Dungeon Needs Crawling: Gauntlet Mixes Arcade Action with RPG Depth
Old school arcade games did not spend much time on creating backstories, but that does not mean that they are short on the RPG department. Enter Gauntlet, an impressive top down arcade game that allows up to four players to engage in real time combat against waves of monsters and earning loot. This game pretty much set the foundation upon which all other dungeon crawlers are made.
Nintendo's Arcade Classic: Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong, for all reasonable arguments, is a very simple and easy to understand game. Sure, there are bits of the game mechanic which may come as a surprise, but overall, it is a simple game of climb-to-the-top. All you need to play is a joystick and a single action button, the rest is pure reflex and timing. Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto knew what he was doing when he made this game, and it shows. Even many years since it was first created, the game stills manages to be an enjoyable arcade classic.
Kung-Fu Master starts out as randomly as the rest of a game: by a kidnapping from complete strangers with absolutely no motive at all. So what is a martial arts hero like Thomas gonna do when random thugs decide to kidnap his girlfriend, Sylvia? He decides that it is time to introduce the bad guys to his fists (and feet). Players get to take one 5 challenging floors of near-endless bad guys and armed with a flurry of kicks and punches (basically, spamming the attack buttons) you must tear through them all to get to the top floor and rescue Sylvia.
Boom-Shaka-Laka! It's NBA Jam!
One of the biggest differences about an arcade game and a console game is that with an arcade title, you expect fast action. After all, you can never tell how long a single quarter will last you. Sure there are pros who can make a single credit go a long way, but if you are new to a game, it has to be fun to encourage you to keep trying. And that is exactly what NBA Jam delivers best: fun. From selecting a team to playing the game itself, players are treated to non-stop flash and pizzazz. But it is not all style of course, the game itself has plenty of substance -little nuances to master, and all those unlockables to keep things fresh.
Star Wars Racer
Podracing is all about the racing and never about safety, and that is probably why it is so darn exciting. Racers strap themselves into a self-made chariot with jet engines made for spacefighters serving as its' wild steeds. And if that was not thrilling enough, Jabba's special tracks are full of hairpin turns, dangerous cliffs, and dozens of environmental hazards. Star Wars Racer brings all the excitement of the silver screen into the arcade with this amazing game. And the fact that it is well over a decade old does not make it feel any less dated.
Street Fighter II
Any gamer worth their salt would know who Ryu, Guile, and Chun Li are. These three and a whole parade of iconic gaming characters from the Street Fighter franchise. The first game in the series that truly made a mark among gamers was SFII. It featured a one on one combat mechanic; deplete-the-enemy life bar to win, best of three rounds. It was an instant classic, with many of the moveset in Street Fighter becoming the cornerstone for the rest of the arcade fighting community.