arcade gaming Archives

Wreck-It Ralph Review.

Tonight, I got to see a preview of Wreck-It Ralph in 3D.

If you want the short of it, it’s now one of my “Top 10” Disney animated films.

The long of it, however, is best explained for a number of reasons. And you can start with the poster:

Basically, this is Toy Story for video games. What happens when the arcade closes for the night?

This movie has a TON of cameos, making Captain N: The Game Master look pale by comparison. You can spot dozens of games in the 30 year time progression of the arcade, from Star Wars to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, to a virtual “Who’s Who” of classics. That’s nothing to say of the cameos of characters running around in “Game Central Station”. These two scenes alone are going to cause a lot of frame by frame scanning when it comes to home video. One cameo moment actually shocked me how “true to character” they were. I won’t reveal anything, but there are a few delightful nods. Surprisingly, however, is how devoid of Nintendo this movie is. Yes, Bowser is in there, and there are two other nods, but Nintendo was Read the rest of this entry

The MIA Pirate.

I’m still here!

Okay, granted, it’s been a while. A long while. But life sort of got in the way with massively spraining my ankle, a near two week vacation, and a constant hustle to keep gigs in. All of this hasn’t left me much time to play video games, and it’s kind of hard to write a video gaming blog when you aren’t constantly in the subject matter. I haven’t even picked up New Super Mario Bros. 2 yet.

But I’ve done a few things here and there.

For starters, the Classic Gaming Expo. came to Fremont Street at the Plaza this year. While not as big as the one in 2010, there were a few notable moments. For example, there was the usual collection of gaming goods:

I got to play Fix-It Felix Jr.:

I ran into a few old friends:

Yes, that’s Howard Phillips from the early Nintendo Fun Club/Nintendo Power days. I also met David Crane of Pitfall! fame, but he was a little strange about taking a picture with me, unless I went to his talk that he was holding later that day.

But not a bad day. Came out with a few Lynx games (Pinball Read the rest of this entry

Midway Arcade: Post-Script.

While my opinions of my time working with Midway have been touched upon here, I wanted to get a little more into the history of some of those titles. I always had a soft spot for two major areas of their games: The Mortal Kombat series, and their arcade classics. How could you not have a fond reverence for titles such as Defender, Robotron: 2084, Joust, Rampage, Spy Hunter and others? Not to mention in 1996 when they acquired most of Atari’s arcade classics like Gauntlet, Paperboy, and Marble Madness. I say “most” because somewhere along the way, Midway lost publishing rights to a handful of these titles, and they reverted back to “new” Atari. I never got the full story of what happened there. One day, we were publishing Asteroids, Centipede, and Crystal Castles, and then one day, we weren’t.

But I loved this series largely because of my fondness for preserving the history of gaming. Certainly, both Arcade’s Greatest Hits and Midway Arcade Treasures highlighted some real gems, but as the series progressed, the already basic interfaces got even more simplistic, and the last compilation just seemed like an afterthought to toss a Read the rest of this entry

The Simpsons Comes Home.

Long-time readers may have noted a few years back that I mentioned a title called The Simpsons Arcade. It surprised me that a few hadn’t heard of the title, but considering the still dying arcades, and the fact that the arcade game never came to consoles (only a personal computer or two at the time), I suppose that it was understandable.

Recent readers may have noticed that just last entry I mentioned certain titles just ending up in “Licensing Hell”, meaning that companies lose the rights to popular film, comic, sports association, and TV characters, so chances of seeing certain titles are nil to none. I figured that this particular title was just simply one of those casualties.

And then guess what just randomly popped out of nowhere?

Like the X-Men and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games before it, Konami pulled out another beat ’em up based on the long-running dysfunctional family. I fondly have memories of going to the local Movieland after school (my local hometown video store had an amazing arcade) and playing as Bart until one day a group of students and I beat the game. Not that it was easy. Like other games of the time, it was designed to Read the rest of this entry

New, But Old Arcade Love.

Video games never fail to amaze me. Just when I think I’ve seen it all, something comes out of the woodwork to really impress me.

I remember playing Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator as a kid on my Atari 2600. It was a fairly accurate rendition, but what game ever really did bring the complete arcade experience home?

I was at the Pinball Hall of Fame this weekend, when I happened to stumble across this gem of a game:

And it was amazing with the vector graphics, sound effects of Spock and Scotty, and the layout of the cabinet was great. The sit-down version was fairly respectable facsimile of sitting in Kirk’s chair, and with both arms reaching for Warp, Phasers and Photons, and lining up Klingons in your sides, it’s a greatly satisfying experience.

I found a fairly cool YouTube video. Ignore the Jerry Goldsmith score (or not) as it’s not in the game, but it does add for a compelling looking video.

I will definitely be returning to play this. If you ever find a sit-down unit, make it a point to check it out.

A Lost Part of Nintendo.

I stumbled across a working arcade version of Popeye just last week at Insert Coin(s). It seems that they are changing up some of their gaming rotation, and it makes me wonder how many machines they truly have now.

But the last time I played this was… I can’t even remember. It was in a Dairy Queen in some small Texas town between my parent’s place and my Uncle’s. In short, it’s been a while.

I did have the game for Colecovision, which was a fairly accurate port of the game. But having not played Popeye in a while, I figured it was worth the quarter to revisit.

It’s a shame, really, that this has never come to the Virtual Console. If it’s a licensing issue, then it may never come to the Virtual Console. There’s also the nagging issue that Nintendo still refuses to release any of its arcade ports to the service, meaning that we may never truly get that perfect Donkey Kong arcade experience at home outside of Donkey Kong 64.

The game came out in 1982, and was designed by Miyamoto. If I remember correctly, the experiences of Donkey Kong were meant to be Read the rest of this entry

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