Obviously a prime independent developer such as Housemarque isn’t dead, but they have cried off arcade games as we know it forever with their recent press release, straight from the CEO titled, “Arcade is Dead”. Holy cow, what a blow to the heart! On one hand I am truly saddened by this news, however, on the other I think they pushed the genre as far as they could without muddling it with elements from other genres. Good on them for knowing when to move on. Housemarque holds a huge place in my heart for teaching me the beauty that is arcade. I know they will find their own way into something else that can be more profitable while still keeping their integrity. Below, I’ve shared my story on what this special video game developer has done for my life in the hopes that you can either relate or be encouraged to make some of these experiences a part of your life.
I wasn’t a kid that was born in the 70s that grew up on arcade classics, or even Nintendo classics that top the “best games ever” lists each year. Even when I did play games like Metroid, Mario, Megaman, etc., as a kid I never really took interest in pushing myself to accomplish tasks that seemed unbeatable. There would always be a Gameshark code, or a neighbor that could help get me through to the next section. Then there were trophies, oh glorious digital medals of honor that no one in my life really cared about. But what they don’t know is that when the taxman comes by (or maybe just an email bill notification) and I don’t quite know how I’m going to make it work, I don’t stress, I now have the patience and diligence to figure it out. I can definitely thank videogames for honing this skill, however, housemarque helped take it to the next level. This may seem like a stretch, so please allow me to explain.
The PS4 came in a year that I was finally a proper adult, therefore I was fortunate enough to grab it on day one. On that day, I had a few options of what to play and more than enough time on my hands, being severely single and all. One of these was a game called Resogun that I knew nothing about, but it was free with my brand new PS, plus subscription along with Contrast, of course. I started out playing through the arcade mode on easy, only to die many times before completing the five short levels consecutively. After a few hours, I was victorious. Then, I took a look at the trophy list and was like, NOPE. However, after getting bored with Contrast, I had no choice but to go back. I decided that I would knock out the easy trophies first, mostly the ones that were quick so I could restart quickly if I failed. Once that was completed, I told myself I was going to start from the top and not move on until I got the one I was on. My first time beating Experienced mode was one of my most exciting moments in gaming. For Veteran, I figured it was best to do one level at a time and take a break so I could be at my most alert each and every level. Eventually, I did Platinum Resogun and it didn’t take nearly as long as I originally thought. I was on top of the world. I created a plan of action and broke down the goal into its smallest parts, something that any corporate executive would give as advice. When you actually put it into practice, though, and experience the results, you change because now you have the tangible memory of success the next time you are faced with a challenge, dream, goal, problem, obstacle, whatever…you believe in yourself now!
Since then, I went back to play Super Stardust, Dead Nation, Alienation, Matterfall and most notably Nex Machina. Nex Machina took me to a whole ‘nother level, and that’s why I can’t thank Housemarque enough.