you, but it will not be enough. One hit from an enemy and your armor goes flying off, leaving you in just your boxers. Another hit and you are dead. You can find different weapons along the way that all act differently. Knives, axes and torches can be found be defeating random enemies who are carrying baskets. You make your way through insanely difficult areas to fight that areas boss (or bosses in some cases) and process to the next area. This is the most difficult game of the pack. Its legendary difficulty is well known to many players and I can say that Capcom has fully brought it with this release. You will die, and die and die a lot, but this is one of those games where you just want to keep going, no matter home many times you hear that death tune. Even playing in Casual didn't help much here, although it was easier to progress that the regular Arcade Mode.
This 1985 Game Pack really brings 3 of the best Capcom Arcade games to the home. PlayStation 3 owners have the luxury of downloading each game individually, while Xbox 360 owners must get the entire pack. If you've already made the commitment to keep downloading these packs, this one has 3 great games that will provide a great challenge. If you were disappointed by the launch release, these games might just turn you into a fan. Here's hoping that Capcom keeps up this pace with future releases.