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T2 : The Arcade Game


This game surprisingly enough holds one of my fondest arcade memory. I used to pump quarter after quarter into this sucker. I loved it, and I still play it occasionally at the very small and pathetic arcade that's near me. Although with that machine it usually works out like this : I stick my tokens in, start playing, and 5 minutes  later I'm dead because this game is BALLS hard.

1203281514-00The next time I played it was on the Sega Genesis, and while the graphics were knocked down quite a bit, and the sound. It still had that awesome balls to the wall arcade feeling. I also bought and TRIED to run the PC version, but it was a bitch and a half to run and I didn't play it as much as it's Genesis counterpart. I kinda wish I would've had the SNES version, as you could use the SNES Mouse with it, but alas, I didn't have either of those. And the Genesis version didn't have mouse support. I just recently within the last 6 months or so got into really playing this game again and picked up the Sega Genesis version ... again ... off of eBay. Then I snagged the PC version so I could play it without the old limitations.

T2 : The Arcade Game for the PC is, in my opinion, the closest to the arcade you can get for the time of it's release. It's pretty amazing just how much of the arcade experience they managed to fit onto a single floppy. At the time of it's release though, it was a pain in the ass to run. I always had to use a boot disk just to run the game, and it became way too much of a hassle. So the game kinda disappeared after a while.

Terminator 2 - The Arcade Game_1There really isn't a whole hell of a lot to this game, but the story is actually pretty good. It takes place during the humans vs machines war before the movie itself takes place, having you protect John Connor's adult self later in the level (which is actually one of the hardest parts in the game for me). The screen scrolls at a fixed rate, and the enemies come up shooting gallery style. You have your main gun, which overheats after a while of use so you can't just shoot over and over, a shotgun, and your secondary weapon is usually a rocket of some kind. There are boxes that appear at the bottom of the screen, you shoot them to open them and they usually hold some sort of ammo, or an instant gun cool off. Or rocckets. Later on in the game, the younger version of John and Sarah Connor run around a drop weapons and ammo for you while you tear apart a building. It's basically a shooting gallery game on steroids.

Terminator 2 - The Arcade Game_2Graphically, the PC version is very close. Though graphical quality and animation and whatnot are downed quite a bit. The arcade version displayed up to 4,096 colors on the screen at once. While the PC version pushed 256. The stages are very highly detailed and very varied. The Terminators themselves, while lacking in detail and being a pixelated mess when they're far away look pretty good. When they get up in your face, it's just as intense as it was in the arcade, though you unfortunately don't get that unnatural head roll when you shoot them in the face. The game moves at a great rate and has all the speed of the arcade. The graphics don't scale quite as good as the arcade (you'll notice this with the Terminators as they're walking toward you from the background), they're not as detailed and quite a bit more pixelated. But considering the power of the PC back then, this is still a damned good port graphically. One thing that kinda got to me was the first level boss. In the arcade, you see this HUGE monstrosity rolling onto the screen and then commencing it's attack. In the PC version he's just kinda there. Considering the game is on one 1.44MB floppy disk, this is about as close as they could get.

Terminator 2 - The Arcade Game_3The sound is surprisingly good. You don't have the wicked digital music like you do in the arcade, instead you have MIDI music coming from a Sound Blaster card. Which is a pretty good representation of the arcade's music. The sound samples are pretty basic, though some of them don't make much sense. The main guns sounds pretty much like a gun, but when you fire off your secondary weapon, you get this really weird sound effect that sounds like something from a Nintendo game. It takes away from the experience a little bit, but nothing major. They even managed to stick a couple of the arcade's voice acting from Arnold in here.

Terminator 2 - The Arcade Game_4The gameplay is very very basic. You aim with your mouse and fire until whatever you're pointing at is dead. But there's so much going on on the screen at once, this isn't quite as easy as it sounds. Using the mouse does't have the same feel as having the arcade versions gun in your hand (or guns if you do what I do and play 2 players at once sometimes), but it's fast, responsive and controls well.

7.0 - There really isn't a whole lot to this game to be perfectly honest, and while it is an excellent arcade port. There are some very telling signs of the platform's limitations of the time. But if you enjoy games like this, or wanna give it a try otherwise this is high suggested. Especially since it runs beautifully in DOSBox.

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Comments (1) Trackbacks (0)
  1. God damn, there were some typos in that one. :) I went through and fixed the nasty ones that were in the last paragraph. I guess I type too fast for my own good sometimes.

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