Written by Stevev363; PSHG Team Writer
I have memories of spending hours after school in video game arcades playing classic games with friends while listening to hard rock music blaring, eating loaded hot dogs and repeatedly banging a game machine when I died on the same level for the umpteenth time. I also would have sleep-over’s. My parents would take the game controllers away to try and get us to go to bed after yelling at us for sneaking back down to the TV for the umpteenth time as well.
Those were really good memories.
And, at that time, the games seemed so challenging that you would yell out like a crazed banshee while convulsing on the floor next to the console after playing hours just to get to that next stage. Maybe by today’s gaming standards they aren’t that challenging to most gamers. But in the late 70′s and early 80′s those simple games I played were torturous and engrossing to the point that I would obsess over them in ways that I have not with the current generations.
I’m not of the “Trophy hunter” crowd but rather one of those who relished in seeing your initials on the screen for top players. I liked high scores that friend and foe alike could oogle at then talk about the next day at school. One did not simply pack up their Atari console and take it with them on a whim. It was a shrine that stayed at home hooked to the living room TV because your father has such a hard time getting it to work on Christmas. Nearly 2 hours of playing with cords, connections and setting the VHB/UHB so that wobbly lines didn’t run through your gaming goodness.
We don’t have to deal with more than one connection now to get super crisp High definition gaming and sound. I’m thankful for that, but when I was a kid, the culture of video games was a much different experience. It was a more social experience than even Playstation Home can offer because it was about an experience that you actually had to leave the house to play the newest and hottest games. Unless you could find a partner for some one-on-one gaming at home.
Online consoles could never recreate the experience an early Atari or Intellivision presented to the user. Now, all you need is an ethernet cable or wireless modem to play with people you will never meet from all over the world. There’s no high five when you master a level or play wrestling when you loose to an opponent on a connected console who is 30,000 miles away from you. Neither is there that elated feeling when you just bonded over a game for 4 hours knowing that said friend will be gloating to everyone else in school the next day about your achievements to everyone else and comparing how others faired. There were no online forums to display your gamer tag or magazines to get cheats and tips from. You were a large fish in a small pond and even the smallest of victories was monumental enough to each of us that we would have an afterglow that ran for days.
I consider myself to be very lucky having those early gaming experiences that others scoff at now because the “Tech” is more advanced and the games are more real you can almost believe you are in the game. I often miss the giant arcade boxes, the two to four buttons and one control stick. Nobody had one at home and if they did it was because they grew up and bought one out of nostalgia from a thrift store or flea market.
So when they released the new cabinets in Home last Wednesday I decided to buy them all and found myself with the same excitement I had when I was a kid.
Intellivisions home console looks just like it did back when with the giant TV set and clunky controllers while the Atari set-up is paired with a more modern TV set. The cabinets are the same as well as the player tables only they are not beat up with worn edges and kick marks on the front. Everything is as it was when I was 10 and running from school to claim my spot for the next hour or so at the arcade.
The Intellivision TV setup comes with a briefcase control unit that I wish I had back when to change the difficulty and number of lives you get as well as switching the games you purchased to play. It seems the developers gave us dream equipment that, maybe, they wish they had as well. If the cabinets alone are not enough to bring back memories, there is also a jukebox that plays the different Intellivision games theme songs that you can place anywhere to create that arcade atmosphere.
Even though I’m a Deco junkie I passed on the other furniture items, for now at least. I’m very satisfied with the cabinets and playing the games that take me back to the best memories of my childhood, but the cool thing now is I actually get a trophy for my achievements as all of the games have multiple rewards including trophies, posters and t-shirts.
And there is the very awesome Atari costume that comes with a few of the bundles that I know I will be sporting for a while. Even as a kid I could have never have imagined something so cool. All of the offerings are enough to keep an old gamer like myself happy and busy for a long time to come. After playing for a while and seeing how much practice I’m going to need it will be a long time until I’m through for sure. You can find all of these items now in the new items section for purchase and the sooner you do the sooner you can share them with others as well.
Important News update from Stegofreak:
Every once in a while the stars align just right and bring two of your favourite things together and this week sees the introduction of PlayStation Home Arcade to PSVITA. The free app will allow owners of arcade cabinets in Home to access their games on the move, though all games won’t be made available on launch. For VITA owners who don’t currently play Home, the app comes bundled with WipEout 2D, Ice Breaker and a trial version of Scribble Shooter.
The other supported games at launch are:
- Mad Blocker
- Shark Shark
- Time Pilot