Retro Arcade Machine – Relive the ’80s With Galaga, Centipede and Street Fighter at Your Fingertips
A new twist on the retro gaming trend gives you an affordable way to relive the ’80s, with Galaga, Centipede and Street Fighter at your fingertips. Designed by Arcade1Up, this countertop machine comes fully assembled.
Keep in mind that these machines were made pre widescreen days at a 4:3 ratio, so the picture may be slightly stretched on your TV or monitor.
The 2600 was one of the first systems to popularize arcade games in a home setting. It originally launched in 1977 with a modest library of titles distributed on ROM cartridges. The system natively supported Pong variations, simplistic action games and crude racing simulations. By 1980, a new game from Namco called Pac-Man exploded in popularity and became the system’s best-selling cartridge. Other early Atari 2600 launch titles included Air-Sea Battle, Basic Math, Blackjack and Street Racer.
In later years, Atari tried to rekindle interest in its 2600 with more powerful consoles like the 5200 and 7800. These new systems featured slightly enhanced versions of 2600 games but they ultimately failed to convince consumers that video gaming was anything more than a passing fad.
The Atari 2600+ is a shiny new version of the original system that was designed to work on modern gaming TVs. It has several practical innovations that make it easier to use than its predecessors. Most importantly, it has an enlarged cartridge slot that will allow players to play both 2600 and 7800 carts simultaneously. The system also supports HDMI output and offers a widescreen mode. It will sell for a premium over the original Atari 2600 but is worth it if you’re an Atari fan or are interested in trying out some of its iconic games.
Pac-Man & Galaga
Pac-Man and Galaga have been responsible for 30 years of coin shortages, hit songs, and waka-wakas around the world. So it’s no surprise that Namco would bake them into a tasty little arcade package. Pac-Man & Retro Arcade Machine Galaga Dimensions is a six-layer cake iced with 3D. It features ports of the arcade originals (Pac-Man and Galaga), XBLA/PSN ports of Pac-Man Championship Edition and Galaga Legions, and two new games created specifically for this compilation: Pac-Man Tilt and Galaga 3D Impact.
These classics all work well enough, but the real highlights are the XBLA/PSN ports. They take the core of each game (chasing a maze full of dots in Pac-Man, shooting ridiculous amounts of space bugs in Galaga) and tweak them to maximize their excitement.
While the modern Galaga suffers from occasional framerate drops it is still a fun and challenging on-rail shooter that takes advantage of the Nintendo 3DS’ gyroscopic sensor to control a fighter craft on its way to defeating enemy space bugs. Certain enemies can fill up one of six different meters shown on the touch screen, allowing the player to unleash powerful attacks against them.
If you are looking for a classic, easy to set up, plug-n-play home arcade machine then this is it. With a variety of games preinstalled, the option for more and internet connectivity this is sure to provide plenty of fun for you and your friends.
After a glut of Pong clones left home console makers struggling in the doldrums, Space Invaders arrived like a shot in the arm. This groundbreaking game had gamers lining up at coin-operated arcades to part with their pocket change for a chance to try it out.
The game’s premise is simple enough: descending rows of aliens fire randomly at the player, and it is up to the human to shoot them before they reach earth. The human player can hide behind base shelters which gradually get eroded by alien fire, and there is also the occasional “mystery ship” which offers bonus points. The more invaders a player shoots, the faster they speed up and drop down, heightening the tension and making the experience of trying to clear the screen an intense one.
GIGAMAX 4 SE features the four different modes of play that were available in the original arcade cabinets: upright cabinet (the nicest-looking mode), black and white (the 1978 classic), multi-colored (representing later revisions to the game) and a black and white version with cellophane (which simulates the ultra tacky use of strips of see-through plastic to fake color in some early versions of the game). The game’s sound effects and music are taken straight from the original arcade machine. The game also includes a two-player versus mode that first appeared in the SNES version of the game, which is a great way to test your skills against a friend.
After a 30-year wait, Nintendo’s iconic, moustachioed Italian plumber Retro Arcade Machine finally gets his day in the sun. But while this animated, 3D ode to Mario and his mushroom kingdom is a gleefully giddy delight for lifelong fans, it’s also a bit of a letdown.
It’s not that the animation isn’t superb; every world and action sequence is lovingly detailed down to the last polygon and brims with vibrant colour and classic video game flair. But the script is mostly empty and there’s little attempt to infuse it with organic character decision making or any meaningful backstory – it feels like a series of jaded gags and video game references thrown together in an unimaginatively frenetic fashion.
Mario (Chris Pratt) and Luigi (Charlie Day) are a pair of struggling Brooklyn plumbers who are sucked through a green-piped portal to a world where they’re kidnapped by the evil Bowser (Jack Black). What ensues is a gleeful romp across familiar, colourful landscapes replete with 2D obstacle courses, power-ups, rainbow road, DK country, the Mushroom Kingdom and more. The result is a fun and colourful adventure that should appeal to kids with a sense of playful whimsy and will no doubt satisfy their cravings for nostalgia and video game trivia. But it’s not exactly the same kind of film that The Lego Movie tackled, wrestling with questions about the prison of capitalism and the value of pushing against restrictive social expectations.