Its another week for the League of Extraordinary Bloggers! This week will be an interesting and potentially difficult one for me. Lets see the topic:
You’ve decided to build an addition onto your house, a rec room that will feature your very own fantasy video arcade. What games are on your shopping list?
Long time readers of this blog may know this dirty geeky secret of mine: I’m not a gamer. While growing up my mom was convinced a video game system would ruin the TV and cause us to sit in front of that same TV (which was the only one in the house) for hours on end. Therefore I missed out on NES and Genesis. We had a Game Boy, which was fun. Then by the time Super Nintendo and Dreamcast and anything else came out I would rather spend all my money on comic books and related items than take the time to save up for a game system. Without one at home that meant less love for the arcades.
I would play the occasional game while out and bored. Mom is shopping elsewhere in the mall? I’ll run down with a couple quarters to the constantly changing names and owners video game arcade and play a couple shitty games until the quarters/tokens were gone. I’ll admit, if I wasn’t going to be good right away I didn’t want to put in the effort. Besides, the money it would take to get good at one of these games would be better spent saving up for an NES. In theory. There’s no way I could have saved money.
However, then the combination was discovered one day at the local grocery store. It was both NES and arcade game. I cant even begin to tell you how much I wish I had a camera, or cell or some desire to document things back then because this thing was glorious.
The closest I can find online without knowing the name is this thing. Called the PlayChoice10 this thing was like a jukebox for Nintendo. 10 cartridges were held inside and the player could select one of the 10 then play until death. Of course those who had Nintendo’s at home did better than those of us who didn’t. But it was a great way to play games. For some reason the one I remember the most is playing Kid Icarus at the old Woolworth’s store.
Many years later, in my 20s, I found an NES in a friend’s closet and borrowed it until nostalgia hit him. For a couple months I finally played Super Mario Bros and the Legend of Zelda. I know I beat Zelda but I’m not sure about Mario. There’s only 3 buttons needed for in game use and yet these games tested my abilities. Today’s controllers are just too damn complicated.
Sometime in my early teens I discovered two new amazing arcade games. The comic book love was already in full force so anything that would tempt me must be a part of this world. And oh how great these games were for a comic book fan. Because there in the arcade were the X-Men and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
I would put a couple quarters in and try this game every time I was at the mall. Eventually I started to get better and could get beyond one board. However 75 cents was the most I would ever put in. Anything more seemed just too much. Until one day when I overheard some of my Dad’s younger co-workers. They took about 30 dollars and an afternoon and played TMNT until they beat it. Suddenly hearing “adults” commit to such an act validated it. Not only did it sound like fun, I felt like I had a goal. A few rolls of quarters and nothing to do for hours. Both games were completed and defeated in this method. And worth every single quarter to this day.
So what did the rest of the League want to buy?
My pals and I were arcade freaks. I think Double Dragon is the first game I remember us pumping dollars into to finish it. At that point in time, most games didn’t have an ending.