As a teenager, one of my favorite pastimes was going to the nearby mall and playing the various arcade games they had available. It was just the right time as Street Fighter II was just released, which gave arcades the shot of adrenaline to regain popularity. Although I can now just boot up one of the various consoles that plays Street Fighter II and most of the game packages Arcade 1Up currently offers, there’s just something about playing on an arcade cabinet that makes it just a little more special.
I do like the selection Arcade 1Up put out so far. Games like Centipede, Asteroids and Gauntlet are classics, after all. However, I do hope they expand their library in the future. So, with that in mind, here are five “arcade packages” that Arcade 1Up should consider in the future.
Capcom Beat ‘Em Ups
Games to be included: Alien vs. Predator, Captain Commando, Knights of the Round and Warriors of Fate
It’s great that Arcade 1Up already released some of Capcom’s classic arcade games. But I still want more!
Capcom may have become an arcade staple thanks to Street Fighter II. But that doesn’t mean that their other arcade games were slouches. Some of my greatest memories come from playing a lot of beat ’em up games in the arcades and Capcom definitely produced a lot of them at the time. Most of them are really great!
Now, following the formula that they’ve used before, I can only include a maximum of four games per arcade cabinet package. I could actually produce a whole list of Capcom arcade games and still forget some really great ones. But, if they do produce a second Capcom arcade machine, it better include Captain Commando, Knights of the Round and Warriors of Fate.
While those games are great, the crown jewel would be Alien vs. Predator, which is considered to be one of the best sidescrolling beat ’em ups to be made. It would be an arduous process of getting the licenses for both movie franchises. But Alien vs. Predator would certainly be worth it!
Konami Beat ’em Ups
Games to be included: X-Men, The Simpsons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Konami may be a shell of how great it was in the past. But, man, the arcade games they put on during its heyday were fantastic!
Konami’s lineup of arcade beat ’em ups during the ’90s were just phenomenal as many kids and teens who grew up at the time can attest to. You may think that they only got the attention because Konami got the license to use some of the most popular franchises of the time. Sure, getting The Simpsons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and X-Men were strokes of genius but they would’ve been forgotten if the games didn’t have tight controls, fair difficulty and a great use of the characters! And these games had those in spades!
Of course, like their arcade counterparts, these Konami arcade games would have to be multiplayer games. That’s one of the reasons why they were so much fun to play! They would have to support up to four people playing simultaneously. Which is why I would be fine limiting this package to just three games. Heck, considering the original X-Men arcade game was a monstrous machine that could allow six people to play at the same time and used two screens, four player simultaneous gameplay is already considered a downgrade!
I know there are some individuals with very deep pockets would would outright buy a new six player X-Men machine… but let’s keep costs down for the more modest buyers out there, okay, Arcade 1Up?
Midway Arcade Sports
Games to be included: NBA Jam: Tournament Edition, NFL Blitz and 2 on 2 Open Ice Challenge
You know the old stereotype wherein geeks and nerds are totally inept at sports? Well, I guess there’s some truth to it because, growing up, I definitely wasn’t the most athletic kid. But I could play the heck out of games like NBA Jam and NFL Blitz at the arcades!
I may not like sports games as a whole. But arcade-like sports games like the ones Midway put out during the ’90s in arcades were more my speed. I didn’t need to be familiar with the players’ stats and all I really needed to know were the general rules. Most of all, they were fun because they were bombastic and over the top. I mean, you could control Mortal Kombat characters and set their opponents on fire in NBA Jam: Tournament Edition!
Once again, this would need to be a four player arcade cabinet, which is why having only three games in the cabinet would be okay. Of course, NBA Jam: Tournament Edition, the best version of the series, has to be in the package. But I can’t leave out NFL Blitz, which is a good game as well. Unfortunately, I can’t speak for 2 on 2 Open Ice Challenge, which is essentially the NBA Jam version of the NHL, since I’ve never played it. But, since it was produced by Midway and has the same arcade-y sports gimmick, I’ll put it in. Heck, maybe some fans may have some fond memories of this game I’ve never heard of?
Games to be included: Spy Hunter, Chase HQ, Out Run and Cruis’n USA
The thing about most arcade games is that you can simulate the experience at home relatively easily. All you need is a joystick and a couple of buttons. But you know what’s more difficult to duplicate? Games that need controller setups that are far removed from the typical gamepads we get on modern consoles, such as steering wheels and pedals. Which is why I would love it if Arcade 1Up puts out some of the more classic racing games you could only get in the arcades.
You may be thinking that it’s insane because they’d have to add a lot of parts, such as seats and speakers in the chairs. But that’s not how arcade racers were before, especially when the games became more popular. Games like Cruis’n USA and Chase HQ were originally released with the traditional seat. But later in those games’ lifespan, they started getting upright/standing cabinets as well. In fact, these were the versions of the games I played. Once you get over the awkwardness of driving a car standing up, they’re still really fun!
I’m not sure how difficult it would be to produce these games since they’ll obviously need to use a steering wheel and two pedals, which are much more intricate than your typical eight-way joystick and button setup. But that’s why the experience of playing games like Spy Hunter, Cruis’n USA, Out Run and Chase HQ were much better in the arcades than the home console ports. Having a dedicate wheel and pedals is the only way to play arcade racers and this is why bundling the fore aforementioned games would give you the most bang for your buck.
But I would be okay if they removed one of those games and replaced it with Crazy Taxi. I love Crazy Taxi! I would’ve loved to include it on the list. Unfortunately, it still feels “new” since it was released in 1999 and hasn’t reached the “age” to be considered a retro classic yet. Maybe in another decade or so?
Even More Arcade Classics
Games to be included: Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Frogger and Q*Bert
Arcade 1Up’s initial lineup of classic arcade games are impressive. Games like Asteroids, Lunar Lander, Centipede, Defender, Gauntlet and Rampage are definitely some real classic arcade games. But aren’t they forgetting a whole bunch of classic arcade games as well? Well, they can always make a new bundle, right?
Sorely missing from the list of classic games are the likes of Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Frogger and Q*Bert. These are games that have revolutionized the entire gaming industry in one way or another and they do deserve to be re-released in the true arcade form. These games are still being played even up to now thanks to people trying to get the highest scores ever… even if they have to cheat to do it!
In fact, they can even make it a selling point. Assemble the machines in such a way that it uses the exact game code! I know everything is run by emulators nowadays. But if Arcade 1Up can make it an “official” way to get a high score in those games, you can bet there would be a ton of people getting it so they can practice and record their high scores!
BONUS: Dragon’s Lair and Space Age
Games to be included: Dragon’s Lair, Dragon’s Lair 2: Time Warp and Space Ace
I would love if they made arcade versions of the Don Bluth arcade games just for the visuals…
…and the hilarious death scenes!
Sure, the games aren’t all that fun once you know what to do and when to do it. But it super frustrating when you don’t, which is part of the enjoyment!
What other classic arcade bundles you can think of that Arcade 1Up can assemble? Let me know in the comments section below!