In the 80's and 90's, the arcades were a magical place where video games were unlike anything that you could play at home. Arcade games seemed larger than life. The bright visuals, the frenetic on-screen action, the energy and excitement of people beating a stage (of facing off head to head) were all part of a scene that is now all but extinct.
At the time, the graphics on an arcade machine were bigger and better, and sounds effects and music were superior. After a visit to an arcade, there was always a sense of a letdown when returning home to 8 and 16 bit consoles that just couldn't measure up. You wished and wished for home ports to live up to their arcade brethren, but it just couldn't happen. The struggle was real.
I had spent a lot of time in arcades growing up. In junior high school we would get dropped off at one, with five bucks and spend an entire evening there. There were several to choose from. Even in high school, arcades would eventually become part of the weekend. This gave me a wide breadth of games to sample, and I became pretty familiar with many if not most of the arcades released in the late 80's and early 90's. These are some of my favorites that became shells of their former selves once ported to home consoles.
|Alien Syndrome Arcade|
|Master System port|
Shinobi was an instant classic when released. The side-scrolling run'n gun style game featured a ninja with unlimited shuriken (throwing stars) and ninja magic. The action was tight, and the character design top-notch. All sprite animations looked realistic, from your walking, jumping, and throwing, to the enemy idle animations. The ninja magic was useful in a pinch to clear the screen of enemies and projectiles, and also did respectable damage to bosses. The game had a pace about it that was hard to imitate. You never felt like the game was impossible, or moving too fast, but it definitely moved at a quick clip.
|Master System port|
|Double Dragon arcade|
This is just the tip of the iceberg, as home ports of arcade games was as commonplace as movies coming home to VHS. What are some of your favorite arcade games that got butchered for home release?