I love going to fairs. I can't pinpoint one specific thing, but rather the entire experience. Everything from the horribly unhealthy food, the amazing exhibits, the animals and especially the people watching make going to the fair - state fairs, specifically - a surprisingly fun experience. If I could just eliminate carnies and the super-aggressive salesmen in IRL infomercial centers, then the fair would be practically amazing.
Of course, when I traveled down to the Oregon State Fair, I didn't anticipate finding the game I was going to play for the day down there at all. I mean, it's the fair, after all, and since stupid, rigged carnival games don't exactly count for this blog project's purposes, the thought of playing a video game at the fair hadn't even crossed my mind. I had a few handheld and iOS games with me for the trip down there and back that I would use for the blog, but sometimes, the universe has other plans.
We stumbled across an exhibit hall late into the day that we really had no idea about until we found it. Inside, it was like stepping into a blast from the past, as the entire show floor was filled with random things that defined childhood. There was a giant etch-a-sketch to play with, a huge connect-the-dots in a white board type of surface that was intended to be completed by multiple people. There was a toy train display, a dollhouse display, a giant wall of legos, brain-teaser games, board games, action figure displays; if you can think of it, they probably had it in some form or fashion.
Tucked away in the back corner of the show floor, however, was a little 80's arcade, complete with about eight vintage arcade cabinets and a quarter machine, of course. There was also this really cool interactive game-show style trivia game, with the names of 10 old-school video games on little cabinet doors that opened, with numbers 1-10 underneath each one. Below that was a sound board, with numbered buttons on it. Every button you pressed would play some distinctive 8-bit style music, which you had to guess the name of the game that it went to. The games ranged from the classic Super Mario Bros, to Contra, The Legend of Zelda, and even the moon level from DuckTales. I can proudly say I nailed 10 out of 10. Not to brag or anything, but you know.
Anyway, of course I had to actually play some of the games there as well. I've never been known to pass up the opportunity to play some retro arcade cabinet video games. The first game I picked, which is usually one of the first games I always gravitate to when in an arcade, if it's available to play, of course.
This game played just like every other Ms. Pac-Man game ever, so no real surprise there. The only thing I can report about is how loose the joystick was, which essentially handicapped my playing ability, as I couldn't make any quick turns down necessary paths, and kept getting stuck in larger square paths. This of course led to my death over and over again, which was disappointing, but not heartbreaking. It's not like I went to the fair to play games anyway, and that was just one of many things we stopped at throughout the day. It would have been nice to show off my skills properly, but with anything retro, you always run the risk of the equipment not performing to its best. Think of it as the unsuspecting surprise waiting to be discovered each time you sink a quarter into a machine.
Overall, it was a blast. Playing retro arcade cabinets is always fun, and if you can add Ms. Pac-Man to the playlist for your visit, it's always a quarter or two well spent.
I had a great day at the Oregon State Fair. I had amazing company, an overall wonderful experience, and I got to satisfy my game of the day while there. Now, if we can just work on getting rid of those carnies.
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Games played for project : 365