Gaming History 101

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Posts Tagged ‘arcade

Learning from the Past: The Arcades

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We live in a great time to be a gamer. The quality and quantity of games available is at an all-time high. We can even hop on our systems and play against people in our living rooms or halfway around the world.

This holds even more true for retro gamers. It is getting easier to gain access to older games, whether through the internet, local stores that focus on retro gaming or services like Nintendo’s Virtual Console. Older PC games are making a comeback as well, with Blizzard releasing StarCraft Broodwar for free and services like Good Old Games (gog.com) optimizing the settings for programs like DOSbox so gamers don’t have to fight with it.

There is one experience, however, that will probably never be the same as it was back in the hey days of the 80s and early 90s: the local arcade.

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Written by azrockslide

June 26, 2017 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Sega Arcade Classics (Part 1)

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This week Fred and Jam dive into the wonderful world of Sega arcade games.  A company that literally started in arcade distribution before the existence of video games, Sega was a pioneer in the world of coin-operated arcade machines in the same way Nintendo was with console games.  They don’t get quite as far as originally intended – not even making it to the Sega 16 hardware from the mid 80s – but the discussion is thorough and gives appreciation to some beloved and impressive titles.


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Written by Fred Rojas

September 30, 2015 at 11:00 am

Posted in podcast

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Podcast: Arcade Memories

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This week Fred and Jam wax nostalgic on their favorite arcades from the past.  It’s always been our belief that not only were the cabinet games themselves impressionistic, but the particular arcade you would visit and games you selected at those arcades to be just as significant.  We talk about the locations, interiors, moods, feel, and of course our favorite games.


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Written by Fred Rojas

March 18, 2015 at 11:00 am

Posted in Arcade, podcast

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New Retro Arcade, The Emulator Frontend We Wanted Game Room To Be

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A new development has come from the folks at Digital Cyber Cherries called New Retro Arcade that utilizes Unreal Engine 4 and a bunch of assets to simulate an actual arcade for your MAME emulation.  This program is what we all probably hoped the Xbox 360’s Game Room was going to be but never was.  You can browse your arcade, complete with random lights, sounds, and crazy carpeting, and play whatever you like.  Built into the program are random arcade activities like darts and bowling, but the real draw is picking up that SNES controller, Gameboy sitting about, or walking up an arcade cabinet and playing the game.  You can see in the video below that of the authenticity retained by this program, scanlines and rounded edges are a welcome part of it.  The demo has it running on a GTX 780 TI, but it clearly doesn’t seem to need that power, however the average Windows XP MAME machine is probably not going to have the chops to run it.  It’s a good start, but I’m going to want to test it myself and I can’t see it replacing my MAME machine as my go-to for arcade emulation, but if I get some sort of VR helmet in the future it does appear be an enticing recreation.  Clicking on the company name above will take you to the site to get this free download.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blE43U3PTGQ]

Written by Fred Rojas

March 18, 2015 at 10:27 am

Posted in News

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Swedish Airports Have Arcade Charity Machines

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This is a incredibly creative way to raise money for charity that will hopefully catch on in other countries.  Working with the Red Cross arcade machines of Space Invaders, Galaga, and Ms. Pac-Man have been installed to accept multiple types of currency with all the proceeds going to charity. So you can enjoy your favourite retro games while you wait for that plane ride knowing it all goes to a good cause. If this catches on maybe well see other games brought back into the fray. If I could choose I would sink plenty of money into a Bubble Bobble or Rainbow Islands cabinet.

http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/133209-play-space-invaders-and-raise-money-for-charity-job-s-a-good-un

Written by jamalais

March 17, 2015 at 3:39 pm

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Podcast: Video Game Capital of the Universe

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This week we have special guest Matt Bradford from Video Game Outsiders on to discuss his former employer Twin Galaxies.  We cover the genesis of Walter Day’s high score database, the golden age of professional arcade gaming, controversy over the King of Kong, and future endeavors with new owners Jordan Adler and Richie Knucklez.

Opening song – You’re the Best by Joe Esposito

Closing song – High Score by Ski Beatz featuring Da$h

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Written by Fred Rojas

February 27, 2013 at 11:00 am

Podcast: 1 Coin = 1 Credit

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Fred and Trees discuss the wonderful world of arcade games.  As this is a broad topic, all format is thrown out the window and discussions include what makes up an arcade, arcade title eras, arcade games vs. home consoles, atmosphere of arcades, MAME, and of course more games than can rightfully be named here.

Intro song is Pac-Man Fever by Buckner & Garcia

Outro song is 1980 by Dirt Nasty


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Written by Fred Rojas

February 20, 2013 at 11:00 am

Head to Head: Double Dragon

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In many cases, games with the same name – and even the same game ported to various consoles – can be drastically different.  This was especially true in the 8-bit era where plenty of popular arcade games were deemed too limited for a boxed release on consoles like the NES. Head to Head takes two particular games and explains the drastic difference between the two that often keep fans of each camp drastically divided.  Aside from ports, you can also expect several other types of comparisons such as localization.

Double Dragon Arcade

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In 1987 Technos released a spiritual successor to its popular brawler Renegade (Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun) known as Double Dragon.  It told the story of two brothers, Billy Lee and Jimmy Lee (Hammer and Spike in US arcades), who are fighting the mean streets of the Black Warriors turf to get back Billy’s girlfriend.  It released first to arcades and eventually saw a port over to the NES, which drastically changed the game.  Chances are if you are an American that played the game in your past, then you remember the NES version.  Now that arcade ports of many games we loved on the NES are releasing on services like Xbox Live and Playstation Network, it’s important to know the drastic differences between the two because they are different games.  Love ’em or hate ’em, here’s the Head to Head on Double Dragon.

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Written by Fred Rojas

July 12, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Star Wars Arcade (Atari)

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There is a surprising similarity between Star Wars Arcade, released in 1983, and Star Fox, released in 1993.  For starters they are both 3D graphical on-rails shooters that involve space battle and a predominance toward the cockpit view.  In addition they’re all about blowing up things in space while people scream at you with words and phrases that offer no assistance in the gameplay.  Okay, so they’re not actually all that similar when it comes down to gameplay (honestly I find Star Wars Arcade to be the better game), but it does demonstrate that the style of gameplay does withstand the test of time.

Even though it coincided more with the movie release of Return of the Jedi, Star Wars Arcade was a vector graphics 3D shooter where you controlled Luke Skywalker as he attacked the Death Star in Red 5 at the end of the Star Wars: A New Hope.  The game involved three stages of battle, called “waves” in the game, that they had to overcome in order to complete it.  In the first wave you would destroy TIE fighters as you approach the Death Star, in the second wave you would destroy turrets on the surface and in the final wave you would fight in the trench against both types of enemies and take a crack at shooting the exhaust port and destroying the space station.  If you did so, you would loop into the game again and receive an extra shield that allowed you to play for longer periods of time.  Doing so without firing a single bullet in the trench until the perfect shot on the exhaust port would be considered as a “using the force” run and net you a huge point bonus in addition to your additional shield.  Because of these bonuses it was possible to play for a long time on one quarter, which was like finding gold in old school arcades, and one guy even played for more than 50 hours on a single credit.

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Written by Fred Rojas

March 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Shmuppreciation 2012

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Space Invaders (Taito)

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It is the world’s most popular arcade machine of all time, caused such a craze in Japan that there was a temporary shortage of 100-yen coins (equivalent to a quarter in US arcades) and grossed a whopping $2 billion worldwide in 1982.  Not only that it skyrocketed sales of the Atari VCS/2600, its “alien” creatures are now symbols representing video games as a whole and the Guinness Book of World Records labels it the top arcade game ever made.  I’m speaking of none other than Space Invaders(Supēsu Inbēdā in Japan), the very first shmup and the arcade game that ushered a new action focus in arcades instead of the previous sports focus.  Whether you played it, or a derivative game like Galaga, this game is so well-known that it still spells gold for developers even today.  It was probably one of the first games I ever played and anytime I see a cabinet I have to plunk down a quarter for a play.  Even Nintendo’s own Shigeru Miyamoto (responsible for Mario, Link and plenty of other Nintendo staple titles) admitted that Space Invaders was the game that got him interested in video games.  I know it sounds like I’m singing the praises long after they’re due, but this truly is the ideal example of a game that is both easy to play and addicting as hell.  This is a true video game.

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Written by Fred Rojas

March 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm