"""Obscure"""" Arcade Games

  • - I have yet to ever set up and play a full library of MAME roms.
  • - If you ever asked me what my ideal selection of arcade cabinets was, I'd say all the ones I've never heard of.
  • - I enjoy an arcade by how many games there are that are new to me.
  • - Retro gamers don't even comprehend how many epic arcade games there are that are being forgotten due to never being made available on consoles. I can't even comprehend.
  • - Obviously, the preservation is a serious issue, each game needs its own specific emulation basically.
    Post your faves, or anything that comes to mind that is not the obvious, most-often talked about arcade games.
  • - There's so much value and so many unique ideas that are there waiting, and yet totally missing from our retro gamer lexicon.
    -----
    A few years ago, I ran into WILLOW for the first time, then realized CAPCOM has a whole genre of platformers where you grab money drops and power up in shops.
  • I‘ve mentioned some of these before, but I’ll try to limit myself to games that, to my knowledge, never got console ports:

    Armed Police Batrider (Raizing 1998)
    King of Fighters' character select screen, Battle Garegga's gameplay
    https://youtu.be/yP8BXVPxlqU

    Ninja Baseball Bat Man (Irem 1993)
    Turtles in Time, but baseball
    https://youtu.be/zxbWyA3L-jE

    Cadillacs and Dinosaurs (Capcom 1993)
    Final fight with dinosaurs
    https://youtu.be/5i1pca5aCms

    Rage of the Dragons (Evoga 2002)
    Guilty Gear Strive without the air dash
    https://youtu.be/msZUQkEZKZQ

    FixEight (Toaplan 1992)
    Ikari Warriors, but good
    https://youtu.be/0CgUFvLAbKA

    Dogyuun (Toaplan 1992)
    Gorgeous space shooter, with a cheesy but endearing FM Synth soundtrack
    https://youtu.be/jEsbGf0XC7Y

    Oh I DO have that RetroPie hooked up & I will both be watching this thread closely & contributing soon, gotta look at my list. Here are these for now, which are on the top of my head for absolutely zero reason

    **A.B. Cop** (Sega, 1990) more like A.C.A.B. Cop, huh? But it's a breezy Space Harrier-like
    [upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/QIQnckV.png]

    **Valkyrie no Densetsu** (Namco, 1989) really feels more modern that it should, & is super charming (until it gets STUPID difficult at the end)
    [upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/VTcwHE1.png]

    **Rabbit** (Aorn, 1997) is worth a look just for the pixel art & characters, & because it's a Japan-only Saturn/arcade game published -- for some reason -- by EA?
    [upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/uqys4Wo.png]

    There was a Motor Raid in some arcade in my hometown, which is wild considering it‘s a motorcycle combat racing game in a fantastic Sci Fi setting. I’ve only ever seen it there though

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsISZSk54qc

    An aside: In the late 90's I have a very faint memory of being at the Mall of America and there being a vast arcade that I wasn't allowed to go into (I was a small tot at the time) and all I seem to remember is there were rows of light gun games and the arcade's façade had a UFO/Alien Ship in it, possibly rotating. I've never been able to find any info on it.

    I think among obscure arcade racers, there‘s none more obscure than Konami’s Racing Jam series. I've never heard of it, but it seems like the premise is “Real cars on wild, rollercoaster tracks”. One fellow has bought 2 cabs, Racing Jam 1 and 2, and restored them in a kind of preservation effort

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yacG3hOr8c0

    According to him these games are not supported by MAME, and thus the only way to play them is with real hardware, which is hard to find and harder to get working. For Racing Jam 2 he has a Frankenstein ('s Monster) setup of PC parts to get it to run

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9YtR_t9VMQ

    >

    @“Syzygy”#p37711 Prop Cycle;

    ah, I know someone on twitter who is slowly piecing together a Prop Cycle cab of his own. This was also a game that I played at my hometown's mall, which was in the middle of Kansas.

    For some reason, when I first saw this thread, my mind jumped straight to the live action arcade games of the late 80s/early 90s - your NARCs, your Pit Fighters, your Guardians of the 'Hood, your Cruis'ns. Looking back, they were definitely the equivalent of modern blockbuster games in that they employed photorealism both to emulate action movie spectacle and to convey just how far ahead of the competition they were in the technological arms race that is video games, but I don‘t know. That live action aesthetic lends them an uncanny, almost comical affect that I don’t think games have explored that much since. (Granted, it‘s because the aesthetic is uncanny and comical that games haven’t explored it since. You're not gonna attain the artistic legitimacy you see in film with anything other than stoic self-seriousness, after all.)

    But it's the aesthetic that's obscure here; not the games that use them. Allow me, then, to pick out some actually obscure arcade games:

  • - Calorie Kun vs Moguranian. If you‘re wondering what it’d look like if somebody mashed Pac Man and Dig Dug together, and then gave it a name that looks bewildering out of context, well, look no further.
  • - _[Chatan Yarakuu Shanku – The Karate Tournament](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsqj8hYPGnM)_, of the semi-rare "karate game, NOT a fighting game" genre.
  • - _[Cool Riders](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wH0mE8XipzQ)_. Remember what I said about live action arcade games earlier?
  • - _[Cube Quest](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKyWNEGh_yk)_. I fully admit I picked this one because I recently corroborated its use of 3D predating *I, Robot* by over half a year, but taken on its own merits, we have a game anticipating *Silpheed*-esque video-plays-under-you shooters.
  • - *[Hotdog Storm](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPuqESX2mtE)*. OK, so I picked this one based entirely on its name, but this time, the game itself isn't anything special.
  • - _[Inu no Osanpo](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSLPkrZ_J4A)_. What better way to signal that arcades were alive and well at the turn of the century than with this large and highly specialized piece of arcade hardware? It doesn't even have the benefit of having a well known license attached to it, like [that one *Star Wars* arcade game every movie theater had in the 2000s](https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0089/4550/0260/products/StarWarsTrilogy_6_1024x1024.jpeg?v=1557580324).
  • - _[Shakka to Tambourine](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLJnaqsBULE)_. Did you know *Samba de Amigo* sort of got a sequel, and it sort of got a port to the PS1?
  • - _[Snacks 'n Jaxson](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMcaM28fz44)_, one of what I can only assume is many 1980s arcade games that feel like they came from the 1880s.
  • - _[Streaking](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VtbwT_BXqo)_. It is *exactly* what it sounds like.
  • - _[Won!tertainment Music Channel](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wYgkUvrpko)_, AKA your look into the trends that defined Japanese arcade gaming in the mid 2000s. Flashy kawaii aesthetic, proprietary card technology, less focus on skillful play than on continued engagement, etc.
  • The entire Gaelco library is pretty obscure as I don't think any of it every hit the US. Other than the mediocre Smashing Drive

    Biomechanical Toy is interesting (and coming on Evercade in Novemeber which is wild)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jHx1DpttSw

    And Radikal Bikers is very silly (there's a PS1 version that losses a lot of the charm)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3Ivg4RvMjM

    I've noticed wacky Motorcycle games are a THING in arcades, but barely ever a thing on home consoles.

    >

    @“tokucowboy”#p37758 published – for some reason – by EA?

    It would take a bit of time but I happen to know most of the back story behind that. I'll try to share it on IC someday.

    >

    @“marlfuchs2”#p37769 I think among obscure arcade racers, there’s none more obscure than Konami’s Racing Jam series.

    Racing Jam taught me the meaning of the word [gymkhana](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gymkhana_(disambiguation)) back then. Don't let your old folks tell you that you'll learn nothing at the arcades! Another really obscure title from Konami is Fighting Wushu (or Fighting Bujutsu in Japan), the Virtua Fighter-killer on their ill-fated superpowered arcade board "Cobra". I believe that a Racing Jam sequel was also planned for Cobra, but don't quote me on this. Anyway, Fighting Wushu flopped and suddenly Konami made tons of money with Bemani and Yu-Gi-Oh and they never looked back.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJfR6edB3SA

    >

    @“marlfuchs2”#p37762 There was a Motor Raid in some arcade in my hometown, which is wild considering it’s a motorcycle combat racing game in a fantastic Sci Fi setting. I’ve only ever seen it there though

    I am not sure if you are aware so, just in case, Motor Raid is playable in Judge Eyes / Judgement. That's at least one thing you and Kimutaku have in common.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1QBx15dSXY

    I can fully back Dolphin Blue, Ninja Baseball Bat Man, & I too fell for the titular charms of Hotdog Storm. And @“chazumaru”#146, I would love to hear about Rabbit someday, because that thing just came outta nowhere for me

    So I spent some of last night going through this thread and checking out the recs that were available/playable to me on my RetroPie. Here are some thoughts:

    @"Syzygy"#279

  • - **Dyna Gear** is something to be admired with its super fast & smooth feedback, neat layers, & great animation. I also think the cooldown on being able to hold down the button to auto-fire is a cool mechanic
  • - **GunBuster** probably doesn't translate well to being played with a regular controller, but I adore the concept & style here. Also, big points for one of the best "insert credit" sound bytes in history, which I had to record a clip of myself (please hire me to voice this in the remake, Taito):
    https://youtu.be/HRCs7EAOHeg
  • - I would've never played **Numan** based on the title & it would also benefit from knowing the specific button placement on the cabinet, but I like the art direction a lot here, too. Wish someone had been in the room to try this one with, I could see it being a solid party game (& you didn't mention Tim Rogers was the announcer for this, which is cool)
  • @"MichaelDMcGrath"#244 **Armed Police Batrider** is my favorite of everything I sampled last night. The tiny, dense pixel art is so good, the style points & soundtrack are through the roof, & I just have a very specific soft spot for shmups in which you are not a space ship in space (I like those too, but it's just cooler when you're a person or a witch or a dragon or whatever). So being a little bike ship in a wholly urban setting is very, very cool to me. Plus, the special attacks feel incredibly empowering

    I enjoyed those recs so much, here are three more from me:

  • -

    Riding Fight (Taito, 1992) is another forward-scrolling actioner in the vein of Space Harrier & A.B. Cop, but its got the style of Forgotten Worlds (probably not obscure enough for this thread, but play it if you haven‘t) filtered through ’90s neon apocalypses. I have trouble emulating the sound on my device, but it's so, so good no matter how you play it

    [upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/rLwX1s0.png]

  • -

    **Guwange** (Cave, 1999) I don't think anyone's forgetting about Cave-developed shooters when recommending arcade games, but Guwange doesn't seem to get too much play. You play as a character on-foot, scrolling both vertically & horizontally, during a mythological version of Muromachi-era Japan, with some great magic & really bizarre creature design
    [upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/wSZrx0i.png]

  • -

    **Sol Divide** (Psikyo, 1997) this is kind of a double bill with Guwange; a well-loved shmup developer's undervalued fantasy game. I think it got mixed reviews at the time, & I myself don't tend to love the pre-rendered sprites art direction, but this one is far enough along that it manages to feel a little bit like anime Harryhausen. And again, it's a shmup where you're a little person flying around & I love that
    [upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/JqDDQlk.png]

  • Finally, while I believe that every recommendation in this thread is really valid in its own way, if you do end up setting up a MAME library, never be afraid to just hit the "random" button & jump into whatever it gives you. That's often how you come across the good stuff.

    https://twitter.com/mx5dob/status/1421221413613154306?s=20

    I ended up streaming a bit of Armed Police Batrider thanks to this thread's rec, & I feel like this is the only appropriate reaction to it (very non-Insert Credit language warning):

    https://www.twitch.tv/tokucowboy/clip/SucculentSpotlessNightingalePJSalt-LNtwTlqu4dbHdwNj

    @"treefroggy"#449 Man, I really wish Hotdog Storm were cooler & had more hotdogs

    @“tokucowboy”#p39251 big shmood

    I wasn’t sure where to post this but it’s about a little known aspect of japanese arcades so here is a long but interesting essay on the history of datsui mājan or « strip mahjong » video games. Do consider that, given the nature of the topic, the article is très très NSFW.

    https://superjumpmagazine.com/tits-and-tiles-the-nsfw-history-of-strip-mahjong-44c86db03ee

    I believe most of the information comes from this book from 2018, **脱衣麻雀文化研究概論〜ダイナックスと日本物産〜** (Datsui Mājan Bunka Kenkyū Gairon 〜Dynax & Nichibutsu〜).

    [upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/2buLCyl.jpeg]

    The end of the article mentions City Connection’s recent (censored) ports of old Saturn versions of strip mahjong games on Nintendo Switch. It just so happens that **Idol Mahjong Final Romance R** is [coming out next week.](https://store-jp.nintendo.com/list/software/70010000032830.html)

    Here is the (NSFW) Saturn version :

    https://youtu.be/wIZYNcHT4fo

    I‘ve never actually downloaded mame, but the ’internet arcade' is pretty cool to browse: https://archive.org/details/internetarcade

    Bal Cube is like Breakout, but you're the ball (and with backgrounds that make it feel like it was made for me):
    https://archive.org/details/arcade_balcube
    Dragon World II has a soundtrack that tries it's best:
    https://archive.org/details/arcade_drgw2

    Outfoxies is a wonderful weirdo namco arena fighter type of thing:

    https://youtu.be/grOBR9CANQI

    I‘m hoping eventually this gets a MiSTer core or something. It’s such an ambitious and lively game that never came out anywhere other than the arcades. The stages are so cool!

    Outfoxies is so good

    >

    @“donrumata”#p48195 I’m hoping eventually this gets a MiSTer core or something. It’s such an ambitious and lively game that never came out anywhere other than the arcades.

    The Outfoxies will [release in the coming months as part of the Arcade Archives series.](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/227-new-games-chat/728)

    @“chazumaru”#p48199 oh my god holy shit! I missed that entirely and have spent the time since the Namco partnership was announced trying to manifest it. Heck yeah!

    @“chazumaru”#p48199

    Oh no way, that's sick. I will probably be picking that up.