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Arcade Perfect: How Pac-Man, Mortal Kombat, and Other Coin-Op Classics Invaded the Living Room

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Before personal computers and game consoles, video arcades hosted cutting-edge software consumers couldn’t play anywhere else. As companies like Atari, Commodore, and Nintendo disrupted the status quo, publishers charged their developers with an impossible task: Cram the world’s most successful coin-op games into microchips with a fraction of the computing power of arcade Before personal computers and game consoles, video arcades hosted cutting-edge software consumers couldn’t play anywhere else. As companies like Atari, Commodore, and Nintendo disrupted the status quo, publishers charged their developers with an impossible task: Cram the world’s most successful coin-op games into microchips with a fraction of the computing power of arcade hardware. From the first Pong machine through the dystopian raceways of San Francisco Rush 2049, Arcade Perfect: How Pac-Man, Mortal Kombat, and Other Coin-Op Classics Invaded the Living Room takes readers on an unprecedented behind-the-scenes tour of the decline of arcades and the rise of the multibillion-dollar home games industry. • Discover how more than 15 coin-op classics made the jump from cabinet to cartridge including Ms. Pac-Man, Street Fighter II, NBA Jam, Terminator 2, and more. • Based on research and interviews with dozens of programmers, artists, and designers. • Delve into the guts of the Atari 2600, Sega Genesis, Super NES, ZX Spectrum, and other platforms to find out how they stacked up against arcade hardware. • Read bonus interviews with John Tobias (Mortal Kombat), Ed Logg (Gauntlet, Asteroids), ex-GamePro editor Dan “Elektro” Amrich, and more.


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Before personal computers and game consoles, video arcades hosted cutting-edge software consumers couldn’t play anywhere else. As companies like Atari, Commodore, and Nintendo disrupted the status quo, publishers charged their developers with an impossible task: Cram the world’s most successful coin-op games into microchips with a fraction of the computing power of arcade Before personal computers and game consoles, video arcades hosted cutting-edge software consumers couldn’t play anywhere else. As companies like Atari, Commodore, and Nintendo disrupted the status quo, publishers charged their developers with an impossible task: Cram the world’s most successful coin-op games into microchips with a fraction of the computing power of arcade hardware. From the first Pong machine through the dystopian raceways of San Francisco Rush 2049, Arcade Perfect: How Pac-Man, Mortal Kombat, and Other Coin-Op Classics Invaded the Living Room takes readers on an unprecedented behind-the-scenes tour of the decline of arcades and the rise of the multibillion-dollar home games industry. • Discover how more than 15 coin-op classics made the jump from cabinet to cartridge including Ms. Pac-Man, Street Fighter II, NBA Jam, Terminator 2, and more. • Based on research and interviews with dozens of programmers, artists, and designers. • Delve into the guts of the Atari 2600, Sega Genesis, Super NES, ZX Spectrum, and other platforms to find out how they stacked up against arcade hardware. • Read bonus interviews with John Tobias (Mortal Kombat), Ed Logg (Gauntlet, Asteroids), ex-GamePro editor Dan “Elektro” Amrich, and more.

54 review for Arcade Perfect: How Pac-Man, Mortal Kombat, and Other Coin-Op Classics Invaded the Living Room

  1. 5 out of 5

    Levent Pekcan

    Bu kitabı kim tavsiye etti de haberim oldu, satın aldım bilmiyorum. Değerlendirmem de zor olacak gibi, çünkü kitabı okurken bazen "bu müthiş bir kitap, 5 yıldız veririm" dediğim kadar, "bu amatörce hazırlanıp yazılmış bir kitap" dediğim de oldu. Kitap, belli başlı bazı "arcade" (jetonlu makina) oyunlarının ev tipi konsollara aktarılma hikayelerini anlatıyor. Anlatı büyük ölçüde başarılı, teknik detaylardan da kaçınılmamış. Bir iki yerde anlatıda düzeltilmesi gereken yerler var, belli ki bir çok Bu kitabı kim tavsiye etti de haberim oldu, satın aldım bilmiyorum. Değerlendirmem de zor olacak gibi, çünkü kitabı okurken bazen "bu müthiş bir kitap, 5 yıldız veririm" dediğim kadar, "bu amatörce hazırlanıp yazılmış bir kitap" dediğim de oldu. Kitap, belli başlı bazı "arcade" (jetonlu makina) oyunlarının ev tipi konsollara aktarılma hikayelerini anlatıyor. Anlatı büyük ölçüde başarılı, teknik detaylardan da kaçınılmamış. Bir iki yerde anlatıda düzeltilmesi gereken yerler var, belli ki bir çok kitap gibi bu kitap da editör eksikliği yaşamış. Bir de, Steve Jobs'ın Atari'den ikramiye alıp, arkadaşı Wozniak'a yarısını vermesi hikayesinde arkadaşına 350$ veren Steve Jobs'ın aslında Atari'den 5000$ almış olduğu ve en yakın arkadaşını dolandırdığı detayına değinilmemiş. Teknoloji tarihinin Apple ve Steve Jobs ekseninde tekrar yazılmasına dayanan revizyonist tarih anlayışının bir yansıması diye düşündüm ben. Kitapta fotoğraflarla görüntülü karşılaştırmalar da yapılmış ama kötü basılmış fotolardan hiçbir şey anlaşılmıyor. Sonuçta fena bir kitap değil, dışarıdan bakıldığında sıradan bir kitap kalınlığında ama aslında 600 sayfa olması gibi bir durum var. Bilgisayarın oyunlarının tarihi konusuna akademik ya da profesyonel olarak yaklaşmıyorsanız, okumanız çok şart değil.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Doug Walsh

    Arcade Perfect is a fantastic look back at how the most popular arcade games of the 80s and 90s made their way onto home consoles with ever increasing fidelity. Thoroughly researched and entertaining, the book leans heavily on countless interviews the author conducted with many of the programmers and artists responsible for those early ports to Atari, Nintendo, and Sega consoles. It is a real treat to hear their first-hand accounts -- and to be privy to the pride, reservations, and disappointmen Arcade Perfect is a fantastic look back at how the most popular arcade games of the 80s and 90s made their way onto home consoles with ever increasing fidelity. Thoroughly researched and entertaining, the book leans heavily on countless interviews the author conducted with many of the programmers and artists responsible for those early ports to Atari, Nintendo, and Sega consoles. It is a real treat to hear their first-hand accounts -- and to be privy to the pride, reservations, and disappointments they feel all these years later. With chapters organized largely in chronological order, the reader is taken on a nostalgic trip through the history of gaming, from Pong to Mortal Kombat II and beyond -- all in pursuit of 1:1 arcade mimicry, ultimately attained (and surpassed) by the Sega Dreamcast. Though the book can be overly technical at times as the narrative dips into processor specs and assembly programming, these forays into developer-speak are never lengthy, and do serve to drive home the realities of those responsible for porting arcade classics to home use. As an avid gamer born in the 70s, I was hooked from the start. Not only by the memories the book triggered, but by the honest explanation of the triumphs and troubles that went along with the gargantuan task of shrinking arcade games onto such limited technology. Learning more about many of the games in my own collection -- such as the relatively rare Tengen port of Tetris for the NES -- made reading the book all the sweeter. This book is a must-read for any gamers raised on the Atari 2600, NES, or Genesis. And doubly-so for those whose adolescence was spent in the dimly lit arcades of the 80s and 90s.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Amar Pai

    Some interesting stories, if you’re into the details of ports and console specific assembly written on impossibly tight schedules

  4. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Well done. A few grammar and mistakes an editor could have helped with, but worth the read and information.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Hartman

    This gave pulls back the curtain and tells the story about how many arcade ports were made. The insight given by the developers that did the ports is really insightful, they often get into the technical nitty-gritty of issues they had or overcame which I particularly enjoyed. I got anxiety just reading about the pressure some of these tiny teams were under! The sheer amount of content in this book is awesome. Every chapter covers a different game, and within each it often covers the story of many This gave pulls back the curtain and tells the story about how many arcade ports were made. The insight given by the developers that did the ports is really insightful, they often get into the technical nitty-gritty of issues they had or overcame which I particularly enjoyed. I got anxiety just reading about the pressure some of these tiny teams were under! The sheer amount of content in this book is awesome. Every chapter covers a different game, and within each it often covers the story of many different ports of that game. Plenty to sink your teeth into.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lloyd

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rob N ★

  8. 4 out of 5

    Francis Tracey

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jaime

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dan Amrich

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cristian Espinoza

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Anderson

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tim Callaghan

  14. 4 out of 5

    Luke Faith

  15. 5 out of 5

    Piotr

  16. 4 out of 5

    Karl

  17. 5 out of 5

    Raine

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brad

  19. 5 out of 5

    John Palmer

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Chase

  21. 5 out of 5

    Spike Grobstein

  22. 5 out of 5

    Morten Reiersgård

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stephen May

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mr Eric Park

  25. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Tennberg

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ky

  27. 5 out of 5

    David

  28. 5 out of 5

    slanderoid

  29. 4 out of 5

    Unit076

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gabriel Pagan

  31. 5 out of 5

    Sarunas Rimsa

  32. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

  33. 4 out of 5

    Sean Corrales

  34. 5 out of 5

    Cristian

  35. 5 out of 5

    Vince Cima

  36. 4 out of 5

    Michael Black

  37. 4 out of 5

    Hendel

  38. 5 out of 5

    Neil

  39. 5 out of 5

    Brian Chamberlain

  40. 4 out of 5

    Rob

  41. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  42. 5 out of 5

    Jim

  43. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Wilk

  44. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

  45. 4 out of 5

    Dan Gill

  46. 5 out of 5

    Aleksi

  47. 4 out of 5

    k-rice

  48. 4 out of 5

    Skoo

  49. 5 out of 5

    Serban

  50. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  51. 4 out of 5

    Stevejay

  52. 4 out of 5

    Devon

  53. 4 out of 5

    philcryer

  54. 5 out of 5

    Chris

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