JAMES WILSON'S TOP TEN COIN-OP VIDEOGAMES


jwilson@sv.net.au

10. 1942

(Capcom)
    This game drew me in with its lavish island graphics, power-ups and fast, frentic action. It was so much fun to do a dive roll under the enemy, only to re-appear behind them with guns blazing. With a near perfect difficulty curve, this game kept me entertained for hours.
9. Space Invaders
(Taito)
    No top ten would be complete without this gem. This game started the coin-op boom and spawned hundreds of clones. The gameplay was simple yet very effective as the invaders gradually advance upon your ship, their menacing tones increasing in pace and intensity. One of the few arcades games that actually made me sweat.
8. Street Fighter II Turbo Hyper Fighting
(Capcom)
    I loved Street Fighter 2 but found it to be a tad slow. SF2 Hyper more than made for this with dazzling speed and new moves. And Blanka was just awesome (bring him back please Capcom!)
7. Elevator Action
(Taito)
    This game is so 80's, I love it. The main characters blow waved hair, the pastel interiors of the building, the Honda hatchback lookalike you jump into at the end of each stage... there was just something cool about it all. I also loved squashing the baddies with the elevator, and shooting the lights out. All in all, a great     game.
6. Galaga, Galaga '88
(Namco)
    It's hard to believe Galaga is 17 years old, it's still addictive to this day. There's something magical about this game, the music and sound effects are so unique. Whoever thought of the ship capture was a sheer genuis, it's one of the wonders of arcade history. Galaga '88 is simply amazing too- I found myself not wanting to shoot the bees as they danced around the screen to the brilliant music!
5. Bubble Bobble
(Taito)
    Well you're a cute little dinosaur you see, and you blow these bubbles to capture the baddies, then you pop them for fruit and other assorted goodies... yeah ok the premise of the game is pretty ludicrous. But it doesn't stop Bubble Bobble from being one of the most original, ingenious and addictive videogames ever. I've played it on every format conceivable- Arcade, Spectrum, C-64, Amiga, NES,     Gameboy, Playstation, PC, and now MAME... and it's the only game I've played that has caused a punch-up. 'That was *MY* diamond goddamnit.. THUMP'.
4. Operation Wolf
(Taito)
    Forget your Virtua Cop with a kiddies plastic colored toy gun. This game was hardcore, what's more cool than an arcade cabinet with an Uzi mounted on it? I was totally hopeless and it ate all my money, but I was hooked on this game for ages. The recoil and sound of the gun were so realistic, and it was fun mowing down soldiers and watching 'em drop like flies. The intro was awesome too, with your character preparing for war... John Rambo style.
3. Tetris
(Atari)
    I wasn't too impressed when I first laid eyes on this. It was 1988 and Tetris mania had yet to take off. 'Blocks dropping down a screen do not a fun game make,' I thought. And boy, did I think wrong. Infinitely superior to the Sega version, Atari's Tetris had brilliant music, more challenging gameplay, 2-player support     and... a Russian dancer. Well maybe that Russian dude was a tad annoying, but this game rocks. 10 years and a million Tetris clones later, and this is still the best Tetris version out there.
2. Kung Fu Master
(Irem)
    Think of the big names in the arcade fighter's world. Hagar, Ryu, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Oolong, Thomas..... Thomas?? yep, Thomas. Hardly a name to strike fear in the hearts of men, Thomas and his girlfriend Silvia were attacked by several unknown guys. (Silvia was kidnapped). Thomas later found a note from the imaginatively titled X, who is an inhabitant of the Devil's Temple. Luckily, Thomas happens to be a Kung Fu Master, so he heads off to the temple to rescue his girl. And that's how this game starts. I'm not sure exactly why I am attracted to Kung Fu Master so much, the gameplay is pretty simple and way     outdated compared to today's fighters. I just love taking out 4 guys at a time with a single jumpkick, avoiding the knifeman's knife by footsweeping him, then countering with a jump kick to the head, duck punching the little annoying leprecauns, kicking the dragons for 2000 points and wasting the end guy to get the girl.. only to have her taken away and to repeat the whole thing over again. Tekken 3 it ain't, but I know which game I'd rather play.
1. Double Dragon
(Taito/Technos)
    Taito made some great games in the 80's, and this was their finest. The graphics and digital sound effects were incredible. Each stage had a distinct soundtrack which suited the mood and feel of the stage. The 2-player simultaneous option was very entertaining, you could grab a baddie in a full nelson while your buddy smacked the bejesus out of him. You could even beat each other up if you wanted, such was the freedom of the game. There were knifes to be thrown, baseball bats to swing, whips, boxes.. you could even do a Donkey Kong and chuck barrels at the bad guys. There's nothing like grabbing a bad guy, kneeing him in the face 5 times then flinging him over your shoulder.. this was in 1987 folks, and it was     and still is a superlative arcade game, not to mention a pioneer for the fighting genre.
Honorable Mentions

  • Gyruss
  • Asteroids
  • Ghosts n Goblins
  • Defender
  • Frogger
  • Galaxian
  • Pole Position
  • Shinobi
  • Black Tiger/Dragon
  • R-Type
  • Dragon Ninja
  • Splatter House
  • Smash TV
  • Atomic Runner

  • Go to previous page