Tag Archives: influential

Golden Axe, Arcade

Sega‘s classic Golden Axe is a scrolling beat ’em up first released into arcades in 1989. It is fondly-remembered, often re-released, and has been converted to many other systems.

What’s so good about Golden Axe, then?

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Altered Beast, Arcade

Altered Beast is an influential Sega beat ’em up first released into arcades in 1988. In some respects it was the predecessor to Golden Axe and Alien Storm; both similar games, and both to come later from Sega.

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Arcade Special

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… 🙂

I’ll post a full list of what was published here afterwards.

Enjoy and stay safe!
The King of Grabs

More: Arcade Games on Wikipedia

Empire arcade cabinet 1

Atic Atac, Commodore 64

Wow… This is arguably the best modern remake of an old video game that I’ve ever seen!

This beautiful 2020 homebrew rendition of Ultimate‘s classic Spectrum game comes courtesy of three individuals: the code was written by Tomaz Kac of Nostalgia, the graphics were created by Steven Day (aka Ste), and the music by Saul Cross.

All three of them deserve some serious credit.

After 37 years the C64 finally gets its own version of Atic Atac,” says Tomaz Kac, “I hope we did the game justice. We tried to make it very special, not just by getting as close to Spectrum version, but by expanding it quite a bit. We hope you like it!

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Creatures, Commodore 64

Also known as “Clive Radcliffe Exterminates All The Unfriendly Repulsive Earth-ridden Slime“, Creatures is a beautifully-realised platform/puzzle game with colourful graphics and challenging gameplay.

The game was programmed by John Rowlands, with graphics by Steve Rowlands, and was published by Thalamus in 1990.

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Special Criminal Investigation, Arcade

Sometimes known simply as S.C.I. or Chase HQ 2: Special Criminal Investigation, this high octane driving sequel to Chase HQ is another fast-paced driving game with you playing a cop hot on the heels of some nasty criminals.

It was developed and manufactured by Taito and released into arcades in 1989, and – for my money – is one of the most exciting and heart-pumping 2D chase games ever made.

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Match Day II, ZX Spectrum

Match Day II is the 1987 sequel to Match Day. It was again coded by Jon Ritman and published by Ocean Software.

The graphics in Match Day II were created by Bernie Drummond (who famously made Batman with Ritman in 1986), and could be described as “more characterful” than in the previous game. One thing is certain, though: the players in Match Day II definitely have Eighties haircuts!

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Match Day, ZX Spectrum

Although it’s pretty laughable now, Jon Ritman and Chris Clarke‘s 1984 football game, Match Day, was a groundbreaking Spectrum game for the time.

Match Day wasn’t the first football video game ever made, but it was one of the first to at least make a reasonable attempt to translate the sport into something playable.

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Battle Command, Amiga

Battle Command is a classic Amiga tank game, developed by Realtime Games Software and published by Ocean Software in 1990.

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Samurai Shodown II, Neo Geo

SNK‘s Samurai Shodown II is a legendary fighting game for the Neo Geo, first released in arcades in 1994, then later for home consoles.

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