Ever since it got its start a while back, Arcade1up has become a very prosperous business for the team at TasteMakers. That’s because it gives people the convenience of enjoying an arcade game in their home, but without having to pay thousands and perform high-end maintenance on something that’s decades old.
Now their latest game, set to start shipping later this week, is ready to make the rounds. This is the BurgerTime Data East arcade cabinet, which is limited to 3,000 units and sells for $399.99. Before you balk at the price, keep in mind that includes a custom Riser that makes the machine one foot taller than default height, which is a saving grace for taller gamers like myself. Not to mention it also has a light-up marquee, just like the arcade games before it. And it does come with four games.
Obviously, BurgerTime is the big focus here. It features Peter Pepper walking on ingredients to make burgers in the platforms below. But it’s no easy task as he’s got pickles, hot dogs and eggs chasing after him. He’ll need to use peppers — and his wits — to stay in one piece.
This is the big game of the pack, as it’s obviously advertised on the cabinet and in the Riser. But it’s a cool addition, and a fun little game for those who remember it from the old-school days. It’s emulated wonderfully, and the controls aren’t half bad, to say the least. Plus, seeing Peter on the sides of the cabinet is a nice touch.
Now, you do need to assemble the cabinet, which can take about two to three hours. Some of the screws are a bit nuts, like the ones that tie the monitor into the main cabinet. They’re short and take a lot of patience. But get those out of the way, and the rest of the cabinet comes together easily.
Not only that, but the controls are fairly accurate with each of the games included. It is a pain that there’s a second joystick on each side that’s only used for one game — Karate Champ — that could have easily been replaced by something like, say, Heavy Barrel or even Midnight Resistance to make the control scheme less complicated. But it still works, and just as well as the original machines before it.
Let’s talk about the other games…
- Caveman Ninja: This is probably the least noteworthy of the pack. Sure, it’s Joe & Mac arcade version, and some people will love that. But the arcade game is strenuously hard on your own. If you can get a good co-op partner to join you, however, it’s worth its weight in gold.
- Karate Champ: An old-school fighter that uses both joysticks to perform moves. The goal is to hit your opponent with a well-timed move for each round and earn either a half point or a full point. Two points wins the round, so you’ll need to think carefully. This one’s a lot slower than your usual Street Fighter fare, but a good game nevertheless.
- Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja: A timeless classic where you beat up thugs in an attempt to save the president and get a burger, haha. This one’s still a lot of fun, and easily one of the highlights of the package. In fact, the cabinet was set to have a Bad Dudes design at one point before they went with Burgertime. I wouldn’t have minded a Bad Dudes cabinet, but this does just as well.
So overall, a decent game variety. Again, I could’ve thought of some other selections, but it’s well rounded.
Despite the overcomplicated control setup and the inclusion of one game over others from Data East’s collection (would Robocop have been too much to ask with licensing?), the BurgerTime Arcade1up is another winner for Tastemakers. It’s well designed, has a great deal of variety, and offers hours of old-school fun once you put everything together. And while not every game is scorchingly hot in replay value, BurgerTime and Bad Dudes will take more than their fair share of time. And if you’ve got a friend in tow, the other two aren’t too bad either, though not classics.
I hope we see more Data East love from Arcade1up down the road. A Robocop two-pack with a little bit of Midnight Resistance wouldn’t be a bad thing.