Arcade 1UP, a division of Tastemakers LLC that produces affordable, arcade cabinets with pre-loaded games sized for the home, has seemingly done the impossible with two of their upcoming releases. Announced just today at E3, a cabinet housing Capcom’s The Punisher, X-Men: Children of the Atom and Marvel Super Heroes joins another that will have Konami’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game as well as the beloved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time. Both are expected to arrive later this year.
This is terrific news in terms of game preservation as legal hurdles have caused these games to either never appear on download services like PSN or Xbox Live, or disappear altogether after a number of years. Capcom’s The Punisher has never had an arcade perfect port released, and the only way to play it is through a port to the Sega Genesis which has become quite pricey on the secondary market. The closest that the likes of X-Men: Children of the Atom and Marvel Super Heroes, two games that seeded the DNA for what eventually would become the Marvel vs. Capcom franchise, came to getting arcade accurate ports were on the Sega Saturn, a console few unfortunately owned. Versions did come to the Sony PlayStation, but X-Men: Children of the Atom was merely licensed by Capcom to Acclaim and is not worth seeking out, though Marvel Super Heroes was handled in-house but still doesn’t hold a candle to the game on the Saturn. Marvel Super Heroes was combined with Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes in Marvel vs. Capcom: Origins, but it has since been removed from digital stores.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game, or simply Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1989), was an early game released for the Xbox Live platform on Xbox 360 from Ubisoft who once held the TMNT license but its long since been removed for download. Turtles in Time was remade by Ubisoft in 2009 and dubbed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled but it’s nowhere near as beloved as the arcade original. Turtles in Time has never been rereleased, so the only way to play it is via the Super Nintendo version or an emulated unlockable in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus from Konami that replaces some of the classic themes with that of the 2003 animated series.
For those keeping track, 2019 has been a great year for comic book arcade classics getting a second chance between Capcom’s Home Arcade, which includes Alien vs. Predator and Cyberbots, the game that was the debut of Marvel vs. Capcom alum Jin, and now these two Arcade 1UP cabinets.Not to look a gift horse in the mouth though, but it would be great if these long lost games would show up in more affordable – and more space friendly – ways. Perhaps it’s a licensing issue where this is the only way these games can exist now, but there’s also no doubt they would sell a lot if they were brought out to modern platforms and PC.