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The AI List is No Surprise PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vincent Diamante   
Tuesday, 09 September 2008 00:00
Arcade Infinity

So the other night I went to Arcade Infinity.  I enjoy the place enough.  If it wasn't a :30 to 1:30 drive east on the (often disgustingly clogged) 60 freeway, I'd probably go there more often.

And then I caught myself saying: "Maybe if it had more games..."

But this is Arcade Infinity!  I thought this thing was mecca when I first discovered it years and years ago, when I thought the reason to have a car was to get out of the black hole of gaming that is South Los Angeles, and God was indeed kind and loving for allowing me another chance to play Samurai Shodown: Warrior's Rage.

Despite all the awesome games that it has (including a decently hacked together Street Fighter IV setup with two Toshiba Regza LCD screens), I found myself wishing there was more there.

So I decided to prove to myself that I was being a dumbass.  I went around and listed every single game inside of Arcade Infinity.

List after the jump...

Arcade Infinity
Street Fighter IV
Dance Maniax 2nd Mix
Para Para Paradise 2nd Mix
Beatmania IIDX 15 DJ Troopers
DDR Extreme
DDR Supernova 2
Drummania v5
Guitar Freaks v5
Street Fighter 3 Third Strike (x3)
Wangan Midnight 3 Maximum Tune (x4)
Keyboardmania 3rd mix
Crackin' DJ part 2
Battle gear 3 (x2)
Initial D 3 (x2)
House of the Dead 4
Pop'N Music Adventure
Virtua Cop 3 (off the last 3 times I was there)
Vampire Night
Typing of the Dead
Guilty Gear XX Accent Core
Sengoku Basara X
Battle Fantasia
Marvel Vs. Capcom 2
Gundam Seed Destiny: Rengou vs. ZAFT II (x2)
The King of Fighters 98
Puzzle Bobble
Samurai Shodown V Special
Azumanga Daioh Puzzle Bobble
Hyper Street Fighter II
Arcana Heart
Raiden IV
Capcom vs. SNK 2
SNK vs. Capcom
The King of Fighters 98 Ultimate Match
Power Smash 2
KOF Maximum Impact Regulation A
Melty Blood Act Cadenza
Metal Slug 6
Great Binbashi Champ

So that's all the games.  A very decent amount and variety for any arcade in America, but I wish it had a bit more.  Or at least hadn't taken out some of my favorites from the past few years.  The Rumblefish and The Rumblefish 2, two of my favorite fighting games ever, both had extremely short stints at the arcade.  The extremely mediocre Jingi Storm had only a couple months before it was kicked out.  The much underrated Senkou no Ronde was there for what seemed the blink of an eye.  And lest you think fighting games are all I care about, it was like a punch to the kidney when I found that Asian Dynamite, Gals Panic S, and Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo had been sent away. Of course, that Samurai Shodown: Warrior's Rage machine I mentioned?  That was taken out back in 2004.

Back when I was a kid, the local arcade I patronized in MD had a big cork board on the back wall that had flyers for all the games that were in the arcade as well as things that were to come... and the games to come easily outnumbered the existing ones on the wall.  And then a new game would come and with it: another flyer on the wall.  Games were being shuffled in and out of that place at breakneck speed.  And sure, games would have to be kicked out in order to make room for new and new-old cabinets... but that was okay.  For 8 year old me being dragged around Maryland by high schooler cousins to play games, I was enamored by this place where the games changed all the time.

Now places like Arcade Infinity... they change games, sure.  And it's not that they change games for the worse, either.  I personally didn't miss the Hokuto no Ken and Jingi Storm is more fun to laugh at than to play.  They just don't change games enough.  I'd much rather they move through their games more quickly and actually endeavor to pleasantly surprise patrons with their selection.  As cool as something like Street Fighter IV is, seeing it for the first time was nowhere near as cool as when that Charles County mall arcade (RIP) smacked me upside the head with Shock Troopers, Hi-Tech 21 (RIP) introduced me Beast Busters 2nd Nightmare, Pak-Mann Arcade (RIP) amazed me with The Outfoxies, or indeed when Arcade Infinity (not yet) let me play Samurai Shodown: Warrior's Rage for the first time in 4 years.  I guess I should be thankful that AI is not one of these arcades that's all Bemani all the time, or Family Fun Arcade with its six (6!) Third Strike Machines, or, like the other arcades I've mentioned, dead.

Yeah... I know that I'm a bit different here... but hey!  That's me!  And if you're not going to try to surprise me with your game selection, can you at least let us know what you've got before we make the 1.5 hour drive  But that's another article/website there...

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