The Lost Arcade is a well made, nostalgia-steeped 2015 documentary about New York videogame arcades. It charts the rise, but mostly the decline of arcade culture through to the mid-2010s. The people and themes it looks at are a much more ambitious and frankly, much better done, form of what we at Very Very Gaming were interested in with our blog posts about game stores in the UK. As a film it looks at the histories, the people, the stories, the owners and their passions in and around New York’s arcade scene.
Games seem to be cropping up more and more in museums these days. I think it’s fair to say that games are gradually becoming more respectable in the art/museum world. I first noticed this when maybe a year ago, I visited a small town in the West Midlands called Walsall and popped in an impressive looking building called The New Art Gallery Walsall. In the foyer was a standalone painting depicting two fighters squaring off. Unsurprisingly the accompanying blurb explained the piece was inspired by a game, Tekken if I remember rightly, and the artist’s fond memories of competitive bouts.
That’s a small example of games intruding in an unexpected location, and there seem to be more and more these days. Adroit readers may recall a post about my visit to the National Videogame Arcade in Nottingham back in 2015. I greatly enjoyed visiting then with Maya and decided to revisit with my brother in December 2018. Imagine my surprise to learn that the place has not only changed nomenclature from arcade to museum – it is now the National Videogame Museum – but it also relocated from Nottingham to the heart of Sheffield! Not too far away from its old home, but still. New city, new name, what else is new? Continue reading
That title is a joke. Kind of. A half-joke. Honestly I have been anticipating this game since it was first announced many moons ago! Gain Ground on the Megadrive/Genesis is one of my favourite games. I have alluded to this game several times over the years, and I’m here to reiterate that it rocks, especially in co-op. It’s a slow, deliberate and strategic action game. An old and obscure Sega arcade release originally, it finally makes a long-awaited return… I can hardly wait and I want you to be just as excited. (Ha, fat chance.) But I’ll try my best here anyway – bring the hype! Continue reading
While writing my recent post about the music of Gradius, I felt the need to experience the music in context. I’ve spent at least some time with each game in the series, but Gradius III has my favourite soundtrack and was the one I really wanted to sink my teeth into. Who could have known that such easy listening would accompany such a difficult game?! Gradius III is one of the hardest, most gruelling games out there, sometimes to the point of absurdity. Beyond a staggering difficulty, Gradius III sports some utterly baffling game design. But there’s a solid core of enjoyable gameplay in all the Gradius games and, thanks to that steady foundation, I was eventually able to “complete” it. Continue reading
I’ve been trying to pin down the precise differences between console- and arcade-style games. I’ve never been especially confident in how to explain the appeal of personal arcade favourites like Time Crisis 2, House of the Dead 2, Metal Slug, and too many shooters to name, over the meatier games associated with consoles. It’s not that I don’t like console games – far from it! – but I associate the short, intense and replayable experiences of arcade games with gaming on a deep level. Analysing the qualities that make arcade games special is the main topic of this post, but it comes courtesy of an unlikely source: the console-only Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series. Continue reading