Re: Finding Lost Treasures – Rats and Nostalgia Trips

Some people collect coins, other stamps. I collect video games.

At the time of this writing, I can say that have really become bored with a majority of the newer games being released right now. And while playing video games on my PlayStation 3 and PC are great, there’s something about the games now coming out lately that just don’t grab my attention. While most are excited with the newest HD/3D graphics or motion-controls, I feel like something is just missing from them sometimes. I’ve actually canceled a majority of the pre-orders I had for some newly released games, and with the reception, some have received, it seems I might have saved a couple a good amount of money. So lately, I’ve been going back to my past. Way further than before.

I’ve been in a very retro mood as of late. Furthermore, I was an arcade rat growing up. But the sad fact is that arcades here in America are, for the most part, extinct. And I really did love them when they were around and I feel it’s something that the huge majority of the new generation of gamers nowadays will never be able to experience anymore. Stepping into a dark building or room with only the game screens lighting the way, rock music blaring almost as loud as you can talk while walking over to trade your dollars or quarters at the token machine. When a real versus multiplayer game meant facing off against someone standing right next to you at the same machine and having real trash-talking that didn’t involve hiding behind a microphone, a television, and the internet. The phrases “I’ve Got Winner” “I’ve Got Next” and “Quarter Up” meant something. And Mr. William S. Sessions, Director of the FBI would remind you that “Winners Don’t Use Drugs” when a game was sitting idle. And that’s even besides the experience of the actual games that you would play while there. Arcades have a certain charm and feeling that gamers just can’t get anywhere else.

Now I know there are ways to play these games already with the likes of the MAME arcade emulator and others, but I didn’t want to have to download any miscellaneous ROMS or files from any shady website. Plus I could run the risk that any files I download or install could also come with something to potentially damage or ruin my computer.

So in the spirit of continuing my collection of games from my last entry, I found that a collection of arcade classics were released in the life cycle of the PlayStation One.  In fact, I found that a variety of different collections were released. Midway released the Arcade’s Greatest Hits: The Atari Collection 1 and 2. I then discovered the Williams Arcade Greatest Hits and a copy of the Atari Anniversary Edition Redux. So, I picked one up each, but the best part was that each of these collections cost me $2 with the complete manuals and original cases. With shipping and in total, I spent less than $11 for them all.

The Atari Collection 1 disc did have a few light scratches on it, but it does play perfectly well. And as a bonus, the Atari Redux comes with an interview with Atari founder Nolan Bushnell which he gives his stories on the history of Atari. Nothing that probably isn’t already out on the internet, but interesting to watch sometimes and I enjoy nice bonuses such as this. Especially when you get discussion from someone directly related to the company themselves. Interesting to hear what people would do for a free game of Pong.

I also found other collections such as the Namco Museum Vol. 1-5 Collections and the Arcade’s Greatest Hits: The Midway Collection 2 which tells me that there obviously has to be the first collection somewhere. But as luck, and I literally mean luck would have it; I wouldn’t need to purchase those of the latter.

So as I really wanted to play some of those old classic games, while at the retail game store in town a few days later, I found the Midway Arcade Origins collection that was released for PlayStation 3 and Xbox360. Backbone Entertainment’s newest collection of ported classic games, I previously bought a copy of their past released Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection and found it to be very good. Albeit that collection was missing some games I wanted, but every so-called “collection” is never truly perfect. So I picked up a new copy at the $30 price range which equals to about a dollar a game.

This is something also that I thoroughly enjoyed. It didn’t cover the very early part of the arcades such as the Atari games, but it still had some nonetheless that I almost completely forgot. And some games that I didn’t know existed and couldn’t believe I liked. I never knew Spy Hunter received a sequel, let alone one that could be played by two people. Why was Pit Fighter a better playing game when I was younger? Plus I loved playing early classics such as Root Beer Tapper. And why do we not have a new Arch Rivals video game? That’s an honest question.

So that’s right; in this instance, there is no going to eBay to buy something, no waiting for the mail to pass, or flea market purchase having me to clean the cartridges or discs. Just good timing, or a coincidence, in this case.


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