Review of Arcade Classic Collection, by Enrique Segura Alcalde. A return to the golden age of arcades with pages brimming with pixels and nostalgia

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 Review of Arcade Classic Collection, by Enrique Segura Alcalde. A return to the golden age of arcades with pages brimming with pixels and nostalgia

Read Arcade Classic Collection: The arcade machines of your childhood It’s like sitting in one of those pubs with huge leather chairs with two friends, ordering three generous pitchers of beer while you wait for your fourth, and reminiscing about the heyday of arcades. That of Atari’s Star Wars, that of that Street Fighter II that obsessed an entire generation and that of Metal Slug that blew our minds by elevating pixel art to the category of art.



The videogames They are the great protagonists of our conversation, as it should be. But what is truly special is the company with which we approach our shared obsession. On one side, doing his wonderful doodles on a napkin, we have the very Peter Vera. Sharing their experiences and also the memories of the fauna that inhabited those wonderful places of pilgrimage. On the other side, the one who is going to let his beer get hot for wanting to talk more: Enrique Segura Mayor. How not to let him expand all he wants?



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And it is relatively easy to come across a book of Enrique Segura Mayor browsing the shelves dedicated to video game books. In fact, he is one of the most pampered authors in the world. seal Dolmen Games, the division of the publishing house from Palma dedicated to delving into the world of digital entertainment from all perspectives. The publisher of Manual magazine and also the publisher of the Homebrew Encyclopedia series.



Enrique, yes, has dedicated himself to exploring for some time now a field that is as specific as it is rich and fascinating: the retro video game. A field in which many of us like to get lost, either out of nostalgia for the great classics or to rediscover that game whose name has been lost over the years, despite the fact that we dedicate entire afternoons to it. In both cases, treasures that left their mark on our DNA as passionate about video games.



Arcade Classic Collection: nostalgia printed on paper



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After several published works, Arcade Classic Collection Enrique Segura’s journey that began with the Golden Decade of retro video games continues, addressing an aspect of passage that, more than necessary, is mandatory for a whole generation of video game enthusiasts: arcade machines. More concretely, the arcades of our childhood. The ones that were played in the arcades, bars and game rooms of Spain.



Those machines that swallowed the few coins we had in our pocket in exchange for a number of minutes of fun directly proportional to our skill with the buttons. A polished skill based on trial, error and 25 peseta coins. However, what distinguishes Arcade Classic Collection Of all those lists and compilations dedicated to paying homage to the glorious days of arcades, the perspective of the kid who stepped on those premises with fascination and the desire to hit all the buttons is never lost.



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Arcade Classic Collection He always manages to put us in context through several quite successful resources. From a layout full of color and generous in images -which, coincidentally or not, seems taken from the time- to a pleasant and close tone. What happens just and necessary through the details or the background of each game to focus on the time. In the figure of that player who must meditate very well where to put his few coins.



There are details of the edition that, perhaps, deserved to have been treated with a little more care. Despite the fact that the book is very generous in terms of screenshots, illustrations and photographs, the truth is that it gives the impression that most of the images and posters are screenshots accommodated to the text without paying too much attention to the quality of the pixel art or the image itself. resolution. On the other hand, it must also be said that several of the visual resources distributed among the different chapters are truly unusual pieces and posters that evoke pure nostalgia.



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Beyond the forms and the format, what really ends up giving value and a lot of rereading to Arcade Classic Collection is the content of his body: as soon as he completes the prologue and using the first chapter as a springboard, Enrique Segura Alcalde unfolds a kind of recreational room in the form of a book through a selection of 50 essential games of the time. A compendium of arcades that ranges from Atari’s legendary Pong to Ghosts’n Goblins, through Windjammers, Pac-Man, Toki or Mortal Kombat.



as a book, Arcade Classic Collection It is not that dreamy arcade that aspires to have all the machines, but rather a generous selection with those that were especially popular at the time and, more specifically, among the players in Spain. Including the Simpsons arcade or that Gal’s Panic whose demo more than one, and two, looked out of the corner of his eye leaning on the furniture of the OutRun. That yes, despite the layout so of the time, in this last case in particular we already anticipate that there are no mischievous captures of the Kaneko classic.



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During the texts, Enrique Segura is right in answering the appropriate questions, which he himself poses in each paragraph. Leaving a margin between text and images for packs and tables with more specific data, character sheets in some other very specific game such as the arcade game Ninja Turtles and he even allows himself to ask questions on the air, longing for a crossover between the heroes of Marvel and DC in terms of video games. A dream that, by the way, did come true at that crazy time through the comics of both publishers.



The 400 pages of Arcade Classic Collection, they provide a lot of content and Enrique Segura takes advantage of them very well. But he is also fully aware that it is impossible to address the entire history of arcade games on paper and in a single book, so he is right to limit the themes and the selection of games in a very exceptional 1996 and keep everything that came after, which it was not little, for its second volume: Arcade Classics Reloadedwhich makes a stepwise jump from pixels to polygons and, in the process, changes the tone: they are no longer the arcades of our childhood, but those of our youth.



The passion for arcades lives on



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Enrique Segura signs practically all the pages of Arcade Classic Collection, but he is not the only author and what he brings to the reader is not sustained solely on the basis of nostalgia for past times. Yes ok, Peter Vera (historical cartoonist of El Jueves and creator of Ortega y Pacheco) starts the book with a sensational prologue in which he tells us about his experiences and sensations in arcades, the final section of the volume is entirely dedicated to those who preserve the spirit of the arcades.



Now, the tenth chapter of Arcade Classic Collection it is a real gem. In essence, it is a succession of interviews with proper names, collectors and passionate about the golden age of arcades dedicated to the extent of their possibilities and resources to restore and preserve original furniture, take it to events and exhibitions or simply , put them in common through associations spread throughout Spain. Promoting the legacy of the classics and keeping alive the dream of the young people of that time.



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The epilogue and final pages of Arcade Classic Collection are borne by a fourth guest at our aforementioned beer table: Jose Manuel Fernandez Spidey who is another of Dolmen’s pampered authors (author of The ATARI story, PlayStation Encyclopedia either MSX First Generationno less) and that concludes by tying contents and names of well-loved machines to the element that radiates from the book: Nostalgia at its best.



With everything, Peter Vera conquers the reader again beyond the prologue with a final gift that rounds off the value of this first volume: a comic in which the colorful Bestiary of regulars and patrons of the arcades of yesteryear is called. Or, as Vera calls it, the Quinqui Jungle. A pleasant memory of a time that sets the tone and perspective of Arcade Classic Collection while drawing, vignette by vignette, that smile of nostalgia and complicity in the reader.



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VidaExtra’s opinion



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Dolmen Games provided us with a copy Arcade Classic Collection: The arcade machines of your childhood, and refusing was not an option. From the prologue I saw myself reflected in the same passion of Enrique Segura, Pedro Vera and all those involved in this literary journey towards a recreational room of ink and paper. Something that more than justifies that it is recommended for readers aged 30 and over, as can be seen in its Amazon file.



Now, I have always been proud to belong to that generation that lived and grew up with the aforementioned Jungle Quinqui that Vera masterfully portrays, but I must also admit that very few books have approached the culture of my arcade games with so many nuances. Not those of the Japan that surrendered to the space invaders or those of that idealized United States of the time, but those of the Spain of the 80s and early 90s.



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Extending that essence and that of the magazines that I fervently read and reread during those wonderful years, with their colorful aesthetics, their unsubtle layout and those notes in the margin whose sole purpose was to make a joke. Precisely, that is the spirit and the greatest success of Arcade Classic Collection facing the reader.



In Arcade Classic Collection You will not find each and every one of the SEGA, Capcom or SNK machines listed and analyzed, although these and other companies have their own chapter focused on their greatest milestones. But, in exchange, he will make you reunite with who you were in those days. What’s more: in its final pages and the interviews dedicated to those who preserve that legacy, there are notes of hope that reinforce the idea that in the middle of 2022 the passion for arcades is still alive. And, seen what was seen, it will continue to be so for several more decades.



Bonus Phase:



ARCADE CLASSICS COLLECTION: The arcade machines of your childhood



ARCADE CLASSICS COLLECTION: The arcade machines of your childhood



Arcade Classic Collection Token: The arcade machines of your childhood (2021)





  • ISBN-10‏: ‎ 841851034X


  • ISBN-13 ‏: ‎ 978-8418510342


  • Editorial: Dolmen Games


  • Author: Enrique Segura Mayor


  • Number of pages: 400 pages


  • Size: 17×24.


  • Format: Hard cover.


  • Inside: Colour.


  • Additional note: Solidarity book in the fight against cancer.




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