Sunday, November 4, 2012

Goin' Turbo


  1. I totally wanna go to Litwak's! But only on my birthday.

    The last time I played an Arcade game was in 93 or 94, I remember spending all my money on Outrun. Do people still pay money for Arcade games? Or is Litwak's one of a few Arcade places that's still in business?

    Interesting commercials though...
    Wreck-it Ralph seems to be inspired by Donkey Kong. Game looks awesome, state-of-the-art 8-Bit graphics ftw!

    A racing game targeted at a girl audience? Don't know if that's good or bad. Well, it kinda looks like a commercial for sweets, so it's probably bad.

    Judging only from its title, Hero's Duty is probably the worst game ever. But the female sniper with the huge chest armor is enough reason for many gamers to play it anyway.

    1. LOL!

      I should probably apologize to you my friend, because it seems you might have actually fallen for my lighthearted ruse. I deliberately posted these videos with no accompanying text because at the time I did not actually expect anyone to take them seriously. I neglected to take into account that not everyone who might read my little blog here lives in the continental United States and might not know what these videos actually pertain to.

      You see, Litwak's Arcade and the three games in these videos are all fictional; they are part of a new movie titled "Wreck-It Ralph".

      Normally I don't endorse the superficial CGI films by Disney, Pixar and the like, but "Wreck-It Ralph" is all about video games and their characters, both old and new, so I have to admit that I actually enjoyed the film. I actually found myself laughing out loud several times, and I even felt some sort of bond with Vanellope Von Schweetz. Even if you're not a fan of "kiddie movies" or "cartoons", I'd recommend this one to anyone who is a fan of video games both past and present (and of course fans of candy).

      Sorry again for the deception; I just couldn't resist.

  2. LOL! Don't feel sorry, it was a nice prank. Yeah, I live in Europe and to me, Disney/Pixar films are among the least interesting things on the planet (except their upcoming Star Wars films) so I never heard about Wreck-It-Ralph. But I have to admit Disney did a good job with these commercials. I might even watch the film when it's available here.

    Back to my question, do Arcade halls still exist in the USA, like in the 80s and 90s? Now that the Internet is the main place for gamers to socialize and beat each others high-scores...

    1. Well, I can only speak from what I've seen locally, of course. Our mall used to have an arcade but it is gone now; only a few lonely and neglected machines remain lined up near the Food Court. Chuck E. Cheese has some machines as well, but other than there I only find an old machine at a laundry mat now and again. The days of the video arcade do indeed seem to be over, at least here in the States. The current fad seems to be something called "skill-based games" but I've not investigated this fad too closely as it sounds like something I simply would not be interested in.

    2. Arcades are the relic of a bygone era, mostly.

      Like Herculine, there used to be one here local to me but it went out of business a decade or so ago. I guess in retrospect it would be kind of hard to make enough off Virtua Fighter 45 and Time Crisis 20 to pay rent on a room that size in a mall.

      They still exist in major metro areas, though. When I was in Portland (Oregon, not Maine) a few years ago we hit the mall, which still had an arcade. Spokane, Washington's three-story mall had one, too -- that one must have been 5000 sq/ft, maybe more.

      Haven't been there in more than ten years, but up in Seattle there used to be a dedicated arcade called Gameworks that took up most of a square city block. According to Google and the corporate web site, Gameworks is still open. That one struck me back then not just because of how stinkin' huge it was, but because the machines didn't take tokens or coins -- it all ran on a debit-card system. You'd get a card from customer service, and load/reload it with money from cash or credit cards at machines. Just put the card in, and it would automatically remove whatever amount of money a 'play' was on the game you were going for. Really neat... but then we were easier to amuse back in '99.

      They had this really cool eight player game with tanks (I forget the name) that was all eight players dumped into a city to wage free-for-all combat. Deathmatch with tanks! And the machines had huge woofers and rumble-packs in the controls...

      Sorry, rambling again.

    3. The Gameworks arcade sounds extremely cool; the closest I've ever been to that sort of setup is Clean Jean's, a local laundry mat/tanning parlor that uses a debit card system on all the washers and dryers.

  3. Also: I was disappointed by this post. When I saw the title, I thought Miss Herculine might have abandoned her old games and gotten into the Tribes: Ascend beta. Thought I was gonna hafta dust off the 'ol Stormhammer and see if I still have it...

    1. Actually, I have quite a few games on my list to investigate which you have mentioned at one time or another; it's just a matter of time before I get to them. As I've mentioned here previously, I finally got around to getting hooked on "Borderlands" which I admit I would not have considered investigating were it not for your mention of it. I'm also on the verge of installing FREESPACE 1&2, so I'd imagine TRIBES will end up on my PC sooner or later as well.

    2. Dunno how Tribes would go for you. The original Starsiege: Tribes has been effectively dead since like 2003 - 2004. Tribes 2 went freeware back in '06 -- I think -- and when it did that they left the registrations go for free too until they were out of CD keys; and then no more registering. Neither has much in the way of offline play. Tribes: Vengeance I prefer to pretend never existed. It was Unreal Tournament with jetpacks. The latest is Ascend; which I don't know much about other than I can't run it and it has massive balance issues and is regularly undergoing huge changes. Don't know if the T1 and T2 master servers are even still active.

      Freespace brings back memories too, though. I played the everloving shit out of that game when it was new; online and off. That was the space sim of its time, you know. Sadly it was also about the last good one ever made -- shortly thereafter was when the dark times of MMOs really got going and nobody bothers to make spacefighter games anymore. Which is a shame, because another Wing Commander could be so gorgeous with semi-modern graphics.

      Freespace 2 was more of the same -- make of that what you will. Not groundbreaking, but if you enjoyed the first, you'll enjoy the second too; for the most part.

      Do let me know though if you ever decide to go on a Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries kick. Wouldn't mind getting in some multiplayer action there again.

    3. "nobody bothers to make spacefighter games anymore. Which is a shame, because another Wing Commander could be so gorgeous with semi-modern graphics."

      Nobody bothered until now. Chris Roberts is gonna bring it all back with Star Citizen: Squadron 42.
      If you are a Wing Commander fan you will be impressed.

      There are some nice videos where Chris talks about the game and his vision of gaming. There are more vidoes with alpha gameplay on youtube, this game is gonna be amazing! My only concern is, it's an MMO with an optional single player campaign. We'll have to see how that turns out, I don't wanna play a WoW in space, no matter how cool and detailed it looks.

    4. I'll keep an eye on this; thanks for the info.

      And I, too, do not want to play Space-WoW; I'd bet Nos would agree with us on that as well.

    5. Wasn't aware Roberts was making a new game. Guess that's what I get for ignoring gaming news sites, eh?

      Thanks much for that link; though like everyone else I'm a tish leery about the concept of space-MMO.

      I realize it's not strictly speaking a space sim, but I've watched EVE Online from the sidelines for years now, and I'd be pretty worried about any similar game after seeing how it was handled.

      Reading over the FAQ there I'm not sure how much I like the idea that they're selling better ships and equipment in exchange for funding. It's a solid business model, but reeks of the "buy your way into winning" thing that's plagued some MMOs in the past.

      Nonetheless, we won't know until it's actually a game, so little point in worrying now.

      And for the record: while I dislike large parts of WoW, I did actually enjoy the exploration and crafting aspects. My main problem with the game was that you couldn't play it that way -- it was all raids and quests and morons being shoved down your throat... Had Blizz just let me screw off and hunt down ore and leather without getting into that Horde v Alliance garbage I'd probably have kept a subscription for a year or more. Didn't help that my friend at the time who wanted me to play insisted on being on a PvP server, I suppose.

      Give me a space sim where I can merchant it up in MMO that has some method of reigning in the PKing twelve year olds and you'll probably score a few hundred bucks in subscription fees from 'ol Nos.