Last month Arcade1Up finally announced a racing machine — their first. They are known for recreations of classic arcade machines for home purchase, and have offered near-authentic versions of everything from Pac-Man to NBA Jam (the only difference is a flatscreen instead of a CRT, and the fact that their cabinets are vertically smaller and require a booster box to raise to proper stand-up size). A racing cabinet was long overdue, and the game representing their foray was one of the finest examples, Sega’s OutRun.
Arcade1Up has brought many classic arcade machines to the home in their original form, from Pac-Man to NBA Jam, and they’ve done a great job all around. But while they’ve faithfully reproduced maze munchers, fighters and sports games, there’s one genre they’ve ignored entirely: racers. We’ve always found this strange — racing games are one of the few genres that would truly benefit from a home arcade conversion, with their steering wheel controls and physical brakes being a cool part of the experience.
Replicade specializes in miniaturizing the world’s most popular arcade classics to pencil size. These devices not only look nifty displayed on your desk, they are fully playable. They’ve produced twelve-inch replicas of the Asteroids, Tempest and Street Fighter cabinets, and now they’ve turned their attention to 1983’s Dragon’s Lair.
Last year AtGames got into the home arcade business with the Legends Ultimate Arcade Machine. At the time of its announcement, we held a skeptical view on the product, given AtGames’ reputation and their history of badly put-together “retro” plug-and-play machines that filled the gift shelves of drugstores last decade.
Sega has been on a “mini” binge recently, creating miniaturized versions of its most popular devices from the past. You know about the Genesis Mini, and we just found out about the Game Gear Micro last month, but they have even more in mind.
Dirk the Daring has been shrunk to the size of a pencil! How will he defeat Singe and save Daphne now? Oh wait…they’re also the same size, so everything’s proportionate.
In a time where video games often seem to be pushing for the titles of “best-looking”, most “details in the world”, or a “deeply satisfying and emotional experience”, we often forget that sometimes the best games out there are the ones that do something simple, and do it very well. There was a time when twin-stick arcade shooters were the most-challenging video games out there, and now, one new example of the timeless franchise has come in the form of Chippy.
If you want an arcade machine that plays Star Wars, just ignore AtGames’ suspicious “Legends Ultimate” cabinet and feast your eyes on the newest offerings from Arcade1up. A Star Wars cabinet was revealed on the show floor today, along with cabinets for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Marvel properties.
AtGames has built a bad reputation for itself as a company quick to capitalize on nostalgia with very cheaply-made retro consoles, using poor emulation and stuffed with bad games that never even appeared on the original devices. Now they’re entering the growing home arcade market………fear for your children.
Japanese pachinko manufacturer Konami will be 50 years old this year, and while they’ve burned all their bridges regarding modern games and the community that supports them, there is still plenty of love for the old days. Might as well lean on it, ’cause it’s all they’ve got.
For the first time since its original release in the 80s, the arcade version of Ice Climber (more commonly known on the NES) is available for purchase, thanks to Hamster and their “Arcade Archives” series.
Arcade collectors have all sizes to choose from these days. There’s the full-size upright. There’s the 2/3-sized chest-high models sold by Arcade 1Up. And then there’s the smallest option, the RepliCade….an arcade machine that measures just twelve inches in height.