80’s arcade games-Elevator action

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1983

I played this game at my local arcade back around 1983-84 as well as a local pool that I went to play video games every once in a while.The game always seemed to be open yet friends I talked to at school all played it. Being a fan of spy films and shows I loved it with quick moving avoid the bad guys action. I recall so into it I was probably moving my whole body as I made my character move and duck, I likely looked like a total freak playing this game. I always thought it had a very smooth flow to it compared to a lot of other games from the time. I have not played it since like 1985 so I don’t know what I’d think of it today, but I have a feeling I’d still enjoy it.

 

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It came from the bargain bin-Street Fighter

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1994
Purchased at Big Lots recently.
Cost-$3
Why this could be good? I’m a big fan of the game and I liked a few JCVD films back in the day.
Why this could be bad? Everyone I knew who saw it said it was average or worse.

Guile is the main hero as a French accented, US flag tattoo wearing soldier (?!). Bison is the villain and some big old nasty plan hatched. Eventually all the other characters from the game appear and end up on different sides of this battle. There’s martial arts competition, military actions, gun battles, evil plots and all that kind of going on to some extent throughout the film. The main villains (Bison, Sagat, Vega) sneer, look evil and try to cause problems -ewwww take that good people. While the obvious heroes (Guile, Cammy, Chun Li) fight for what’s good, just and what the script tells them to fight for. Others like Ken and Ryu go from indifferent to maybe bad to good just in case you wondering or cared at all by this point. Somewhere along the line the director said “what have I done?”, no actually he said “we are running out of time and money so let’s set up a grand finale and blow stuff up”. So that’s what we get. There’s some fights with evil losing. The bad guy lair explodes. Zangief is forgiven his crimes because he holds a door open for the good guys while the other baddies remain bad. Ken and Ryu both become good for ummm good. At the end of the film the cast try their best to recreate poses of the game characters with not so impressive results. Game over.

The negatives-I think the first one that comes to mind is that for an action film based on a legendary fighting game this film lacks memorable fights. They take too long to get to real fights and when they do they are short and we see close ups of part of the action rather than a whole fight scene. Definitely real missed opportunities. With this many characters in one film it’s understandable that some get fleshed out more than others. However some of my biggest character complaints are…
1-That skinny soldier was T. Hawk? They didn’t even try on him.
2-Dhalsim loses his hair at the end and that’s like we all get on him being the Dhalsim we know. He was around before Cammy and Vega in the game yet they shoved him to the side in this film.
3-In this film Balrog is good and DeeJay is bad. Why? Did the writers of this movie ever see these characters in the game? I think not.
There are also the usual plot holes and perhaps worst of all I never really cared as much about the characters in this film as I did while playing the game.

The positives-The locations are nice, actually the storming the fortress scene at the end makes good use of the location. I liked that they tried to include all of the characters from the game even if they didn’t get most of them right. I liked when Sagat and Deejay thought they were getting something valuable only to find that they’d saved some Bison bucks.

Was it worth $3? The price is lower that the average bargain bin price of $5 so that means the film doesn’t have to be as good to be worth less money. I suppose that’s right. However for me in evaluating the value of a film for what I paid for it I go to two things-was it good and how many times would I watch it again? For the first one I have to say the film was below average. It had far more faults than I figured it would. The one thing I was hoping for was good fight scenes and it didn’t have enough of those. For the second question no I don’t have the desire to see this film again any time soon. So I’d say unfortunately it was not worth the $3.

I hope to this bargain bin segment twice a month starting in January. I already have some films lined up for the next few months. Some possibilities for 2015 include-
The Scorpion King action pack
Mortal Kombat double feature
Tales from the darkside the movie
Konga
Four sided triangle
Spaceways
Future Sport
Short Circuit double feature
Hancock
The wolfman (remake)
The Neverending story double feature
The monster maker
X the man with X ray eyes
Godzilla against Mechagodzilla
Casper meets Wendy
Werewolf the beast among us
Sherlock Holmes Double Feature (w/Basil Rathbone)
Idle Hands
Silver Bullet
Jason goes to hell
The land that time forgot/People that time forgot double feature
Alien Apocalypse
Crucible of Horror
Man of steel
Collateral Damage/Eraser double feature

80’s arcade games that should have been made

 

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Now the long name for this list would be 80’s arcade  games based on TV shows and movies that I think should have been made. There were a few arcade games based on movies in the 80’s including Star Wars, Star Trek, Tron and Robocop, but not so much on TV shows. There were home games based on movies like Raiders of the lost ark and ET (games buried in the desert). However I wished that more arcade games based on shows and movies had been made back then. Here are my choices in no real order

A-team-This show just screamed side scrolling shooter with maybe levels where you drive BA’s van and maybe even play Murdoch and do crazy helicopter flying. Perhaps you could collect parts and build a crazy weapon to fight the main baddies.

Knight Rider-Imagine a sit down version of this complete with dashboard and various controls.

Beauty and the beast-I see with different levels making your way through the city.

Dukes of Hazzard-Another awesome idea for a sitdown driving game. Imagine avoiding Roscoe on dirt roads and jumping over creeks yeeehaw!

The incredible Hulk-I see this as playing on the idea of the show where Banner has to get his butt kicked so he gets mad and turns into the Hulk. You’d only get limited Hulk time to take care of business before turning back.

 Movies-

Running Man-This one also screams for a game. Battling various psychos as you go along. The 1990 arcade game Smash TV borrowed some ideas from this film.

Die Hard-A crazy violent one against many game in a big building. This could have been cool.

Predator-Guns against an invisible enemy in the jungle. This could have been a challenging and fun game.

Monster Squad-Probably not popular enough for it’s own game, but playing a kid fighting classic monsters has a certain appeal.

For your eyes only (or Octopussy)-I always wished there was a Bond game in the early 1980. Now 1989 saw Secret Agent (Sly Spy) come out and it was close even though it didn’t have the Bond name. However a game based totally on a good film would have been fantastic.

There you. Feel free to add your own ideas.

80’s arcade games-Bosconian

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1981

Outer space games are a huge genre and the 80’s saw their share of this style of game. Bosconian was a free roaming, multi-directional space shooter game-yeah say that fives real fast. What that means is you could float around a lot. The goal was to blow up all the enemy space stations in a quadrant. there are other smallers ships trying to get you too. The spaces stations each had six circular parts on the outside that you could destroy, but to destroy the whole base you had shoot into the middle of the ship when it opened to release a torpedo. So timing was everything in this game. You had to be in position and zip in and shoot to blow it up. Each level had more stations and you had to zoom around to find them. This was definitely a game that took some time to beat with all the maneuvering you had to do. It was and still is fun and challenging. The graphics are decent too for the time. Both Time Pilot and Sinistar have some similarities to this one and both those games came out a year later. I remember playing this game a few times at my favorite arcade, but have played it some at home in more recent years. Seeing the ad above makes me wish I had gotten to play a tabletop version of this game, that would have been cool.

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Square Pegs-Pac-Man fever

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1982

Video games are brought in to the school’ s cafeteria. Much to the delight of school spirit person Muffie Tepperman all proceeds going to the school’s adopted Guatemalan child. They quickly bring in Asteroids, Star Castle and Pac-Man. Marshall dazzles the others with his gaming skills as obviously no one else has talent or quarters and they stand around oohing and ahhing at Marshall. Marshall begins to lose his desire to be a comic, good because he’s not that funny however he begins to be obsessed with video games. Meanwhile Vinnie gets mad because he can’t beat Marshall at Pac-Man. This ticks off Vinnie’s like you know girlfriend Jennifer because she is getting no attention from him. So Lauren and Patty try get Marshall off video games by getting him to play board games which fails miserably. So Johnnie calls in Father Sarducci to do an exorcism on Marshall since he is possessed by video games ?! Sarducci gets Marshall to think about comedy again and he is cured. Meanwhile Jennifer goes to Vinnie’s uncle because he is renting the video games to the school. She tells him that Vinnie is becoming a dummy from playing the video games so that’s it he pulls games from the school. So Marshall and Vinnie are back to normal, but Muffie is mad about the loss of funs. At the local hangout Lauren is ready to get sucked in by Ms. Pac-Man and here we go again. Roll credits.

Gaming stuff-We see four video games in this episode-Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-man, Asteroids and Star Castle. Marshall is reading what looks like a Donkey Kong guide at one point. Lauren makes a reference to Asteroids. Marshall tells a guy who stinks at Pac-Man something like he should stick to Pong.

I liked this short lived show a lot, but this one was merely decent. Possibly mostly because Marshall was one of the weaker characters on the show. This one does have it’s moments and the appearances of classic video games and board games is always cool.

’80 arcade games-Express Raider

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1986

The western video game is one of those sub genres that has been around as long as video games themselves. Yet it’s certainly not as popular as space games or war games. I first saw this game at a pizza place that I only went to a few times in the mid-80’s They had two games a wrestling one with several kids playing it and this one sitting all alone by itself. I gave it a try because it was a video game and I had a quarter burning a hole in my pocket. You are a bank robber, but you will earn the money because the levels are not easy. The first level is a side scrolling fighter. You have to beat up a banker and kick some dogs just to get on the train. Once on it you are trying to get from the caboose to the engine. However each car has a guy on top who is tying to stop you by fighting and throwing junk at you. If that wasn’t mean enough there is a bomb sitting on the coupling between each car and if you can’t defeat the guy in time the bomb goes blooey, the cars unhook and you lose a turn. If you get past this level then you are on horseback in the foreground trying to shoo and defeat guys in the train car. They of course shoot back at you and you have to move your horse or duck down to avoid it. It’s fairly close quarters on this level so you have to be fast to dodge those bullets. If you beat that level then you start over with the same levels becoming more challenging. The game play is similar to another western themed game Iron Horse from Konami which also came out in 1986. For the year it came out the graphics here are quite decent. The game play on the train top level is simplistic and other games would do it better a year or two later, but for the year came out it was a little ahead of where scrolling fighting game were. The shooting level has more graphic shortcoming, but playing wise it’s still a challenge. I wish there had been more levels. This is a Data East game so you can some similarities in play to the previously released Karate Champ and later released games like Sly Spy and Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja would take what was done here and improve upon it. I had almost forgotten about this game until I played it on a collection for the Wii in recent years.

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Different Strokes-Shoot out at the OK arcade

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1982

Willis is fantastic at this game called Space Sucker and he knows he’s good at it. Meanwhile Arnold tries it and he gets killed like right away zooop! Willis gives Arnold the book he used to get better. Gradually Arnold gets better at it. However he begins skipping class to practice uh, oh so his grades are suffering. He finally gets tired of Willis bragging and challenges him to a Space Sucker showdown. Arnold needs to practice more and he does while missing more school. He has a dream where he is playing Space Sucker in front of a huge crowd and the aliens have Willis heads! Arnold beats the game in his dream. He wakes up and continues practicing. The day comes for the challenge. Willis does great, but gets killed shortly before defeating the game. Arnold has one more guy left. He beats Willis and defeats the game hooray! The he gets a talking to from Mr. Drummond about ignoring his studies – not so great. Roll the credits.

Obviously Space Sucker was a fake game. It’s a side scrolling shooter in space. The character is a space man with a jet pack and laser gun on the left side. You blow up meteorites, fight smaller aliens and eventually the larger space sucker who will suck you in if you don’t shoot him first. The characters are super large like too large for it to work. That’s done so it showed up well on screen, but if it was a real game it would have had smaller figures. I so would have played this game had it been real and because of the game I’ve found it to be one of the most memorable of the series.  Their “arcade” is tiny more like an arcade at a pizza place rather than a stand alone game. By season five Different Strokes wasn’t quite as good as it had been, but this is a solid episode. It’s funny (“I fell on my asteroid”) and I could certainly relate to Arnold with his video game obsession and struggles.

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1980’s video game  week marches on and a Square Pegs video game episode and another 80’s video game will be up over the next day or two.

’80’s arcade games-Bad dudes vs. Dragon Ninja

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1988

This is a side scrolling fighting-action game that can be for one or two players. President Ronnie has been kidnapped! Oh, dear so muscle shirt wearing Blade and Striker are asked to go and rescue him using their fists, their kicks and any weapons they pick up along the way. You fight a lot of ninjas (duh) and each level has a boss at the end. On the final level you fight all the previous bosses again and the big boss who is trying to escape via helicopter. After each level you complete you get to hear the heroes proclaim “I’m bad!”. The levels include a woods, a cave, a moving  truck and more. There was a diner I’d go to on occasion in the late 80’s to get great milkshakes  and that’s where I first played this game. I never got too good at it then, but I certainly liked it due to the action, the villains and I thought the graphics were pretty good for the time. This game is in a scene in the movie Parenthood with Steve Martin and you see the cabinet of it briefly in Robocop 2. The ninjas kind of remind me of the Foot clan from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This game was probably influenced by Double Dragon, but I prefer Bad Dudes. In recent years I got the Data East collection for the Wii that had this game and a number of others. I played it every so often with my kids and we always enjoy it. I think the game is similar to what action movies were in that time and I am certainly a fan of corny 80’s action flicks so it follows that I would enjoy this game. If anyone knows of why that running flame guy pictured below is in this game from time to time please enlighten me because it makes no sense to me.

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1980’s arcade games Spyhunter and Spyhunter 2

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1983

Between 1982 and 1985 I would to the bowling alley with my dad. While he did his bowling league thing he gave me a few bucks and I had a few hours to kill and had to decide whether to spend the money on comics, video games or food. Normally video games won out as there was an arcade in the strip mall and the bowling alley had six or seven games as well. The first time I saw Spy Hunter the bowling alley actually had it before the arcade. It was a stand up machine at the less crowded end of the bowling alley. I had recently been on a Turbo kick so I alright with a new driving game. The Peter Gunn theme came on and that was a good start. Wait, I have weapons and I can battle these bad guy cars? Whoaa this is like James Bond only I don’t have to put up with Roger Moore’s smirking face. This was one of the few games where I had to wait in a line at the bowling alley to play it.  When it finally came to the arcade it was a sit down version. Sitting down playing that in the dark and loud arcade was a fantastic experience and not’s like the game needed a lot to elevate it, but it got even better that way. I actually got better at this game the more I played it as well, that didn’t always happen with every game. When I have played it again in recent years I feel like even though the graphics are on it’s time the game has remained very playable and fun.

 

 

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1987

I actually never played or even saw Spyhunter 2 when it was released and I understand it only received a limited release anyways. I have played it recently as I was excited to see if it lived up to the original. Instead of the flat overhead look of the first it has a semi 3D look kind of like Turbo. Even though it was made in 1987 the roads don’t look of scroll as well as something Pole Position which was made several years earlier. Actually the car doesn’t handle as well as that game either. The car movements are slightly clunky. A simple move to one side looks like you are fishtailing on an icy road. I like the two drivers at once feature. Overall it’s not nearly as fun as the first game. I lost interest in the game pretty quickly, but not every video game sequel was MS. Pac-Man or Donkey Kong Jr.

1980’s arcade games-Crossbow

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This is a new feature that I hope to do oh every so often. I played way too many arcade games in the 1980’s so now I am going to spew put something about some of them.

This game was made in 1983, but I am almost sure I never saw it in my local arcade until fall of 1984. It’s a side scrolling game with a slight difference that being that you protecting the adventurers who stroll along the screen like they don’t have a care in the world. So they are putting their fate in your hands to shoot villains and other items that try to kill them. So you use a Crossbow (duh), take aim at the baddies and try to help your people survive. I loved this game back in 84-85 mainly because of the then awesome graphics and frantic sound effects. I was slightly into D&D and fantasy films back then so I took to this game right away.  I am clumsy with non-joysticks anyhow, but I remember if being slightly difficult to use rather large crossbow, swivel it around and try to take out relatively small threats. I got slightly better at the game, but never really good. I know home versions were later made for several different Atari systems, but I never played any of them. I have not played this one since 1985 but I still like what I see on the screen captures of it, but I am not sure if it would be as fun to play or not.

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