Collecting Classic Arcade Games

When you walk into most any video game arcade today, such as those found in Putt-Putt Fun Center and Chuck E. Cheese’s, you’ll see kids, teenagers, twenty-somethings, and parents milling about nicely carpeted, brightly lit areas, compulsively feeding tokens into hulking dance machines, three-dimensional first-person shooters, multi-player racecar simulators, and other such lavishly produced coin-op games.

Also prevalent are ticket redemption games, which typically offer a brief, mildly entertaining challenge (such as the skillful timing of a single button press) and, if the player is successful, a string of tickets to redeem at a prize counter. Ticket redemption games usually lack substance, (though there are some exceptions, such as skee ball), and their prizes are cheaply produced and/or way too expensive (anything of value typically costs hundreds or thousands of tickets). Most old-school arcade purists resent the ubiquitous nature of ticket redemption games, but kids seem to love their slot machine-like qualities.

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Mike Begum – Competitive Gamer

“Handicapped. Disabled. Physically challenged. Crippled. Abnormal. Different. Every word to describe what I was, I’ve heard it all. Twenty-five years of living it all out. I've felt trapped, incapable, useless, and extremely dependent of others during the course of my usual day. My only escape is my perfectly capable mind. Something I have been blessed with all my life.”

So begins devoted gamer Mike Begum’s newly released autobiography, My Life Beyond the Floor, an 87-page e-book chronicling his adventures as a son, a brother, a friend, a survivor, and, perhaps most relevant to readers of this magazine, a serious competitor. Despite severe physical limitations, Begum, who wrote the book by holding a chopstick in his mouth, competes in video game tournaments throughout Texas and, recently, has been traveling to various competition events across the country.

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Single Credit Review 001 – Rohga Armor Force – Arcade

I have been wanting to do this for a long time now and because my Xbox arcade is now “near perfect” it’s time. Basically what I’m going to do is hit the random button on my arcade and play the game for one credit. I will then talk about my experience.

1991 Data East

Rohga Armor Force. I’ve definitely never heard of this arcade game. Right on the title screen it says it’s by Data East and released in 1991. Data East did so many awesome arcade games in the late 80s and early 90s that it’s a surprise that I’ve not heard of this one.

So the game is 2 player cooperative which is always a bonus and the music sounds amazing. Upon pressing start you get the option to select a character or construct one, which is of course what I did. You get to choose different heads, bodies and legs for your character, which is a mech.

Rohga is a scrolling mech shmup where your weapons control like the classic NES Contra! As you progress there are spots that are isometric 3D that you can move up and down on to avoid enemies which is a nice touch. The difficulty is definitely arcade as I handedly got my ass destroyed not too far into the first level. Upon continue, even though you start off exactly where you died, your score resets to zero so there won’t be any world records for the richest kids on the block. That gives this game more replayability to me as you have that challenge aspect.

- Pros -
– Customization options
– 2 player coop
– Great music
– High score aspect

- Cons -
– Higher difficulty

- Single Credit Synopsis -
Overall, I really like Rohga Armor Force and will add it to my “need to play” list. It’s a solid scrolling ground based shmup with tight controls and a killer soundtrack.


Video Game Board Games

It goes without saying that video game collector's love playing games, especially those with a built-in monitor or that hook up to a television set. Many video game enthusiasts also enjoy pinball, computer simulations, handheld electronic devices, DVD games, and the like.

But what about good, old-fashioned board games—the kind with a foldout board and various game pieces, such as tokens, cards, and/or dice? (Games for the original Magnavox Odyssey and games in the “Master Strategy Series” for the Odyssey2 don’t count—no screens allowed!)

The answer, at least for some video game gurus, is a definitive “yes.”

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Walter Day Retires from Twin Galaxies

Walter Day announces his retirement from Twin Galaxies and the Video Game industry. Walter discusses with Josh Houslander about his music career and the upcoming event of The Inaugural Ceremonies for the International Video Game Hall of Fame & Museum in Ottumwa, Iowa August 5-8, 2010. The full length version of this interview can be viewed on episode #6 of the Twin Galaxies podcast.