Insert Coins: A Night Of Darkness And Nostalgia

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On the night of the 19th of January (which happened to be last night), the Oxford Art Factory hosted a night where gamers could re-live the days of the arcade, as well as get their mittens on 2K Games’ next release, The Darkness II, which will be released on February 10 in Australia. It was a night of pure bliss, topped off by 80’s music, game art, alcoholic spiders (the drink, not drunk spiders themselves) and gourmet hotdogs, New York style. Capsule Computers editors Roger Ma and Matthew Vella were joining myself in a night were gaming  (specifically The Darkness II) was the focus.

For the arcade lover, this was the night for you. Along the upper level, as well as the lower level, there were an abundance of arcade cabinet and arcade tables to fill your appetite. Of course, there were pinball machines as well. Five of them to be exact. On those arcade machines, some classics were to be found. Games like Street Fighter, Marvel Vs Capcom, Golden Axe and Metal Slug II were present. Even Space Invaders made an appearance. The problem was the fact that it became a crowded mess. The upper level was nothing more than a balcony, meaning space around the arcade cabinets was minimal, even non-existent. In fact, room to maneuver through was usually accompanied by shout of ‘excuse me’ since space was minimal.

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Cabinets and pinball machines were not the only gaming devices around. On the lower level, sitting between the one of the bars and the gourmet hotdog stand, there were several arcade tables, littered neatly across the floor. Just like their cabinet counterparts, they offered classic arcade games, like Ms PacMan. Just like the balcony of cabinets, moving around was somewhat restricted, but more freely than the balcony.

However, the old met the new at Insert Coins as the main attraction was the single player demo of The Darkness II. Scores of gamers, both male and female, gathered to experience the re-emergence of The Darkness in the body of Jackie Estacado, the main protagonist. The new gameplay feature quad wielding, as well as the first couple of levels of the single player campaign, was the focus of the demo. The demo was exciting, interesting (story wise) and all around fun. Roger Ma took care of the hands-on impressions. For myself, I would recommend checking this game out, especially for the quad wielding.

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For a couple of hours, right there on the stage, the artists went to work. As the focus for the event was The Darkness II, the works of art focused on the game. One artist worked on the faces of the creatures that spout out of Jackie’s shoulders, which is the Darkness, done with a black marker over a green outline. The other used water-based paint and re-created Jackie with one of the Darkness creatures coming out. Jackie also held a recently fired pistol, highlighting the combination of the gameplay elements. I was very impressed with the artworks. It felt like the Darkness.

If you are in Sydney, I will recommend going to Insert Coins, whether you love living in the past or looking forward to the future. Bring your mates along as well. Entry was cheap, only $10 per head, which also covers access to the games. Bring extra for drinks and food, though. Maybe you’ll also bump into your favourite Capsule Computers editor, get to know them… or not.

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Josh is the name, writing is my game... well my degree will say that. But, when uni gets me down (and it does), there is no better way that to grab a chair, sit back and slicing up some Darkspawn I started my gaming interest back in the good old 16 bit era with the Sega Mega Drive and Sonic The Hedgehog 2. I was roughly five years old. To this day I still try to fire up the dusty companion and speed through the wacky and bright levels, jumping on some Badniks, collecting those damn Chaos Emeralds. Then I moved onto Sony's disk based console the Playstation (thanks to my uncle). Since then I have picked up each of Sony's consoles from the 5th to current generation that has been released in Australia (with more to come). In terms of writing about games, I am quite new to the field. I started out late last year with my own blog before deciding to move to greener pastures. I have written a few reviews for the Playstation 3 and Playstation Portable. Features as well. I hope I can flex my muscles while writing with Capsule Computers. If I'm not gaming, however, I'm writing narratives. I am currently trying to kickstart a high fantasy novel (which, hopefully, turns into a complex RPG) that I want done in five years or so. My passion of writing has been there for a long time and has flourished as I grew. I'm into the fantasy genre, both games and novels, and thoroughly enjoy a deep and complex RPG, whether it comes from the East or West. Oh and anime is awesome!

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