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Oct 19, 2015

Capcom Studio Spotlight

One arcade accolade after another

1. 1942
(Arcade – 1984)
Before Capcom’s arcade debut year was out, it took wing with a second accomplished shooter and first big hit. Either humbly or cynically, 1942 featured a heroic Allied pilot ripping through the big bad Japanese WWII forces like wet tissues. The gamble paid off, spawning a sequel every few years in an order only Capcom understands: 1943, 1941, 19XX, and 1944.

2. Ghosts ’n’ Goblins
(Arcade – 1985)
From vertical to horizontal with a new level of unwary player pain. This made Commando look like a picnic – one with fancy pâté sandwiches, Pimms, and fluffy cushions for a post-picnic doze. But the punters loved it, and each of Sir Arthur’s later lance-launching comic horror exploits became a cause for celebration. He, thankfully, never went commando.

3. Bionic Commando
(Arcade – 1987)
This one took the side-scroller and piled on layers of titillating verticality, despite ditching the ability to jump. Good early use of a grappling hook, with the NES version starting a trend of redesigning arcade games for console release, rather than trying to cram them wholesale into an openly sobbing 8-bit box.

4. Strider
(Arcade – 1989)
The highest peak of Capcom’s platforming experiments, showing how far they’d come in a few short years. No Prince Of Persia could match Hiryu’s breathtaking blend of ninja athleticism and unstoppable melee ruination. A distinctive ‘dystopian Soviet future with airships and robots’ setting was the polish on a game that escorted out the arcades’ defining decade in fine free-running style.

5. Street Fighter II
(Arcade – 1991)
If you weren’t expecting to see this here, you should probably stop hitting yourself in the side of the head with that mallet. Not the end of Capcom’s arcade history by a long shot, and Street Fighter III and IV stood out as highlights of that neon wonderlands’ advancing years, but few games before or after Street Fighter II would pack a Dragon Punch powerful enough to reshape an entire landscape.


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