Author Topic: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown  (Read 40193 times)

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Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #150 on: November 15, 2015, 07:11:10 PM »
#10 – Smash TV

57 Points, 4 Lists, Top Vote: #6 Soguru

Production Date: 1990
Manufacturer: Williams Electronics

One of my all time favorite games.

Williams didn't usually release video games under the Williams label any more by this point in history. That's what they had Bally & Midway for. The Williams label was usually reserved for Pinball. So the fact that they released Smash TV as a Williams game, when Robotron 2084 had been a Williams game, showed that they weren't simply ripping off one of their old ideas. They were trying to do justice to a great idea in Williams history that had been ignored for far too long. And yes, Eugene Jarvis, the guy who broke his hand and as a result created Robotron, is at the helm once again.

The year is 1999. You'd think it would be more than 9 years in the future, but you'd be wrong. People had gotten tired of waiting for the robot apocalypse scheduled for 2084, so they created their own, in game show form. Contestants traverse a series of rooms, blowing away wave after wave of stick wielding grunts, flying robots and mini-tanks, while being rewarded with considerably more VCRs or 1999 Roadsters than one person could conceivably need.

The real crux of the game was picking up the various powerups that would appear at random locations with a pretty predictable frequency. Usually one would appear right around when the last one was wearing off. This could make a huge difference in your survivability. Some might argue too huge. Of particular note is the fact that there are no extra lives based on score, like one would expect from a game like this. Instead, extra lives appear as powerups. And there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. The ONE time I actually managed to beat the game on one credit, was largely due to the fact that the game kept spewing out 1ups. I bet I picked up at least 10 during that one playthrough. Which leads me to the next issue:

Keys. What do they do? Well, as it turns out, nothing. At least not initially. Even though the game made reference to the elusive "Pleasure Dome", and suggested that the keys were involved in reaching it somehow, in reality there was no such stage. Presumably they ran out of time and/or money, and banked on people not actually getting that far. But of course, people did get that far, and complained to Williams. So as of ROM revision 8, you can enter the Pleasure Domes. In fact, there's one room in level 2 that spawns more than enough keys when you first enter it.

Little Known Fun Fact: There is a ultra rare "warp" in the game, that is actually the result of the game crashing and trying to recover. If the game throws a fatal exception, the current level will simply end. You'll get a message about a "Secret Warp", and the game will restart on a different level. I have personally seen this happen a grand total of one time. I was fighting Mutoid Man (in an actual arcade), and I had just stepped on a mine that was below the bottom edge of the arena. The screen suddenly went blank, I got a cryptic message about a secret warp, that to this day I can't find a screenshot of, and the game restarted on level 2.

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Up next, just in time for December.



Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #151 on: November 15, 2015, 07:52:10 PM »
That X-Men game was epic.  Has there ever been a six player cabinet since that one?


Offline Pak-Man

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #152 on: November 15, 2015, 08:46:18 PM »
Oooh. I spaced on Smash TV. Violence escalated until it's comedy.


Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #153 on: November 16, 2015, 02:18:23 AM »
I liked Smash TV but it wasn't quite listworthy-enough for me.


Offline ScottotD

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #154 on: November 16, 2015, 05:13:02 AM »
I loved it, fun, cheesy and cartoonish violence
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Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #155 on: November 16, 2015, 05:33:21 PM »
#9 – Star Wars Trilogy: Arcade

62 Points, 3 Lists, Top Vote: #1 Soguru

Production Date: 1998
Manufacturer: Sega

The be all and end all of Star Wars arcade games.

While Sega's 1993 Star Wars Arcade game was more similar to the 1983 Atari game, and even to the PC game X-Wing, 1998's Star Wars Trilogy Arcade did away with all pretense of actually piloting a craft and is a straight up rail shooter. Which is probably for the better. It makes for a more consistent experience, and allows the addition of non-flight based sections without requiring radically different controls.

Speaking of the controls, this is my one major gripe about the game, and is the reason I rate Atari's Star Wars above this one. The usage of a flight stick to aim, in a game that is all about precision aiming, always struck me as "lacking". The flight sections would have been vastly better with a yoke like control, like what Atari used, and the ground based segments give the distinct impression of being designed with a light gun in mind, a la House of the Dead. I suppose Sega had to compromise for a control scheme that would work for both.

Aside from that one complaint, this really is the ultimate Star Wars experience ever to grace the arcade. Fantastic sound and visuals, and a huge 50" projection screen (for the DX version at least). You could choose to play iconic scenes from each of the three movies, in any order, followed by a bonus duel against Darth Vader, and finally the Battle of Endor and the final assault against the New Death Star.



I find it astounding that this game has never been ported. There was a port in the works for the Dreamcast, but it was never finished. The game runs on Sega's Model 3 hardware, which at the time, blew everything else out of the water. There is a Model 3 emulator, "Supermodel", but it is far from perfect. So the only way to play Star Wars Trilogy Arcade without graphical glitches is to have the actual PCB. Like this guy:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/c5o4np50Blo" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/c5o4np50Blo</a>

Fun fact, the Sega Model 3 hardware was the most advanced 3D hardware on the planet, at the time. It had been developed by Real3D, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, and was based off of their flight simulator technology. Virtua Fighter 3 was the first video game to make use of it.

Up next, along with Pong and Space Invaders, this makes up the Holy Trinity of arcade games.


Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #156 on: November 16, 2015, 05:34:03 PM »
Please let "The Force Awakens" not suck.


Offline Pak-Man

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #157 on: November 16, 2015, 07:44:21 PM »
True story: The day of my wedding my family took me to the Riverwalk in San Antonio to relax for a bit. I was having trouble doing just that until we went into a Fuddruckers and there was a Star Wars Trilogy machine. I offer this advice to anyone yet to be married: Find an arcade machine where you can just blast the tar out of things. I felt a million percent better after blowing some Stormtroopers away.


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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #158 on: November 16, 2015, 07:58:29 PM »
Please let "The Force Awakens" not suck.
Let me put your mind at ease. It will not suck. I know this is all just predictions... but it will probably place somewhere between Empire Strikes Back and A New Hope... if it somehow by some means manages to be better than Empire I'll really be astounded.

Since it was number one on my list... The Star Wars trilogy arcade machine was something I would have LOVED to have had in my home. Damn if that wouldn't be amazing.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 08:09:21 PM by Soguru »


Offline stethacantus

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #159 on: November 17, 2015, 04:40:32 PM »
Please let "The Force Awakens" not suck.
Let me put your mind at ease. It will not suck. I know this is all just predictions... but it will probably place somewhere between Empire Strikes Back and A New Hope... if it somehow by some means manages to be better than Empire I'll really be astounded.

My prediction... fans of the original trilogy will think it sucks. Fans of the prequels will also think it sucks. The new Star Wars films will find a new generation of fans who think the previous six movies suck.



Offline ScottotD

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #160 on: November 17, 2015, 04:47:12 PM »
I'll be stunned if I think it sucks
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Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #161 on: November 17, 2015, 07:14:14 PM »
#8 (Tie) – Pac-Man


63 Points, 5 Lists, Top Vote: #2 Pak-Man

Production Date: 1980
Manufacturer: Namco (Licensed by Midway in the US)



The Mother of all maze games!

So yeah, Pac-Man was originally called Puck-Man in Japan. Either Midway or Namco wisely predicted that Americans would vandalize the word "Puck". So "Pac" became the norm. The name comes from a Japanese phrase "Paku Paku", which roughly means "open and close one's mouth, as if chomping down on something". I'm completely serious. https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=1006012000125. Japanese has a lot of these four syllable idioms. Now on to the game.

Pac-Man appeared at a time when the arcade scene was flooded with imitations of Pong and Space Invaders. The people wanted something new, and Toru Iwatani gave it to them: A maze game. But not just any maze game, THE Maze Game. The game that went on to inspire games like Wizard of Wor, Venture and Gauntlet. But mazes were hardly a new idea. What made Pac-Man stand out? I'll tell you...

Enemy AI. Iwatani intentionally gave each of the "Ghosts" (as they became known in the US) distinctive "personalities" that governed their movement. Despite their seemingly random movements, the Ghosts actions are in fact entirely deterministic. The Red Ghost is the "Chaser". He will run you down mercilessly. The Pink and Blue Ghosts are "Ambusher" and "Fickle". They will try to get ahead of you to cut you off. And the Orange Ghost is "Feigning Ignorance". The game's code suggests that his intention is to corral the player into a corner. However, all of this is contingent on a Ghost actually seeing you. The Ghosts can't see through walls, and they will follow a predetermined "patrol" pattern until their line of sight happens to intersect Pac-Man's position. Knowing this, it is entirely possible to avoid the Ghosts until absolutely necessary.

Fan facts:

There was a Pac-Man board game, produced by Parker Brothers, which I own. Each player's Pac-Man literally gobbles up marbles.

The highest possible score is 3,333,360. This takes into account every scoring opportunity, including the "kill screen", which occurs when the level counter overflows at 256. This renders the right half of the screen unplayable, but you can still play the left half.



Contrary to popular belief, the game Pac-Land is NOT based on the US cartoon series. However, when porting the game to the US, the similarity to the cartoon was so unmistakable that Midway altered the game's graphics to more closely match the designs used in the cartoon. This included adding in Sour Puss and Chomp Chomp, Pac-Man's cat and dog

Pac-Man is the most profitable arcade game ever, taking in an estimated $2.5 Billion in quarters.

The following exists, apparently. I'm as surprised as anyone.

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Up next, what does this remind you of?
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Offline Hung william

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #162 on: November 17, 2015, 08:16:59 PM »


Don't go see Pixels.  It's horrible.

Adam Sandler, Kevin Smith, side story stuff, a little script humor read by irritated older men.  Peter Dinklage is wasted.  ok fine.  We expect all that.

What we all want to see is a bunch of classic video games brought to life.  There are only a few named games but the battles are too short.  They souped up the animation making them just 3D caricatures of the games we have burned into our consciousnesses, and they only show them for a few split seconds.

One glaring omission from the movie is the spectacle of sound.  The cacophony of a video arcade from the 80s is something that would have gone a long way to stimulate my nostalgia but again NOPE.  You will be left hungry in this regard.  I can't remember one single recognizable arcade sound. 

I would have loved to hear the harsh Berzerk sounds INTRUDER ALERT!! STOP THE HUMANOID!!!  Or Gorf BDLEWDLEBLDLEDLEEDLEDLEDLE PTEWWWPTEWWWPTEWWW.  Or Robotron BLINK BLONK BLINK BLONK PTEPTEPTEPTEPTPETPE GLUNKGLUNKGLUNKGLUNKGLUNK.  Nope.

They have a finale with a bunch of side videogame characters running around causing havoc.  Yeah sounds cool but again they are 3D versions and only "recognizable" apparently to avoid royalties and no discernible sound or music.  Instead of Frogger you get a big 3D frog.  You get a grunt from Robotron but it is 3D, shaped differently, and there's only one.  You get the idea.

And then at the end they roll the credits with a song....Pac-man fever?  Nope.  You guessed it, an obnoxious rap song.  WHYYYYY????


Offline ScottotD

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #163 on: November 17, 2015, 08:56:32 PM »
Kevin Smith isn't in that movie
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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #164 on: November 17, 2015, 09:08:29 PM »
there appear to be at least some halfway decent video game movies on the way though. I'm most excited for the Ratchet and Clank movie. That looks like it could be really damn good! I am not so sure about the Angry Birds movie... I guess that one had to happen eventually though.