The video game arcades of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s were very special places. They were where the majority of innovation was taking place in the video games industry, and over those three decades countless classic video games were released into these dingy, constantly noisy places for friends to crowd around and play. Video game arcades were social places where all kinds of different people hung out.
Arcade games were usually defined by three things. 1. You had to put coins into video games to play them (why they are also called ‘coin-ops’). 2. They usually featured the most cutting edge graphics and sound, or gimmick, to attract players to play them, and 3. They were more often than not incredibly difficult games to master, because everyone involved in their manufacture and distribution wanted you to put as much money into their machines as possible.
The good thing now is: anyone can play these games via emulation and they are quite common. Get a good emulator, like MAME for example, and you can have that arcade experience in your own home, without the need for cabinets. Of course there will always be those who prefer the real thing and have arcade machines in their own home. And those who like a hybrid of both – putting PCs and emulators, or even Raspberry Pi setups inside real arcade cabinets.
Each to their own. My particular preference is MAME on a PC – at least for getting screenshots – but I do have arcade emulators running on a number of different platforms.
The only real downside to arcade emulation is that it’s not always that easy to find the right ROMs for the right emulator. Some versions of MAME have different driver requirements, and different MAME ROMsets come with different drivers, so it can be a bit of a minefield.
One thing’s for sure though: it’s worth getting into old arcade games in some way, because they are some of the best video games ever made. The list of classics is endless and I’ve already featured many arcade games on here.
Also: arcade game screenshots always seem to look the nicest, in terms of colourfulness and crispness when blown-up on-screen, so these screenshots I’m posting are most welcome to the collection.
Here, then, is a BIG arcade special – adding more classic arcade games to the blog and more high quality screenshots. If you don’t like (or care about) arcade games I’d recommend coming back in a couple of weeks… 🙂
Here are links to what was published:
Star Wars: the Empire Strikes Back
Crazy Climber 2
SegaSonic the Hedgehog
Mortal Kombat II
Mortal Kombat 3
Skull & Crossbones
Enjoy and stay safe!
The King of Grabs