Smues Plays 960 Arcade Games

Smues

Smuesicide
Staff member
Consider this thread my personal Astro Boy thread webstie.

So a bit ago my local Round Table Pizza got an arcade machine that has over 500 games in it. I was intrigued as I've been wanting to get my own arcade cabinet with a MAME machine or something similar. When I researched it I discovered it was called a bootleg devices from China called Pandora's box 3, and that there were many other versions of it, all loaded with a ton of games. Seems like a decent thing to throw into an arcade cabinet, but then I discovered you could buy one just in an arcade control setup and plug it into your TV, and I figured hey that's not too expensive and may tide me over until I could get a full cabinet. So I ordered a Pandora's Box 5 that looks something like this, minus the TV:


960 games! And while there are EIGHTEEN versions of Street Fighter 2, it's not just dupes of the same 20 games, there are a lot of different games on this sucker. My goal is to play all of them (probably over the course of several years) and do short reviews here. I'm sure there's a lot of crap on here, and again, EIGHTEEN versions of SF2, so I'm going to set the minimum amount of play time to fifteen minutes so I at least give everything a chance but can skip the dupes and total crap. I thought about going in order but it's mostly grouped by genre and I think I'd go insane playing all the fighters at once the all the side scrollers at once etc. So I'm going to use a number generator to pick the order. LET MORTAL KOMBAT BEGIN!
 

Smues

Smuesicide
Staff member
1. Game # 251 - Ganryu, 1999


Have I heard of the game before?
Nope.

Have I played the game before?
Nope.

What is it
Side scrolling hack and slasher. You have two characters to choose from, a dude with a sword and a girl with a sword. They both have a hook that can be used for attacks or to latch onto things, but I didn't find myself using the hook very often. The goal to is free hostages and end game rescue the dude's love interest/the girl's sister. There's no depth (only go left or right, can't walk up or down) but there is vertical platforming and possibly multiple paths through a stage. There's also alternating multiplayer, but I didn't try that.

How much did I play?
About 45 minutes. I played the first stage with both characters and most(?) of the second stage with the guy. I only stopped because I couldn't figure out how to continue. There was a sign with an arrow telling me to go up, but no way to go up. I'll see if google helps with that next time I play.

Thoughts?
I really enjoyed this one. Automatically starting if you have a coin in (that 22 up in the title screen pic is a countdown to it automatically starting if you don't hit start) was weird, and annoying since I wanted to watch for story scenes, but that's a minor nitpick. It's a bit cheap with enemies spawning in mid-air to mess up your platforming, but it's fair enough. You have a health meter and can take 4 or 5 hits before death, although dying means going back to a checkpoint, so no endless quarter cheesing this one to victory. The controls are sharp and the hit detection is good. There are several power ups to be found, but some of them I find to actually be worse than the sword. There's what appear to be Molotov cocktails, and they get thrown at an angle and miss the opponent right in front of you, so when I picked that up I found myself having to just use the slide attack or the hook.

The first boss fight was a bitch and I assume it only gets harder, but it wasn't unfairly hard. I did note that there's a cut-scene before the boss and you can't skip it you can only speed through the text. This plays every single time so if you takes you a dozen tries like it took me you're going to be etching the cut-scene a lot. Odd for an arcade game. Another odd thing I noticed is that although the first level is identical for the girl and the guy, for the guy it's titled Episode 1 - Avenger but for the girl it's got a different title that I've already forgotten.

Definitely a game I'll be playing again, a good first find on this thing.

Any Engrish?
Yes. It's not everywhere but I saw multiple examples and if every boss has a cut-scene I assume there's more.
"Game is over when all stocks are lose"
 

Laz

0101100101
Do you have a list of all games available? It'd be interesting to see old favorites (or loathed ones) just waiting for you to play them.
 

Smues

Smuesicide
Staff member
https://www.highscoresaves.com/downloads/dl/file/id/74/product/628/960_in_1_game_list.pdf
 

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
$250 not bad considering the quantity of games and a lot of stuff I wasn't expecting to see on the list. Can't wait to see you play Michael Jackson: Moonwalker
 

Smues

Smuesicide
Staff member
2. Game #908 - Crush Roller, 1981


Have I heard of the game before?
No.

Have I played the game before?
No.

What is it
A Pac-Man ripoff. Instead of eating dots you paint the floor. Which is odd because you look like a red paint brush but in the first stage you're painting the floor green. Okay? And instead of ghosts...fuck if I know what is chasing you, but there are two of them. And you can kill them with...brushes I think? Placed on the floor. Unlike the power pellets, you can re-use them over and over, but you have to get the timing right. You ride them when you go over them the correct direction, so you can ride them over the not-ghosts and that eliminates them for a couple of seconds. Eventually a third monster thing appears and drops dots on the floor. I assumed he was another bad guy and it was like a spike strip to slow you down, but when actually going over them they just give you points for collecting, and if you touch the thing dropping them it's big points instead of death. Didn't expect that.

How much did I play?
Around half an hour spent trying and failing to beat the first level. A couple of times I was just one spot away from being done before I died, and once I had the whole stage covered and was confused why I didn't move on, but YouTube tells me if that third thing drops his spike strip shit you have to collect all of those too. Weak.

Thoughts?
Meh. It's a Pac-Man knock-off. It's not as good as Pac-Man, but it's passable. Except for the audio. Oh man the audio. First, and this is limited to my Pandora's Box and doesn't happen on the actual machine, at the title screen and high scores screen it just plays a loud BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP which is incredibly obnoxious and had me scrambling to hit insert quarter and start very quickly everytime I died. Then there's the actual in game sounds. Just listen to this shit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmP9rRb6DDY

It gets old fast, especially the start and death music since I died a lot. Every time you die the death music plays and then when your next life begins that start music plays in full. If I ever play this one again, which isn't likely but it's not like I'd actively avoid it, I'm playing it on mute. Which won't be hard since this device doesn't transmit sound over HDMI, so I'm just using the internal speaker.

Any Engrish?
No.
 

Smues

Smuesicide
Staff member
3. Game #744 - Search Eye Plus V2.0, 1999


Have I heard of the game before?
No.

Have I played the game before?
No.

What is it[?/I]
Remember Highlights magazine? Remember those pictures where you had to find all the hidden objects within the picture? That's this game. That's it, you have a list of items to find in a picture and you click where you think the object is. You have a time limit and limited lives, but you also get some helps that will show you near where the item is. There are three modes but I think it's just difficulty levels as they all played the same. I can't be sure as the mode select is in an Asian language. Also, there are chickens.

How much did I play?
I tried all three modes (which again I think are just difficulty levels) and played through around 12 stages. It probably took about half an hour.

Thoughts?
This shit belongs on those touch screen game machines you find at bars, not in an arcade cabinet. And selecting the objects with a joystick instead of being able to just touch the screen can be difficult. Also, I suck at these, and sometimes even with the helps you can't find the damn thing because the object is basically just a line. The music was decent at least, especially after the last game, but that's not saying much. There also appears to be some kind of story, but it's all in Chinese or some other Asian language so I have no idea what it is. Other that it apparently involves fairies. And a chicken, as mentioned before. When you put coins in a chicken pops up and makes noises, it's weird.

Pass on this one unless you REALLY like these kind of picture puzzles. I don't look forward to when I land on the other version of this game.

Any Engrish?
Yes. "Mark it properly. To spare your life."
 

BruiserBrody

Integral Poster
My buddy bought a modded Wii with 2500 games on it spanning Atari, NES, SNES, Sega, etc. It was great fun having a few whiskeys and diving into the shitty Atari games, trying to make sense of the blocky graphics. I say that with love as I am old enough to have played Atari before the NES was even established.
 

CookieMueller

Integral Poster
I have a raspberry pi that has something like 1100 arcade games on it. The Simpsons and the first TMNT arcade games were immediately played.
 

Smues

Smuesicide
Staff member
4. Game #333 - Street Fighter II: Champion Edition Red Wave, 1992


Have I heard of the game before?
Not "Red Wave" but many of the numerous other versions of Street Fighter II.

Have I played the game before?
Same as above.

What is it
I wasn't quite sure, but some Googling says it's a black market mod of Street Fighter II. Only difference I noticed was my Hodokens floated upwards.

How much did I play?
About 20 minutes. I was never a Street Fighter II whiz kid but I could usually win a couple of matches against the machine, but I got destroyed on this and couldn't get past the first opponent. I tried with Ryu multiple times, and a couple of tries as Chun-Li and Guile.

Thoughts?
It's Street Fighter 2. I don't know if the difficulty is this version or just my bad luck. I should note that I'm playing all games at default difficulty unless otherwise noted, but the Pandora's Box does let you adjust that. Fuck you E. Honda.

Any Engrish?
No.
 

starvenger

Integral Poster
Damn that's a lot of versions of King of Fighters.

Also: X-Men!!! Too bad it's not a 6-player version (I'm assuming).

How's the responsiveness of the controller?
 

Smues

Smuesicide
Staff member
5. Game #447 - Xexex, 1991


Have I heard of the game before?
No

Have I played the game before?
No

What is it
An R-type type (TYPETYPETYPETYPEALL THE TYPE) horiztonal space shooter. It's got the usual power-ups, and the gimmick is you can detach the front of your ship and it'll go kill shit. I preferred to keep it on as you need it for the charge shot, which is pretty cool.

How much did I play?
Probably 30-40 minutes, and through most of stage 3. Bosses have way too much health. Not that they're hard, they just take forever to kill and it got boring.

Thoughts?
I found this to be pretty mediocre. It controls and plays fine, but it's ugly and often hard to tell what the hell is going on. At least in the first two levels, I had more success on level 3. Level 1 is puke green and really ugly, and level 2 looks like someone threw up cotton candy. Other than wanting to beat as many games on this thing as possible and maybe playing it all the way through I don't really plan to ever play this again.

Any Engrish?
Yes! "In the day when man made it possible to easily between planets" and there's cut-scenes inbetween levels so hopefully there's a ton of it.
 

Smues

Smuesicide
Staff member
6. Game #317 - Street Fighter III: Third Strike, 1999


Have I heard of the game before?
Yes.

Have I played the game before?
I think so. I think I had this one on PS2. Probably never played it in the arcades though, I pretty much entirely missed the Street Fighter 3s.

What is it?
Street Fighter III, presumably with some changes.

How much did I play?
I made it to stage 7! Suck it, previous Street Fighter I played on this thing.

Thoughts?
As mentioned above, I missed out on Street Fighter III at the time. It's weird and scary to me because it barely has anyone from SF2, but it has Ryu so that's enough for me. I liked the addition of the super meter as I'm always a fan of super uber power moves. And it didn't kick my ass mercilessly like the last one did, so that's a plus. Will likely play again.

Any Engrish?
No.
 

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
I never have much to say in direct response to this thread but I wanted to share with you Smues that I enjoy reading the updates
 

Smues

Smuesicide
Staff member
7. Game #725 - Genix Family, 1994


Have I heard of the game before?
No.

Have I played the game before?
No.

What is it?
I'm not quite sure how to describe it it. I've definitely played a game like this before, but I can't remember what it's called. You have a weapon that only shoots up, and you have to destroy all the balls in the level. You can pick what stage you start at so if you're super l337 you can skip the easy stuff.

How much did I play?
Maybe half an hour and a dozen or so stages.

Thoughts?
I wish I could remember what this genre is called or what game it's copying. I enjoy games like this though, and this one was fine. Also, I think this was the game that let you put in 4 initials for the high scores (high scores don't save on this machine sadly:( )which is amazing for someone with two middle names.

Any Engrish?
Not that I saw. It does like to yell GENIX at you though.
 

Laz

0101100101
SF3 is when I gave up on the series and switched exclusively to Tekken or Virtua Fighter. At the time it was because the new fighters were annoying to me (I was a Guile kid), but retrospect tells me it's because that's when the series really started punishing button mashers.
 

starvenger

Integral Poster
I'm not quite sure how to describe it it. I've definitely played a game like this before, but I can't remember what it's called. You have a weapon that only shoots up, and you have to destroy all the balls in the level.
Bust-a-move/Puzzle Bobble?
 

Smues

Smuesicide
Staff member
Buster Bros! I think that's the one that GENIX Family was like. Man I'd forgotten these type of games even existed.
 

Smues

Smuesicide
Staff member
starvenger said:
How's the responsiveness of the controller?
It's decent. The buttons are fine, the joystick could be better but it's acceptable. It's VERY clicky though, which can be obnoxious for other people in the room. One review I read mentioned replacing the joysticks with better ones, so I might do that. But I'm in no rush too as they're perfectly serviceable.
 

Smues

Smuesicide
Staff member
8. Game #613 - Golden Par Golf, 1992


Have I heard of the game before?
No.

Have I played the game before?
No

What is it
Golf. There are three different 18 hole courses.

How much did I play?
A lot, I'm kind of hooked on this stupid thing. I've played all three courses and have sunk several hours into this game.

Thoughts?
I love this game. I hate this game. I think that describes golf in general? I'll start out decent at be at or under par on hole 5 or 6 and then in one hole I'm not 6 over and it goes downhill from there. I am getting better though, my first full game was like +40 and my last one I ended at +10. I've never made an eagle but I have had several (really long) eagle putts. Which reminds me that the announcer announces putting, and after bogey just's just 'Player 1 to putt' not 'for bogey' or anything. Except two or threes times on double bogey he has said that, but either it glitches mid speaking or he's laughing at me. (or I'm hallucinating that he's laughing at me which is certainly possible. Just because they might not be laughing at me doesn't mean they aren't!) It's a little weird. The fucker also does an ouch '...oohhh' when you just miss a putt, but he also says ...whoa when you make a great on so there's that.

I'm thinking this may have been harder in arcades as I imagine the controls were different, but with a standard joystick and button it plays quite well. I always hate when you're at a bar and the only arcade machine is Golden Tee, because I want some pinball or something not fucking golf, but I kind of get the appeal now. I've gone back to this one several times in the last week and I imagine I'll keep playing it over time.

Oh and this would be fucking expensive to play, as you get 8 strokes per credit. And there's multiplayer up to 4 people, where you get 2 strokes each per credit. I don't imagine many groups of four have played a complete course.


Any Engrish? Or any memorable quotes?
GOLFER ONE TO PUTT FOR BOGEY.
 

Smues

Smuesicide
Staff member
9. Game #100 - Alien Challenge,1994


Have I heard of the game before?
No.

Have I played the game before?
No.

What is it
A shitty mid 90's fighting game, I expect to see a lot of these. There's a plot but it pops up and then disappears in like 3 seconds so it's impossible to read it. Which is sad because I'm 99% sure there was Engrish I would have liked to copy down. I don't know that many/any of the fighters are aliens but there is quite the variety in the 8 or 10 fighters there are. There's a ninja, a football player, a werewolf, a fire demon, a clown, a gold thing that kind of looks like a golf Silver Surfer, and a couple of others. I didn't look up any move lists (trying not to for any of these but I suspect I will be when I hit King of Fighters since I've never played any of that series and there's so many on the machine) but was able to figure out a lot of moves. This game sure loves half circles in its moves.

How much did I play?
I played most of the characters at least once and spent 30 or 40 minutes on this stupid thing. I won a couple of fights, so I did better than SF2 Red Wave, but I absolutely can not beat the golden Silver Surfer dude. His range is ridiculous and he's got a dragon punch type move he nails me with half the time I try to jump in.

Thoughts?
Eh. It's a crappy mid 90's fighting game, but I've certainly played worse. It's playable, and button mashing pays off so it's at least someone accessible, if cheap. On any of these fighters it'll be hard to judge the controls given the joystick I'm using, but it seemed responsive enough and once I learned some moves I was able to consistently pull them off. One big complaint I have though is the sound. The stages I fought on at least didn't have music, just background noise. So you fight the clown at a circus and it's just lions noises and shit. Oh and the clown farting at you, which is his projectile. Ugg.

Not likely to play this one again, unless I lower the difficulty to cheat my way past gold dude.

Any Engrish? Or any memorable quotes?
I'm pretty sure there's Engrish in the plot text but again it goes by so quick I'd have to see it a dozen times to read it all. (Also my device over HDMI overfills the screen a bit, and the text here is partially off screen.) But there was a memorable quote when you lose as the ninja.

"Your father has let you down."
 

Smues

Smuesicide
Staff member
10. Game #340 - Street Fighter,1987


Have I heard of the game before?
Yes.

Have I played the game before?
Yes, on PC.

What is it
The original Street Fighter. The one no one remembers or plays because it sucks.

How much did I play?
I wasted probably an hour or more on this, because I really wanted to beat Birdie but I just couldn't do it. I think he was my 4th or 5th opponent, so I did at least beat some guys.

Thoughts?
So, this game. I remembered that it wasn't any good, but it is amazing how much better Street Fighter 2 is compared to this. You play as Ryu, Ken for player 2, and fight a bunch of nobodies. I know some of these guys got used in future games but all I remembered was Ryu, Ken, and Saget. Ryu has all of his moves you know and love, but they're much harder to pull off. Although the 'whirlwind kick' does a fuck ton of damage. The uppercut probably does too but I could never connect with it.

The game is pretty cheap and some fighters can defeat you in 2 hits, including Birdie who did it to me multiple times. I swear I did really try to beat him but I just couldn't do it. I got one round several times, and one time I got a double KO on round won, then won round 2, but lost round 3 and lost the match. Also happened to me with a tie in round 1, that's a bunch of shit and they should go to round 4 but no then I might actually win and we can't have this!

Any Engrish? Or any memorable quotes?
They aren't memorable, but every fighter has the exact same quotes for winning and losing. And they're voice acted but sound like crap.
 

Master Thrasher

Seven Time Tetris 99 Champ!
The original Street Fighter has bad controls. The good news is if you can throw three fireballs, you can win the round.
 

BUTT

Kreese
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2DdA3lWgpE

Was this the PC version you played, Smues? Imagine this on an orange and black monitor. This was a Christmas gift my brother and I received in 1994. Yes, even then I was way behind the times, but unlike now, not by choice!
 

Smues

Smuesicide
Staff member
11. Game #930 - Stakes Winner 2,1995/1996


Have I heard of the game before?
No.

Have I played the game before?
No.

What is it
Horse racing. No betting or anything, just controlling the horse. After some races you can train the horse, and you can use your winnings to buy power-ups. You keep playing if you place at least 3rd.

How much did I play?
Probably 15 or 16 or so races, winning or at least getting 2nd or 3rd place 7 or 8 times.

Thoughts?
It's ok. It took me a couple of races to get the hang of it and then it was fine. What I didn't like were the in-race power ups and power downs, because many times I was winning or competing and then BLAM I hit a paralyze thing and WHAM I go into 8th place and finish there. So you kind of have to memorize the courses to know what lanes to stay in for power ups and what to avoid to not get fucked over. After it started repeating races I called it good. Nothing I'll likely play again, but there are worse ways to kill a few minutes.

Any Engrish? Or any memorable quotes?
None.
 

Smues

Smuesicide
Staff member
Rock N' Roll Rambo said:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2DdA3lWgpE

Was this the PC version you played, Smues? Imagine this on an orange and black monitor. This was a Christmas gift my brother and I received in 1994. Yes, even then I was way behind the times, but unlike now, not by choice!
I feel like the one I played may have been a bit more colorful, but that could have been the one as I'm sure it was DOS based. My friend had it and he warned me it sucked but I just knew Street Fighter II was cool so the original had to have been cool and I wanted to play it. Oh how wrong I was.

I assume on an orange and black monitor it was just awful?
 
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