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Author Topic: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown  (Read 42296 times)

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Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #90 on: November 03, 2015, 04:51:07 PM »
#24 (Tie) – Terminator 2: Judgement Day

38 Points, 2 Lists, Top Vote: #5 TeamRAD

Production Date: 1991
Manufacturer: Midway

Pretty straightforward, it's a first person gun game, with the guns mounted to the cabinet, a la Operation Wolf. You play as a reprogrammed T-800, first in the future fighting along side humans, and then later in the "present" trying to defend John Conner, destroy the T-1000, and potentially stop Skynet from ever existing.

It was a dedicated two player game. This meant that with only one person playing, that player only took damage from shots fired at their half of the screen. Since this is an Operation Wolf style game, there's no cover and no way to dodge enemy fire. Killing enemies before they hit you was of paramount importance. Knowing that you only have to cover your half of the screen makes a big difference in your ability to stay alive. Most single players will try to kill everything, which is effectively impossible to do without taking damage.

My personal feelings about the game? The part with the pickup truck was some serious bullshit. You can't just put in more money to continue either, you have to clear the stage without the truck getting destroyed. And the truck takes up nearly half the screen. And good luck destroying Skynet. You have to destroy everything during the Cyberdyne level to get the good ending.

There was a ton of Terminator 2 games, so much so that when this game got ported to consoles, they had to change the name from T2:Judgement Day to T2: The Arcade Game. There was also a pinball game. It was the first pinball game to have a DMD (Dot Matrix Display), something that quickly became the standard.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/3eK3v4ZaNpk" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/3eK3v4ZaNpk</a>

Fun fact: Schwarzenegger, Robert Patrick and Eddie Furlong are all credited at the beginning of the game. Linda Hamilton, not so much. Either because she refused of they didn't want to pay her, the character of Sarah Conner is played by Debbie Evans.

Up next, the inspiration for Cars 2 (not really)


Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #91 on: November 03, 2015, 05:57:04 PM »
Again, I have to apologize for how long it's taking me to get these done. I'm having some serious issues with my medications, in that I ran out of several of them at the same time, and I'm having trouble getting more. Hopefully this will be resolved tomorrow.

It's a shame, I thought the list was going really well up until the weekend. I promise though, I will make up for it. Don't loose faith in me  :-[


Offline ScottotD

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #92 on: November 03, 2015, 06:03:35 PM »
It is going well, you're write-ups have been fun
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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #93 on: November 03, 2015, 06:40:49 PM »
Yeah, this has been a great list so far.


Offline Pak-Man

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #94 on: November 03, 2015, 06:42:02 PM »
The entries are worth the wait!


Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #95 on: November 03, 2015, 07:56:39 PM »
#24 (Tie) – Spy Hunter

38 Points, 3 Lists, Top Vote: #11 Pak-Man

Production Date: 1983
Manufacturer: Bally Midway

Now here is a game that I really loved as a kid, despite not understanding at all what you were supposed to be doing. "Wait, I'm not supposed to shoot everyone?"

This was originally conceived as being based on James Bond. In fact, they tried to get the rights to use the James Bond theme music, but couldn't. So instead they went with Henry Mancini's theme for the TV show "Peter Gunn", a show which is best remembered as being the show with the "Theme from Peter Gunn" music. I believe you're supposed to be transporting secret documents, but it's never made clear where you're transporting them to. Wherever it is, you never get there. No matter which road you choose at the forks, it just keeps going. There was a rumor of a "Graveyard" level which was presumably the end. But to my knowledge, there was no such level and the game is endless.

The game starts you with a machine gun with infinite ammo. The game is also nice enough to start you on a timer, during which it doesn't matter how many times you crash. Once the timer ends though, you start with one extra life (two if you already have at least 18K points). After each fork, you'll pass a parked tractor trailer, which will then catch up to you. If you enter it you can get one of the other three weapons:Oil Slick which causes cars behind you to veer off course, Smoke Screen which clears everything behind you, and Missiles for shooting down helicopters.

The cabinet itself was where the game got a lot of it's appeal. Instead of a joystick, or a steering wheel, the game used something more akin to flight controls, or if you watched Knight Rider, like the steering wheel on KITT (Speaking of which, the tractor trailer is reminiscent of Knight Rider as well). The stick had four weapon buttons, two triggers and two top buttons, and a fifth button in the center for calling the weapons van. Also, a gear shifter and an accelerator pedal. There was even a dashboard that kept track of which weapons you currently had. Which is a problem for anyone playing on MAME, since the lights are built into the cabinet.



Occasionally, you'd get a "Bridge Out, Detour on Left" warning, where you would switch to a boat. It's always bugged me though, where is all the traffic who's cars can't turn into boats supposed to go? There were also plans for a helicopter segment, but that idea got scrapped.

There's a well known trick, where if the weapons truck drops you off, when the side of the road is right at the edge of the screen, you can stay off the road and just drive right through trees, and in some cases, even over bridges that are out.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/h34MviiKXXc" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/h34MviiKXXc</a>

Fun fact: There is in fact a Spy Hunter 2, and it is awful. Opinion of the initially produced cabinets was so bad that Midway never put the game into full production. I've seen and played the game, and I can say, that negative reaction was justified.

Up next, a game with fully voiced profanity, sort of.


Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #96 on: November 03, 2015, 07:59:35 PM »
Thanks for the encouragement guys  :D

EDIT: That will have to do it for tonight. Tomorrow I will get my pain medication, I hope.


Offline ScottotD

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #97 on: November 03, 2015, 08:13:10 PM »

Now here is a game that I really loved as a kid, despite not understanding at all what you were supposed to be doing. "Wait, I'm not supposed to shoot everyone?"

This is exactly my experience as well
Scottotd on Instagram

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- how I read any complaint about MST3k (or Star Wars or Ghostbusters)


Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #98 on: November 04, 2015, 05:49:53 PM »
#24 (Tie) – Q*Bert

38 Points, 3 Lists, Top Vote: #4 Pak-Man

Production Date: 1982
Manufacturer: Gottlieb

This is the only chance I'm going to get to talk about Gottlieb, so I'm going to take advantage of it.

Before Williams became the undisputed king of Pinball, there was Gottlieb. Gottlieb produced a LOT of pinball games, particularly electro-mechanical games, going as far back as the 1930's. In 1947, they released "Humpty Dumpty", the first pinball game ever to have flippers, fundamentally changing the world of pinball forever. Before that, pinball was very similar to Pachinko. In fact, the word "pinball" comes from the idea of having a piece of plywood with pins driven into it. The player would plunge the ball and hope it bounced where they wanted it to. Humpty Dumpty had three pairs of flippers, something that the designer Harry Mabs later decided was "way too many", so games after that had the one pair that became the standard.



What Gottlieb was not known for was video games. While they did produce several, by FAR the most successful and well known was Q*Bert. It was one of the first games to feature an "isometric" layout, looking 3D while actually being 2D. Q*Bert himself was a... something, with a propensity for swearing. Not in English of course. The game had a speech synthesizer that just randomly combined phonemes to accompany his exclamation of "@!#?@!" whenever he got hit. The intention was to have the game speak actual words, but this proved too difficult.

The object of the game: jump around a pyramid of cubes, changing their color to match a particular target color. As the game progressed, it took more jumps to reach the right color, and when things got particularly evil, cubes would start reverting to previous colors if jumped on again. Trying to stop you are Coily, a spring-like snake with a propensity to follow you off the stage when you jumped on one of flying disks. Red bouncing balls, Sam and Slick, who can't hurt you, but could change the colors of blocks back, and Ugg and Wrong-Way, who's own personal gravity seemed to be 90 degrees off from everyone else.

The game's creator, Jeff Lee, wanted to call the game "Snots and Boogers". This idea was wisely shot down. The title they went with was "@!#?@!" (as you can see at the top of this post). Several machines with this title were produced. However, the fact that this was unpronounceable was a problem. Someone at Gottlieb suggested the name "Hubert". "Cube"+"Hubert"= Cubert, which they spelled Q*Bert as it's known today.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/HKIbhaQfs-A" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/HKIbhaQfs-A</a>

Fun fact: Yes, Gottlieb did make a Q*Bert pinball game. It has a bizarre flipper layout. Only about 900 were ever made. It's not the rarest pinball table, but it's up there.



Up next, that game with a guy who bears an uncanny resemblance to Mario.     


Offline ScottotD

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #99 on: November 04, 2015, 06:03:43 PM »
So, everyone who submitted is in their 30s?  :)
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Offline Pak-Man

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #100 on: November 04, 2015, 08:59:42 PM »
I know I am!


Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #101 on: November 05, 2015, 12:52:22 PM »
#21 – Donkey Kong

39 Points, 4 Lists, Top Vote: #10 Sugar Ray Dodge

Production Date: 1981
Manufacturer: Nintendo

Donkey Kong was the first video game designed by the now legendary Shigeru Miyamoto. It is frequently cited as the first "platformer". Actually "Space Panic" holds that distinction. But Donkey Kong was the first platformer to involve jumping, a concept that became nearly universal to the genre.

DK is the story of a great ape who kidnaps a woman, known as "Lady", and climbs up a building under construction in Brooklyn, during the 1930s. Yeah, I'd never heard that before either. Out to rescue her is "Jumpman". Nintendo was not great at naming characters. When I say "this is the story...", I'm not being facetious. DK was one of the first games that had cutscenes and some semblance of a plot. Each level had between 2 to 4 stages, with all but the last stage ending with Donkey Kong climbing further up, and the last stage ending with Jumpman removing the rivets from the girders that DK is standing on, causing him to fall to what should be certain death. And then you go to the next level

Nintendo had been trying to gain a foothold in North America for some time, without much success. Donkey Kong was their big break. Nintendo of America wanted to change the title, the request was refused. However, the two human characters were given new names. Pauline, named after Polly James, wife of NoA's warehouse manager, and Mario, named after the landlord of NoA's office space.

Mario's design had more to do with practicality than with resembling any particular person. Due to the limited number of pixels they had to work with, they gave him a hat, so they didn't have to animate hair, and a mustache so they didn't have to give him a mouth. And his red on blue overalls were done to make his animations stand out.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/85flrK1vivI" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/85flrK1vivI</a>

Fun fact: DK is another game that has a "kill screen". Specifically, Level 22, the 117th screen. There is a bonus for each stage that is tied to the game timer. At level 22, the timer overflows, rolling over to a value that gives you only a few seconds, nowhere near enough to finish the stage, no matter what you do.

Amusing fact: Universal sued Nintendo, claiming that Donkey Kong was too similar to King Kong, and that Nintendo owed them royalties. Unfortunately for Universal, they had claimed in a previous court case that the concept of a giant ape climbing a building should be public domain, effectively providing Nintendo the means to win the case. Two years later, Universal sued them a second time and lost again. Then Nintendo then sued Universal for $1.8 million in "court costs and lost revenue". They won.

Up next, police brutality.


Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #102 on: November 05, 2015, 04:24:56 PM »
#20 – A.P.B.

40 Points, 3 Lists, Top Vote: #7 Cole Stratton

Production Date: 1987
Manufacturer: Atari

APB, or All Points Bulletin, is a game that I liked watching other people play, but that I found too daunting to play myself. Apparently I wasn't the only one. By the developers' own admission, the game was in development too long. They ended up trying to jam every idea they had into the game, and it ended up being overly complicated.

You play as Officer Bob, a rookie who goes from ticketing litterers to running down murderers in the span of a couple weeks. Each day you have to meet a quota of ticketing law breakers, by chasing them down with your siren, and occasionally running them off the road. Every couple days you'll be given an APB to chase down a wanted felon, such as drug dealers, murderers, arsonists and the like. Once you manage to capture one of them, you have to... ahem... "coerce" them into confessing. And by coerce I mean strangle.

Looking at the screen, a couple issues are immediately obvious. The right side of the screen is filled from top to bottom with all manner of stats. Money, demerits (think lives but in reverse), various quotas, time, gas, ammo. Everything you could possibly need to know, with one glaring exception; There's no map, which is probably the most common complaint about the game. The city wraps around, so if you keep going north or south, you'll eventually end up where you started. But there are usually at least two major roads running vertically, and you really need to know where stuff is in advance to play the game successfully. In addition to the Police Station, there's the gas station, a shop for upgrading your car, doughnuts (for more time). You're generally going to want to swing by as much of this as you can each day, while still meeting your quota and making it back to the station in time.

The cabinet has some interesting features, with police lights on top that flash whenever you have your siren on, and a seat that could be detached if the operator wanted it to be a stand up game.

There's a surprising lack of information out there regarding how the game plays. I could not find any FAQ or any video of a complete playthrough. If anyone has any details of the game I missed, feel free to share.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/5o2zNEVoyDE" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/5o2zNEVoyDE</a>

Fun fact, the game refers to you as Car 54, an obvious reference to the TV show "Car 54, Where Are You?"

Up next, speaking of overly complicated games...     

 


Offline stethacantus

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #103 on: November 05, 2015, 10:43:50 PM »
Amusing fact: Universal sued Nintendo, claiming that Donkey Kong was too similar to King Kong, and that Nintendo owed them royalties. Unfortunately for Universal, they had claimed in a previous court case that the concept of a giant ape climbing a building should be public domain, effectively providing Nintendo the means to win the case. Two years later, Universal sued them a second time and lost again. Then Nintendo then sued Universal for $1.8 million in "court costs and lost revenue". They won.

There is a lot more to this story. First the back story. King Kong was created by director Merian Cooper who assumed that since he created the ape, he owned the rights to it. He even claimed he had the documentation proving that his contract with R.K.O. gave him full rights to Kong, but the documents had since been lost. Since monster movies in the early 1930s ended with the monster being killed, there was no possibility of a King Kong franchise. Kong was killed at the end of his first movie, and could not possibly return in any sequels.  This changed with Bride of Frankenstein, where Universal began bringing their monsters back from the dead for sequels. Cooper, now working for another studio, decided to revive Kong. A film that would have King Kong fighting Tarzan was nearly produced, when R.K.O. stepped in claiming they owned Kong. For the next few decades Cooper fought R.K.O. in court over the rights to Kong, in which time neither Cooper nor R.K.O. could produce a King Kong sequel.

In the 1960s R.K.O. licensed Kong to Willis O'Brien,  for what would be a sequel where Kong fought Frankenstein. ( O'Brien was the animator on the 1933 King Kong ) But the producer O'Brien was working with went behind his back and sold the rights to the film to Toho, who then replaced Frankenstein with Godzilla. R.K.O. also licenced Kong to Rankin/Bass who produced a King Kong Saturday morning cartoon, as well as the movie King Kong Escapes which they co-produced with Toho. Once again, Cooper sued R.K.O. over the rights of Kong, and once again the court cases went unresolved.

The two Toho Kong films were distributed in the United States by Universal, who were so pleased with the box office that they began negotiating with R.K.O. for the rights to future King Kong films. Universal executives claimed they had a verbal agreement with R.K.O. for the right to produce the next King Kong film, when Dino de Laurentiis obtained the rights to remake King Kong and Son of Kong. Universal sued, and lost. But then their lawyers appealed the case with this one amazing loophole. In 1932, to promote the soon to be released King Kong, R.K.O. published a novelization of the movie. They never bothered to renew the copyright on the King Kong novel, and it became public domain. Universal claimed that since the novel had been released a year before the movie, that the King Kong story was now public domain, and they could legally release their own remake without anyone's permission. The judge agreed. Paramount did not want a competing version of King Kong in the theaters, so made an agreement with Universal that they would hold off on producing their version for a few years in exchange for a percentage of the box office of the de Laurentiis remake.

Meanwhile, Cooper's son filed another lawsuit in behalf of his late father. During the fight between R.K.O. and Universal, documentation proving that Kong was created by Cooper finally materialized. The judge decided that the Cooper estate did indeed own the rights to the King Kong character. Cooper jr. then sold the rights to Universal.

This brings us to the Donkey Kong lawsuit. Initially, Nintendo's defense was that word Kong in Japanese culture meant huge. Universal countered that the game itself stole elements from the King Kong story, such as a large ape dragging a girl up a skyscraper. But then Nintendo's lawyers found the earlier decision where Universal's lawyers had successfully argued that the King Kong story was public domain. Not only was it decided that the Universal lawsuit was frivolous, but Nintendo was awarded their countersuit. Nintendo argued that a King Kong video game that Universal released ripped off Donkey Kong.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2015, 10:49:08 PM by stethacantus »


Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #104 on: November 06, 2015, 10:35:24 AM »
#19 (Tie) – The Twilight Zone

43 Points, 2 Lists, Top Vote: #4 CJones

Production Date: 1993
Manufacturer: Bally Midway (Williams)

After the enormous success of The Addams Family, Williams told pinball designer Pat Lawlor that he had carte blanche to design his next game. Whatever he came up with, they would put into production. What he came up with was the most complicated, most expensive pinball game ever made, up to that point: The Twilight Zone.

Lawlor was well known for trying out new ideas, and TZ is no exception. In addition to the standard two flippers, and the two upper flippers, there was also an elevated playfield that, instead of physical flippers, had "Magna-Flip" flippers, powerful electromagnets that would fling the ball around.  The object was to get the ball to roll off the top of the playfield, thus defeating "The Power"
 


There was also Gumball machine that loaded a ball into the top while releasing the bottom most ball. This was significant because of the five balls in the game, 4 were steel, but the fifth was ceramic, meaning it wasn't affected by magnets. It was also much lighter, which caused it to bounce around faster. If you managed to get it back into the gumball machine it would start Powerball. Mania.

Also of note was an analog clock which, when the game wasn't be played, would show the actual time.

There are loads of references to the Twilight Zone TV show such as Talky Tina, Robby the Robot, a "Most Unusual Camera", and the Hitchhiker. And of course there was the most obvious reference, The Door in the middle of the playfield. If you could light all of the Door panels, you could start Lost In The Zone, where for 45 seconds, everything was lit and all drained balls were relaunched. Oddly enough, The Power, the game's "antagonist" for lack of a better term, does not seem to come from any TZ episode.

Twilight Zone is is the highest rated game on the Internet Pinball Database.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/DYy0aNj9GLU" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/DYy0aNj9GLU</a>

Fun fact: Bally had to acquire not only the rights to the TZ TV show, but also the rights to use Rod Serling's likeness and voice.

Up next, one of the earliest games with a female protagonist.