By DON BECKER
When I was in high school, I got a job at an amusement park.
In between putting single-digit-aged children on rides that I assure you were 100% safe, I spent a good amount of time inside the arcade. At least half the floor space inside was taken up by classic pinball and arcade games – Space Invaders, Galaga, Karate Champ, Asteroids and Donkey Kong (to name a few) are the ones I remember most. Knowing full well that most kids weren’t interested in playing games that came out before they were born, the owners eventually relented and put in a few more modern games – Chase HQ, Street Fighter II and a pair of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade games.
When rain came and the rides closed, we’d load up on quarters and wait out the storm with the four-player battles against Bebop, Rocksteady and, eventually, Shredder and Krang (the game offered unlimited continues as long as you kept feeding it quarters, after all). TMNT wasn’t the first beat-’em-up, nor the last. It wasn’t the defining game of the genre. It did, however, reinforce what many of us already knew – there’s a visceral thrill in beating up dozens of identical bad guys, even if you’re paying 25¢ a go for the honor.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game taps that thrill for all it is worth. (more…)