Forgotten by some, but not lost by all. Some of the best addicting arcade games did in fact come from Konami, as I could sit here and list a whole army of them, but how about we focus on a handful for this particular topic. Personal favorites vary from person to person, so I will "personally" pick five of them in no particular order just to demonstrate what today's generation never had a grip on.
Ever since around the early 90's, it seems the arcade industry has not only been losing face, but also attention and popularity as consoles became more sophisticated and able to produce arcade quality graphics. The arcade format has only gotten worse ever since. So here are a few of those that time has forgotten, but no Konami fan ever should.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The cartoon series got our attention, and the release of this Konami goodie caught it again with this 4 player hit that took the arcade scene by storm. So many spin off titles took hold in its wake, causing a ripple effect in the ninja turtle world. The NES version did catch a good portion of the arcade elements, but nothing comes close to the original.
X-Men The Arcade Game
Fans of the comic book series should remember this one quite well. Assuming you were a bit old enough at the time. X-Men characters have always been one of my personal favorites, and they had just the elements they needed with an arcade release, the voices, the incredible soundtrack and sound effects, and a decent storyline to boot.
Gradius - The original shooter
Too hard for some to play, and yet hopelessly addicting. This arcade classic not only inspired the original Konami code, Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start, (home console version) but also inspired numerous other spinoff and parody titles like Parodius, Salamander, Xexex, and a number of other Gradius sequels that are still known throughout the gaming world today.
This is one shooter series that also needs to make a comeback. Gradius Rebirth was the last official breath in the gaming scene that took place.
Contra - A.k.a Gryzor - (Contra Spirits)
However you want to call it, based on what part of the world you are in, this is likely the side scrolling run-and-gun shooter that you loved, if you loved blowing things up. The NES/Famicom version is what really set off the popularity of the Konami code, as was assisted by Gradius above.
Yet this one too, is another that has lacked some serious support lately, even though it has gotten some remake titles done for it, like the recently introduced iOS "Contra Evolution", which brought it up to HD levels and new style graphics. Let's hope the series gets another look and another entirely new title released for it.
Double Dribble - Exciting Basket
You didn't think I was going to leave sports out of this did you? This is Konami's second attempt at a basketball game, and a successful one at that. Also called "Exciting Basket" in Japan, Double Dribble was one of the better basketball games that gained some extra popularity with its animation showing those huge slam dunks from team players. This too, is another forgotten in time title that deserves a second look.
Although it did manage to land on the iOS format back in 2010, perhaps it's time for another full blown console version of it, one that uses the Fox Engine, or just a complete overhaul, while keeping the original game play elements that made it so popular in the first place.
Now that I've only covered a microscopic spec of games Konami has produced for the arcade over the years, what would you hail as some of the best ever produced? Which ones would you like to see revived and brought out on your favorite system? I'd love to hear your feedback in the comment section below.
The more the merrier. Who knows, one day if enough interest is sparked, your favorite might end up somehow on the next generation of consoles or other gaming formats.