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Coffee Talk #463: Do You Miss Arcades?


Posted on March 19th, by raymond padilla in Coffee Talk, Today's Specials, Videogames. 48 comments

Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, St. Patrick’s Day boxing at MSG being sponsored by Corona, Andy Pettitte coming back to the Yankees, or wishing RPadholic Big Blak a belated happy birthday, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

News of the Chinatown Fair arcade on 8 Mott Street reopening made my heart soar. I love that place — so many awesome memories there. While I definitely love console and mobile gaming, I miss the days of arcades. Growing up, they seemed like wondrous — almost mystical — places where friends and I could go hang out while being dazzled by digital creations. I loved when my Mom would go to the market near the arcade. She could take her sweet time shopping while I played arcade games, watched people play arcade games, and talked to other kids about arcade games. My favorite games of all time are mostly console games, but I miss the social element of arcades, as well as the difficult-to-define sense of magic they had for me.

Modern arcades like GameWorks or Dave & Buster’s are neat, but they’re not the same. Part of it is that they have no personality. If you’ve seen one Dave & Buster’s then you’ve pretty much seen them all. The arcade chains don’t have the character or charm of their old-school counterparts. Part of it is that the market changed. Back in the day, arcades trumped anything I could experience on my Atari 2600. These days, consoles trump pretty much everything you’ll see at GameWorks.

While I indulge in this lovely bit of nostalgia, I wanted to see if any of you miss arcades. Did you play a lot of arcade games growing up? What were some of your favorites? Describe the best arcade you’ve ever been to. For those of you that have kids, have you explained that people used to have to travel to play videogames? How did that go over? Dang. Now I feel like filming at California Extreme….





  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

    Where do I begin?

    The arcade in my local mall was called Tilt. In my earliest memories, I remember being terrible at just about every game in there. After a while and thanks to Data East, I got better as time went by.

    When the first Street Fighter came out, it was pretty stupid. It had these large pads on it that you actually had to punch. At my young age, I was hardly strong enough nor had the stamina to actually enjoy based on the stupid control design. When SF2 came out, the whole thing changed.

    Wrestlefest was another game I sank many quarters in to. I remember wanting to be Earthquake all the time. There was this one time where my brother and I had formulated a strategy for the Rumble where he would whip the guy at me and I would be ready to slung them over my head and out the ring. One kid got so pissed he wanted to fight me over that game.

    I remember the first time I saw Mortal Kombat. There was your typical huddle around SF2 (which by this point, the people who worked there tried to keep me away from as I would piss off grown men) and nobody was at MK. I threw in some change and checked it out. I thought the graphics were top notch for the time, but the gameplay was a little fast and convoluted. I remember thinking "This won't catch on like SF2"… the next time I was there proved me wrong. Somebody figured out a fatality and it was game on from there.

    I remember my friends totally feeling over that Sega Hologram game too, and I remember thinking it was stupid. You basically listened to that cowboy rant and then had 2 seconds to react by either pressing left or right. I hated it, but still, I have yet to see better graphics anywhere. It was a hologram for christ's sake.

    As for my kids, my wife is on a bowling league. Sometimes, my kids have to go with her and they always have the option. My daughter ALWAYS wants to go with her. They have a small arcade at the bowling alley, but the social aspect just isn't there. Yet the games are close to the exact same games I remember as a kid with a few more modern ones.

    They do however still run one if those USA vs USSR hockey table games.

    • Smartguy

      I was always partial to Virtual On by Sega. Perhaps my favorite arcade cabinet of all time.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

    On a side note, talking about the old school arcades had me thinking about other things that are coming back from my childhood. Namely, the new live action TMNT movie that is in production.

    Where this gets revolting, is that they decided to make them aliens… those by definition aren't TMNT… They're TANT! If they become aliens that bred with turtles becoming interspecies, they'd be TAINT!

    This is as bad as the new Nightmare On Elm Street.

    • Thundercracker

      I was also, always Earthquake…thumbs down, then the ass slam.

  • lceman

    Well, the thing I missed most about the old-school arcades were my quarters.

    -M

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

      In all fairness, you would have saved some of them quarters by sucking just a little less.

      I kid.

      • lceman

        There's actually no joke about that. I really did suck at arcade games. In my defense, I was a little kid and don't think I did anything well that requires skill.

        I was one of those people that had more fun watching others play Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat than I did playing them. I would get lucky every now and then and win a round or get to level 2, but in all honesty, I would have preferred to save my money and get my entertainment from watching two skilled players kick the crap out of each other or get to the last level of whatever game just so I could see what the last level looks like. Arcades were very much a spectator sport for me and I was very happy with that. I basically got to watch some free entertainment with the option to play .

        -M

  • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

    Wonder where Tebow's God will lead him to next….

    • lceman

      It doesn't matter because he has faith. He'll be fine no matter where he ends up… even if it's at a Burger King.

      -M

    • http://www.gameseyeview.com/ nightshade386

      I say the Browns. They need divine intervention, and why the hell not?

      • http://www.gameseyeview.com/ nightshade386

        Or the Jets…..

        Well, I whiffed on that one. But hey, talk about a team in dire need of an image makeover! If he can teach Rex Ryan anything about being humble, it'll be worth the draft picks.

  • Smartguy

    The title will include consoles in a few years.

    @topic
    I loved playing arcade games when I was younger but grew to dislike them as I got older due to the ppl hanging out but not playing the games or anything.

  • Thundercracker

    I absolutely miss arcades. It's probably a nostalgia thing, since im getting older. I remember that god damn hologram game that Nate was talking about. I remember those live action gun games, with the horrible acting. I was a total beast at sf2 myself (RYU ftw), and i would clear out whole lines of people playing the virtua fighter series. Good times.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

      See, I always liked Ken better and I think the only reason why (besides his bangs) was because when he did that one slam, he did that double roll with it too.

      Come one of the later editions, they added fire to his Dragon Punch and he was instantly way cooler.

      • Thundercracker

        I liked Ryu better because A) he had dark hair, like i do and B) The main character of Ninja Gaiden was named Ryu, so i assumed it was the same dude.

        Ken was better, but i'll stick to Ryu. I always wanted to get better with Vega.

      • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

        On the technical side, Ken's dragon punch had more range. Ryu's fireball was better.

  • tokz21

    I miss arcades too! The biggest ones I played at was the old greyhound terminal cuz my mom worked there and the techs they had there would hook me up with credits when they emptied out the quarters. Then there was another arcade a block away where they had arcades and more table games like fooseball and the hockey game n8 mentioned. Then I played at corner stores which didn't have as many games as the bug arcades but once they moved the greyhound station and tore down that arcade I had to settle for it. My fave arcade games gauntlet, rampage, any turtles arcade game, rolling thunder, gunsmoke, pinball games, and joust. I haven't been to the arcade I found for a few months…. I think I need to go back and visit.

  • Smartguy

    @Iceman

    Are you excited that the Dolphins went with Garrard over Alex Smith?? Your front office and ownership fail the paying fans.

    • lceman

      AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!! Why have our football masters forsaken us?! WHY?!

      Do you think maybe if all of the season ticket holders decided to all dump their tickets at the same, that would send a message to these ass-clowns? Because if so, then I think I have found my calling in life. I swear, Stephen Ross is the worst owner EVER. He may be a nice guy and a great business man (I don't know), but he sure as hell can't run a football franchise for s*^!

      Well, on the bright side, it's only for one year, so best-case scenario is that we suck for JUST one more year. Really, at this point, I'd rather take Tebow. At least we know he can beat the Steelers with crappy people (which we have in spades).

      -M

      • Smartguy

        No that kind of protest wouldnt matter. Daniel Snyder has done worse and still ppl show up. In contrast though Wash is fixing to draft RG3….which puts Ross beneath Snyder now.Sent from my iPhone 4

        • lceman

          Yeah, … thanks a lot for ruining my day.

          You can make up for this by telling me that Kocklick is dead. What? He's not dead yet, you say? Well, it looks like this is a perfect opportunity for someone to hire those nija assassins and put them to use.

          -M

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

        Are you really trying to say that that one overtime play wasn't a fluke. or "miracle" if you will?

        Not to mention that the Bronco's receivers were severely undercredited last year. Especially Demaryius Thomas. For all the credit he did get, it wasn't enough.

        • lceman

          That one overtime play was not a fluke.

          It was divine intervention.

          It's almost the same kind of divine intervention that allows a football team to win six Lombardi trophies and another team to go undefeated for the whole season.

          -M

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

            1) In real life (and the non-secular world)… Divine Intervention = Fluke.

            2) 4 of those Lombardi's were won by the best defense the sport has ever seen. Another one was one by a series of questionable officiating, and the sixth… we just flat out bested the Cardinals that game.

            3) Hey, about undefeated teams… Where is Dan Marino from again?… (n'at)

            • Thundercracker

              Same place Jim Kelly was from…..

              I'd be real excited about about Super Mario, but i realized that he isnt really that good. It's my birthday and i dont want to think bad thoughts

              • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

                Happy Birthday, bro!

                It's also the same place Joe Montana and JOHNNY F#@KIN' UNITAS are from.

                And if you're trying to bad mouth Lemueix, we got issues. I saw that man score from behind the red line. How is that possible? IDK, but Mario did it.

                Also, what he did on the ice (as much as it was) pales in comparison to what he did off the ice once he bought the team. We were in the crapper (big time), about to lose our stadium, and move to god knows where. Mario, signed a draft pick (named Sidney Crosby) and was able to get asylum for a Russian defector named Evgeni Malkin. He took us to the Stanley Cup (again) in like 2 years from being the equivalent of Disney on Ice (and I both do and don't mean meth when I say "ice"). We were able to build a new stadium and keep the Pens at home. He's a hero.

                • Thundercracker

                  Thanks Nate, in the future, just remember that is exactly two months after yours. That's how i am able to tell you every year in my usual, somewhat creepy, fashion.

                  I feel the same way about Dominik Hasek. He never could win one in Buffalo, but i was actually glad he got one with the wings. That being said, i hate the red wings.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

      So… Sean Payton screwed the pooch, huh?

      • Smartguy

        No diff than any other coach/player in the NFL. This is Emperor Goodell's dog and pony show.Sent from my iPhone 4

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

          Ah… no. Every coach/player is total BS. If that was the case, they'd use Belichick to make an example of. College ball… might be a different story.

          Payton would be doing himself a service by speaking up. I get the sense that he didn't directly offer bounties, but he knowingly let it slide in his franchise. If he just steps up and takes responsibility, it would go a long way as far as public opinion. Because as the way things are now, every time they show a shot of whoever his temp is gonna be, the damn TV anchors are going to make all the non-Saints fans remember that Payton wants to end the careers of your favorite players. Unless, Payton does something about that first.

          • Smartguy

            Umm yes every player coach. It's part of football. The difference now is that the NFL is catching tremendous heat for head injuries. Its the reason they give Harrison a hard time.My best guess as to why nothing like this happened to the Pats is as good as yours. Maybe he didn't want to totally screw a powerful owner before the known labor showdown happened.Furthermore the term bounty has sullied this whole ordeal. It's like adding the word terrorist or terrorism to something.Sent from my iPhone 4

            • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

              It WAS part of football at one time, but it got cracked down on a long time ago. Show me proof that every coach does this and I'll stop just thinking you're being defensive.

              I'm well aware of why they are giving Harrison a hard time, but nobody is paying him more money for those hits. In fact, it's well documented that he's losing money for them. Harrison's hits also goes against your "powerful owner" theory. You can't get more powerful than the Ambassodor to Ireland who had the Vice President of the United States stay at his house over Saint Patrick's Day weekend.

              And dude… the adding terrorist to terrorism thing… shows you're slipping. You should have said "It's like adding a racist slight like 'Don't Re-Nig in 2012' to an anti-Obama campaign" or something.

              EDIT: I misread you're last line. I apologize for that, but I still wanted to point a finger at people using racism against Obama because they're apparently too stupid to point at anything else.

              • Smartguy

                Show me proof that it ever stopped? Show me proof that it wasn't anything more than what every NFL team does by throwing a special teams guy $500 for a great play.If the NFL was serious they'd open investigations into every team. They aren't. Time to move forward. Saints will still be a playoff team.The Ambassador to Ireland? Really? N8 your homer glasses are showing.Sent from my iPhone 4

                • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

                  Yes, Dan Rooney is the Ambassador to Ireland:
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Rooney

                  Name an NFL owner or chairman that has more power than that. Hell, name one who is a U.S. Government agent of any kind. I should have phrased it " As far as NFL owners goYou can't get more powerful than the oldest son and direct predecessor tothe Ambassador to Ireland who is still the chairman and who had the Vice President of the United States stay at his house over Saint Patrick's Day weekend."

                  As for the proof that it stopped, I'm researching and gathering. The closest thing I found so far was in 2008 when the Ravens supposedly placed a bounty on Hines Ward. They all said it was against the rules and the allegations were bunk. However for your case, in the official NFL Rulebook (http://www.nfl.com/rulebook) the only thing I can find remotely close to this is Rule 17; Section 2; Article 1 which states:

                  "The Commissioner has the sole authority to investigate and take appropriate disciplinary and/or corrective measures if any club action, non-participant interference, or calamity occurs in an NFL game which he deems so extraordinarily unfair or outside the accepted tactics encountered in professional football that such action has a major effect on the result of the game."

                  Yeah… that's pretty vague. It could apply to bounties and streakers at the same time.

                  • Thundercracker

                    Gregg Williams was the head coach of the Buffalo Bills for a time. It has been since documented that he, while he was in Buffalo, implemented a bounty system there as well.
                    I think that the Saints handle their team like two seperate entities. They have an offensive side and a defensive side, both independent of each other. Williams should have been given a year off, no way Payton should have been given that long. Dude is losing 7 million dollars because one of his A-hole assistants decided to get cute and give 1000 dollar bonuses.

                    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

                      Whoa… don't get me wrong. I totally believe that it happens elsewhere too and has happened MULTIPLE times in the past. My argument is that "EVERY" team does not employ a bounty system. I will even postulate that at one time, every team did, but that stopped years ago.

                      As for your reasoning, I agree to an extent. However, that extent stops at the fact that it's Payton's job description to watch over both "entities" and when called on it, he needs to man up and take responsibility.

                      If you recall, when Big Ben got suspended for 4 games over a charge that couldn't even be prosecuted, I was for it because he was still responsible for allowing himself to be in a position where that could happen to him in the first place. I think the similarity is in allowing yourself to be in that position in the first place.

                      Now, a whole year suspension? I think it's a little harsh. However, suspending a head coach for any portion of a season seems not only pointless, but could seriously confuse the team and hinder playoff opportunities for the players who weren't involved.

                      Also, if you look at how many key players the Saints have taken out under Payton… it obviously wasn't THAT successful of a program to begin with.

                    • Thundercracker

                      I'm just saying…7 million is a tough pill to swallow. I feel for the guy.

  • Thundercracker

    @Padilla

    Be sure to go tell Bleahy happy birthday too…damn eggplant

    • lceman

      Happy birthday, man.

      -M

      • Thundercracker

        thank you sir

        You've already given me my present, in the form of two AFC east wins later this year

        • lceman

          You may be eating those wor-…

          Ah, who the hell am I kidding.

          Your welcome.

          -M

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

            Iceman… Please tell me this wasn't at one of yours:
            http://www.dumbassdaily.com/2012/03/impatient-lad

            • lceman

              I'm actually happy to report that the Chevron station in the video is not ours… it's actually one of our competitors' (fortunately for us). Based on the video, the damage doesn't seem too bad. All they have to do is replace the dispenser that got hit (which I'm sure the insurance company will pay for) and repaint or do some minor repair on the underside of the canopy. It's really not that big of a deal. It's almost impossible for the fire to get back into the underground tank with all the fail safes that are built into the dispenser.

              In movies and TV shows, gas stations blow up because they lace them with dynamite. In real life, gas stations don't blow up like that. They just sit there and burn until you put the fire out. If by some improbable chance that fire does get into the tanks, then the excess pressure would be released via the vent pipes so that there is 0% chance of an explosion.

              Something similar happened at one of our locations once when a lady drove off with the hose still attached to her car. The break-away mechanism malfunctioned and she pulled the entire dispenser down and ripped it off of its foundation as she drove off. A spark caused the gas to ignite and then people started to panic. The damn firefighters quarantined off the whole block because they were afraid the station would explode instead of trying to put out the fire. Those dumbasses have been watching too many movies. The fire eventually smoldered out on its own, since the station is pretty much all concrete. Once all the spilled gas burned away, we had to replace one dispenser and repaint the canopy.

              Dumbass firefighters not doing their job… but yeah, this gives you a good idea of the kind of drivers we face down here on a regular basis.

              -M

              • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

                Dude… The drivers here in CA are notoriously bad and selfish as well. Especially at the ARCO stations. They are always packed and people are dicks. I always make the joke that the CA state driving motto is "Can't you see I'm in a hurry!?!" which replaced the less PC motto "¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! ¡Andale! ¡Andale! ¡Arriba!"

                I'm also aware of the safety regulations that have been in place for fuel dispensers for decades. I think Mythbusters even had a show about it. But yeah, those firefighters in your case were idiots.

                I've accidentally drove off with the nozzle still attached before. I came right off (like you said it should). I went inside all apologetically like I broke the pump and since I knew the guys there, they screwed with me a bit before just walking out and reattaching it. They said it happens at least once every day there. One time, they said the guy brought it back the next day because he had apparently drove 50 miles with a fuel nozzle hanging from his car.

  • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

    T-T-T-T-Tebow and the Jets.

    • Thundercracker

      not so fast, sir

      • Thundercracker

        okay, now it's official…The Broncos sacrificed a virgin.

  • BigBlak

    Hell yeah I miss the old school smoke filled arcades.