Earlier this month, when Taito finally admitted that their secret “Project Z” was , in fact, a Left 4 Dead arcade cabinet, aging gamers everywhere (myself included) couldn’t help but get a little excited. But before we all start hoarding quarters, know that we westerners will likely never get to caress the joysticks of a L4D Survivors, especially after the stateside failure of the Half-Life 2: Survivor and Counterstrike NEO cabinets.
But this announcement got us thinking. What other modern games deserve official arcade cabinet ports?
A wonderfully crafted homage to classic 90s arcade brawlers of the 90s, Castle Crashers would be perfectly suited for it’s own 4-player cabinet. In fact, with it’s adorable animal companions, addictive leveling system, and enormous weapon variety, a Castle Crashers cabinet would give time-honored greats like TMNT II, Double Dragon, and The Simpsons a run for their money.
Super Meat Boy
Super Meat Boy is an obsessive love letter to the precision and persistence of retro gaming. The game’s meticulous yet simple control scheme practically cries out to be mapped onto a joystick/button interface. Though the game’s insanely difficult levels would surely make it a quarter-muncher, it would be near impossible to resist, especially if came in a Pac-Man style cocktail table.
Super Smash Bros.
Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, Killer Instinct, and Virtua Fighter were staples of the 90s arcade scene, each with their own rabidly loyal communities. Sadly, this genre’s heyday also happened to coincide with the beginning of the end of America’s arcade scene, unfairly denying fan’s of Nintendo’s widely adored Smash Bros series the experience of an authentic arcade throwdown. A 4-player Super Smash Bros cabinet, complete with official Nintendo music would be a must-have addition to any modern arcade collection.
Race the Sun
Even though arcade cabinets are considered needlessly oversized and gaudy by today’s standards, their ability to seemlessly incorporate needlessly oversized and gaudy controllers is unmatched. Track balls, clacking plastic guns, and huge steering have never felt as right at home as they did in a noisy, dark, neon-filled arcade. A Race the Sun cabinet, complete with a spaceship steering column and Oculus Rift style headset would make a fortune, one quarter at a time.
Arcade games are designed to instantly grab a player’s attention from across a room and get them hooked after that first quarter. Arcade goers don’t seek out the artsiest machines to hear long-winded monologues, they want immediate entertainment! Goat Simulator is the prefect example of a game that doesn’t mess around with an unnecessary narrative, grabbing fun by the goat nuts! What’s the emotional motivation behind the goat’s anti-social antics? How can I even try to care when I’m busy brutalizing townsfolk and blowing up gas stations?
Are there any glaring omissions in this list? In what modern arcade cabinet would you like to drop some coinage?