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Street Fighter II: Champion Edition X RepliCade Review: Adora-Balrog

RepliCade makes a compelling argument to think small for your home arcade... like, REALLY small.

Arcade cabinets are coming back in a big way this year. Between cabinets you assemble yourself to insanely overpriced plug-n-play units, there is no shortage of ways to play some of the greatest arcade classics in new cool ways. RepliCade makes a compelling argument to think small for your home arcade... like, REALLY small.

The Street Fighter 2 Championship Edition X RepliCade is a 1:6 scale mini-cabinet officially licensed by Capcom. It comes loaded with both Championship and Turbo edition of Street Fighter 2, fully playable on the tiny microswitch joystick and action buttons.

High Quality, Low Real Estate

As far as novelties go, a playable Street Fighter 2 is one of the coolest. At 12 inches tall, it fits easily on a shelf, bookcase, or desk, and fits right in among any collectible figures you might have. I'm currently using it as a bookend for my collection of game guides and now I really want one of RepliCade's other games - Centipede or Tempest - for the other side.

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Despite being extra tiny, the attention to detail on the cabinet is seriously impressive. This is an exact replica of the classic Street Fighter 2 arcade down to the last detail. The cabinet is made of wood paneling to match the original profile exactly. The diecast metal coin and accents are perfect. The controls feel authentically great even at such a small scale. Even the marquee lights up.

Based solely on the design and faithful reproduction, this mini-cabinet would make a fantastic gift for anyone with fond memories of playing Street Fighter 2 in the arcade. I love that it's fully playable at such a small size because it's easy to display. For me, the sound is what really brought back the memories, and the stereo audio does a great job of capturing the true sounds of Street Fighter 2.

The Game Is The Real Deal

The cabinet has about two hours of charge unplugged, or can run plugged in using the included micro-USB cable. On the back is the power button, charging port, and volume wheel, as well as a compartment for your cable and controller.

Yes, the only real downside to having a cabinet so small is that player two's controls aren't on the cabinet, rather, they'll need to attach the included controller to fight with you. Luckily, the controller is just as clean and functional as the controls on the cabinet itself, featuring the same proprietary microswitches that make the stick and action buttons on the cabinet feel so good.

The two ROMs, as far as I or anyone can tell, are the exact original games down to the pixel. The controllers really do give it a great arcade feel once you get used to the size. It's fully playable single player of course, but everyone who has come over immediately wanted to try out the RepliCade cabinet with me. It's a real eye-catcher among all my various collectibles and always gets a fun reaction.

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The biggest challenge in playing is determining a fingerstyle for the controls. My instinct was to go for a pinch on the joystick with my left hand and a two-finger toggle on the action buttons. This is probably the best method, though, for the controller, I found simply using my thumbs like I would a traditional controller to be more natural. For this reason, I think the controller has a slight advantage, luckily even in single player you're able to use the controller by pressing the P1/P2 switch on the menu screen.

A Perfect Retro Gaming Gift

Gamers tend to be pretty particular about their hardware and accessories to the point where it can be difficult to buy gifts for them around the holidays. The Street Fighter 2 Championship Edition X RepliCade is such an awesome gift because it's so easy to find a spot to display it, many people wouldn't consider buying one for themselves, and, let's face it, Street Fighter 2 is just one of the most classic games of all time.

I think the game crosses generations more than almost any other IP, and I think this is something gamers and collectors will appreciate whether they played in the arcades in the 80s, playable SF2 at home in the 90s, or are still playing Street Fighter V today. Even young Super Smash Brothers Ultimate fans will get a kick out of seeing Ryu and Ken in all of their 16-bit glory.

Sometimes, I turn on the cabinet and just let the demo screen play, listening to it in the background to give me that real arcade feeling. Someday I'll have an entire collection of miniature arcade cabinets and I'll turn all of them on at once, fill my pockets with quarters, make my condo smell like stale popcorn, and bask in the ultimate home-arcade experience. That's a dream I didn't know I had until I got the mini Street Fighter Replicade.

You can check out the Street Fighter 2 Championship Edition X RepliCade on New Wave Toys website.

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