Arcade

Games from the Arcade

VIRTUA RACING

RACING IN SHAPESLAND
Released in the Arcade in 1992, ported to Sega Genesis/megadrive in 1994.

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INTRO
Virtua Racing was actually designed to showcase a 3D graphics platform for Sega but they felt the results were so good that they turned it into actual game. This game paved the way for Daytona USA and Ridge Racer it started the 3D racing genre, there were 3D racers before but nothing quite like this.

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BACKSTORY
This is an arcade racing game so there is no backstory but if you require one then, you’re an ace driver out to win everything!

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GAMEPLAY
The game consists of 3 tracks all of varying difficulty, Big forest (easy), Bay Bridge (medium) and Acropolis (hard). There were three versions of the game in the arcades, an upright single player, a twin seater and a single seater sit down with hydraulics. All versions had a steering wheel accelerator, brake and flappy paddle levers for changing the 7 gears if you selected manual.

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Also it had a start button and four viewpoint buttons in red, blue, green and yellow which allowed you to swap between four views which was a first for this genre. The races were all closed circuits and were broken into three or so checkpoints which you had to pass with the time you had, once these checkpoints were passed the time would be added for the next checkpoint. So finish the all the laps with the time you have and try and come first.

 

IN THE REAL WORLD
Your back would be fucked in the first 100 meters thanks to the Octadecagon (18 sides) wheels. Big forest the easy track has you starting from the pit lane with the race already underway, how the fuck is that easy?!? Exposed trees, windmill and fucking cows walking up to the side of the road, nice F1 race track! Shit can those cows scoot if you aim your car at them, maybe I should race one of them around the track because their faster than my car, literally.

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CONCLUSION
I had dreams about this game once I played it for the first time in the arcades and it was the first time I ever payed a dollar for a game. I thought I could actually drive a car after playing this and wouldn’t hear anything else on the matter! When this got ported I couldn’t wait, but I was disappointed, the D-pad just didn’t cut it for a racing game yet I still played it constantly and used my imagination to fill in the graphical gaps.

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Later in life I actually bought the twin version for my home but we moved and I had to sell it because of its size and over all weight! While I had it I loved playing the GP mode (rarely used in the arcades) which ran for 20 laps. I loved watching my lap times fall then go back up when my tyres went off, then stopping in the pits to change tyres. That being said I can’t recommend this to new players, I am looking at it with rose-coloured glasses and even if you could find the arcade version you would just say Daytona was better and you would be right.

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WORTH REPLAYING?

GOOD
Good feeling of speed (except for cows)
Nice elevation on roads
GP 20 lap mode requires pitstop for tyres
Feels great in cockpit
Racing against another player always good

BAD
Polygon graphics are dated
Graphical glitches
Only 3 tracks
Daytona did everything better.

Thumbs-down-ggb

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VENTURE

SHOW US YOUR WINKY

Released on the Colecovision, Atari 2600, Intellivision and in the Arcades in 1982.

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INTRO
This game was released on many consoles at the time and the game was changed to suit the limitations of each system. The Atari version got the worst rap by reviewers and I can’t help but think because Celeco who actually made this game made it better for their own system the Celecovision! Also as a fun fact while doing research for this review on Wiki the entry claims that ‘Randy Kuntz’ is the world record holder for this game. 🙂 Here is a link. Say his name really fast 10 times in a public place to win a prize!

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BACKSTORY
You play as ‘Winky’ a tomb raider (before it was popular) out to find hidden treasures in a dangerous dungeon full of monsters.

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GAMEPLAY
Control of Winky is done with the joystick and you use the button for shooting arrows. The game starts with Winky circling the treasure screen a couple of times then proceeds down stairs into the dungeon. The treasure screen shows all the items you have found and question marks for those you haven’t. You start in the hallways which has four rooms outlined with doors leading in and out which most of have two. In this area Winky is only represented as a dot to show the scale of the dungeon and he can’t attack anything. There are huge monsters (compared to Winky) patrolling these halls that will gravitate to Winky when he gets too close.

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Once you enter a room generally three monsters will be moving around in there randomly, they move faster than Winky so be on your guard. If they touch you lose a life, if you shoot one and touch its dead body you will lose a life as well. If you linger to long a hallway monster will appear in the corner of the screen and make a bee line for you. If you leave the room and re-enter it the room will reset and you can try again. Once you collect the treasure and leave the room it is completed and will be filled in, when you have completed all rooms on the level you will advance to the next set of hallways.

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IN THE REAL WORLD
Can’t be said that this wasn’t a happy game, Winkys smiling ear to ear and even the some of the fucking monsters are smiling so why is there so much violence, smiling assassins. If you check out the close up image above does it look like Winky’s is holding his ‘Winky’, that explains his smile! Personally I wouldn’t be smiling if I was walking around hallways with 10 foot bad ass monsters, especially if I had my dick in my hand! Also think about this if you shot an arrow at a skeleton how would that do any damage, think about that for a second, what the fuck are you going to hit? Lastly how does a dead body kill me, really!

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CONCLUSION
This one of the first video games I ever played and the experience wasn’t soured by the fact I had to use the Celeco joystick as shown above, what a fucking mess that was! Every room in the game felt different with lots of types of monsters and room configurations. It gave you the freedom to choose which room you went into next unlike most other games that just lead you along. With dead bodies still being lethal you could block yourself in a room and have to exit and re-enter. The 2 player option let you compete on the amount of treasure that you had collected not just on highscores alone. I still remember to this day being terrified whenever the hallway monster entered the room I was in.

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WORTH REPLAYING?

GOOD
Collecting treasures is a nice change
Allows you choice
Variety

BAD
Monsters move faster than Winky

Thumbs-up-ggb

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DOUBLE DRAGON

FISTS OF LOVE

Released in the Arcades. Date of release 1987. Versions on most systems.

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INTRO

This game inspired an army of side scrolling beat em ups, long before Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and Tekken this was your best option to let out your teenage aggression (bar getting in a real fight, but they just hurt).

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BACKSTORY

You play Billy Lee (1 player) or Jimmy Lee (as the second player) two martial artists out to rescue their common love interest (?) Marian. So where is she? The Black Warriors Gang that’s where! Point of interest is that barely any of them are black. You must fight your way to the Black Warriors hideout (which is pretty elaborate) take out the leader and get back your communal girlfriend.

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GAMEPLAY

On this fight through four different levels (slum, factory, woods and gang’s hideout) you have a range of moves to take out the opposition. You start with two lives that are each broken up in to four sections making up your health bar. Lose all your health or run out of time and you die. At your disposal you have basic punching and kicking but along with that you have combo moves such as head butt, jump kick, reverse kick and head grab with knee to the face. In two player mode you can grab an enemy from behind and have your mate beat the shit out of him, but be warned the enemy also has this move. Along with your moves there are a few weapons to be found along the levels which include Baseball bats, whips (old beat em ups loved whips), knives, dynamite, barrels, boxes and boulders. This was also one of the first games to introduce places for where the player could fall of the screen in such things as potholes, rivers and spiked pits.

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IN THE REAL WORLD

So your girlfriend is just minding her own business outside your house when your local M60 toting gang leader turns up, gets one of his lackeys to punch her in the ovaries (he doesn’t want to have to put his gun down) and takes off with her only leaving you with a quick glimpse off her white panty as a memory. So let’s look at all the possible scenarios shall we. First she may owe this guy money, so fuck that let her pay her own debts! Second this could be her Yugoslavian father quite annoyed at the fact that two brothers have been tag teaming his teenage daughter, so he brought the family around to bring her back to his gaudy house. Or maybe he saw something he had to have and just took it, let’s go with that so we can continue.

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So our two heroes emerge from the garage head off on their quest. Now they have a sweet ride in their garage why not just drive there and say the hassle?! OK FUCK IT we’ll walk, exercise and all that, the first thing you notice is that for a badass gang they are pretty light on for guns, no one has them bar the leader. If he didn’t buy that big ass gun for himself he could have bought many guns for his followers stopping this fight in its tracks pretty early. With the change from his gun purchase he did buy some knives and dynamite (?) for his guys.

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Which brings me to the next point, he has a FUCKING GUN and it’s not a pistol, it’s a fully automatic machine gun! So let’s say you beat up the fifty or so goons to make to him only to be looking down the barrel of a huge fucking gun, what do you do now home boy? Using lightning fast karate you defeat the boss only to find that Marian the bitch can’t decide who to be with, so you two brothers have a fight to the death (blood is thicker.. goes straight out the window) to win the affections of Marian, who seems quite fine with this I might add. I think the real enemy in this game is Marian!

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CONCLUSION

I have such fond memories of frequenting my local Milkbar (do these exist anymore?) putting twenty cent pieces on the top of the machine to get my chance to have another go at that gang. I recently played this game again before this review and I was surprised by how much slow down there was in the game. Once you got more than two enemies on the screen at once it bogged right down, this due to the nature of the game happened frequently. I did like the fact you could take weapons and objects all the way to the end of the level to help in the boss fights. It did shit me on the other hand that you could fall in a gentle stream and die losing a precious life! I have such fond memories of this game that I think it’s better to leave it there with them. There are multiple versions of this game available today but as for the original maybe you should pass. If you are too young to know of this game it’s a pity but you just had to be there!

 

WORTH REPLAYING?

GOOD

  • Detailed backgrounds
  • Fun two player
  • Good music
  • Heaps of different moves

BAD

  • Slows down constantly
  • Becomes boring once elbow is mastered
  • Bullshit deaths from falling off the screen

Thumbs-down-ggb

 

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