Maximum Replay: Arcade Games

By: -=LRK=-  
Web Site: www.subdiv.net
Date: Pre-2005


Disclaimer
Once again, most people disagree with every opinion I've ever had. The list below are *my* favorite pointless action arcade games that anyone can pickup and just play. True, most of them are late 90's, but I was not about to go through installing floppies. Besides, 1993 and 1994 were NOT big computer game years. Now quit being so judgemental. Damn people.

Introduction
I was sitting around the house bored stupid, waiting for the release of Max Payne because quite frankly, it was the best shot we had at some descent gameplay on the PC. After stinkers like WW2 Online and Anarchy Online promising hours of gameplay, but they only delivered hours of crash and reboot. When I heard Max Payne was only like 10-15 hours of aim/shoot/kill I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I dusted off years worth of games. I fought through DOS and incompatibilities. In the end, I came up with a pile of totally awesome games, that stand up against time, and still deliver the gaming goodness that every publisher hopes to achieve.

Criteria
These aren't the "Holier Than Thou - Never To Be Played Again" classic games like Sim City, Duke3d or Doom. Come on, let's call a spade a spade, noone can sit through the pain of Doom anymore. It was great for it's time, but now, let it go. At the same time, all the games we still play regularly like Counterstrike, TFC, Unreal Tournament or Quake 3 don't count. We all know about them, and that would make for a counterproductive article. I was to remind the old-schoolers of the great games past, and introduce the new kids to all the best games they never bothered to try.
Since noone is reading this crap anyway, here is some of the best games then... and now.

NFL Blitz - 1998


Gameplay - Super easy to learn. Point, Click, Run like hell. No overly complex rules or any penalties to get in the way of this straight forward game. I choose this one in particular because NFL Blitz 2000 tried too hard to recapture the magic, and ended up with something more than it needed to be.

Graphics - Still standing strong. It supports up to 1600x1200x16 so no problems there.

Sound - If you listen, you can hear quality loss, but you won't notice it.

Verdict - Overall this game is one of the strongest contenders to pull back old fans, but still entertain the hard core newbies looking for a quick rush.
Boarder Zone - 1999


Gameplay - Pure downhill rush. Little more, but nothing less. I played the demo over and over and over for years. In fact, I purchased this game on E-bay about 3 weeks ago, and that is what inspired this article in the first place. I don't know what the kids of today are playing on PS/2, but this is one of my favorites when it come to "in your face" need for speed.

Graphics - It supports up to 1600x1200x32 so they were definitely planning for the future.

Sound - Lots of Swooshing.

Verdict - This is a title that went relatively unnoticed when it came out. If you never tried it, just click the demo link up top. This is one of my all time favorites, so do yourself the favor.
Centipede - 1981


Gameplay - Don't look at me like that. Give it 10 seconds, you have given it 10 minutes. This game needs no introduction. The remake was lame, and I do not endorse it.

Graphics - It's 20+ years old, so take what you can get.

Sound - Annoying as hell.

Verdict - If I am stuck on a deserted island, this is the game I would bring. As far as the demo goes, nothing was found. If you want, you can download MAME (Arcade Emulator), the ROM, and your good to go.
Frogger - 1997


Gameplay - The original was a classic. The update was more of the same. Why? Because they updated the graphics, not the gameplay.

Graphics - Either It's 20+ years old, or 4+ years old. Take your pick.

Sound - Lots of boinking.

Verdict - Simple and to the point. You can either download the demo, or you can download MAME (Arcade Emulator) and the ROM. Your choice.
Lose Your Marbles- 1997


Gameplay - I know what your saying. What the hell is this game? Never heard of it right? Probably not. Watch out though, it's one of those "Tetris Addiction" type of games. You are on the left, and your goal is to clear all your marbles before the computer clears all the marbles on the right.

Graphics - It's showing it's age with a 640x480 maximum resolution.

Sound - Irritating music.

Verdict - If you like "puzzle" games like Tetris, then you will like this one. Another one of my favorites is called Baku Baku, also by SegaSoft.
Midtown Madness - 1999


Gameplay - Oh yeah, you remember it now. Nothing beats coming home after rush hour traffic and blasting through the streets (as sidewalks) of Chicago. The next year they released Midtown Madness 2. What did they update? Not a damn thing. Great fun.

Graphics - While it was amazing 2 years ago, it still had it's flaws which stand out terribly nowadays. But when your flying by doing 120 mph who cares?

Sound - Little muffled, but passable.

Verdict - Go ahead, pull out the disk and install it. Especially if you have a wheel.
Motocross Madness - 1998


Gameplay - I prefer 1 over 2. I don't know why. The second improved upon the first one in every way, and yet I like 1 best (even though 2 is installed and shown). I chose this game because I installed it, and played for 2 hours. I didn't mean to, it just happened.

Graphics - 1 is outdated, and 2 looks fine.

Sound - It has sound? Oh..... much better.

Verdict - Jump/fall/repeat.
PacMan - 1978


Gameplay - Wait... I can explain (music chimes in, song and dance begins). I know... I know....That's what I said! But I swear, the damn thing is addicting as hell! Stay away from the update though, it's horrible.

Graphics - Looks good to me.

Sound - Old people begin to swarm if you turn it up loud enough. Sooner or later, Mom and Dad have booted you off your computer mumbling something about "I paid for it". Strange side-effect.

Verdict - Eat yellow pellet. Repeat. Grab the Nintendo Emulator, ROM, and have fun.
Punch-Out - 198x


Gameplay - I didn't remember the moves, but it was fun relearning them.

Graphics - Old.

Sound - Annoying Nintendo Midi crap.

Verdict - Why is it fun? Simple. Left punch, Right punch, Duck. What more do you need? Grab the Nintendo Emulator, ROM, and have fun.
RC-Pro AM - 198x


Gameplay - Do you remember this one? Vaguely? No? Well, simple as it is, I still found myself driving around in circles. More than I can say about most of the new racers.

Graphics - Old. Old. Old.

Sound - Annoying Nintendo Midi crap.

Verdict - While the driving in circles gets old, it's the weapons that make this game fun. Grab the Nintendo Emulator and the ROM.
ReVolt - 1999


Gameplay - Do you remember this one? Oh Yeah. This bad boy took the gaming world by storm. I am almost exaggerating. This game is awesome It could come out today and people would eat it up. Pure fun. Fun Fun Fun. Where the hell is the sequel?

Graphics - Top Notch. 1600x1200x32 of glorious graphics.

Sound - Annoying Nintendo Midi crap. Oh wait, I mean Kick Ass!

Verdict - This game has some of the best stuff in it. These guys had fun making it, and it shows. If your only going to download one today, this should be the one.
RollCage - 1999


Gameplay - Nothing like breakneck speeds... upside-down.... with a drill cannon.

Graphics - Top Notch. 1600x1200x32 of glorious graphics.

Sound - Yea know... sound.

Verdict - I never cared for 2 myself, once again I am a firm believer that the first time is the best.
Samurai Showdown 2 - 1996
No Demo


Gameplay - Many were before, and many were after. Yet, something about this Street Fighter Clone that made it stand out. I think it was the panning camera, who knows.

Graphics - Even though it looks dated with it's 256 color palette, I think it still looks better than some of the drivel that still comes out today.

Sound - Low quality. Has that "Tin Can" sound to it.

Verdict - The only other fighter game I really cared for was X-Men, and again, I think it was because of the camera. While I couldn't find anything on this game anymore, if you have it laying around, pop it in, it's sure to please.
Super Mario Brothers - 1983


Gameplay - When I was a kid, this was THE game to be good at. If you sucked, you were nothing. This game had it all. Best of all was the Hidden Secrets that had all the kids talking in school. You know, I never DID jump over the flag pole....

Graphics - It may be old, but it's still not all that bad. Since it intentionally took the 'cartoon' approach, it hasn't lost much of it's pizzazz over the years.

Sound - Music of today's games bugs me, but I can listen to this thing for hours. Strange.

Verdict - I never meant to start playing it again, but there I was, trying to save the princess again. I couldn't remember many of the hidden stuff, but it was fun looking.
Tetris - 198x


Gameplay - It's never been one of my favorites, but I will still play a few rounds.

Graphics - Dull.

Sound - Worse

Verdict - This game has been cloned more than any other, and yet this damn thing is still addicting (Just ask my girl!)
Worms! - 1995
Worms World Party - 2001


Gameplay - This is one of those strange cases where the game gets updates, constantly evolves, yet never ever changes. The same joy is had playing either game. The only real difference is the graphics. (But if given the choice, I'll play the original.)

Graphics - Either simple, or overkill, depending on which game you play.

Sound - Oh No! More Lemmings!

Verdict - If you have honestly never played a round of worms, what's wrong with you?
Zoop - 1995


Gameplay - I know, you never heard of it before. Just think Tetris on Steroids. It fast mind-bending pleasure.

Graphics - As loud and obnoxious as they could make it.

Sound - Irritating.

Verdict - If your heart can take the frantic pressure, it's a blast.... old school style.
.
Games That COULD have been added to this list, But Weren't, Because The Writer Was Careless In Not Remembering Every Game Ever Made
Need For Speed 1-5
Earth Worm Jim
Gauntlet
Mortal Kombat 3
Galaga


Games That Don't Belong On This List, But Since Noone Can Read Have Been Added To Make Them Feel Better
Doom
Quake
Counterstrike
Team Fortress
Everquest
Zelda

Conclusion
These are some of my favorites from over the years that I was able to just pick up, and start playing all over again years later (Except the list above that was blatantly added to cater to the masses). Each had a quality that other games of today seem to lack. They all... oh nevermind. Your not paying any attention anymore.


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