JAMES WILSON'S TOP TEN COIN-OP VIDEOGAMES|
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
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
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
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
6. Galaga, Galaga '88
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
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..
4. Operation Wolf
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
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
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 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
Ghosts n Goblins