The Game On exhibition has been on at ACMI in Melbourne (Fed Square) for about 4 months now. A few months ago, I was lucky enough to exhibit our Atari 2600 collection as part of a collectors event … unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of it in a glass museum case. It was fun spending an afternoon chatting to other collectors (several that collected Japanese games and paraphenalia, one guy who collected old boxed Sierra PC adventure games, and a jacket with just about every Activision patch ever released etc). We played on my Sheen Pong console with kids and parents that came by to chat about our collection, which was a blast. The organisers at ACMI were kind enough to give us free passes to the exhibition (where you can play 120+ games) and a copy of Atari Classics Evolved signed by Al Alcorn (creator of the original Pong arcade machine) !
So, the other day we got a chance to use our free passes to the Game On game exhibition. I would have been happy to pay entry … we played games for 5 hours across basically every platform that mattered in the history of video games !
Highlight games I’d never played, but liked:
- Loco Roco (PSP) … innovative type of platformer (“plopformer?”) with a cute and clean graphical style. Great fun, and may actually sway me to buy a PSP if I find one or two more decent games on that platform.
- Super Smash Bros (GameCube) … I might buy the Wii version, for a bit of mindless multiplayer fun.
- Eyetoy on the PS2 … probably wouldn’t hold my attention in the long term, but it was good (exhausting) fun playing the simplified Eye Toy versions of Virtua Fighter and House of the Dead.
- Tempest 2000 (Atari Jaguar) by Llamasoft. Sort of like an updated Beamrider, with psychadelic visuals. Similar to Kenta Cho’s Torus Trooper. Zappo !
- Junkbot (PC). It’s a Lego francise puzzle game. Simple, smart and effective.
- Warning Forever. I’m usually not a fan of boss battles, and this game is actually one big boss battle, but it works somehow.
- The famous Katamari Damacy (PS2, Japanese version). Would have liked more time playing it, but I can see what all the fuss was about, it is innovative.
- Rez (on PS2) … psychdelic, and quite trippy once you get into it.
- The Discs of Tron. Tricky control scheme (left hand knob, right hand two button joystick), but fun.
- Garou: Mark_of_the_Wolves (SNK arcade version).. yet another fight game, but certainly very playable. Some “Street Fighter II compatible” special moves makes it easy to pick up. … eg |\- punch … Wouldn’t be any good on a console (like Wii Virtual Console, which has quite a few SNK fight games available now), unless you have two arcade style fighting sticks (both SNK and Hori have released Wii fight sticks).
Some games I had played various versions of, but stood out for being great implementations:
- The original Asteriods arcade machine. The bullets are bright.
- Beserk. I’d played the Atari 2600 version, but the arcade version rocks ! It’s much faster and has excellent robot voice samples.
- Star Wars, the arcade vector graphics version where you attack the Death Star in an X-Wing. The graphics, sound and yoke control all add up to a great experience.
- Halo 3 on the Xbox 360, multiplayer deathmatch (for some reason not actually named deathmatch in the game). There should be a standard extra peripheral for first person shooters on consoles … they are next to unplayable with two analogue thumbsticks. Even if you get the hang of it, they just don’t compare to a mouse+keyboard combination.
- Broken controllers … there are a lot of machines here to keep running, especially since many are home consoles that are getting several lifetimes of play a month. I guess at any one time, it’s expected that something will be broken.
- Greasy controllers touched by hundreds of nose-picking kids. Keep your hands away from your mouth, and wash them afterwards. Twice, with soap.
Considering entry to the Game On exhibition only costs about the same as seeing a movie at the cinema, I might even go back for another session before it closes in about 2 weeks.