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Konami games from the arcade days the need more attention

February 20, 2015

Where oh where have the arcades gone? I don't know much about your location, but as for mine there was an excellent arcade in the city where I live that was around for over 27 years. It closed in 2003 due to the higher lease cost that it was suffering from. So that would make it a 70s baby. Indeed, it had been around since the golden years of arcade gaming and then one day.....no more.

That is a matter that has plagued you and I for years now, and it has only seem to have gotten worse.

So where are some of the best Konami games from the arcade days located? Either sitting in a warehouse somewhere, or every once in a while you might see a blast from the past at a gaming bar scene where the owner decides to gather some of the more classic games and set them to free play where customers can come in, have a drink or two, and then enjoy a free round on the house.

For a much needed heads up, here is a list of some of my personal favorite titles based on the Xexex hardware. For those not in the know, Xexex was a side scrolling shooter that took a slightly different direction than your typical Gradius shooter game. Not to mention the graphic design of the game was considered a bit out of this world for its time. So why not start with that one?


Xexex was a bit of a combination shooter that took a few elements from other shooters like Irem's R-Type series and X-Multiply, with of course of Gradius seasoning thrown in for flavor. The weapon system was tentacle based like X-Multiply, while the ship design was somewhat of a cross between the Vic Viper and R-Type design.

Unfortunately this lost gem didn't see the light of day until 2007 as far as a home port goes, and that was only in Japan on the Playstation Portable (PSP) system as a bundled part of the Salamander Portable release. That is why most of you have never even heard of this great shooter, so if you have the chance to play it, by all means do so.


Ahh, the French have a wonderful sense of humor don't they? Asterix is genuine proof of that, and we like it that way. Asterix itself is based on a series of French comics, and is considered a humor and satire based game due to the kind of content it portrays. How can I explain this one? Well, here is a really short summary, as the game just needs to be experience to be appreciated. The village of Gauls are out for vengeance in a resistance to the Roman occupation.

They get super human strength by drinking a special elixer created by the druid. Are you still with me?, good because let's dive into the game itself. You have your standard compliment of kicking and punching, but both Obelix and Asterix can also perform separate moves like twirling enemies above and smashing them into the ground. You can tell by one look from the game that it takes well after the French comic series, and keeps alive the spirit of what made it famous.


Who can forget the lovable G.I. JOE cartoons back in the 1980s. Indeed, I would wake up on Saturday morning, have my favorite breakfast cereal, and make it to the TV set in time to watch the next adventure of Duke, Shipwreak, Lady Jack and the whole gang as they fought against the evil forces of Cobra. That's all a kid needed at that age right? Well, except for taking the cartoon series and making it into an actual game, courtesy of Konami Digital Entertainment.

If you managed to take this one on while it was still at the arcade, then you were one of the lucky ones as I was. If only it were brought to the home console by way of the Playstation Network, Xbox Live, or Nintendo Virtual Console. It wouldn't be too much to ask for would it? Well, keep in mind the type of controls that were used.

You had to move your weapon cursor around to take out enemies and incoming missiles and other attacks to stay alive, but nothing that modern day controllers can't handle. This one gets another thumbs up, and not just for its explosive game play, but for also including a great soundtrack like the "Got to get tough" song you hear in the game.


These are just a few titles based on the Xexex hardward. Other great hits include games like DragonBall Z, Run and Gun, Lethal Enforcers, and Bucky O'Hare. There is even a driving game called "Overdrive" to boot. If  you want to check them out, then use a resource I visit often called System-16. Their Konami section covers a lot of arcade games along the way.

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