X-Men, Zool +Virtua Racing

X-Men

Based on the ever-popular Marvel comics of the same name, Konami’s X-Men arcade became an instant classic. With a deluxe 6-player arcade cabinet each player can choose their favourite character and try to defeat the evil Magneto.

The game is a side-scrolling beat em up but has a slightly three dimensional feel as the characters can move up and down as well as side to side. A HD port of the game was released on the PlayStation Network as well as the Xbox Live Arcade in December 2010 and subsequently taken down in 2013 with no explanation.

The plot of the game focuses on the 6 of the X-Men (Cyclops, Colossus, Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler and Dazzler) who go head to head against popular comic villains and enemies (Sentinels, Mutant Crocodiles, Reavers, Pyro, Blob, Wendigo, the White Queen, the Juggernaut, the Living Monolith and Mystique) to fight their way to Magneto’s base on Island M. Later in the plot Magneto kidnaps Professor X and Kitty Pride.

When controlling a character, the player uses the joystick to navigate and subsequent buttons to jump, attack and for each character’s personalised mutant power button. Mutant Powers, though very powerful, causes the loss of 3 health points. There are power-ups available in the game to gain more mutant power.

Depending on the cabinet, the arcade was 2 – 6 players upon release. When it was rereleased via Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network, players could team up with their friends online, choose their own character and level of difficulty as well as choosing between the North America and Japanese versions of the game.

Zool

Designed as a rival to Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog, Zool is a Gremlin Ninja of the Ninth Dimension who is forced to land on Earth. The game plays as a typical platform game and is well-known for its smooth and fast-moving game play.

After landing on Earth, the player must guide Zool through seven lands and subsequently battle the boss at the end of these. Within the game play there are several arcade-style mini-games to play.

Upon initial design, Zool could collect potions which would eventually build up to allow him to complete a magic spell and save him from any situation. However, by the date of release the spells were replaced by collectable power-ups. The character was also said to be named Pootz.

Heavily hyped upon release, the game was critically acclaimed for the fast action and game play. In fact, the game was so popular that two young-adult novels were based around the characters and games called ‘Cool Zool’ and ‘Zool Rules’, these were released in 1995.

Virtua Racing

Based on F1 racing, Virtua Racer is considered one of the most influential arcade games ever released. Initially, a team in Sega had created the game through a new 3D graphics system as a test but the results were so good that the game eventually got made into a fully-fledged arcade machine.

There are three levels to the game play that include ‘Big Forest’, ‘Bay Bridge’ and ‘Aeropolis’ with each level ascending in difficulty. When deciding which car the player will race, they can choose different transmission types as well as which view they would like the play the game in.

Various cabinets were produced for the game, each showing immense innovation. The twin cabinet is an example of this as it is theoretically two complete machines built into one. Another is the standard upright, single-player cabinet. A deluxe version was released which happens to be the first arcade machine to feature a wide screen monitor!

There were 6 ‘airbags’ located on the sides of the seats that would inflate and nudge the player when cornering. Another of these airbags was located on the back that would be set off by the brake being used.  Furthermore the seat was also adjustable via forward and back buttons and featured force feedback. It is considered one of the most realistic racing arcade games ever made.