Friday, September 21, 2018

The End of Summer 2018...

So, summer 2018 was pretty good for us, arcade gaming wise. We finally got to play a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles beat 'em up which turned out awesome from Raw Thrills. So much love went into this game that it is seeping from the seams; between retro Krang, throwing Foot Soldiers at the screen; it was nice to see a genre that has been so neglected in the arcades get so much love. Who knew new arcade games didn't have to be enlarged iPhone apps? This guy and his company did:

This picture of Eugene Jarvis might be a little old, but it is the best photo example of his enthusiasm for arcade games that I could find on short notice. If you doubt me, search for some video interviews with him. He loves this industry. Seriously, who would have thought the guy who brought us Defender would be bringing us a new friggin' Ninja Turtles game nearly 40 years later!?! If you are on the fence about the game, here's our quick look at it:

Now onto older stuff. Every summer there are some games I search out and must play. Some are recent finds, while others I have been playing for years. We included some in previous posts, below are the rest. This is literally a dump truck load of video reviews in a single post that all fall under the umbrella of summer games. What makes them summer games? A combination of the first time I played the games, where I have found the games, and when I found the games. A summer game does not have to do with the theme, but more the feeling it invokes. Listen to our last podcast and you will hear our memories about beating Shredder for the first time in a lodge while fireworks go off after a day of alpine slides, or about boardwalks along the ocean or lake with arcades that have garage doors for the front wall, or it could be Barcade in Brooklyn; it's whatever you feel or experience. Below are some of mine:


We'll start with the most recent to come out, Namco/Bandai's TANK! TANK! TANK! My review says it all. This is a game I first experienced in Disney World and have continued to experience in Disney World on an almost annual basis. The game is a blast. Please do not hesitate to give it a play if you see it. Also, the homeport on the Wii U is also really good. Ignore all of the low review scores; if you are into arcade gaming you are not expecting a 70+ hour Final Fantasy-esque experience. The homeport of TANK! TANK! TANK! includes the arcade version and an added mission version which, can get tedious after awhile, but the arcade version is pure gold. Seriously, how can blowing up kaiju monsters with a tank deserve a score below a 5/10?!?

Atari's Night Driver

Next we have the immortal Night Driver by Atari. Most of you may remember the homeport on the Atari 2600 over the arcade game. I myself spent most of my life playing the homeport. Every summer BBQ or holiday party at my aunt and uncle's always included about 2 straight hours of Night Driver on the Atari 2600. Imagine my surprise to finally play the original arcade version at my first Funspot tournament! Shortly after it became a summer ritual to make sure I get a few dozen games in of Night Driver over at the American Classic Arcade Museum at Funspot. For awhile it was on the sit-down fiberglass cockpit version, but as of a few years ago they have replaced it with the upright cabinet which is what you see in the video

Atari's Fire Truck

Now we're getting personal. Fire Truck by Atari was the first game I got a high score on during one of the Funspot classic arcade game tournaments. My score tied for 1st place according to the Twin Galaxies book of world records. This was pre Guinness Book of World Records involvement and pre drama. We have managed to stay out of the whole Twin Galaxies drama simply because, games are meant to be fun and enjoyed. Regardless, this game always reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Kramer is hanging off of the back of the fire truck in NYC. When I find one working (the cabinet is difficult to maintain), I make sure to play it.

Universal's Zero Hour

Zero Hour was a recent discovery for me thanks to the American Classic Arcade Museum. The game incorporates some of my favorite early shmup elements; everything from shooting down waves to bonus stages that have you docking your ship. The ship animations are even ahead of their time; just look at how the ship tilts when you go left and right. It's a real shame that Zero Hour does not get more credit than it does.

So ends the summer of 2018 at the Arcade Hunters, but wait...we had one more game sneak in under the radar on home console. Capcom found it appropriate to release the Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle this past Tuesday! Now, any Debbie downers claiming it is a cash grab need to check themselves because this bundle includes what I consider the best beat 'em up ever, Battle Circuit! First time ever released on a home console! If that doesn't get you going, check out the trailer below:

I will be drinking beer, eating pizza, listening to punk rock, and playing my way through every game in this bundle tonight to celebrate the end of summer. I will also be Tweeting every second and loving it. You have been warned...


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