Thursday, September 12, 2013

My Favourite Old School Arcade Games

A few days ago I took a trip down memory lane and remembered my favourite arcade games that I played as a kid and spent all my allowance on them. In a recent post that I wrote about my opinion on why Vista was a good Operating System I shared with you the first computer game that I ever played, Rockford. Now I will share with you my favorurite arcade games. Games from +Capcom+Snk and others. Most of those games can now be found on +NEOGEO X  or similar emulators that now even exist for +Android . I found many ROMS for those games on +Google Play  but not all of them yet. Anyway, this article will help all of you remember your favourite games as well, they are in no particular order, it's purely random. I was planning to include a gameplay video for each game but it would end up extremely annoying for all the readers that do not use plugins to autopause embedded videos so I decided not to.

King of Fighters:
How can I make an arcade game trip without including one of the best games known to all of us. King of Fighters was a game that gave something very wonderful for gamers. It combined the characters of Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting in a single game and it was considered a big deal back in the day. Most people consider King of Fighters 94 as the best in the series because it was the start of this crossover series but my personal favourite is that King of Fighters 95. KOF '95 was the first in the crossover series that gave you the
ability to choose three individual characters and not a predefined set of three. That gave you the possibility to have different types and combinations of fighters which made the game even more original.

Sunset Riders:

Ah..... The beautiful Wild West. The women, the booze, the scenery everything was perfect. An amazing game from +Konami. You had in your control a tough cowboy earning his money hunting bounties, killing random bad guys on the way. This is one of the few cowboy games that existed at the time and even though I completed the game many times in the arcade I had to own it on SNES and replay it again and again. This game included the now classic "collect money to earn lives" mode but also 1-UP lives were scattered around the stages. Also each boss you killed would give you a really huge amount of bounty. Not only the game was amazing, graphics were great etc etc but it had a really worthwhile co-op that was really enjoyable to play with your friends. It made the game a bit easier but not boring. Also it included power up doors like Wonder Bot and Rolling thunder games. One of the greatest Run-and-Gun games that I played

Juju Densetsu(Toki):

It took me some time to find this game again as the name resembles nothing that I know of nor could it possibly come to mind like all the other games with English names. This game was one of the most fun arcade games I played. One of the main reasons it was fun to me is because most of the arcade era took part while I was in my pre-teens and a game like Juju Densetsu for a pre-teen was immensely fun.The storyline follows the classic "damsel in distress" cliché followed by many other games like Legend of Zelda and Super Mario. However in this case it is not by a plumber that throws fireballs or a kid with a sword but a primitive man that resembles a lot to a monkey He was actually transformed like that from the evil priest Vookimedlo who kidnapped his wife. It is a multi directional scrolling game that includes many power ups in the types of fireblasts Juju spits from his mouth but also in collectibles such as: Football Helmet (temporary shield), white shoes (high jump), clocks (extra time), fruits (points), coins (for extra lives) and, later in the game, keys to unlock doors and obstacles. JuJu can repeatedly jump on certain enemies to defeat them, or to reach seemingly unattainable items or platforms.

Super Pang:

DESTROY THEM BUBBLES!!!!!!!! This is a game which is knows as Super Buster Bros. in North America but I first met it with the title Pang. The main purpose of the game was to shoot upwards a hook, a grappler hook or a normal gun, depending on the power-up you picked up, and destroy the bubbles that bounce around the stage without letting them touching you because a simple touch costs a life. But the game is not as easy as it sounds because when a bubble bursts it simply divides itself into two smaller parts and again and again until only really small all left which bursting them causes them to disappear. A game that might not offer continuous hours of gaming but did however offer a huge amount of achievement when you climbed the high score board.

Snow Brothers and Bubble Bobble:

Two different games that used the same exact mechanics for gameplay. Capture enemies then release them. In bubble bobble you controlled a small green monster that spits bubbles at enemies and encapsulates them inside and when you touch said bubbles they burst destroying the enemies and releasing out fruits, ice creams etc that give you extra points. On the other hand Snow Brothers you control something that resembled a Snowman and threw small some sort of beam, that looked a lot like a moon crescent and required more than one shot to trap an opponent in a snowball. Touching the snowball would kick to start roll and maybe even kill other enemies on it's path which made it a bit different than Bubble Bobble. Many argue that the one is a copy of the other but I loved both and do not really care who copied who. Truth be told though I never completed any of the two. Never had enough coins when I visited the arcade as level by level the difficulty was increasing exponentially. Maybe someday I'll get around to start playing both of those games again and maybe this time I'll manage to complete them as I never even got to see the final boss or the story ending. I know I can find it on youtube but that's completely different than managing to complete the game on your own.

Puzzle Bobble aka Bust a Move:

After the very successful release of Bubble Bobble Taito released another game based on the same characters but completely different. The main purpose of this game was to throw coloured balls at a group of them hanging from the ceiling. Shooting at or creating a group of 3+ of the same colour touching each other would force them to burst and disappear. The main purpose was to clear the stage of all balls. Bursting a row under which more balls were hanging would cause those to drop aswell. Another classic game that spawns clones today with the likes of Bubble Witch Saga. This game also included a two player split screen mode in which you had to clear the stage before your opponent and in some versions bursting enough balls would create more in your opponents ceiling or maybe some sort of obstacles that could disappear unless you removed the balls from which the obstacle was hanging.

Tumble Pop:
A game with a similar mechanic to Bubble Bobble and Snow Brothers but with slight differences. You control a human this time (weird huh?) who has in his a possession a vacuum using which he sucks ghosts. monsters, aliens and other oddballs and traps them into a vacuum cleaner like bag. You then released them (altogether) as bouncing/rolling balls. Those balls could also act as projectiles that would also expell other enemies if they came in contact with them. Another difference would be that taking too long to release them would only set them free as in Snow Brothers and Bubble Bobble but when they got free you lost a life because they touched you. The stages resemble a lot the stages of Super Pang but just the colours and the background. Given the fact that graphic capabilities back then games that looked like one another was to be expected.

Mortal Kombat:
A game that revolutianized Fighting Games with it's immense blood and gore and still does today considering Mortal Kombat 9 which includes X-ray vision of bones cracking. The first edition of this game included so much blood and gore that other games looked like kid's games compared to it. The addition of Finish Him at the end of each fight and the chance to perform a Fatality that really destroys your opponent was an amazing addition to the old fighting genre. A lot of stage speficic Fatalities existed as-well. This is one of the reasons the ESRB was created. It also included the now very known ladder of opponents which gave the players a quick glimpse of who they will be fighting next. In this version the ladder included 3 endurance matches (two opponents one by one without your health being revitalized), a mirror match, a subboss (the now famous Goro) and the boss, Shang Tsung, an opponent who had his own abilities but also could take the form of any character in the game. This game has spawned a series of video games, 2 movies, a TV Series, a TV anime, and recently a Webseries from Machinima. Even the fact that this game had an Error that appeared as Ermac (meaning Error macro) led to a new character due to the hype the word Ermac has created.Countless addition's in characters (even characters like Kratos and Freddy Krueger also found their spot in this game) and gameplay make this game powerful even today. GET OVER HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Street Fighter 2:

How can you make a list of the best Arcade games and not include the second best fighting game ever, only topped by Mortal Kombat? Simple, you can't. This game was another great instalment in the fighting genre. The most weird part about this game was the fact that almost no one knew or played the first game. Everyone though has played Street Fighter 2. Another interesting trivia about this game was the fact that some names were changed for the American version of the game. Balrog, the boxer. was initially named M. Bison, Vega, the cage fighter, was initially named Balrog and M.Bison, the final boss, was initially named Vega. But I believe M. Bison suits the character better than Balrog.

This was a really enjoyable game but I did not get to play it much. After I started playing it a bit they removed it from the arcade and never got to see it again until most recently. I am seriously considering replaying it to get the whole feel everyone is talking about.

Metal Slug 1-3:
I have played and played these games over and over and i have to say i liked the 1st the best but 3 was probably the most fun. For those of you who don't know what metal slug is I feel pity for you. This series was the greatest platform shooter game series to be introduced for arcades. Metal Slug. Super Vehicle-001 Was fantastic. Gorgeous graphics, addictive game play and non stop action. A classic interactive piece of art. Metal Slug 2 had more of the same gorgeous graphics, game play and action. And a great ending. Metal Slug X made a mix of Metal Slug 1 and 2 with improved visual effects, sound and new weapons. Metal Slug 3 increased the action to extreme levels with more carnage. Added more weapons and the best ending of them all. But that's where the series went downhill. Metal Slug 4 was a complete disappointment. The worst of them all. No new content. ripped backgrounds from previous games, no new enemies and a crap ending. . The heavy rock music was no replacement for Metal Slugs original soundtrack. It reeks of slap together job. Due to that sheer disappointment I did not get to play the rest of the games of the series but I am seriously considering giving them a second chance

Caveman Ninja aka Joe & Mac:

The game stars the green-haired Joe and the blue-haired Mac, cavemen who battle through numerous prehistoric levels using weapons such as boomerangs, bones, fire, flints, electricity, stone wheels, and clubs. The objective of the game is to rescue group of girls who were kidnapped by a rival tribe of cavemen. The game features a health system by which the player loses health over a period of time, apart from during boss battles. A two player mode is available in which both characters are capable of damaging each other.

The original arcade version has the distinction of allowing the player to select between different routes at the end of boss battles. Also, after defeating the final boss, the players can choose between three exits, each one leading to a slightly different ending sequence. Another one of the greatest platform games

Wonder Boy:

How can I not include this game? How could I possibly not include one of the most popular arcade games that people still play today? The main character in the game is named "Tom-Tom" but nobody really knows that, or cares about it. It follows the basic and successful scheme of damsel in distress. His girlfriend Tanya has been captured by a monster and this caveman-like character goes out to rescue her. Tom-Tom can arm himself with a stone hatchet, which he can throw at oncoming foes, a skateboard with which he can rush through the levels and survive one attack by an enemy, and temporary protection by an angel which allows him to destroy foes by simply running into them. All of the power ups are encapsulated inside eggs but other eggs that red dots on them contained curses that decreased health over time and bad mushrooms that decreased health in one go. The player must remain aware of the vitality meter, which constantly runs down at a steady pace and can only be refilled by collecting fruit throughout the level. There is also one doll to collect in each level, which doubles the bonus points awarded at the end of the level and, as already mentioned, if all dolls are collected "hidden levels" are unlocked. At the end of every "area" (thus every four "rounds"), Tom-Tom will encounter an incarnation of chief antagonist Drancon as a boss character. Once defeated, Drancon's mask flies off and transforms into an item such as a tea cup or a piece of fruit for Tom-Tom to collect. Drancon then subsequently makes his escape. A fun game to play and spend your time. Even though it follows a classic storyline it was pretty original for it's time.

Street Hoop:

One of the best sports games in the arcade era. A streetball style game that featured three on three basketball. This game was the inspiration for the KOF character Lucky Glauber.In the European and Japanese versions of the game, players can select a three-player team from a selection of 10 countries. In the US version of the game the countries are replaced with US cities. The selection screens, player skin colours and costumes also change between the versions. I played the European version probably because I never knew about the US cities until I read it from wikipedia. For Americans everything revolves around America I guess. Each team has a total of 18 points in several characteristics (Dunk, 3pts, Speed, and Defence), and 8pts max for each. Every team has its own strengths and weakness. For example, America (New York in the US Version) is good in dunks and bad in 3-pointers. On the other hand, Taiwan (Philadelphia in US version) is good in 3-pointers and bad in dunks. Another factor that made this game great was the fact that you had an energy bar and once it was filled you could amazing dunks that could not be stopped or shoot super 3-pointers that could not miss (you had to pass the the center of the court before performing them though. What really made me angry though was the fact that if you completed half time losing or tied you lost before the end game and you had to insert another coin to play the second half.

Circus Charlie:

One of the shortest games for the arcade. It had only 6 short levels. But it was incredibly difficult to complete each one. It was a very easy to get sucked in a vicious circle of frustration and losing. This game was released in 1984 by +Konami and has received many positive reviews. Being a short but completely different than others game it became very popular with kids and teenagers alike. I got to play it again a couple of months ago and the frustration came back to me but the satisfaction upon completion was very rewarding

Track & Field:
A game that follows the Olympic games Track & Field. It follows the same mechanic used in Circus Charlie whereas every level is simply a different game in Track & Field. In some games, like 100 meter dash and 100 meter dash with hurdles, you had an opponent to defeat which was simply the same character as you but with a black palette, similar to Mario and Luigi in the original Super Mario Bros. game. Some might argue that this was a bit racist since you always controlled the white guy and you had to beat the black guy but personally I do not care as I see no difference.

Sly Spy:

When I was a kid I called this game James Bond as my English was so good back then and I could not read the title screen that said Sly Spy. Since the game resembles very much the movies and novels of James Bond I believe my logic was correct. My favourite part of this game was the initial level in which you were falling from the sky and the ending. After completely finishing the game and beating the final boss you find out that the president is still alive and his two daughters come with you as a trophy. Much better winning trophy than the classic money and fame them other games followed. I mean even Mario got the girl and he was just a plumber with the help of mushrooms flowers etc etc. A national spy that defeated a worldwide terrorist organization and saved the world is entitled at least two women. Maybe even more.........

Cadillacs and Dinosaurs:

A very good beat em up game. Very popular in it's time but today aswell. You were controlling on of four characters and started beating up people. On the way you had dinosaurs as your opponents too. Players select one of four characters: Jack Tenrec (balanced type), Hannah Dundee (skill type), Mustapha Cairo (speed type) or Mess O'Bradovich (power type), each with their own strengths and weaknesses, as well a unique attacks. Up to three players can play at once and I never knew why since there are four characters. In all other games (metal slug, sunset riders, TMNT etc) up to four could play simultaneously. Players guide their selected characters through eight stages, battling various enemies and bosses, ending with Dr. Simon Fessenden. The game's titular dinosaurs make appearances as neutral characters that may attack both player characters and enemies. In Cadillacs and Dinosaurs the player has access to several attacks. Each character has two special moves including one that depletes a character's health upon contact with an enemy and When two or more players play together, they can trigger a team-attack. Players can also find and use firearms, throwing weapons such as rocks and explosives, as well melee weapons such as clubs.

Miss World Nude 96:

I decided to end this article with this amazing game. This game does not really require any explanation as we all know it and we all know why we played it. We were boys, we were young, the internet did not exist back in our day and we all wanted to see naked women. Hell some people play games like these even now that they grew up. Maybe it is a mistake publishing an article that contains this game as women never knew about it but who cares? What are the chances a woman will open and read this article anyway??? This game was too short though as it did not include many women. The gameplay mechanics were really original and I did not see them in any other game ever. But what different game would you play that included the same gameplay mechanic but different type of pictures in the background??

So this is my list. My personal list of favourite arcade games. Maybe I missed a few. Maybe I missed your favourite arcade game. Maybe I never heard of it. But I would love to hear about it and in the comments and do some research about it. Hope you enjoyed it.

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