Arcades are dead – but their spirit lives on in online fighting games

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Arcades

Man, I miss arcades. If you never huddled around a Street Fighter 2 cabinet, surrounded by complete strangers who would eventually become friends, vying for the next spot on the unofficial roster by placing your coin around the screen’s edge  – thenyou’ve missed a special part of gaming history. Unfortunately, that bit of gaming is pretty much dead, with traditional arcade games making way for more kid-oriented ticket dispensing machines. It’s sad stuff – but thankfully online play has brought a bit of that magic back – if only a little.

Capcom’s Yoshinori Oni says online is the successor to the arcade scene.

“One thing that wasn’t available in the 90s was online play, and that’s something that we put a huge focus on this game,” he said to GiantBomb, in a discussion about Street Fighter X Tekken.

“With online, we’ve been able to do is bring that kind of arcade setting onto the Internet, so you can do it, even though arcades don’t really do well these days, it’s still the kind of experience you can get if you’re playing the game online. We want players to foster that human network, human interaction–going back-and-forth with ideas and strategies. We think that Street Fighter X Tekken, [with] the new net code and things like that, will help them really enjoy the online.

I’ve had some incredible fun with fighters online – but it’s just not the same. Even though you have spectators, “quarter matches” and the like with many fighting games these days – it just doesn’t feel like it did in the 90’s. Do you have any arcade memories?

Read  PlayStation online multiplayer open to all this week

Last Updated: January 31, 2012

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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