No reason not to do this if you remember wasting your weekends away at the local arcade.
Continued from Part One…
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time (1991, Konami)
I had never played this game (or at least I don’t remember playing it) until 2006 over Thanksgiving while visiting relatives on the woman’s side. We were in a VERY tiny town further north in Michigan and we went to their rundown theater (the only in town) down on Main Street and watched Happy Feet, but in the lobby (which also doubled as an ice cream parlor!) was this beauty staring at me. We had time to kill, so I knew I had to play it. It was as if meeting my fiancee was all part of a greater plan which would climax with me coming face to face with this arcade machine.
I played it and had a blast, just like I did with the original TMNT arcade game. I never played the SNES port though. TiT (hehe) is just as good as and maybe even better than the original.
Believe it or not, the arcades were once a great place to hang out and play really cool video games. Back in the day, ticket games were only a very small attraction at arcades, as opposed to modern times when every arcade is now filled with crane games, quarter flippers and “stop the flashing light and WIN!” games. Of course, the arcades haven’t totally turned their back on the video games as evidenced by the presence of rundown machines like 18 Wheeler, Virtua Fighter and Police 911.
I enjoyed the fighting games, weird early 80s games and shooter games as much as anyone else, but my first love was and still is the beat’em up genre, where you continuously walked from one end of the screen to the other, giving anyone who stood in your way a taste of lethal bare knuckle street justice!
Here’s my absolute favorites of the genre, which I played CONSTANTLY “back in the day” and also a few that I’ve come to love in the last few years. Oh, and for the sake of not having a really long list (it’s already so big I’m cutting this into two parts), I won’t be including the hack ‘n’ slash genre which is very similar to beat’em ups, but had more of a fantasy/RPG element to it with, you guessed it, hacking and slashing with swords and what have you.
The Punisher (1993, Capcom)
This game is so fun. Just like with the Punisher comics, the violence is very over the top and I love it. Guns, swords, knives, bats, fire extinguishers, just about every you would want is a weapon in this game and you can even beat up the scenery, which is something I like to see in my beat’em ups.
Another cool bit is that you could also play through the game as Nick Fury if you chose to do so.
Kingpin is the game’s final boss.
Though this is a print ad for the 1983 Atari 2600, Q*bert got his start in 1982 as an arcade game developed and published by pinball wizards Gottlieb. The game, a puzzle platformer where you change the colors of all the cubes on the screen while avoiding enemies, was a hit.
I remember this game being at Showbiz Pizza, tucked away where they usually kept the older games. My young mind could never quite grasp the concept of what I was supposed to be doing, but Q*bert was just so darn cute (he looks like an anteater combined with an orange) he usually got a token or two of mine before the day at Showbiz Pizza was complete.
There was a sequel, Q*bert’s Cubes, which changed up the game play a bit, but despite the original game being successful, the Video Game Crash of 1983 prevented any success of the follow up. Q*bert did have a run of 19 episodes under the CBS Saturday morning cartoon Saturday Supercade banner though and there have been countless ports over the years, mostly recently, for the iPhone.
Perhaps it’s time for an all new Q*bert adventure? The Nintedo Wii seems like a good place for either a WiiWare remake or a nicely priced “sequel” of sorts.
I was checking out a list of arcade games a few months back and discovered this little ditty: Avengers In Galactic Storm from Data East. The game was released in 1995 and it’s soooo obvious because (get this) the playable characters are: Captain America, Black Knight, Thunderstrike, and Crystal. Um… Yep. The 90s were a bad time for everyone, especially comics and especially the Avengers as this motley crew is straight outta the brown bomber jacket era of the Avengers. Black Knight, Thunderstrike, and Crystal bring me visions of foil-stamped covers. *shudders*
So the game is a 3D fighting game. And the graphics are really bad. Well, maybe they were okay for 1995, but I still say they’re pretty laughable. The game just looks cheaps and I can’t imagine it was any kind of hit because I don’t even remember it from my days at the Dream Machine arcade. Perhaps if it was a little bit better and successful, Data East would still be in business and we’d be getting the latest installment of Avengers vs. Fighter’s History on the 360 and PS3. Anyway, there’s the Versus Mode and the Story Mode, loosely based the Operation: Galactic Storm story from the comics, so we’re stuck fighting people like Dr. Minerva and Korath.
I’m perplexed as to who pitched an Operation: Galactic Storm game. You’re going to use *these* Avengers and base a fighting game on Operation: Galactic Storm? Really? First off, if you’re going to make an Avengers game, don’t base it off a storyline where all the characters involved suck. Data East should’ve given us the classic Avengers by taking a page from their 1991 side-scroller beat’em Captain American and the Avengers. To rub more salt in the wound by having to play as Avengers b-listers, Avengers mainstays such as Iron Man, Thor, Giant Man/Goliath/Ant-Man/Yellowjacket, and Vision *do* appear, but only as back-up that you can only call in for a special attack once you’re powered up enough. How’bout just making the brown bomber brigade the assist characters? And where the flip is Hawkeye ?! Where are villains like Red Skull, Dr. Doom, Kang or the Masters of Evil?
Vision stands, er… floats proud while a victorious Thunderstrikes strikes a pose above the fallen Cap.
One of the games greatest moments– Giant-Man lends a hand!
The final verdict? Just stick with Captain America and the Avengers.