Arcade Tales Part II
I know right away this is going to be a tough sell for many of you gamers, as this game for years now has been universally panned by critics and gamers alike. However Revolution X represents one of my fondest memories of arcade gaming that I have from my childhood. Unfortunately the game mainly gets remembered for its lack lustre SNES and Mega Drive ports, and its slightly better Playstation and Saturn versions. However the arcade game is actually pretty damn fun, and this is my recollection of it.
Back in 1994 when Revolution X was released it was pretty cool whenever I would step into an arcade, because I genuinely never knew if there would be some awesome new game that I had never seen before inside. Sure I had gaming magazines (GamesMaster being my magazine of choice) but these really never covered arcade gaming, so for the most part it was a nice surprise when a new arcade game would show up.
In October of 1994 my family and I were on holiday in this seaside town called Blackpool. Blackpool if you were a gamer was simply awesome, and the amount of arcades they had was staggering. There was the perfect mix of older games and the latest ones for people to play. One day I was wandering around one of the bigger arcades, one called Coral Island (I think), and I heard the song Rag Doll by Aerosmith. I was and still am a huge Aerosmith fan, so I had to find out where it was coming from. I made my way across the arcade and there it was…Revolution X.
I could not believe what I was seeing; a video game with Aerosmith in it. I pulled out a 50 pence coin and got ready to be blown away. Revolution X is an on rails light gun game (I was always a fan of these dating back to Operation Wolf) but Revolution X made by Midway is quite similar to the very popular Terminator 2 Arcade Game. For you younger gamers out there it is kind of like House of The Dead or Rambo that you have in modern day arcades. Something cool I always thought was along with bullets you could also pick up silver and gold cd’s that did more damage.
I was kind of a little disappointed right off the bat as I thought I could play as Joe Perry or Steven Tyler, but instead there is a random fan on their way to a Aerosmith gig. Aerosmith is captured by terrorists called the “New Order Nation” who have banned any form of music and television, basically anything that is fun. Is the story stupid and silly? Well yes of course it is, but it’s also a great deal of fun. All the locations are pretty varied, you even get to shoot bad guys while Aerosmith are performing on stage.
Unfortunately this game was a real money burner, by that I mean it was hard, perhaps unfairly hard, so it was not until years later thanks to emulators I was able to finish the arcade version. Revolution X was ported like I mentioned before to the home systems, and the 16 bit version understandably really struggled, even if the SNES version did have a few decent music samples. As far as the Playstation and Saturn version are concerned, while they had more of the arcades content, they lost a great deal of voice samples and some music tracks from the arcade.
This may not be a game for everyone, but thinking of Revolution X takes me back to a time before internet when people knew what was coming out, and before a developer had even written it down anywhere. It takes me back to when people were really excited to step foot into an arcade, and when people would be walking around when something new would catch your eye. I hope some of you after reading this will perhaps give Revolution X a try, and if you do just remember music is the weapon.
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