3 comments on “Pac-Man Fever

  1. I miss arcades, we’ve still got a few in my town, but the games are slowly dwindling to one-armed bandits and fruit machines.

    We used to have a Mr B’s in this town, which was a huge arcade with video games, pinball, bingo for old people and this amazing large ‘fun factory’. Over time they started to add more fruit machines, the games started to dwindle to DDR, Time Crisis and Virtual Soccer, the ‘fun factory’ became Laser Tag.

    All the great games that cost about 10p (5c) to play – Mario, Pac Man, WWF, Sunset Riders – were first to go, followed by the 50p – Mortal Kombat, Streetfighter – all to make way for the ones that cost £1-£2 for a single attempt.

    Instead of talking trash as they kicked ass with Scorpion, they were talking trash about how someones ass looked dumb dancing.

    Now the place is a wine bar with a single fruit machine in the corner, next to the door of the gents lavatory. Same with two other arcades in our town. Another became a simple fruit machine only place. We have about three left that still have games in them, and most of them are driving or shooting games.

    You actually have bigger arcades at motorway services these days.

    On the console issue, I think the saddest part to me is how quickly the platform game has gone away. It was probably the biggest staple of gaming for so long, with so much variance, and it seems such a shame that if it’s tried these days it would only be deemed as a waste of the power of the systems.

    There’s platform characters that I still love from the 80s that were heroes to me – Monty Mole (from Monty on the Run), Jack the Nipper, Dizzy the Egg. It’ll be a shame to see them relegated to the status of ‘oh man, what was that one called…’.

    Though, I don’t see it as the end if the companies get innovative. Look at game stores that allow you to play demos of the games on systems, if they could make some way of having a “credits card” reader for the systems, that you top up with quarters. You could have a console-based arcade. Hell, games like Guitar Hero (with a special Arcade version) can be just as much a crowd puller as DDR, and Super Knockout with a wii-mote or anything from one of those party packs.

  2. I had some great times in the arcades during the 80’s and early 90’s. Remember when that holographic game Time Traveller came out? Man that was something else. Nothing has ever been so bleeding edge or an pioneering as that.

    Of course to this there is also an “upside to the downfall” of arcades. It’s not hard to buy these machines for your own use and bring them home. Prices vary of course but compared to the amount of quarters used to play these games, it’s not a half bad investment.

    Compared to the cost of a sports car, a beach house or an art collection, a few thousand spent on your own personal arcade with a dozen machines or so isn’t a bad deal at all.

  3. My mom used to play Tetris like no one’s business. My dad was a Space Invaders and Centipede champion. My stepdad would speed run RPGs like Landstalker. My uncle was a casual tourney fighting gamer. I’d like to think I’m from good gamer stock. ^^ The one game I have wonderfully fond memories was the Simpsons side-scroller beat ‘im up. Man, good times. I think I’ve beat it around 3 times, but only with help. I used to sprain my wrist playing Centipede so much that I ended up in crossing my hands (wrist over wrist) so I didn’t wear out my right hand.

    I heartily agree that gaming tech moves to damn fast. Rather, it moves fast enough to not allow us to enjoy the good games that come out. And by good I mean the fun ones, not these play online whores that insist that every game, competitive or not, MUST have online capabilities. Screw that. I’d rather it just be same-room wireless. I don’t enjoy Smash Bros unless there are people RIGHT THERE next to me. Why should a game have next gen graphics if all its going to do is try aping real life? What happened to a gaming age where beauty is in the artestry of level design and surroundings instead of “real blood ‘n guts” or unrealistic t&a (not that I mind the t&a, mind you ^^)?

    I look at it this way: like in movies, if you spend all that time and money mo-capping and trying to use computer animation to look so close to life, its impossible to distinguish it from real life, then just freaking hire live action actors. I mean, what’s the point??

    Sorry, I’m still steaming over Game Informer’s piece of crap 6 out of 10 rating for NiGHTS. Mofo’s need to start LISTENING to the interviews and the game developers instead of comparing Mona Lisa to Duchamp’s urinal. ><

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