So I mentioned taking delivery of an arcade cabinet, and that day has come and gone!
Where “taking delivery” ended up being more like “hiring a U-Haul and transporting it across a number of freeways and windy mountain paths, cringing every time we passed under a bridge”. But what can I say? It was an experience.
I know the opinion, among people who are skilled at fighting games, is that Primal Rage is terrible, and I’m willing to believe there’s objective truth to this. Yet while – as I’ve mentioned before on this blog – I wasn’t heavily into arcade games, I was into this one. Besides, I’m terrible at fighting games, and when you’re terrible at fighting games one is more or less the same as any other, with the exception of ones that allow you to play as giant Claymation dinosaurs, which are clearly superior.
Actually, that’s not quite the whole truth. The truth lies somewhere between “to a pre-teen me, this was Cool”, and something deeper, more nebulous, that formed from that. But I don’t know if I can really articulate what that was – even on a blog about Video Game Feelings – so I’m not going to try. Suffice to say, in ways completely orthogonal to its actual content or playability, this game Mattered to me, and if you’ve ever before had a game that Mattered to you like that – that just managed to click, somehow, with something in your wider sphere of understanding, to catalyse something just by being there, even if the content itself was lacklustre – then you probably don’t need any further description.
Anyway, good or bad, it’s nostalgia for me – and when it comes down to it, nostalgia is the main reason you’d go out of your way to own an arcade cabinet, unless you were interested in restoration and archival. Which, as it happens, a friend of a friend apparently is, so while the outside of this baby has seen some not-so-tender loving care (the inside is fine, with nice, clear sound and no burn-in on the monitor), it’ll hopefully be looking pretty awesome in the near future!