Do You Know How Many Women You Have To Not Sleep With To Get To The Split-Screen Level 250 On Pac Man?
"We're honeymooning at Carlsbad Caverns"
OK people, put down that autographed picture of Missle Command record-holder Roy Schildt and get ready for the second half of round one to decide the prestigious title of 'Best pre-1990 (or thereabouts) Coin-op Videogame Ever'.
Let's dive right in.
FIRST ROUND, "BILLY MITCHELL WAS A GOD IN JAPAN" BRACKET:
GALAGA v. CONGO BONGO: As technology got better, all the old classics were brought back under various pseudonyms and reincarnations. Galaga is fancy Space Invaders and Congo Bongo is 3-D fancy pants Donkey Kong. What sets Galaga apart is that it so dwarfed it's inspiration that no one even thinks of it as a spawn of anything. No contest, Winner: Galaga
SPY HUNTER v. CHOPLIFTER: The theme song to 'Peter Gunn' is great, but did every arcade have to turn the volume on Spy Hunter up to ear-busting levels? It's still one of the better driving games and Choplifter still bores me to tears. Winner: Spy Hunter
JOUST v. OUTRUN: Joust has the 3rd best sound of any game ever (1 and 2 are still to come). That sound when the enemy jousters first appear by electrically rising through the rocks still gives me chills. Outrun looks nice and was one of the first racing games to feature cityscape backgrounds. Yawn... Winner: Joust
TEMPEST v. CLOAK & DAGGER: Tempest has the 2nd coolest sound ever in a videogame. It just isn't an arcade without this game cranked up to deafening levels. Cloak & Dagger never had a chance. Winner: Tempest
MARIO BROTHERS v. CRYSTAL CASTLES: The biggest highlight of Bob Hoskins career has to be an English man playing a Japanese stereotype of an Italian plumber in an American movie. Yay Hollywood. I never got the monumental popularity of Mario Brothers, but I certainly feel manlier playing it than pretending to be a bear picking up jewels. Winner: Mario Brothers
TRON v. ZOO KEEPER: Starting with Tron and ending two years later with The Last Starfighter, everyone found justification for their videogame addiction. "I owe it to the free world to continue playing this thing because it's probably some training device for future combat". Of course, Zoo Keeper just trained you to keep animals behind brick walls. For shame. Winner: Tron
ROBOTRON v. DOUBLE DRAGON: The BEST sound in a videogame EVER. Williams went all out on this mother. Just listening to this game gets you stressed out. And the Kaleidoscope warping into the next level? Simply awesome. Oh, and in Double Dragon you get to punch and kick people. Yippee. Winner: Robotron
MS. PAC MAN v. BUMP N' JUMP: I won't waste a lot of time on this one. Bump n' Jump was cute. Weee, the car can jump. Winner: Ms. Pac Man
FIRST ROUND, "SUPERZAPPER RECHARGE" BRACKET:
SPACE INVADERS v. STAR WARS: Now we're getting down to business. In Space Invaders, you've got the Godfather of the whole deal, the game that took slow air hockey emulators and turned them into fighting goddamn aliens. But Star Wars had a great controller and the sit down model was a precursor to virtual reality rides. Close Winner: Star Wars
BATTLE ZONE v. VENTURE: Another Vector graphic classic, Battle Zone's two joystick control was a little tricky to get used to, but once you did, it made all other tank and battle games seem stupid in comparison. Venture, on the other hand, had a smily face with a bow and arrow. Despite being totally addicted to Venture, I gotta go with the military on this one. Winner: Battle Zone
DEFENDER v. POLE POSITION: Chances are, the second you walked into an arcade, you would either hear a loud voice saying "Prepare to Qualify" or the cranked up lasers of Defender. To a 10 year old kid, guys who could kick ass at Defender were like Gods. They could play the damn thing for hours on one quarter and you just knew they were pulling all kinds of chicks with their gaming abilities. So what if they couldn't grow a proper moustache, right? Winner: Defender
PONG v. FROGGER: Ah, the grande dame, Old Pappy, The Elderly Old Woman. Hey, everything's gotta start with something, and the case of videogames it was the most stupefyingly boring collection of of chips and resistors ever. Frogger's more entertaining than most games created today, much less back in dinosaur days. Winner: Frogger
GORF v. IKARI WARRIORS: Ikari Warriors is one of the better overhead Rambo-type games, but Gorf is like 5 games in one. Your reward for kicking ass at Space Invaders is that you don't have to play Space Invaders any more. And what's better than that? Winner: Gorf
MORTAL KOMBAT v. JUNGLE KING: This is going to be a tough one because, while I dumped a lot of quarters into Jungle King and still think it's fun as hell, people still say 'Flawless Victory' and 'Raiden Wins'. Well, at least some people do. Ok, maybe just nerdy asians, but still. If Jungle King featured Tarzan ripping people's skeletons right out of their bodies, this would be such a runaway. Winner: Mortal Kombat
DONKEY KONG v. TOOBIN': C'mon. No, really, c'mon. Seriously here. No screwin' around, I mean, c'mon. Winner: Donkey Kong
XEVIOUS v. CRAZY CLIMBER: Xevious is colorful, fun, had kickass graphics and addicting gameplay and set a new standard for single fighter shooters. It does not, however, feature birds trying to shit on you and people dropping pots on your head as you try and climb their building. Winner: Crazy Climber
We shave the 32 down to 16 tomorrow. As usual, leave notes, comments and/or death threats to bully me into changing one or all of the results (although I might put up a fight against advancing 'Toobin').