Saturday, March 27, 2010

So....Arcade Appreciation April

When I first started this blog the plan was to only talk about arcade games. Sure I screwed that up pretty early on but all the same I think it has worked out for the best. I've played more games to completion now than I ever have before and I've actually managed to deal with the backlog problems that have plagued me ever since I started making more money than bills alone could cover. Still all that stuff about other games is going on the back-burner indefinitely because I'm back to discussing what I love most about gaming and that is the arcades.

Actually strike that I'm not so much a fan of arcades as I am a fan of arcade games. Besides have you been to an Arcade lately? Oh sure I bet they're great over in Japan but every one I've gone to in my area? They're ghastly sights. There are so many games from around the year 2000, they don't even work, and the clerks there are expecting a dollar a play. The only reason nobody has bothered to dump those hunks of garbage is because there's not a landfill out there willing to take them and the noises from the attract screens keep the clerks from falling asleep. To me at least arcades have died and an infinite number of sticks and strings couldn't prop that corpse up to be anything more than that.

Arcade games on the other hand deserve to be remembered and cherished. From the outset they have been designed with one goal in mind and that is to make money. Yes I'm afraid I can't lie and create some honorable goal that every game designer wishes to achieve because in the end the mark of a great arcade game is that it can make money. This part is tough because anyone can tell if an arcade game is bad in five minutes or less and it only costs between 25 cents and a dollar to find out. Word of mouth travels quickly in a single room and before long this bad arcade game is shuffled off to parts unknown to wallow in infamy until some random no-name blog heralds it as a classic.

I'm not here to play the part of the bitter elitist prick. I have no interest in pushing others away because they don't share my viewpoint and they couldn't care less about whatever random arcade game I gush about. Still if you're here expecting me to talk about Metro 2033 or some other current game I'm afraid you'll have to look elsewhere. As of a few days ago until whenever I run out of arcade games this is all I'm going to be talking about. It has always been my first love and my source of instant gratification whenever I'm worn out with playing through 50 hour RPGs, 20 hour first-person-shooters, and well anything else that requires more than an hour to see an ending. If you were around for last year's Arcade Appreciation that's great and I look forward to your continued support. If not then welcome and I hope you stick around.

This year I'm expecting to discuss the following:

Sega "Classics" Collection - For the unaware this infamous compilation puts together ten games from Sega's early Sega Ages line for the Playstation 2. This set is best known for its horrendous version of Golden Axe. I'll not only be discussing these remakes but also the original arcade games.

A look at Toaplan - I mentioned this developer way back when I did my look at Fire Shark. They have released a number of titles you may be familiar with and in terms of 2D shooters they carried more than their fair share of influence. After all it was due in part to Toaplan that we saw the likes of Cave and Raizing. This is no mere remembrance of days long past as many of their games are still very playable today.

Taito Legends 1 & 2 - For Taito fans these compilations are obvious pick-ups. I've gone over bits and pieces from each set in the past but this time I'm going to complete the exploration of many of the titles that made Taito such a stand-out Arcade developer.

Data East Arcade Classics - Data East has been no slouch when it comes to the development of good arcade games. I'm a bit disappointed that it took this long to put together a compilation. While it isn't nearly as complete as I had hoped it's still a worthwhile set and I'm looking forward to talking about it.

Namco Museum Virtual Arcade - Like the Taito sets I've explored parts of this set in the past. This time I'll cover the rest.

Midway Arcade Treasure 2 - Did part 1. Why not do the sequel?

Mushihime-sama Futari and ESP Galuda 2 - I should have looked at these games long ago but hey whatevs.

Atari Anthology - I don't talk about the older arcade games often enough do I? There's a reason for that as I'm not exactly the biggest fan of them. All the more reason to give them a go now eh?

Arcade games that'll most likely never be re-released - This one I'm not so sure about because it's going to cover the gamut of licensed games, releases from now-defunct publishers, and well everything whose future is in the realm of improbable. I won't say impossible cause stranger things have happened but I simply can't let great, good, or even bad games fall into the ether as long as they can provoke worthwhile discussion.

Final Fight Double Impact - Capcom is putting out their XBLA/PSN release of Final Fight & Magic Sword the day after my birthday(April 14th). As my thanks to them I will give Final Fight another look and hopefully find more reason as to why I think Magic Sword is so good.

X360 Game Room - Much to my chagrin apparently there's word going around that more games aren't going to be released to this service until towards the end of April. While the service has problems I think there is at least some merit to it as it gives the chance for arcade games to reach a wider audience. Since all games can be demoed only expect me to write something about the ones I've bought(like the three I talked about in the past few updates).

Whatever else I can manage to dig up you can be sure I'll talk about it here. Fans of fighting games do note however that I won't be discussing them. Yes fighting games have been instrumental to the success of arcades but I simply don't play them anymore. Life's short enough as it is and believe me if I was someone else I'd be living in a temple doing nothing but mastering Virtua Fighter. Instead this is how it must be so eh oh eh well whatevs.

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