Bringing the very best in classic gaming, the Midwest Gaming Classic returned to Wisconsin taking over two floors and one outdoor tent with an arsenal of nostalgic games to buy and play. From arcade and pinball to every console imaginable, the MGC had something for everyone.
Showcasing a variety of console games from the well-known Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Genesis and the rare or relatively obscure systems such as the Commodore 64 or Atari Jaguar, the Midwest Gaming Classic was an arcade convention at heart. The Arcade Showcase was host to many of the industries greatest pinball and video game machines from the past 50 years.
Notable features included the original Mortal Kombat, Metal Slug, WWF Wrestlemania, Pac Man, Centipede/Milipede, Galaga, Killer Instinct, Golden Tee Golf and Area 51/Maximum Force, as well as an arsenal of pinball machines spanning. For a video game fan who had grown up in the 90s and witnessed the final years of the arcade’s dominance of the video game industry, playing just a handful of childhood favorites was a heavenly trip down memory lane.
While many of the industry’s greatest games were fully functional for show-goers to enjoy, many others were strangely absent. Anyone growing up in the 80s or 90s surely played the Tekken or Crusin’ series or pumped his fair share of quarters into addicting rarities such as the House of the Dead or Killer Instinct 2. Sadly, none of them were present in arcade form. While these absences were unfortunate, a few surprises, courtesy of Brookfield Illinois’ Galloping Ghost Arcade, softened the blow.
Toting the honor of being the world’s biggest arcade with over 400 unique machines in operation, Galloping Ghost Arcade partook in the convention to show off a few of their custom creations such as a pair of custom-built arcade cabinets dedicated to Mortal Kombat 2011 and Killer Instinct 2013*. The crowning jewel of Galloping Ghost’s section of the event, however, was a working demonstration of an ambitious new fighting game in development by an in-house team at Galloping Ghost.
Featuring real actors, digitized graphics and copious amounts of blood commonly associated with the original Mortal Kombat arcade games, Dark Presence was one of the hidden gems of the convention. With high definition graphics, finely detailed hit detection, realistic fighting and over a terabyte of data to make the entire project run, the team behind Dark Presence aspires the project to be more than just a throwback to 90s fighter glory but to bring forth a fighting game revolution that other game designers will attempt to replicate.
Aside from a heavenly amount of games to play and a few welcomed surprises, there were a few disappointing factors to the convention. While there was a large array of console games, systems and accessories for sale in the outdoor tent, one was hard pressed to find a fair price for a game over twenty years old. One stunning observation was Chrono Trigger, a highly revered SNES role playing game, marked at $250 dollars due to still being in the original box. Other minor issues included vendors pulling their machines several hours before the end of the convention on the final day and an expected lack of courtesy by show-goers hogging a game while others waited in line. Despite these minor issues, the Midwest Gaming Convention was a great time for gamers of all ages and a great stroll down memory lane.