Archive for the ‘Arcade History’ category

Funland arcade in Toronto, Ontario closing in a few days!

July 10, 2008

Here at Arcade Heroes we like to focus on the positive of the arcade scene but I feel this needs to be announced. Funland arcade in Toronto, Ontario (Canada) will be closing sometime next week so if you want to play something there, take pictures or relive fond memories of the place, better hurry because it will be gone soon. The arcade is located on Yonge Street. To my knowledge this arcade has been in business since at least the 1980’s so it will be very sad to see it go. Last I heard a very rare, F-Zero Super Deluxe cabinet with motion resides in this arcade. I cannot confirm if its still there but if you want a shot at playing one of these in the full deluxe motion cabinet and live near Toronto, you better hurry. I have wanted to visit this arcade but I was never able to get there.

Funland arcade on the verge of closing

Funland arcade on the verge of closing

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Leonardo DiCaprio as Nolan Bushnell in new movie called "Atari"

June 8, 2008

I have never really liked movies based upon video games – they always seem to miss the mark by a mile and end up disappointing. But it is not often that Hollywood decides to do a movie based upon game history so I guess I can give it the benefit of the doubt – for now although these types of stories are generally better fit for TV documentaries rather than movies. Leonardo DiCaprio has signed on to portray Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari and who is widely considered the grandfather of video games. In the pitch made to Paramount, they are going to shoot for a cross between Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Tucker for the biopic of the famous company that started it all but as to what period in Atari’s history it will cover is anyone’s guess and to how accurate it will be also will be up for debate.

As you know I hold a great respect for Atari so I really hope that they don’t botch it up although the current company that owns and uses the Atari name has done worse over the past few years (minus the Flashback 2). I’m sure we can expect to see a number of arcade games in the movie at least but just because a movie has arcades in it doesn’t automatically make it good (i.e. Joysticks).

[Via Slashfilm] [Discuss on the Forum]

Leonardo DiCaprio as Nolan Bushnell in new movie called “Atari”

June 8, 2008

I have never really liked movies based upon video games – they always seem to miss the mark by a mile and end up disappointing. But it is not often that Hollywood decides to do a movie based upon game history so I guess I can give it the benefit of the doubt – for now although these types of stories are generally better fit for TV documentaries rather than movies. Leonardo DiCaprio has signed on to portray Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari and who is widely considered the grandfather of video games. In the pitch made to Paramount, they are going to shoot for a cross between Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Tucker for the biopic of the famous company that started it all but as to what period in Atari’s history it will cover is anyone’s guess and to how accurate it will be also will be up for debate.

As you know I hold a great respect for Atari so I really hope that they don’t botch it up although the current company that owns and uses the Atari name has done worse over the past few years (minus the Flashback 2). I’m sure we can expect to see a number of arcade games in the movie at least but just because a movie has arcades in it doesn’t automatically make it good (i.e. Joysticks).

[Via Slashfilm] [Discuss on the Forum]

Game Design Essentials: 20 Atari games

June 1, 2008

I’ve never held back on the fact that I’m an Atari fan at heart and I always have been – that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate games from other companies, I just happen to have had some great memories with many Atari games through the past and I appreciate their often overlooked contributions to the game industry as a whole. In fact the article I’m going to link to starts out by discussing how every company seems to have it’s fans except for Atari which in fact are out there but in smaller numbers than what is seen by other ‘factions’.

The article is called Game Design Essentials: 20 Atari games and it takes a look at not just a number of titles to come out of Atari over the years but what it was that made them great games. All of them are arcade titles which is why I am pointing this out and in a way this fits in with my “Missing in Action” articles (which I have not been able to continue with lately since I have been so busy and they take a little while to put together) by pointing out play aspects that are unique, interesting, fun, and generally only work in an arcade setting as opposed to a console setting. The article focuses a lot on Atari Games (the division that existed after Atari split in two in 1984, with the arcade division keeping many of the same people) and their efforts in the late 80s but does take a look at some pre-crash games like Gran Trak10 and Sprint, Tempest, Asteroids, Centipede, I, Robot, Quantum and Major Havoc (these latter three I’d love to own for my personal collection one day but they are quite rare). Of course they also discuss excellent titles like Marble Madness, Paperboy, VIndicators, Tetris, Rampart, Gauntlet Legends as well as a few stinkers like Batman. In addition to taking a trip down memory lane or taking in a game history lesson, I think the article makes some excellent points on certain play aspects that still could be utilized in today’s new arcade games and thus makes a great case as to why we should see more than racers & light-gun titles, even with today’s more advanced technologies.

[Game Design Essentials: 20 Atari games @ Gamasutra via GameSetWatch] (Image via aresluna.org) [Discuss on the Forum]

An in-progress arcade timeline

April 29, 2008

Well some days there is quite a bit of news and others there is nearly none. Today is one of the latter – it’s a slow news day. But that doesn’t stop us from getting into something interesting – here is an arcade timeline that our friend at The Stinger Report, Kevin Williams started. I contributed a little as well, but it takes a bit of time to go through all of arcade history. Still, given some time I’m sure that it will turn out to be quite informative. Click on the link below to check it out.

[Arcade Timeline (currently under construction)] [Discuss on the Forum]

Full Details on Taito's re-branding strategy

March 20, 2008

taitoprizes.jpg

A week or two ago Stinger reported that Taito was launching a new re-branding effort for their company, which included issuing new uniforms for their arcades in Japan, a celebration of Space Invaders’ 30th anniversary along with two new SI games (neither of which will see an arcade release) and now they have a page up with full details on their plans, along with pictures. They are going all out on the SI celebration, which is a good opportunity to get your hands on some Space Invaders related merchandise in case you’d like some (pictured above).

[Taito’s Rebranding Details] [Discuss on the Forum]

Full Details on Taito’s re-branding strategy

March 20, 2008

taitoprizes.jpg

A week or two ago Stinger reported that Taito was launching a new re-branding effort for their company, which included issuing new uniforms for their arcades in Japan, a celebration of Space Invaders’ 30th anniversary along with two new SI games (neither of which will see an arcade release) and now they have a page up with full details on their plans, along with pictures. They are going all out on the SI celebration, which is a good opportunity to get your hands on some Space Invaders related merchandise in case you’d like some (pictured above).

[Taito’s Rebranding Details] [Discuss on the Forum]