Author Topic: The Basic Repertoire  (Read 6411 times)

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Offline ChrisP

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The Basic Repertoire
« on: November 17, 2014, 09:17:54 pm »
My recent foray into Galaxian got me thinking. As soon as I started playing it, I thought to myself, "I really should have tried this sooner, I mean come on, how can I call myself a classic arcade gamer without ever having touched Galaxian?"

<Sanders> talks in King of Kong about a set of "top 5" games that garnered most of the respect back in the day. "You had to be good at one of those games" (to paraphrase).

He lists Donkey Kong, Galaga, Pac Man, Ms. Pac Man, and Defender.

I don't know if I'd agree with all of those, but what would you consider to be "essentials," games where at least a bare minimum level of skill/experience should be in every classic arcade gamer's repertoire? Picking the games would, I guess, be weighted with respect to a balance of popularity, significance, required skill set, size of competition pool, etc.

I would have to start, obviously, with DK. DK is sort of a "lingua franca" in classic gaming and I think pretty much every classic gamer ought to know their way around the first 100,000 points or so (even if they don't like the game, they should at least know it well enough to qualify their distaste from a position of experience! ;D )

I would not disagree with a list that included Galaga either. Of the Pacs, I would pick Ms.

Any other ideas? Or would you question whether such a list is even worth thinking about?
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Offline gstrain

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Re: The Basic Repertoire
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2014, 10:15:27 pm »
Any "top X" list is going to be subjective, but I think the list of 5 you gave isn't unreasonable.

If I was going to make a "basic repertoire" list of 10 games you should at least have some familiarity with it would like a lot like:

Centipede
Defender
Donkey Kong
Frogger
Galaga
Ms. Pac-Man
Robotron
Space Invaders
Track 'n Field
Tron
 
If I was going to expand it a bit I'd add:
Asteroids
Berzerk
Dig Dug
Galaxian
Joust
Moon Patrol
Pole Position
Q*Bert
Scramble
Tempest

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Offline ChrisP

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Re: The Basic Repertoire
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2014, 02:22:22 am »
Most of those look right. Only surprises on your "main" list being Space Invaders and Tron. But then I guess Space Invaders is pretty huge in terms of impact. The gameplay though, it's never struck me as very interesting. Tron neither. (Not good/experienced at either, so my opinion isn't worth much on those.)

Scramble is another game I have completely neglected but that seems to have some heat around it.
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7/26/2013   Coin 35,946   710,800   18-1
7/28/2013   Coin 35,947   903,700   22-1
8/16/2013   Coin 35,948   694,100   17-6
8/17/2013   Coin 35,949   893,100   22-1

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Re: The Basic Repertoire
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2014, 07:52:24 am »
I agree with George's removal of Pac-Man from the list. In fact, George I agree with basically everything in your post except Q*Bert being in the expanded list ... as patternable as that game is I'm not sure it belongs.  Maybe there are some other games on there that are just as patternable, but I'm not familiar enough with CAG to know them.

Edit: Isn't Tron largely pattern-based?  I guess it does make sense for a "repertoire" to have one pattern-based game.

Offline TheSunshineFund

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Re: The Basic Repertoire
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2014, 07:54:23 am »


Edit: Isn't Tron largely pattern-based?  I guess it does make sense for a "repertoire" to have one pattern-based game.

50% of Tron is totally patternable and the other half is mostly trivial to play through (spiders/cone).  This is not to say it is trivial to play it for many hours, however, I would think that is grueling task since there are no breaks after the recognizers end and you cannot build up lives throughout the game.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2014, 08:00:30 am by pwnasaurus »
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Offline gstrain

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Re: The Basic Repertoire
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2014, 08:42:44 am »
For better or worse, pattern games are very much a part of Classic Arcade games, so I think there has to be some inclusion of them.  Dig Dug is another game that without patterns, you aren't going to survive at the high levels.  Q*Bert while it is patternable, is not hard to marathon without them. Dig Dug and Tron, you have no chance at all without patterns.

Space Invaders was a bit of a hard one.  I'm not a huge fan, and had never really played it until it was in a MAME tournament recently, but its hard to argue its impact, and for its time the gameplay was actually quite good.  I wouldn't argue if someone swapped the places of Asteroids and Space Invaders though.

I also mostly avoided listing sequels/prequels.  Asteroids Deluxe, Frenzy, Millipede, Pac-Man, Stargate and Super Cobra are all very good games which depending on tastes you might prefer to the ones I have listed.

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Offline timhett

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Re: The Basic Repertoire
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2014, 08:57:44 am »
Personally I don't know if it could be narrowed down to only 10 games.  <Sanders>  It also depends on what you consider a classic.  And are you looking at popularity, overall impact, fun factor etc?  But that's also why I play lots of games (and suck at most of them).   how about
Challenger
Chameleon
Funky Fish
Blue Print
Super Zaxxon
Spatter
TeddyBoy Blues
Kram
Sea Wolf
Wacko
 Kappa
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Offline TheSunshineFund

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Re: The Basic Repertoire
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2014, 09:44:49 am »
I'd probably fashion a list that utilizes all the different primary control types where possible:

Joystick only (Pac/Ms.Pac/Frogger)
Joystick and button (DK, etc)
Buttons only (Asteroids)
Driving (Pole Position)
Dual Joystick (Robotron)
Trackball (Centipede/MC)

« Last Edit: November 18, 2014, 09:46:35 am by pwnasaurus »
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Offline timhett

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Re: The Basic Repertoire
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2014, 10:05:04 am »
I'd probably fashion a list that utilizes all the different primary control types where possible:

Joystick only (Pac/Ms.Pac/Frogger)
Joystick and button (DK, etc)
Buttons only (Asteroids)
Driving (Pole Position)
Dual Joystick (Robotron)
Trackball (Centipede/MC)

And spinner - Tempest
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Offline homerwannabee

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Re: The Basic Repertoire
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2014, 10:13:06 am »
Surprised at the lack of love for other Nintendo games.
I would therefore like to include the must be familiar with list with
Donkey Kong Junior
Mario Bros
Punchout!!
Also non Nintendo
Paper Boy
Dragon's Lair
Tapper
Gauntlet
« Last Edit: November 18, 2014, 10:27:56 am by homerwannabee »
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Offline TheSunshineFund

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Re: The Basic Repertoire
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2014, 10:25:55 am »
I'd probably fashion a list that utilizes all the different primary control types where possible:

Joystick only (Pac/Ms.Pac/Frogger)
Joystick and button (DK, etc)
Buttons only (Asteroids)
Driving (Pole Position)
Dual Joystick (Robotron)
Trackball (Centipede/MC)

And spinner - Tempest

We call it Temp

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Offline johnbart

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Re: The Basic Repertoire
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2014, 11:20:43 am »
The easiest way to come up with a set of core games for your repertoire is to figure out a small set of cabinets you'd love to show off in your own home arcade.  My list is very cliche classical but c'est la vie:

1. Robotron
2. Defender/Stargate
3. Ms. Pac/Multi-Pac
4. Centipede/Millipede
5. DK
6. Galaxian/Galaga
7. Space Invaders (Sound and look too iconic not to have)

8. Vertical Jamma
9. Horizontal Jamma

The Jamma cabs would cover the rest of the games you'd want to play from time to time. 

There are tonnes of games above and beyond this list that I'd love to have but the reality is to get really good at all of these games it would take years and then you'd be a pretty bad ass mofo even if you sucked at everything else. :)

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Offline D.B. Cooper

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Re: The Basic Repertoire
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2014, 01:17:04 pm »
It seems it's lost a lot of love over the years but I remember when Xevious first showed up in the arcades and it was huge.  I'm not a historian but for our neighborhood, Xevious was the first vertical shooter we ever saw.  Was the first game with a mother ship and the first game where you had to use a joystick and TWO buttons (maybe Scramble was earlier).  The way I remember history, this game was a game changer.

I also remember Spy Hunter and Star Wars as being in every arcade as well.
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