My time in Heaven

For my birthday, I ventured to what I thought was a rather "posh" neighborhood. Instead, it was just the hood. The mall that I was looking forward to going to had in the last few years been taken over by drugs and gangs, according to a guy who owned a cd store a few blocks down. He mentioned how you couldn't even go in the mall without getting into trouble. Heck, even my cousin who lives near the area says that the place is a ghetto and you can even buy drugs from the mall barbershop to this day. That's right, there's a barbershop in the mall. This place was VERY ghetto. Even though the drug and gang situation has apparently been taken care of, most retailers haven't returned. Stores like J.C. Penny's left the area to form strip malls and plazas with other stores like Target. It seemed like every other turn revealed at least two empty buildings. Even the food court was bare, both in customers and actual restaurants. But just past this food court was HEAVEN!!!! I am speaking of Game Galaxy Arcade, possibly the greatest place I've ever been to in my short 18 years of life. This thing has EVERYTHING! About 4 of the 7 versions of Street Fighter II, Raiden Fighters Jet, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, DDR, Tekken Tag Tournament, Soul Calibur 3, Street Fighter 3 with its parrying and crappy roster, KOF, Garou, and tons of other stuff. Some of these games I had been dying to play, and some I'd never even heard of.

Waku Waku 7: A weird fighting game on the Neo Geo, featuring a cast of 7 heroes searching for 7 powerful stones which in no way invoke dragon balls. The cast is made up of parodies of anime tropes, such the generic shoto-clone, hot headed protagonist, a blatant rip-off/parody of My Neighbor Totoro, a robotic police tank piloted by a midget and a dog, a robotic maid, and a long-haired pretty boy anti-hero with a ridiculously long sword, appropriately named Slash. Another cool character is Bonus-Kun, a punching bag whose moves are blatant parodies of Ryu from Street Fighter, such as his Tornado Bag and Baggin' Punch.

Dolphin Blue: A side-scrolling shoot-em up that's basically a Water World version of Metal Slug. You would switch between being on land, riding on a dolphin, or swimming underwater while firing at enemies. This was the first time I had even heard of this game, and it was quite fun. The level set-up was a bit weird though, as levels seemed to last about a minute at most.

Cadillacs and Dinosaurs: A game that's based off of a cartoon that's based off of a comic book called Xenozoic Tales. Imagine beat-em ups like Final Fight or Double Dragon but in with dinosaurs and the weapons of Metal Slug. Fun while it lasted, as I kept dying.

Come On, Baby: I didn't actually play this game, though I kinda wish I did. From what I saw of the Attract Mode demo, this game looked like Mario Party starring racial stereotype babies. For instance, the African baby looked like a cliche villager, while the baby from China was dressed as a panda. You seemed to do different games like a balancing mini-game of some sort and racing. I could tell that the characters on the cabinet weren't katakana or hiragana, and so I looked the game up, finding out that it's based on some Korean MMO. I really wanna go back to play this and Waku Waku 7.

These are just a few other available games, and I managed to play quite a few and spend over half of my 50 quarters. Fans of DDR, beat-em ups, fighting games, or just video games in general should definitely check this place out if you happen to be in the Antioch, Tn area at Hickory Hollow Mall.

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