🕹The Golden Age of Arcades🕹
If you are a product of the late 70’s to early 90’s, chances are you remember a time when arcades were a cultural phenomenon. Some of you may be too young to remember this, but there was a time when playing video games at home wasn’t the most accessible way to game.
Home console gaming didn’t really take off to the late 80’s because the technology and market weren’t there yet. This allowed arcades to thrive, especially during the 80’s when gaming technology really started coming into its own. This was before tech started becoming our defining trait as a society, before the internet was a thing, and before all of us had a mini computer in our pocket at all times.
Arcades were the malls for youths in the 80’s. That’s where you met up with your friends and hung out. People would watch each other play and get to know one another as they competed to be the top score on a given game. Business was booming, but with the inception of the internet and advancements in console gaming, arcades lost their cultural relevance.
That’s not to say they aren’t still around. Some of my fondest memories in Georgia involved my squad and I undertaking the 2-hour drive to Atlanta just to get drunk and play video games at a Dave and Busters.
Their just too expensive these days to dominate the gaming market. Consoles or even more expensive gaming PCs are a much better long-term investment and are convenient because they’re right there in your home for you to enjoy at any time. We’re also flocking more and more to digital communities, instead of meeting up at cultural hubs. The internet is now our cultural hub.
This game came out at a time when arcades were starting to fall out of favor for consoles such as the PS1 and Sega Saturn. Light shooters were trying to stay relevant, however, the genre is all but dead these days, especially on console. I think its a bit of a shame because I really loved these type of games!
As an arcade shooter, there isn’t much of a story. It’s more of a setup to explain away going to these haunted places and shooting these ghoulish creatures.
Players take up the mantle of Crypt Raiders(just think Lara Croft) and must shoot their way through several different stages in search of the Eyes of Guidance, which will open up the doors of fate. You are guided by this massive floating head named Galazon(because why not?) who is the spirit of travels.
Honestly, just roll your eyes at the lame attempt to cobble together a story and just get to the good parts. If you’re playing this game, you’re there to shoot shit in the face and that’s all you need to know.
My favorite games at the arcade are horror games and light gunners. Light gunners make use of a controller in the shape of a gun through the use of light sensors. You point your gun at the target on the screen, pull the trigger, and bye-bye 2D sprite.
This kind of tech really works well with the horror genre because these games tend to be on rails and in first person. That’s an easy set up for jump scares.
Now the game and even the genre hasn’t aged well. Looking back, this game is kind of a generic horror-themed shooter, but it was my first real experience with arcade shooters. Back in the mid 90’s, when I was 6 or 7, playing this game was kind of terrifying.
Watching skeletons, mummies, fish men, giant statues, and gargoyles amble closer and closer toward me in droves was pretty harrowing. Jump scares were also easier to get me with. It obviously left a bit of an impression because here I am talking about it twenty or so years later.
If you’ve got the spare cash, you can shell out the money for a Konami law bringer light controller and this game, if you’ve got a Sega Saturn or PS1 laying around. You can try visiting the closest arcade to see if the game is still there, but chances are you won’t find it.
What are some of your arcade memories? Let me know in the comments below!