Erstwhile Muse

Jun 29, 2004

Games people play

Well, the really weird ones anyway...

The question has been asked of course, What do you do with 4.7 gigabytes or so of arcade ROM's? How many of them can you actually play? That of course depends on your contextual definition of play. Obviously there are some with technical issues such as lack of sound, improper video emulation, that sort of thing. Those prove rather difficult to play. Then you have the hordes of drek that have been produced since the dawn of gaming time, wannabes and hangers-on that were just trying to make a quick buck and hopefully never did. These games—and I use the term loosely here—can be played, but you wouldn't really want to, there is no amusement value to the task whatsoever.

If you're a bit of a game junkie like myself, you also get a metric ass-ton of games that you enjoyed playing in the arcade, which you can sit and play for hours on end. This is a particularly good time, especially with that classic type of game known as the quarter pumper; effectively unlimited tokens make these games a bit more enjoyable than they could be otherwise. Herein lies the minor problem; after 50+ levels of Rampage World Tour with no end in sight, after you've beaten Smash TV for the fourth time, when you just can't shoot down one more plane or drop another bomb between 1941–1945 where do you go? What do you do when you need a bit of a change of pace?

That's when you start looking to the weird shit.

I started the quest by myself as a search for more top down shooting games of the type exemplified by the 194X series. Boy howdy did I find what I was looking for, especially once I started coming across games from Atlus like DoDonPachi and the uber-spastic ESP Ra. De..

Eventually I was joined in a search for the bizarre by the other late night denizens of the boom-boom room. We came across games that made us shake our collective heads in disbelief, usually at the expense of the Japanese and obvious cultural differences that eluded us. We found ourselves—well, some of us did anyways—drawn to figuring out these strange games and the systems behind them.

Naturally when the name Pachinko Sexy Reaction came across the screen, we knew we had a winner, and that it had to be beaten.

Were we successful? Well, mostly. Each level had it's particular variation of pachinko to be mastered, and for the most part we managed to grok that part. The slot machine aspect to the game still eludes us though; there seems to be no discernible correlation between the controls and what happens on screen at that stage of the game. One of these days, perhaps we will come to a full understanding, and the game will truly be won.

At which point it will be time to attempt the god awful and confusing mess that is Scud Hammer. I fear that day...



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