I call dibs on Dazzler!
As I am elderly and therefore I love remembering, the news of this game has me in a state of bittersweet nostalgic bliss about arcades. You Kids Today can't possibly know what it was like to have real arcades in your life like we did during their heyday. Or maybe you can. I don't know, I don't live your life! Still, every modern incarnation of an arcade I've seen is so...so...shopping mall. So bright and family-friendly. So Chuck E. Cheese or Dave and Buster's. We olds, however, know how they used to be, dammit. Arcades used to be dark- very, very dark with minimal lighting and tinted windows- and funny-smelling and grimy and illicit-feeling. The first time I walked into Twilight Zone- my local arcade, yo- I felt as if I didn't belong there, even if I did have two pockets full of quarters. It was kind of amazing.
I got over my trepidation pretty quickly- I mean, video games were involved, and therefore I wasn't about to fuck around- and I walked to Twilight Zone whenever I had the chance. I fed many a quarter to many a machine...including X-Men (duh) and these other favorites of mine:
The ultimate play-with-your-friends button masher. I was always Valkyrie, and she always needed food badly because she was always about to die.
What's not to love about a game where you head underground to inflate dragons and...blob things in goggles until they explode? Nothing, that's what.
My favorite thing to do in Asteroids was to get down to one tiny remaining asteroid, then hit the turbo boost on my ship and fly erratically everywhere until I hit the tiny asteroid and died. YES I WAS WEIRD.
Looking at it now, I feel really bad for Q*Bert. He's trapped on this odd pyramid in some weird negative zone, forced to hop away from snakes and other creatures for the rest of his life. Poor guy. Man, my mom used to have lunch with a friend every weekend at the Howard Johnson's and I went, too. After I finished my clam roll, I'd go play the hell out of Q*Bert while they talked.
YES I SAID "CLAM ROLL" SHUT UP IT WAS NEW ENGLAND AND WE ATE SUCH THINGS.
Donkey Kong was a real jerk, wasn't he? And honestly, I don't know how well Mario's plumbing business ever did financially seeing as how he was always off rescuing one Princess or another.
I shudder to think about how many quarters I put into this damn game- at fifty cents a go, even!- since I was so, so, SO bad at it. I didn't get the concept of the timed-reflex gameplay at all; I do now, but then...oh, it was constant death. Still, I couldn't resist- its FMV cartoon was unlike anything else in arcades at the time. Damn you and your money-sucking pretty pictures, Don Bluth!
I've never been good at Pac-Man. Never. I was marginally better at Ms. Pac-Man, but still I was nowhere close to the place called good. Let's put it this way: if I got to the pretzel, I was having an exceptional game. That's level 4 out of roughly 250. However, a local Chinese joint called Ming Garden had a Ms. Pac-Man table (like the one above) in their bar...and if there's something better than having a beer and an egg roll and playing Ms. Pac-Man with a friend, well, I'm not sure what it is.
Okay, I can think of a few things that might be better, but still- it was pretty fucking good.
I played Outrun before I could drive, and therefore I found the option to choose my own in-game/in-car radio station very scintillating.
The cabinet had handlebars. What was I to do? It was like riding a bike, yet not at all like riding a bike!
I mean, duh...Star Wars. Like I wasn't going to be all over a Star Wars game- especially one with such a sweet-ass cabinet (as seen above), actual sound clips from the actual movie, and cutting-edge graphics like this:
No seriously, those were cutting-edge graphics.
In closing, I would just like to say this: on the occasions where I was able to enter my three initials because I earned a high enough score, I never ever ever put SMP. It was always DIK, TIT, FAG, or ASS. I know I'm not the only person to have done this- not by a long shot- but surely it says something about something.