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Are You Any Good @ Arcade Gaming?

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If you are,  you can join AFA 08’s newly announced Japanese arcade game competition and show the nation how otaku you are. But wait, otakus don’t appear to play much arcade games in Singapore because the arcades are ruled by what we call, Ah Bengs (meaning Chinpira, or little thugs).

Instead of just mindlessly posting news, we should discuss arcade gaming instead. But first, the actual news:

Singapore, 4 October 2008 – Anime Festival Asia 2008 (AFA08) will host the inaugural Singapore Arcade Showdown, a nationwide Arcade Gaming Competition organized by Singapore Cybersports & Online Gaming Association (SCOGA) and machines sponsored by TKA World. The landmark competition will take place in The Arena Zone, the seventh and newest Experience Zone of the AFA08 on the 22nd and 23rd of November 2008 at Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Players will compete in any of the three upcoming arcade gaming titles: King of Fighters ’98: Ultimate Match; Street Fighter IV; and Tekken 6.

Players need to pre-register by 18 November via the official AFA08 website at www.afa08.com and have to pay registration fees (in addition to entrance fees):

  • $5 for participation in any one of the games above
  • $8 for participation in any two of the games above
  • $10 for participation in all three of the games above

Upon successful registration, all registrants will be entered into a pool where they will be randomly picked into individual groups by drawing lots after the sign-up deadline.
In round robin fashion, the top 2 of each group will qualify into the play-offs which will be a double elimination format.
Schedule will be released on November 20, 2008

All players are allowed to participate in all games but if schedules clash, players will have to make a choice between which game they will be continuing to participate in. All enquiries can be directed to eugene@scoga.org.

I lost all interest in arcade gaming when I got my Super Nintendo which could play a lot of the games arcade machines had at that time. It didn’t make economic sense to insert coins for a single game when I can get the game unlimited at home. I also hated the joysticks that just didn’t feel as comfortable as a gamepad. That was back in the early 90s when a game at the arcade costed 20 cents, and generally consisted of beat em ups like Final Fight (iirc), fighting games like Street Fighter and others. I also got myself a Megadrive 2 and my uncle had the Sega CD and Genesis combo, and I recall playing games like NIGHT TRAP (haha R21 and I was like 9) and Black Hole Assault (mecha fighting game awesome) on the Sega CD. These, and the SNES games like Super Mario World, Megaman X, etc were far more interesting and worthwhile to dumping in 20 cent coins into the arcade machines.

Then the revolution came away when arcade machines started differentiating from consoles, having exclusives that were not easily ported over, such as Dance Dance Revolution, Para Para, the various shooting games and recently the musical instrument games. Arcade operators also took the opportunity to jack up prices insanely, resulting in the current climate of having to pay 2-3 dollars for a new game, which frankly is quite ridiculous. Another factor was my getting a Playstation when I was 12 and discovering the wonderful world of Japanese RPGs. Since then, I’ve barely ever played any arcade games and never did understand what was fun about them.

Then came LAN gaming on the computer, with the advent of Warcraft 2 and then Counterstrike, where for 2 dollars you got to play an entire hour at the LAN shop! Compare this to a paltry 2-3 minutes on the arcade machines…

About the games above, chosen for the competition - I played Tekken 2 and then 3, and stopped. On the PSX of course. But my first fighting game was Street Fighter 2. My uncle, a loser who begged my grandfather to let him study university overseas because he couldn’t make it here, brought back his SNES, Genesis and Sega CD combo when he graduated. Despite being a loser, he introduced my cousins and I Street Fighter 2 and slaughtered us for the first week.

My male cousins became really good gamers though. The eldest one had monster hand-eye coordination and probably would’ve been good enough to play pro, but he became a pilot instead, a real military one. The 2nd one was really awesome too, and is doing computer science, but he was one of the people who developed some popular LAN emulator for WC3 and Dota, can’t remember its name, either Psion or Zion? Anyway, so after a week of studying a guide book (no internet back then), they destroyed my uncle. Pretty funny when you think a guy of 24 or so, who owns and played the game for years, lost to a bunch of kids who just started out. While I was never as good, I also thrashed the uncle soon. I guess he must suck.

Even nowadays occasionally, I’ll turn on the arcade emulator and play some SF2. I never quite liked any of the later versions, though I was into Marvel vs Capcom on the PSX. The SF4 seems to be great, though I haven’t played it yet.

Any thoughts regarding arcades? Share your stories! It’s quite nostalgic.

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20 Responses to “Are You Any Good @ Arcade Gaming?”  

  1. 1 Loba 83 comments

    I sucked at all fighting games but I was pretty decent at racing games though. Trashed my cousins at Daytona in the arcade. However, I realised arcade was a money sucker and just dl-ed emulators and completed virtual cop, virtual fighters, virtual on and marvel versus capcom at home.

  2. 2 Panther 59 comments

    Lol since I actually started out serious gaming in the arcades I prefer human competition any day in fighting games over computer, but I also suck at all of them!

    Plus, Tekken 6 is broke. Not sure about the other games though, but KOF has never been a balanced series, more for fanboys/girls. As for SF, well, I played the original, but never really got into it.

    Also PC games competitively usually suck lol. It is the same thing nowadays, just rehashed over and over.

  3. 3 SnooSnoo 153 comments

    4th October 2008? Thats one month ago.

  4. 4 chaotarroo 42 comments

    Panther: What? Tekken 6 is broke?

    Arcade games are only enjoyable if you are able to own noobs all day long with one token.
    If you suck in it, then it’s a waste of money.

    Also, joysticks are used as certain inputs are impossible with gamepads.

  5. 5 tj_han 1387 comments

    Pather, how would you know it’s broken? And you admitted you were poor, how would you know the rest of the games aren’t balanced? Console games are rarely ever balanced anyway since they couldn’t be patched. Remember the 99 hit aerial raves lol?

  6. 6 Blowfish 24 comments

    Arcade Gaming is pretty much dead in Germany.Its considered the same as Gambling and has to be therefore in seperate rooms where only people over 18 can enter.Since the target audience isnt allowed to enter there are nearly no Arcade Halls.If youre lucky youll run into some gambling place where youll be able to play Strippoker….Yay!!

  7. 7 Tragic comedy 23 comments

    Arcades used to be my second home back when i was in school, thanks to the Drum machine and Guilty Gear…
    its all over now though.

  8. 8 The Sojourner 112 comments

    I am horrible with the joystick because I am a cheap ass who uses emulators.

  9. 9 V2 58 comments

    i used to be an SF enthusiast. i tried KOF but it was just too different from the SF world. i also ended up wasting 2 terms of my college thesis over counterstrike.

  10. 10 Exiled_Gundam 19 comments

    Hmm usually if I enter an arcade, the first game I will find is Virtual On, or Gundam. If the arcade didn’t have either one of the game, I’ll straight exit :P

  11. 11 novice 1 comment

    I have not played any arcade games since 11, lol.

  12. 12 Helix 66 comments

    I go to the Bugis arcade to play Drummania and Pop’n Music around once a week. I used to be really into Guilty Gear (Faust FTW) but I lost interest after a few months. It’s fun to watch pros play though. Melty Blood too.

  13. 13 Soulshift 4 comments

    Meh, all beng games. Where is Senko no Ronde?

  14. 14 kokanaden 333 comments

    I think such fighting games are stuff that most, if not all guys played when they were younger. To deny/dismiss them as shit offhand would either mean:

    1. You’re a deprived kid when young
    2. You’re fucking gay

    Then again, after a while, you realize that such games are real stupid; especially when you can buy pirated copies, or even better, play them using emulators.

    Games I usually play at the arcade are shooting games, or Bishi Bashi. Sometimes Daytona, but I’m generally am quite sucky at arcade games.

  15. 15 Tremere 26 comments

    I’m only good with shooting games and bullet hells.

  16. 16 Panther 59 comments

    TJ: I used to browse fighting game forums, and I do learn about other fighting games from competitive players around the world through that one forum alone. When you learn one fighting game in-depth, you get to know about others too and can actually pick up the next more easily. You already have the so-called basics of getting down to it.

    These players also test out their theories, much like I have even in local gameplay, for almost all the games they play. They participate actively in competitions. It is much easier to figure out what is “broke” and “imbalanced”, and because of hands-on experience (especially Tekken 6, which I know about as well and have played a little, including previous Tekken games), one, as a competitive fighting game player, would at least be able to tell to some extent, how balanced, or imbalanced, a game can be. It all depends on subjective views at times, but there are some things that can really break a game. The 99-hit one was probably one, but I was never into MvC, considering at tournament level in the States (and internationally, agreed upon) only 4 characters were really “usable”.

    However I am also not a true advocate of going for “what gives you the win”, but rather what gives you the fun in winning. Some people like what others consider to be “low-tier” characters in games, and winning with these “low-tier” characters gives them satisfaction because everyone thinks they cannot win. Rather, it is not that they cannot win, but at the ideal tournament level, with both players’ skills consistent and almost perfect and identical, then the character differences would be too big to ignore. That is the example of tier rankings and stuff like that, but for the most part, they are highly subject to debate and inaccurate and not a true indicator of gaming anyway.

    As for the games themselves, it depends on the game system and engine. Granted, I started out competitively playing in SC, so to speak of Tekken being imbalanced is kind of biased, but to me, the options Tekken gives as compared to what I was given in SC is lacking. There is no air control - a launcher by an enemy can take out something like 40-50% of your health, and situationally, there are examples that give you 100% combos. Read - full lifebar gone. But then again, as some might say, “if you get launched, it is your fault” or “if you got into that situation, he deserved to pull it off”. Quite true in a way too.

    But to look at a game’s balance, you not only have to look at it in a few aspects, but the overall engine, and its subsystems and technicalities. I do not have the time and energy to do that for a game I am uninterested in, but at least, I can safely say that from the little so far I have played of it, to me it is a game that I will not spend time and money investing it. Perhaps to say it is “broken” is a little too far, but sometimes, the term is also used so loosely that people actually lose the original meaning of what it was meant to be used for.

    Chaos: NEW CYBORG GIRL THAT HAS A LAUNCHER FASTER THAN EWGF WUT? NO AC, WUT? WE BE GOING FOR BLOOD REBELLION YO! I WOULD PLAY THE GAME JUST FOR THAT GIRL. If you are talking about original T6 though, I am comparing it to other fighting games in general, but the 3D fighting game scene is very lacking, with VF5 currently owning the title of being the deepest and most balanced.

  17. 17 Yamibakeru 11 comments

    Why play Tekken when Soul Calibur 3 is out for the arcades? I dare you to find a better 3D fighter than the SC series. It’s much more balanced (well, the arcade version of SC3 anyways… everyone knows how Soph and X were imbalanced on the console versions) and complex. IF there was only a day when SC4 would hit arcades… sigh…

    And since the AFA is targeted at otakus, I’m disappointed Melty Blood isn’t among the list. This in spite of the fact that I don’t play that game.

  18. 18 Panther 59 comments

    SC4 > SC3 AE. Why play SC3 AE when you have SC4 and hosting console sessions for others? Especially here in SG where the country actually is small and people can get together.

    I agree though I want to see an arcade release but I probably am just going to like, play it for the yay with friends.

  19. 19 Traversy 1 comment

    Where I’m from hardly anyone plays on the Arcade. I do have 2-3 friends who are into 2D fighting however, Guilty Gear, Street Fighter, etc. But for me particularly, my first 2D fighter that I was addicted to was Melty Blood ReAct/Act Cadenza Ver. B/B2, but seeing that in Washington State, there are absolutely no Sega NAOMI arcade systems, it’s pretty much been bound to Tekken /Tekken Tag, for everywhere I go. Sometimes though, since my friends have Guilty Gear Accent Core for the Wii and I have Accent Core Plus for the PS2, we do get together and play. I’m particularly fond of Dizzy, and use no one else…. Ever. (Nor have I met anyone else that thinks that Dizzy is that awesome)

    As you may have already guessed, I don’t play using the arcade stick, I’d like to get into the habit of learning to use them, however, they are expensive.

    Lan party coming up on this end too… maybe I’ll bring my PS2….. OR we could just play TF2 all nite.

  1. 1 Are You Any Good @ Arcade Gaming?


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