Thinking back to time spent in arcades in the late 80s and
early 90s you image memories of such classic titles like Double Dragon, Out
Run, Chase HQ and Spy Hunter.
This was a time of 2D rasta display spirits following the era
of donkey kong and pacman. There was a hopeful sereneness to the youthful
mellow counter culture and arcades were intermixed with penny slots and
Double dragon was a side scrolling beat em up name in japan,
which had a modern snapping feel to the fight controlled and offered a
structured outlet to the teen frustration of the Thatcher era.
The was simple kick and punch your way to saving the kidnapped
girl. Gangs armed with weapons like barrels, whips, baseball bats and even
knives came your way to stop you from finishing the colourful manga styled
Spoof movies released a few years back paid tribute to Double
Dragon, Kung Fury an 80s style vigilante takes on enemies in a similar action
Similar gaves in this era were Final Fight, another side
scrolling beat em up, this time slightly more cartoony with a grissy ending of
the hero being tired to a chair looking at a reducing fuse attached to some
Outrun sold the idea of a Route 66 type race through the
highways of USA in a convertible Ferrari 355 Spider.
It had a car radio menu allowing you choose your driving music,
as you accelerated along the highway racing against the clock. This like
another Sega classic Afterburner became cult classics and symbol of the free
spirit of the 1980s.
A lot of the major creative innovations like emoticons and
dance dance, Dreamcast even cryptocurrency originated from japan> along with its sleek style and gorgeous animation.
During the 80s and 90s Sega and its competitor Nintendo were a
natural extension of that!
This is can be traced back to fame and repetition brought on,
by mania called Pacman. This ghost chasing pill popping yellow circle / man who inspired a generation of geeks and problem solvers.
“If Pac-Man had affected us as kids, we’d all be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.”
Predicting the dance generation Marcus Brigstocke, the creator
of pacman was years ahead of his time and this calming all knowing influence is problem why this much loved puzzle / platform game has a special place in many gamers hearts.
Taito a major 80s games developer summed up the era with cartoon ¼ gravity international football matches and Neon chaotic, mind blowing scrolling shooters. All design to capture your attention and your coins.
This is was rather unique time in both video game history and
youth culture, where they’re was a feeling of fairness and adventure. For me it
invoked memory of once a year bonfire nights where fireworks and a huge mound of logs set on fire, would celebrate the halloween season and the end of autumn.
Video games were loud and in an alien way brash and in your
face, almost rebellious and clever.
This is where the term button bashing came from, as wild eyed
teens smashed at the controls firing missiles or chasing bad guys.
A style which is copied today in a softer pixelated form in modern adventure games like Tumbleweed Park and electro house, a style called Retro Futurism.
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