Published August 23, 2019 Leave a Comment

other occasions, we’ve talked about fighting games and how they’ve, in a way, shaped the state of modern arcade gaming. At the very least, it’s fair to say that these games have created their own niche and fan following based around their mechanical complexity and tough-yet-rewarding gameplay. Not to mention the prizes and recognition that the player gets from winning one of the bigger tournaments like EVO.

However, it wasn’t always this way. In the earliest days of the genre, fighting games were often clunky, at best. The idea of stringing combos together or performing complex move sets simply weren’t a part of the equation. But they still could be fun, with a basic formula for pitting one human character against the other making do with the tech of the time. Karate Champ is one product of its era, a veritable pioneer of the entire genre.

Developed in 1984 by Technos Japan, but produced and distributed by Data East, this game was among the first of its kind. It consists of fights where two characters face off in one-on-one regulated battles. The enemy could be either a CPU or another player, much like modern tournament fighting games. However, this is where the similarities with other fighting games ends as Karate Champ is a beast of its own kind.

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Published August 15, 2019 Leave a Comment

Back in the late ‘80s when arcade gaming was still reinventing itself after the market crash of 1983, there was a genre of games that breathed life into the entire industry, fighting games. As we’ve mentioned several times already, it was titles like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat that saved the arcade gaming industry in the West back when it was headed down the slippery slope of obscurity. However, as the business became more profitable for developers and publishers in the West, along with improvements in technology, they started to venture into bringing new genres and prototypes from abroad.

The Origin of Rhythm Gameplay

Japanese developers have generally led the way in this genre, although it was the West that toyed around with the concept of playable music games first. Atari would release a pseudo-interactive music product called Atari Video Music in 1977. This took the input from a stereo and “visualized” it into graphics; a concept that would become fully interactive almost twenty years later when Atari included the Virtual Light Machine in their Atari Jaguar CD add-on. In 1984, they were prototyping an idea for a music dancing arcade game simply called the Atari Dance Machine. By the prototype footage found, this beast of a machine would have sported 3 monitors, two of which would have shown a music video, while the central display would have shown the dance moves you were supposed to copy. It would have used a camera to detect the movement of a user’s body – all this being thought about almost 30 years before Konami launched Dance Evolution Arcade.

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Published August 8, 2019 Leave a Comment

Mother’s Day came and went last week, and what better way to commemorate it than by writing about the first major game that had broad appeal to women? Co-designed by Dona Bailey and Ed Logg, Centipede’s release in 1980 became an instant hit due to many reasons, including it’s simple gameplay and vibrantly detailed cabinet art. By borrowing some elements from Space Invaders, and adding a wide slew of new mechanics, a classic was born.

The objective of this game is to take control of a movable turret (described in the flyers and subsequent media as a magic-wielding gnome) and shoot at a centipede that’s making its way down to the bottom of the screen. The brutish insect takes it time zigzagging down through a forest of mushrooms, giving the player ample opportunity to strike it with several well-placed shots. However, if the centipede makes it to the bottom, then death is all but inevitable – albeit a good player can still survive. Furthermore, our multi-legged friend is not alone as he has many bug cohorts to assist him in his task.

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Published August 1, 2019 Leave a Comment

People visit arcades for a variety of different reasons. Some go just to kill some time and play; some go for the social atmosphere, while others have the sole intention of taking on a serious challenge – that of setting highest possible score. This can come from either a ”You Vs. the Machine” or a world record breaker mentality, both serving as central motiviations in scorechasers everywhere. There’s something about placing your initials into the top slots on that coveted “high scores” screen, a feeling that drives many a gamer to hone their skills. However, there’s a new feature hitting the modern arcade scene that might give an extra incentive for players to set and share their own high scores, at least where Raw Thrills games are concerned.

Most games developed by Raw Thrills, such as Slither.ioNERF ArcadeSuper Bikes, and Cruis’n Blast, among others, feature their own QR codes in the after-game results screen. At this point, players could use their smartphones to scan the codes, and then share their legitimate and verified high scores in any social media platform. Imagine having a “high scores” screen not limited to the arcades, but available for anyone to see directly on their Twitter or Facebook feeds. However, while this feature was nifty, at best, it catered exclusively to the aforementioned hardcore gamers. Meanwhile, the most casual users would simply opt out, leaving the service unused.

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Published July 31, 2019 Leave a Comment
Published July 26, 2019 Leave a Comment

You’d think that, with a concept as simple and worn out like Snakes, it’d be difficult to monetize a game in this style in 2019. However, developer Steve Howse proved us wrong back in 2016 when he released Slither.io, a game that quickly rose to the top in popularity in both the Play Store, and as a browser-based game. The game is available both on mobile devices and PC, by downloading it from the aforementioned store, or by playing it on any web browser, respectively. It features some of the most simplistic gameplay that you can imagine but, due to its nature as an MMO game that reimagined a concept that was famous decades past, fans (especially kids) took to it like a moth to a lamp.

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Published July 11, 2019 Leave a Comment

If you thought the golden era of plug ‘n play consoles was long gone, then guess again! Some companies experimented with these non-cartridge, pre-loaded consoles to a degree back in the 90’s, with the fever culminating with consoles like the AtGames “Flashback” series of Atari & Sega consoles, Sony’s PlayStation Classic and the most popular of them all, Nintendo’s NES Classic.

The great thing about these products is that all you have to do is plug them into your TV and connect power and you could start to play. No cartridges or ROM configurations to worry about, and generally you can use the original controllers with them too. The quality of said devices has often left much to be desired, however. Since they are glorified emulation boxes, often the emulation was off on the graphics or the sound; sometimes the selection of included games would also leave fans scratching their heads. Overseas, such consoles came around in a variety of bizarre knock-offs and bootlegs, often including a giant number of poorly coded bootlegs and games you didn’t really want to play. Nevertheless, these devices made for amazing birthday presents since they were cheap and came packed with tons of games, much like the infamous “brick game” or Tiger Electronics devices.

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Published July 4, 2019 Leave a Comment

Beat Em Up

Since the success of Double Dragon in 1986, beat ‘em up games have been synonymous with the arcade industry. There’s something intriguing about beating up screenfuls of bad guys, and perpetually walking to the right that tickles our fancy in just the right way. This is especially true back in the early ‘90s, when the genre hit its peak. Today, the beat ‘em up genre has all but disappeared, Raw Thrills’ 2018 release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles standing alone in a market that abandoned such games to the glory of racing and shooting games. Nevertheless, the titles that made this genre famous still shine on to this day, with some of them even receiving modern adaptations.

However, this article is about remembering the best games of our childhoods; the ones with which we grew up. Depending on when you were born, you might’ve played lots of space shooters, or maybe plenty of fighting games and DDR. However, for some of us growing up in the late ‘80s to early ‘90s, all we played back then were arcade brawlers and beat ‘em ups. This article is a homage to all of our favorite games in this genre.

Read on to learn about our picks of 5 best arcade beat ‘em up games.

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Published June 28, 2019 Leave a Comment

Gravitar

Another month has passed, and so it’s time for another issue of “Getting Good!”

We’ve referenced many space shooters since the beginning of this series. However, given the popularity of these games back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, we’re not going to stop anytime soon.

Today, we’re going to focus on a classic that came from a major manufacturer, but ended up being fairly obscure – Gravitar. Now, if you’ve been keeping up with the blog, you might recognize this title as one of the main inspirations between the hit indie game ‘Cosmotrons’. Gravitar was a space shooter in the ‘80s that came about during a time when players craved challenging games, and Gravitar had the difficulty cranked up to 11. Developed and released by Atari in 1982, this game arrived in the midst of the genre’s peak popularity, which allowed it to capitalize on the hype. Gravitar was an evolution of Asteroids, but as the name of the game implies, gravity is one of your foes.

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Published June 20, 2019 Leave a Comment

Apple Arcade

The mobile gaming industry is booming as of late. With revenues that exceed the hundreds of billions of dollars worldwide, becoming a mobile game dev is more feasible than ever. And as new companies start to get on board with this trend, the hype is only expected to get larger in time. Case in point, the newest company that is undergoing a foray into the world of mobile gaming is Apple, with their gaming-as-a-service solution called Apple Arcade.

Now, playing games on your iPhone is nothing new. For the past decade, finding a title to entertain yourself with on your phone is as easy as visiting the App Store and downloading whatever you want. In a press release issued by Apple, they said the following regarding the App Store:

“With the App Store, Apple ignited a worldwide app phenomenon that has revolutionized the way people work, connect, learn and play. The App Store drives the app economy and has earned $120 billion for developers worldwide. Today, the App Store is the world’s safest and most vibrant app marketplace, with over half a billion people visiting each week.

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