With the launch of NFL Blitz happening this week, we decided to take a look back at our time in arcades. We played a lot of games and lost a ton of quarters while our parents were eating lunch in the mall’s food court.
We’re gonna run down eight of our favorite arcade games that we feel deserve full-on relaunches. These aren’t just ports or HD remixes we’re looking for; no, we want to see these brands reborn and re-purposed for the PC and console gaming realms.
The Simpsons Arcade Game
Konami built one of the arcade’s best offerings with these four player romp through Springfield, Wherever. Gamers could go as Homer, Marge, Bart or Lisa and use character specific weaponry to battle all over town. The game plays a lot like Konami’s Ninja Turtles title from 1989…which, if you remember it, was awesome.
Area 51 is responsible for taking more of my allowance than I’d care to remember. This is the shooting game I compared all other to. Before Wii boxing, this was the only time my arms were sore after playing a video game. The action was tight. Those pesky scientists always found ways to run into your bullets. Did anyone else attempt to use both guns at once when other players weren’t waiting for the machine? That’s what I thought. I’m tired of shooting zombies or aliens that are actually out in space. If a studio finds a way to re-imagine this brand, I’ll be right there.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park
As much as I like to make fun of people for purchasing anything based solely on it’s packaging, I realize now that I did the exact same thing when I was younger. Something about the brightly colored cabinet of The Lost World: Jurassic Park drew me to it. I sat inside on the bench, paid the machine and grabbed a hold of the light gun. What happened for the next hour or so, was a flurry of sounds and light as the movie world came alive in front of me. Survival meant fighting off packs of velociraptors, some monstrous t-rex and crushing brontosaurus dung. Yup, that’s what I took away from the game. I’d love for Sega or another company to give me one more chance to shoot down brontosaurus’ backside boulders, but this time, in HD and with a much, much better storyline.
Top Skater was, quite simply, what Tony Hawk Ride should have been. You were faced down a skate ramp and told to perform all kinds of tricks on your way through each area. You looked goofy as hell, but the game was fun. The title could be released with its own peripheral, or, even better, as a Kinect product. We’d buy that.
Okay, so, maybe this is one of those games you had to play to understand. It was basically a target range with crazy modes and puzzles. Easy to ignore, sure, but once you played it you found a whole new appreciation for this odd cop title. Make a gun peripheral and sell this sucker as an HD update with all new game modes and online cooperation and we will buy it on day one…believe it.
18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker
Okay, sure, this game was a little strange and may seem like an odd standout in our list of classics. But, hey, we remember it fondly. You drive a big rig truck in a race against another skilled trucker. Plow past traffic and deliver your cargo first to win. The real challenge comes in the parking department. The game felt so damn tight that players would actually gather round and watch pros park in our local arcade. It was…bizarre. A whole new campaign and a reinvented way to play competitively would make this a contemporary wonder.
What better time than now to revive this gem from 1994. Revolution X sets the player in a world where corrupt governments and their armed forces have joined together to create a repressive and controlling state. Music and other forms of entertainment media are forbidden, but rebels like the rock band Aerosmith defy the New Order Nation. Imagine if SOPA passed and the Occupy movements became increasingly violent until the government’s only course of action was to create a military state. The Foo Fighters rise as the inspiration of the underground youth struggling to regain their freedom in bloody conflict. It could totally happen, and I would buy that soundtrack.
Killer Instinct is one of those games that haunts you for years after you’ve played it. Too often, I’ll hear someone talking and have a sound effect from KI pop into my head. You know the ones I’m talking about “Ultra!” or “C-C-C-Combo Breaker!.” Other fighting games like Mortal Kombat were revived this past year. It’s Killer Instinct’s turn to regain it’s former glory. Supreme Victory!