On April 15, famous video game developer Capcom released a video teasing some kind of mysterious new announcement related to some of its most famous arcade games released in the nineties. A lot of people thought it was going to be some kind of digital collection, much like the “Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle” that was released last year on different platforms and contained a nice group of arcade titles. The next day it was revealed it was actually a Plug-and-Play arcade stick, called “Capcom Home Arcade”, which would come with 16 games pre-installed. One of the games included is none other than the arcade version of “Alien vs Predator”, a game that had never been officially released for home use outside of its original arcade run in the nineties.
Now I have to explain why this is particularly exciting news, at least for me. I’ve always loved videogames, ever since I had my first experience with them in the early nineties with a NES; soon after that me and my brother were gifted one, then we had the Super NES, the Nintendo 64, and then other consoles. However, a big part of my videogame memories relates to the arcade experience.
Arcades were almost a magical place to me at that time, a place where I not only had access to video games with graphics way beyond what home consoles could achieve, but where I could actually interact with people who for the most part were as excited as I was (and still am) for videogames. I spent countless hours and tokens playing fighting games like "Killer Instinct", "Mortal Kombat 2", "Street Fighter 2", "Tekken" and "Marvel vs Capcom", light gun games like "Time Crisis", "House of the Dead" and "Terminator 2: Judgment Day", and beat 'em ups like Capcom´s own "Final Fight", and Konami´s "The Simpsons" and "X-Men" arcade games.
I always loved beat 'em ups even to this day, despite the fact they usually get a bad rap as being an obsolete genre that’s repetitive as hell and doesn’t have much depth to it, at least the ones from the nineties (cause the modern ones have tried to get on with the times and they usually implement some kind of complex combo system and unlockable abilities/characters and branching paths so as to make the game feel more fresh), and even though that´s true to a certain extent, few things were more satisfying for me than beating the hell out of bad guys after bad guys in these kinds of games, and as long the sprites were big and colorful, the backgrounds were detailed and memorable, the move set was fun, the bosses were challenging (but not cheap), and the enemies were varied, I was a happy camper.
Now, there was a game in this genre that, if my memory serves me well, I didn’t even know it existed until way after the time of the arcades had come and gone, and it was “Alien vs Predator”. I think I knew about this game in the mid '00s, and when I saw how detailed and beautiful the sprites looked, read the amazingly good reviews it had, and given that I am a HUGE “Alien” and “Predator” fan, I was extremely excited to play it, only to find out that ever since its time in the arcades the game had never been officially released in any other form. Given my strict anti-piracy rule I decided to wait hoping that someday Capcom would re-release the game in some form someday, and years and years later, that day has finally come… Sadly, this great news comes with a catch.
This great game is being made available, as I mentioned before, in the “Capcom Home Arcade”, a Plug-and-Play arcade stick which, given the estimated price, is going to be sort of like a premium collector’s item… None that’s anything wrong with that, but many people including myself were hoping the game was going to be made available at a way more affordable price, maybe in another digital offering like the “Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle” that was released to home consoles and Steam. But alas, this is what we have for now.
As for the game itself, it's a 1994 beat 'em up, and according to Wikipedia, the plot was taken from an early draft of a script for an “Alien vs Predator” movie based on the comic book series, and although the draft was later rejected and that version of the movie was never made, Capcom had already made the game with the intention of releasing it around the time that the movie was going to be supposedly released so they released the game anyways as a stand alone kind of thing.
The plot revolves around an Alien infestation in the city of San Drad (in planet Earth), where two colonial marines, Major Dutch Schaefer and Lieutenant Linn Kurosawa are swarmed by xenos and about to get killed when two Predators suddenly appear and save them, offering an alliance in order to stop the xenomorph infestation. At the beginning of the game you can choose to play as one of those four characters, the two colonial marines and the two Predators. It’s a standard beat 'em up as far as I’ve read, but with beautiful visuals and really smooth gameplay.
As for the “Capcom Home Arcade” itself, I’m not too sold on the huge logo design, but all in all I don’t think it looks too bad either. The power is provided via micro USB and like one would imagine, the video is delivered via HDMI. It features genuine Sanwa joystick parts, sixteen pre-installed games and the emulation is provided by FB Alpha Emulator.
Here’s the official trailer for the system:
The product comes out on October 25 in Europe, and the US details are still pending, but based on the European price people estimate that the console should cost around 260$ (yep, quite a lot). So, for people out there like myself who never experimented this gem on its arcade days, or for long time fans of it, the game is finally being made available soon but at a hefty price. Let’s just hope Capcom gives us another gift by releasing it digitally someday too.
Images from the "Alien vs Predator" videogame taken from: https://avp.fandom.com/wiki/Alien_vs._Predator_(1994_arcade_game)
Images from the "Capcom Home Arcade" taken from: http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2019/04/capcom_home_arcade_is_a_plug-and-play_arcade_stick_but_is_the_emulation_legit
You can also see the full list of games included in that link.
Continue discussing this topic as well as thousands more with other fans of Alien, Predator and Alien vs. Predator (AvP) in the AvP Online Forums here on AliensVersusPredator.net!
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