Arcades in Yakuza
I think that some of the joy of Japan, for a foreigner, is the chance to see the world as it used to be, and perhaps perhaps some version of it, as you wish, and not for too long, and filtered through a culture different enough to create a pleasant, dreamlike atmosphere. The Sega arcade in Tokyo was a pleasure to walk around in, not just because of the second-hand nostalgia. It was a pleasure to walk around in, especially if you had previously visited Yakuza 0.
In January Donlan wrote a lovely piece about small open worlds. I believe A Short Hike is my all time favorite in this esteemed genre, but nothing can beat Yakuzas Kamurocho for detail, for sheer hand-crafted. In the insides, the sense of place can be completely uncanny. The harshly lit convenience store, the patiently friendly Smile Burger, and the intimate grot of the karaoke bar. Yakuza is packed with weird little nooks and cra
The arcades in the Yazua are not just a unique look. Real games. Games for days. Fantasy Zone, Space Harrier, and hardoutRun! These are all arcade classics taken wholesale from the Sega coffers, each one absorbing enough to warrant a complete dive down the rabbit hole, to go back again and again, like a schoolkid, trying to get a score on the ground, but also achieving it. All of a sudden the realities begin to overlap. Youre not having
Sega has recently announced that they will shut down their arcade division, the latest in a long line of cracks into the retro arcade coffin. Obviously, absorbing single-player games like Yakuza are part of what made these places obsolete. There''s something a little perverse about sitting alone at home with your console attached to it, walking around simulated streets, and killing a few hours on a simulated device in a simulator, and witnessing the horror that your television provided.
I would like to create a Sega arcade downtown in our imaginary Video Game city 24 hours a day, which will include as many consoles as we can cram onto cheap linoleum floor tiles. A dreamy little fragment of a past that never existed, dreamed on for a little longer with claw machines! What''s not to love?