Retro Fusion looks back at Arcade Classics - #1 Star Wars
Posted by jdanddiet on Jul 31, 2010 20:56 (Jul 31, 2010 20:56)
Emulation is great. Playing those classic games without having to fork out for the hardware - which in the case of most old arcade machines would be almost impossible anyway - is a great boon and one that benefits the industry in ways it doesn't seem to understand. But sometimes it's not the same. MAME is a super little program, but when I recently loaded up the original Star Wars after recalling some wonderful memories of this vector graphic-based shooter, it somehow just wasn't as exciting as I remembered it. Of course, there's a very good reason why not: the cabinet.
Picture the scene. A school trip, summer of '84 to Butlins (I can't recall where, just that it involved a long coach trip). Inevitably, a large portion of the day was spent in the amusements, where most of the games still cost a reasonable 10p a go. The majority of the machines were usually available to play straight away except one, and it was the only game that cost double this standard charge.
The Star Wars cab was magnificent. Black, with decals depicting characters and scenes from the movie, it had an ergonomic seat that despite it's rigidity seemed to mould around you; a Knight Rider-esque controller with conveniently placed bright-red fire buttons - and of course it completely surrounded you, giving you the impression you were really sitting in an X-Wing fighter taking on the evil empire. Atari made the game as good as it needed to be: sleek, super-fast gameplay, accurately synthesised speech and those clean vector lines and although it was inevitably repetitive (the game only basically featured the brief final battle where the rebels attack the Death Star), this didn't stop me pumping 20p pieces into it until I had exhausted my supply of the freshly minted coin.
Of course sit-down cabinets soon became commonplace; but in 1984 there was nothing better than shooting at TIE fighters and running the gauntlet down that famous trench, Obi-Wan Kenobi urging you on and your mates crowding around, anxiously awaiting their turn on the arcade classic that is Star Wars.
I first played this game at Leman's Arcade 1994 Bryant Square Edmond Ok. It sat adjacent to the cockpit version of Star Trek and I was truly an awesome experience for me. I to loved the cockpit but for me the music and voices from the movie and gameplay made for an incredible experience. you can play it well in mame, it does play much better if you tweak the analog controls but the look and feel of the arcade controls for this game was just spot on and the mouse while does a great job still does not compare to the Arcade.
Yet another superb article , i first played star wars in july 84 in fort regent (jersey) and thought it was amazing , i spent way too much of my holiday money on that and spy hunter , i actually bid and won the full cabinet on ebay in 2000 , but due to changing locations at work (were i stored it) i sold it in 2003 , must have played it hundreds of times , sometimes we didn't play it for a few days but always went back to it and had a blast to ease any tensions , a very nice chap from Leeds bought it off me and i hope he had as much fun as i did.
This is one of favourite games and remember playing this in Mr B's in Blackpool in 1985 on the last day of my hols and staying on it all day on 10p cos I was skint. I saw the machine again whilst in Blackpool in 92 or 93 and my name was still on the high scores.