Remember Pac-land? what? no? oh right well it has finally become available to download on xbox 360 (as part of Pac-man museum), you can stuff your FIFA 14 and your GTA 5 because I'm playing the 1984 classic and it's as good now as it was when I was 8 years old. The only difference now is that I'm not stood in a smoke filled arcade full of geeky kids trying to make my last few ten pence pieces last as long as possible, yeh actually it's not quite the same is it?, what happened to proper arcades?
In the days of proper arcades the latest games far outnumbered fruit machines, 10 and 20p coins were actually useful for something and crowds would gather around machines if some goofy nerd had a really high score on Shinobi, these were the days when on a family day out, especially at the seaside, my brother Rob and me would spend all day thinking 1. Is there an arcade in this place? 2. If there is one when can we go in it? 3. If there isn't one can we go somewhere else?
Upon entering the arcade the first machine we'd look for is Pac-land, no, not Pacman, get it right, Pac-land! A game of skill, techinique and mysterious secrets. If there was no Pac-land machine then hopefully we'd find Gauntlet, Wonderboy, Operation Wolf, Bubble Bobble, Double Dragon or one of the many other all time classic games that still stand out today as one of the best ways to spend your time, money and life.
The Golden Goose was our most frequented arcade due to regular trips to Llandudno and having visited there very recently I thought I'd pop in to rekindle fond childhood memories. Unfortunately Llandudno Pier is now a grim health and safety hazard and although the arcade, which for old times sake I shall still refer to as The Golden Goose still exists, it has become a tacky seedy run down establishment where the fruit machines have finally won the battle for floor space along with those crane things where it's impossible to grab a soft toy or a fake ipod no matter how many coins you pump in so don't bother trying. There's a few of those terrible shooting or driving games that cost £2 for about a 30 second game but unbelievably no sign of Paperboy anywhere! Why have they got rid of that?!?!?!
Eventually me and Rob were lucky enough to own a Commodore 64 and of course Pac-land was among our many games but it never quite reproduced the magic of the arcade version due to it's inferior graphics. Post Commodore we upgraded to Atari St to Sega Mastersystem to Megadrive to Playstation etc etc. Over the years home gaming probably killed the arcade off but I can still feel the magic lingering in the air somewhere, the youth of today know nothing! nothing!!!
|I was always the best and still am|
|Pac-land on the Commodore 64!!!|