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Overview of Three Popular Arcade Games

Aug 20, 2008
Modern arcade games have been around since the 1970s, although the more popular ones that most people are familiar with were created in the 1980s and early 90s. Currently, arcades are not as thrilling as they once were, especially since home consoles and computer games nearly rule the video game market. Many of the popular arcade games have been transferred to a console setting, so if you still want to play a classic arcade game, you can do so from the comfort of your own home.

Of the many arcade games that have been invented, there are a few that warrant in depth analysis due to their monumental impact. Mortal Kombat, created by Ed Boon and John Tobias, was released in arcades in 1992. It was a response to the hit game Street Fighter II, which at the time was one of the highest acclaimed fighting games. What made Mortal Kombat special, and controversial, was the incredible amount of violence. By pushing a unique combination of buttons, players could perform fatalities, which were intensely graphic ways of killing one's opponent.

The games developers did this on purpose, as a way to generate controversy and thus publicity for the game, and their plan worked quite well; in fact, almost too well. Due to Mortal Kombat and a few other games like it, the Entertainment Software Rating Board, commonly known as the ESRB, was created to give ratings to games (such as E, T, and M). Mortal Kombat has been released on several different consoles, and two film adaptations have been made.

Street Fighter was conceptualized more than five years before Mortal Kombat, and was developed by the well known Japanese company Capcom. The game features several characters, the most popular being Ryu, who was only one of two characters (the other being Ken) available for play in the first street fighter. The ten other characters shown in the game could not be controlled by the player. The first Street Fighter did not develop much of a following, although it set the stage for sequels, all of which would gain a better following than the original.

Specifically, Street Fighter II initiated a strong fan base and essentially launched the fighting game genre in to widespread popularity. This was because eight characters could be played, and each had their own unique fighting style. The variety of characters enabled enhanced and prolonged game play, and some people even credit the game with extending the arcade era by a few years.

Rampage allowed up to three players to play at once, controlling various monsters with the purpose of destroying cities. The three monsters included a giant gorilla (George), a gigantic lizard (Lizzie), and a large werewolf (Ralph). Players could destroy buildings by punching, kicking, or jumping on them. You could also climb buildings and eat people and food along the way. Resistance was provided in a variety of forms, such as police, helicopters, tanks, and the army.

In addition, if you tried to eat the wrong thing, like an electrical appliance, you would take damage and fall off the building. When one's life ran out, the monster would revert in to a naked human and walk embarrassingly off the screen. If multiple players were participating, another monster could even eat their human comrade. Several sequels have been created, including some of the Playstation 2, Gamecube, and Wii. No new installments are set to come out in the near future.
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