Sega Out Run
Driving a convertible racing along coastal roads, deserts and mountain ranges made this the pre-cursor to games like Ridge Racer. Unlike Pole Position, this game hinged on young male aspirations. Driving a blond chick around in a convertible has never been high on my list of things to do, but I do remember seeing boys flick 2p pieces up the slot to get credit on this game so it must have had something going for it. I guess being able to change the music using the steering wheel was pretty cool...
With an unlimited supply of Ninja stars, ferocious punches and dangerous kung-fu kicks, Joe Mushashi remains one of the most formidable characters to appear in an arcade platformer. Mushashi's aim through five increasingly tricky levels was to reach the headquarters of evil kiddy-napping organisation Zeen, fronted by our hero's mentor, the Masked Ninja. With hostages to rescue and bosses to defeat along the way, Shinobi was an instant success, inspired several sequels and saw release on pretty much every home console available.
For all you shinoobies out there, a reworked version of the original can be found on Xbox Live. Ninja Magic!
Next page: Capcom Street Fighter
Space Harrier FTW. The sheer *speed* that all the scenery came up at you was mindblowing, even before you reckoned on the scenery being 50-foot-high multicoloured metallic mushrooms. Afterburner was fun, but nothing like as good as Space Harrier.
But the list misses out Pitfighter. OK, it doesn't have the special moves of other games, but it replaced those with being realistic, and with moving at the speed of a real fight. Street Fighter, you could hang back and fire stuff. With Pitfighter, hanging back just got you kicked to death.
The list also misses out Hard Drivin'. Fully 3D graphics, a steering wheel which pulled against you when you do stuff, a manual box with 4 gears, and tracks where it wasn't just about going flat out with briefly dropping to low gear. And you got a stunt track with a broken-bridge jump, a loop-the-loop, and various other goodness. Outrun was cool and fun, but Hard Drivin' was *THE* first realistic driving game, the daddy of every current rally/F1 sim.
People around my age (43) just timed it right for video games, and home computers for that matter. I still remember my friends describing Space Invaders to me, after they discovered it at the local baths: "It's like pinball! All these monsters.. you shoot them its like pinball!". They were in a frenzy about it.
Pinball's not dead, the real machines are still around - aren't they ?
Only 10? And no Strider or R-Type?
Tcchh - I'm not coming to your video arcade. Hardly worth getting my change from the grumpy git in the glass box for...
I remember playing GORF some years before Gauntlet. I was drawn to its ominous cabinet by the hypnotic "INSUURT COYNE" digitised speech. Cost me a bleedin' fortune, it did!