When it comes to retro arcade shoot 'em up greatness, very few developers are as legendary as Capcom. In this pack, we have three reinterpretations of classic Capcom shooters so let's fill our pockets with quarters and check them out.
Released in 1986, Side Arms was a great addition to Japanese arcades. It featured a nifty power-up system that has carried over nicely to Dariusburst. Here, you control the flying mech Alpha. It's one of those ships that has separate buttons for shooting left and right. You can power-up to an upgraded version of the mech whenever your meter is full. Also, you acquire and upgrade various weapons as you play that you can alternate between such as a shotgun and a three-way gun as well as a regular shot that has up to three satellites. Overall, I found this ship to be the most difficult to play as so far as it's very weak when compared to other ships. The array of weaponry is cool but I'd rather play the original Side Arms on Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2.
Also featured in the second Capcom Classics Collection compilation, the vertically-scrolling Varth is a very enjoyable shmup and it feels like a direct sequel to Capcom's 194X series. Piloting the Saber in Dariusburst is quite simple as you mostly just shoot and use stocked bombs. Your weapon changes upon collecting one and can then be powered up (just like in Raiden). Once you gain missile-firing options, you can switch between two configurations (napalm and homing) which is handy. In the end, controlling the Saber feels purely old-school as it balances perfectly between requiring plenty of skill yet not being frustrating.
Although it was only published by Capcom (Cave developed it), Progear is a fantastic shoot 'em up that can thankfully be found in arcades worldwide. Flying around in the Gambler is a ton of fun. First of all, your regular shot is quite powerful and you automatically have a missile-firing cannon, too. On top of that, you can use an alternative shooting button to shift some of your shot power over to the cannon. Basically, you can choose to grant more power to the regular shot or cannon blasts simply by pushing a different button. Finally, you can utilize bombs to launch flaming missiles that explode. I hope to see a console port of Progear one of these days...
These three ships are great inclusions to the world of Dariusburst but many Capcom classics are unfortunately absent such as Legendary Wings, 1942, Gun.Smoke, Forgotten Worlds, Section Z, Exed Exes, Vulgus, and Eco Fighters. Therefore, hopefully more Capcom DLC arrives down the road. Until then, these unique ships will have to do. Anyway, if you played Dariusburst or any of these Capcom arcade hits then let's talk in the comments section below. It's always great to hear from fellow shmup fans!