What do you remember about being twelve? I remember spending a whole summer wishing I could hang out with the cool kids but instead nicking stuff from Woolworths and ramming coin after coin into Dragon’s Lair and Defender. Seventeen? Sometimes I ponder my misspent youth playing pool in Sneaky Dee’s and ramming coin after coin …
Kung Fu Master
Good list but I would definitely replace Shinobi with Kung-Fu Master. The first time I ever saw that, in an arcade in Weymouth, it literally blew my little cotton socks away!!
Asteriods should at least get a mention, as that was huge in its day. Dragons Lair machines were never that popular in the arcades I frequented, as everyone at the time, was too busy playing Track and Field.
I remember the highlight of any holiday was to find the arcade. It's such a shame they seem such depressing places now.
I spent more money in the arcades on GORF than on anything else. It was about five games in one.
Remember many happy hours playing Gorf, particularly as we had a machine in the local arcade that would recognise a 10p coin in the 50p slot...
Some Galactic De-fender you are, Space Ca-det!
The graphics weren't basic
"It didn’t matter that the graphics were basic - these games were addictive because of the simplicity."
This was not my experience at the time - the graphics were amazing, I remember seeing games like outrun and streetfighter and being blown away at how great the graphics were.
The point of reference for most people was their C64/Spectrum at home, and the arcade graphics were far superior.
They still look awesome to me now :)
A little later on
But Mortal Kombat,. and races on Sega Ralley with my bro's were classic stuff.
Good round up
My only addition would be Afterburner. The big moving cockpit, the sounds, the shouting from my parents after I spent all my holiday money on it in one day...
But Time Crisis, yeah, spot on the money there. Takes me back to my college days...
Dammit, I want to head to the local cinema now and play games :-(
I was scrolling through the posts wondering how everyone seemed to have forgotten Afterburner - happy days...
But that was not the original one
Top Gun was the original version of that game - and yes it came out after the success of the movie.
Also, as far as I'm aware, the most successful version of this game was actually the Area-88 series - not sure we ever got it in the UK.
Remember that well ... we had one in our school computer lab ... cost 10p/game ... until someone discovered that if you rocked the machine to make something in the coin mechanism shake enough then it would register up to 100 free credits!
Battlezone, another I remember.
As for most of the rest - never really played any of these "modern" games
there was a lever
inside the door, that the coin tripped on it's way down, if you could wobble this lever in any other way you also got a credit.
I miss arcade games with the equivalent of a quality street wrapper stuck to the screen to provide colour!
Galaxian, Gorf, Terra Cresta. Spy Hunter. Scramble.
Streets of Rage!!!! Ahhh many hours lost on that game, it saddens me that it isn't here.
TBH here in the UK the arcade market died in the 90s and we havn't really seen any new games since (the odd house of the dead and a few racing games not counted lol) which is a shame. And though one would say these are arcade classics they arn't that far removed from when the UK arcade market died.
I still love going to Japan and playing in an arcade (game center), though with the current exchange rate it's expensive, (about 70p a game), awesome bullet hell games like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQZuidKexBQ
Capsule games like the Gundam (where you go into a capsule and pilot your giant robot with a team of mates http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWnNtUCngXw&feature=related )
Exciting RPG games, CCG games where you put cards on a play field and the game reads the details for a full on experiance. There's an amazing giant robot game, border brake, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YZSz4c4Ze4&feature=channel , there are lots of retro feeling fighters like melty blood.
But then the Japanese arcade market stayed boyent due to cultural reasons (you don't tend to invite people around to your house so if you want to play socially you go to a game center) also the newest titles come out in the game center first. Many never get ported to a home format.
Another advantage is most Game Center games have seats, also they have standard units where you just replace the game board and front panel and you have a new game.
The greatest arcade game ever made. I especially like the nod to it in COD BlackOps, if you unlock the Arcade Zombie bonus game it's a SmashTV===>Robotron rip off. Great fun.
Pleasure Island in Aldershot
Was the second best arcade in the country after Southend's Sunspot.
But I digress.
R-Type (of course), Saint Dragon, Darius Twin and Ninja Warriors (three screens, man!), Test Drive, Virtua Racing, F1 Circus (one of those funny Japanese lost in translations), Commando, Xevious, Choplifter, 1943, Ghosts and Goblins, Rastan, Bad Dudes vs Dragon Ninja, Smash TV, Sidewinder, Contra. I could go on and on...
Oh, and ps that's a picture from the original Street Fighter. If my memory serves me correctly, it only had two (very big) buttons for each player (and wasn't very good).
"F1 Circus (one of those funny Japanese lost in translations)"
I remember that one. It was definitely an Engrish translation, but the irony is that F1 is also known as the F1 Circus because of the moving from venue to venue.
...I love Lucy after reading that article... :)
blimey. that's my childhood. all of those. just missing donkey kong.
How about a second list of lesser-known but excellent classics. Can only think of one so far tho - QUARTET !
Space Harrier FTW. The sheer *speed* that all the scenery came up at you was mindblowing, even before you reckoned on the scenery being 50-foot-high multicoloured metallic mushrooms. Afterburner was fun, but nothing like as good as Space Harrier.
But the list misses out Pitfighter. OK, it doesn't have the special moves of other games, but it replaced those with being realistic, and with moving at the speed of a real fight. Street Fighter, you could hang back and fire stuff. With Pitfighter, hanging back just got you kicked to death.
The list also misses out Hard Drivin'. Fully 3D graphics, a steering wheel which pulled against you when you do stuff, a manual box with 4 gears, and tracks where it wasn't just about going flat out with briefly dropping to low gear. And you got a stunt track with a broken-bridge jump, a loop-the-loop, and various other goodness. Outrun was cool and fun, but Hard Drivin' was *THE* first realistic driving game, the daddy of every current rally/F1 sim.
Ahhh. Warm fuzzy feelings....
Best. List. Evar.
Apart from Time Crisis, natch. Replace with Sidearmz or Wonderboy. Or Galaga (OMG double spaceship!!!one!!). Or Bubble Bobble.
Surely some mistake? You must have meant Street Fighter II, almost no one has played Streetfighter.
Also, where's Robotron:2084 (grumble grumble). Copied many times but never bettered.
I cant see Asteroids on the list, the first game to include a high score chart!
surely some mistake?
Wise from your Gwave
Altered Beast, not because it was any good but because it was cheap down the arcade.
Later on Riiidge Raceeer, but that was probably too modern to be included.
I was somewhat less than 12 in '78
Space Invaders therefore passed me by. The earliest game I played was probably Frantic Freddy on a Spectravideo.
Pac Man is of course eternal, and Tank Attack remains pretty decent. Beyond that, many of the classics are showing their age.
If I had to nominate a few more arcade classics that'd be more tricky as I never really used coinops much
Galaga - splendid shmup action, much better than Space Invaders
Tank Attack - still fun
Arkanoid - loved the block destruction games
Would definitely agree with Star Wars. Played it only briefly, but the coinop rocks - even now!
Space Wars - this is superb on a Vectrex, but originated on coinop
Gauntlet - mostly played home computer version here, but coinop was great
Nemesis II - cause Nemesis 3 for the MSX was never a coinop
Street Fighter - simply because I spent lots of time watching friends try and beat it
"It didn’t matter that the graphics were basic - these games were addictive because of the simplicity."
The graphics were NOT basic. They are basic now. At the time, they were cutting edge, I never ever once recall thinking "The graphics are crap".
With innovations such as Gorf and speech synthesis, simultaneous multi-player capability of Gauntlett, the wireframe 3D vector graphics of BattleZone and the very fast paced action of Defender and Robotron, it was a grand time..
And all achieved on 8 bit microprocessors clocked at 1 or 2MHz.
Windows eat your heart out.
So many to choose from ... top 10 cant be made.
Good list although I do agree there are some serious omitions:
- Asteroids (this really really ought to be there)
- Scramble (this is such a classic, cant believe no-one mentioned it)
- Donkey Kong (classic although i didnt like it)
- Joust (More early Atari goodness)
- Nemesis (a trully great game - think its called something outside UK)
- Marble Madness
- Missile command
- Gorf (that game used to freak me out as it used to be first game i remember that talked)
- Mr Do (irrating)
- Pheonix (fantastic shoot'em up)
- Galaga (as above)
- Frogger (annoying buy... hey its a classic)
- Pole Position (its a classic)
- Moon Cresta
- Paper Boy
I remember some other vectar oldies like Tailgunner and Space Wars ( PvP only game - awesome), Space Pirates.
Crap too many. Uhmm... wasted youth :)
Nemesis is titled Gradius over in Japan, and there's also Parodius - an official parody of Nemesis with even more bizarre ships and enemies.
At some point they decided not to separate the names, and now all releases seem to be called Gradius.
shmups aren't very popular these days, so I expect that might be why.
If you want a commercial shmup for the PC I'd thoroughly recommend Jets n' Guns Gold
Kids of today...
Just look at the stuff we had that they miss out on by spending all day glued to a computer screen...
I used to repair these games as i worked in several arcades around those years, i never lost the admiration for them, Star Wars is my particular favourite.
Anyone remember this game?
Anyone remember a game based on an F15 ( I think it was), and real life video stored on a laser disk, with computer generated graphics superimposed over the top?
Are you referring to After Burner? Came in several varieties,the biggest hydraulic version of which I was told could do a 360 roll (though I never saw this version).
"Anyone remember a game based on an F15 ( I think it was), and real life video stored on a laser disk, with computer generated graphics superimposed over the top?"
Either M.A.C.H. 3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.A.C.H._3
Wot, no Gauntlet?
Seems to be a big ommission.
Wizard has shot the food!
Elf is about to die!
Shots hurt other players!
Skull and Crossbones because it looks a bit like a monster generator.
As others have said Gauntlet was awesome - cost me masses of dinner and ciggie money in my 6th form common room.
Other arcade conversions that seriously addicted me on my C64 - Bubble Bobble, Scramble, Arkanoid.
Sadly missing a few.
Double Dragon, because you and a mate could tag team and work together.
Gauntlet, which never seemed to end.
R-type, the first game I ever finished.
Ghosts n' Goblins
What no metal slug
+1 for Marble Madness!
Now happily rinsing every version of Super Monkey Ball I can get my hands on.
This takes me back a bit
My game was Battlezone - many hours wasted on the machine at the campus supermarket.
I also have fond memories of the "pub table" variant of PacMan. Wacka Wacka Wacka Wacka.....
Another vote for Gauntlet here!
"Valkyrie is about to die!!" - cue zillions of 10p's in the slot to try and get more health. Somehow whacking the square button on a PSP to the same end isn't quite as much fun...
High Score Board
I don't know if it was the same on all Gauntlet machines or just the one I most played on, but you could only get on the high score board if you only used one credit.
You had to choose between continuing the game and transitory fame.
I mostly had too much sense (and too little money)
.. but, yes, I miss Missile Command and, unmentioned so far, Qix.
A great list
I think I played most those games when they were new. A couple I'd also consider (which may have been just outside the top 10) would be
Galaxians - the first game to have diagonally moving targets
Phoenix Command - all the best bits of Space Invaders and Galaxians and possibly the first game with an end of stage boss.
Gauntlet - deserves to be in just because s many of us will remember those immortal words of 'Elf is about to die'. Also I seem to remember it was the first true multi-player game, as opposed to taking turns. I could be wrong on that though - there may have been co-operation fighting games before then.
I'm sure all that repetitive up and down button bashing with the right hand has given me a life skill.
Splatterhouse, Altered Beast, Track'n'Field, Pacland. Our local Pacland was mastered by one guy. When this happened, an on-board fuse blew which meant from then on Trip 1-1 started at a faster speed!
Always will remember being at the fair while they were packing up and just hearing a rather eerie 'Remember, the force will be with you, always' coming from the arcades every few minutes.
Not a bad list...
Covered most of the classic arcade genres, though I'd personally substitute Operation Wolf for Time Crisis, and Kung Fu Master or perhaps Shao-Lin's Road) for Shinobi.
I'd also like to namecheck Dragon Ninja and Golden Axe, both of which I played constantly (partly I suspect because they were a lot easier to progress on than most games), Ghosts & Goblins, just for being beautifully atmopheric and frustratingly tough, and Time Pilot for being different to everything else available at the time.
Shame, shame on you for not mentioning Galaga! By far the best of the Space Invaders-esque games, far better than Galaxians.