Author Topic: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown  (Read 41776 times)

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Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #120 on: November 07, 2015, 06:07:58 PM »
#15 – Baby Pac-Man

48 Points, 3 Lists, Top Vote: #7 CJones

Production Date: 1982
Manufacturer: Bally Midway

Pop quiz time: Name any pinball/video game hybrid other than Baby Pac-Man. Yes, there are others.

Baby Pac-Man is a prime example of a game that is sought after, not so much because it's particularly good, but because of its novelty value. It's not even that rare a game. About 7000 were made. But it's the only game of its type that has name recognition. I'm not saying the game is bad. Just that no one who plays this game does so because they expect a good video game and/or a good pinball game. Both parts taken alone are actually pretty half-assed. But the combination of the two is what makes it more interesting than the sum of its parts. If I could afford my own private arcade, Baby Pac-Man is one of the first games I would want to get.

Baby Pac-Man is another in the line of Pac-Man games that Midway made themselves, and that Namco had nothing to do with. At the time, Bally was heavily into Pinball manufacturing, and Midway was heavily into exploiting Namco's IP, so it made sense to try and combine the two. Especially at a time when the name "Pac-Man" was virtually a license to print money. However, the combination of what is effectively two completely different games, tended to alienate both pinball fans and Pac-Man fans.

The maze part of the game is brutally difficult. There are no Power Pellets to begin with. You have to play the pinball part to earn them. Despite not having any outlanes, the pinball portion is also pretty difficult. Because the playfield is so small, and the primary targets are in the top center, balls can easily ricochet down the center, or just be moving faster than you can react. You can't actually die during the pinball portion. But you won't be allowed access to it again unless you die, or clear the stage.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/NEX7TqjW3nU" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/NEX7TqjW3nU</a>

Fun fact: How many such hybrid games were made? Three. "Caveman" by Gottlieb was the first. Then "Baby Pac-Man" and "Granny and the Gators", both by Bally Midway. Baby Pac-Man is easily the most common of the three.

Up next yet another game with an ape climbing buildings.


soguru

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #121 on: November 07, 2015, 08:08:34 PM »
I remember Baby Pac-Man from the old Pac-Man cartoon on Saturday Supercade, but I NEVER remember a Pinball Game. Just seems like an idea that goes completely against the game mechanics of Pac-Man. Pak-man, what are your thoughts?


Offline Pak-Man

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #122 on: November 07, 2015, 11:04:43 PM »
I encountered it once at a Chuck-E-Cheese when I was growing up and never saw it again. It was a pretty neat idea. The pinball portion of the game was super-claustrophobic, though, and it's hard to play Pac-Man with limited power-ups. I like the game it tried to be better than I like the result.


Offline stethacantus

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #123 on: November 08, 2015, 02:52:21 PM »
I can remember hearing that Baby Pac Man was being released to arcades in advance of it's release. I am not sure where. Perhaps one of the radio DJs mentioned it. Or perhaps my friends who got the Atari magazine in the mail read an article on it and spread the news. ( I also seemed to recall knowing about the Donkey Kong sequels in advance of their release. ) Baby Pac Man finally showed up in one of my neighborhood stores. I actually ranked it above Pac Man on my list. But that is probably because I never got the chance to play the arcade Pac Man long enough to learn how to clear levels ( the machine I had access to was always busy ), so the Baby Pac Man was just as hard for me. But it also had the extra pinball game which made it feel like you were playing two games for one quarter.  I took turns playing it with my friends, and left the store. We returned the next day to find an "Out OF Order" sign pasted on the screen, and the machine unplugged. The Baby Pac Man remained in the same spot in that store for a month, unplugged and out of order, before being replaced with Phoenix.  A friend who saw a game in another part of town said it was also out of order all the time.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2015, 02:54:07 PM by stethacantus »


Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #124 on: November 09, 2015, 04:46:45 PM »
 I only ever saw one IRL, same as you guys. Baby Pac-Man cabinets are notorious for breaking down/

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



Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #125 on: November 09, 2015, 04:55:52 PM »
I could have sworn I left a message for you guys, letting you know I would be out of town a couple days.

So yeah, I was gone all of yesterday. I just got home, after 4 hours driving, during which my car started leaking fuel. I got as far as I could, but had to call AAA to bring me more gas.

So I'm pretty beat now. After some sleep, I'll get the list going again. See you tomorrow.


Johnny Unusual

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #126 on: November 09, 2015, 06:37:56 PM »
No worries.  Baby Pac-Man looks friggin' crazy.  Pretty admirable too.


soguru

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #127 on: November 12, 2015, 07:34:18 AM »
... I hope Cjones is doing okay.


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #128 on: November 12, 2015, 12:17:34 PM »
For the lists that I have hosted, I have found that I always get unexpectedly busier while doing them. It's the curse of the LoC.



Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #129 on: November 12, 2015, 02:46:09 PM »
I just wanted to assure everyone that I'm not dead. Not yet anyway. Between my health issues and being out of town, I've been even more distracted than usual.

I have however been working on an editorial I've been wanting to do: The rarest arcade games in existence. Just don't expect anything tonight.


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #130 on: November 12, 2015, 07:05:04 PM »
I just wanted to assure everyone that I'm not dead.
Don't be silly, you'll be stone dead in a moment.



soguru

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #131 on: November 12, 2015, 07:58:53 PM »
Don't be silly, you'll be stone dead in a moment.
The plumage don't enter into it!


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #132 on: November 12, 2015, 08:10:08 PM »
Don't be silly, you'll be stone dead in a moment.
The plumage don't enter into it!
Five is right out.



soguru

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #133 on: November 12, 2015, 08:24:13 PM »
Five is right out.
Crucifixion?! Yeah... first offense.


Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #134 on: November 14, 2015, 01:54:48 PM »
I have no idea what you guys are talking about, but I'm typing up new entries right now. Can't believe it's been a week since the last one.