Yeah, we have all played them some time or another. And they always seem to bring back that special memory of our youth. But sometimes there is a line that is crossed that may say, aren’t I too old for video games? Well, I will start by saying not in my case. To hell with getting too old. I love the old classic games. But sometimes, if I don’t have my own arcade game, it is a question of where am I going to play them now days.
Sure there are a couple rare old school arcades that are starting to pop up places. And here and there you find a game at a pizza place or the ever so popular truck stop, But sometimes that isn’t enough for your outlet to play a game. Last night I was driving home and found a bar in a strip mall called the Operating Room. This has just recently opened up and I wanted to check it out. The first time I drove by, I saw there were only a small handful of games. Now. it is packed to the walls of pinball, shooting, driving and a few classic games. I figured now it was time to check it out.
First step into the bar, a question was asked that I have not been asked in years. Sir can I see your id? Ok, fair enough. But dang it, I was twice the age of this kid. I wasn’t sure whether to thank him or hit him. Anyway, I walked into the Arcade and it was packed. The tables were so close together that it was like an obstacle course getting in. But anyway, I proceeded to the bar to get information. I asked if the game takes cards. The bartender said, no they take quarters and or Smartphone App. Ok, I was really happy to hear about the quarters. I can’t remember the last time I had a pocket full of quarters that made my pants start to droop just a little. But an App?!?! Apparently, it can work just like Apple Pay or Google Pay. Just one swipe of your phone and, oh good lord.
So I started to walk around to check the games and there was a huge wall line up of pinball machines. I have never seen a lineup of machines so clean. The lights were bright, the table was smooth the graphics were crisp. It’s like every game came off of the assembly line yesterday. They also had some of the “newer” games that are huge in size and concept. The worlds largest Pac Man, Space Invaders, and Galaga. Mario Cart, New Crusin and also a Walking Dead shooter game. They also had some of those “ticket redemption” games as well, but they didn’t spit out any tickets.
But what I was looking for was the classics. And they did have them. Mortal Combat 2, Mario Brothers, Tron, and even Asteroids. And mark my words, these games also look like they were brand new. The only downside was Tron was in front of the bathroom and every time the doors were opened…yeah you get the picture.
At first I was a little upset that I was paying .50 just to play Asteroids and apparently It was on a hyper speed. But the vector graphics were amazing. But my problem is the evolution of the games. What happened to the regular pinball machines where they were simple and easy and cheap to play. They had a good handful of games that were brand new and cost $1.00 to play. Not only that, but some of them were really difficult to play. For example what the heck is that button for on the top of the machine that you have to hit to execute a “special” feature? Is that really necessary? I was frustrated because I was using the flippers and then had to hit yet another button right on top. To me, it just isn’t needed.
Not only that, but there is a newer pinball machine called Dialed In that was recently release which is a really cool game. But when this guy got into a bonus mode, the game started to take pictures of him while he was playing. Well now, can we say there goes your privacy?!?! Granted, like I said, it was cool, but it was also kind of creepy at the same time. Even with the Mario Cart NX, it takes a picture of you and puts your face into the game as your avatar. Just crazy.
But backing up to the bar itself, I felt like I was the oldest person that walked into the bar and all of the customers were my illegitimate children. It was even funny because at the bar, they had a classic NES system with Punch Out and I picked up the controller and punched in the classic code. Someone asked me how I knew the code, I basically said, I remembered the game when I was a kid. The person actually said, but this game just came out. How old was I? I took a sip of my drink and basically ignored him. I tried to play against the final fighter since it wasn’t Mike Tyson. I got beat really quick, and the guy said, “dude, you are slow!” Have you ever started a bar fight? I did, in my mind and that’s as far as it got. I could have said something mean but I had to just look down and I saw the shirt I was wearing. All it kept doing was telling me to…..
Keep Calm and Insert Coin.