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  • The newest video game sensation is "Arcade", a virtual reality game that one must win....or lose your mind and forever be part of the game. Alex (Megan Ward) and her friends try the game, but Alex's boyfriend loses and disappears. One of Alex's friends tries a home version of the game and disappears before her eyes. Determined to get their friends back, Alex and her friend Nick (Peter Billingsley) take on the mind-reading Arcade!

    While the plot may be familiar to anyone who's seen TRON, this is a decent low-budget sci-fi film. Many of the actors are now familiar faces: Seth Green, A.J. Langer and John DeLancie among them. Although director Albert Pyun usually directs low-budget boredom (DOLLMAN, CYBORG, etc.), this movie actually has a good story and some pretty good actors. The pace is somewhat slow, and the CGI F/X won't impress today's kids accustomed to video game-like movies with endless amounts of special effects, explosions and loud music, but fans of movies that actually have a plot and characterization will find it entertaining. I'd place this with Pyun's better movies such as RADIOACTIVE DREAMS and THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER.

    Charles Band, the film's producer and CEO of Full Moon Pictures, held this movie's release back for a year in order to redo the CGI F/X. For those curious to what they originally looked like, watch the 10 minute "Videozone" featurette included on the DVD. I think it was a wise move, and the movie benefits greatly because of it. The only complaint I really have is that the DVD didn't include the full "Videozone" segment, which included this film's trailer. (This DVD was part of a import boxed set of region-free DVDs.)
  • I just recently discovered this wonderful piece of late 80's/early 90's Sci-Fi and decided to give it a look-see. I am a big fan of Full Moon so I figured it would be fair, but it actually exceeded my expectations. The set-up is simple: a new virtual reality type video game called Arcade is more than it appears to be. Kids are getting spaced out, and disappearing all-together. After a tight-knit group of friends falls prey to the game, the last remaining members must fight to save the others.

    The film contains some very familiar faces. The lead is the beautiful Megan Ward… the ultimate girl next door. The film is worth it just for her cuteness factor alone. You may recognize her from other Full Moon classics like Crash and Burn and Trancers 2 & 3. I couldn't help comparing her to the Nancy character in A Nightmare on Elm Street. Her role is very similar. A young Seth Green (Austin Powers) is one of the group, as well as an aging Peter Billingsley (A Christmas Story).

    The running time is short, but with a few more additions this movie could have been epic, as in The Crow epic. A touch more gore would have been good, since it already had an 'R' for language (what a waste- I think they swear twice). If the target audience was preteens, why not go for PG-13? The story is tight and the ideas predate films like The Matrix, which borrowed heavily from Arcade. Most obviously is the concept that what happens in the game happens to you in real life (aka your mind makes it real). In the game you can actually get "sucked in", but let's not get too technical. The chemistry among the kids is what makes the film work. Many reviewers have complained about the CGI. Remember that this came out in 1993, so computer animation hadn't matured yet. Also bear in mind that they didn't have the budget of productions like T2 and the access to ILM for top-notch effects. In the featurette after the movie, Charles Band stated that he wasn't very happy with the first generation of special effects, so it was shelved for three years before the effects technology could mature a bit. The film itself was shot in 1990. You can't sit here in 2011 and watch it and blindly say "those effects stink". You have to put in the right perspective.

    Keep in mind that Full Moon flicks are low budget, and often direct to video, but this is precisely WHY fans love them. They are not the billion-dollar blockbuster movie-for-the-masses junk. There is alternative music that only serious music lovers seek out (because it is unique) and there are alternative movies that you can connect to on a more emotional level. Arcade is one of them. The whole movie had a great alternative feel to it, like the dingy arcade where they went to play video games. It hearkens back to the sleazy warehouse bars where raves and such are held. It's just the kind of place teens would hang out.

    Arcade is a real treat for filmgoers who appreciate films that are low on budget, but high on spirit. This is one that definitely deserves a DVD release… especially considering the trash on DVD today (go rent Alien 3000 for a look at the moronic crap I'm talking about). Unfortunately, many Full Moon productions are not pressed on DVD, and that is a shame. The real tragedy is that with all the video stores renting exclusively DVD, films like this are now completely lost to the next generation. Hit up Ebay or Amazon and find a used VHS for a couple bucks. You'll be glad you did.
  • Sure it's a B-Movie... all Full Moon Pictures are. Sure there's a rough spot of two.. which are victims of bad editing. It's actually a great movie, who's concepts predate big budget flicks like Virtuosity and The Matrix.

    Enter Arcade... the latest in virtual reality gaming. A living game which challenges it's players to win, or become one with the game itself.

    While it's effects are not the best, they are impressive for it's day... and budget. The cast is equally impressive, with some rather impressive standout performances.

    If you can track down a copy, watch it with an open mind.. as you must with all Full Moon movies... and you'll be pleasantly surprised. As the byline reads, "Kiss reality goodbye..."
  • This is a harmless little sci-fi for pre-teens that mom and dad can scan at any time and see no sex and only a touch or two of violence grace the screen. The plot and pseudo- science are of the leave-your-brain-at-home variety while the graphics are nothing special. The direction is slow, clear and undistinguished. The photography is pedestrian, but not bad. The cast is cute, led by the beautiful Megan Ward. She is demure and fully clothed as a teenaged heroine who saves her boy friend and pals from an evil virtual-reality game gone amuck. The fact that she was 23-years-old at the time and a little too old for the part did not bother me at all. Her fresh face and great beauty allowed me to watch the whole thing! The once vampish Sharon Farrell has a small part as the star's mom which she plays flawlessly with just a touch of irony.
  • barnthebarn4 April 2009
    Original (excludng Disney's actually inferior hit 'Tron') Full Moon picture whereby a group of slightly irritating youngsters get wrapped in a game called 'Arcade' down at the local bargain basement, ummm, arcade. The cast is a staggering one considering the low budget (though at the time they were largely unknown). Lead Megan Ward (also in Full Moon's 'Crash and Burn'; 'Trancers 2/3') is a fantastic actress and the now successful director/producer/writer/actor Peter Billingsley, A.J. Langer and Seth Green are among the other teens. To give the film some Sci-Fi credibility we have Star Trek's John de Lancie. The effects, though good considering budget and scope are too adventurous for their own success and frequently characters sucked in to the game look like they are not in the game at all merely wearing tight all-in-one swimsuits and pretending to touch or hold game components (which in reality they are). Megan Ward is an unlikely heroine which adds to the credibility (not all hero/heroine types are built for the role) and the cast have striking chemistry. Put any understanding of big budget CGI and your own knowledge of computer graphics aside to really appreciate this film and you may be pleasantly surprised. Writer David S. Goyer who wrote a few Full Moon films including 'Demonic Toys' has achieved great mainstream Hollywood success since and this is probably significant on his path there (as it was for stars Ward, Green and Langer). Director Albert Pyun is generally pretty poor and this is - without doubt - his best work. Good, (and except for some pointless bad language) clean, fun.
  • npfares11 September 2017
    What made 'Arcade' cool was that despite it's many faults was a decent Cult Movie. The writing was terrible, the acting was average at best, the directing was bad, The budget was well below what it needed to be to make a great film. But for what it was, a low-budget Cult Movie, it hit the mark like nothing else. I suggest at least one viewing for everyone.
  • Scarecrow-8827 December 2014
    Warning: Spoilers
    The lovely Megan Ward's lone star vehicle for Full Moon (she had acted in nice supporting parts in Crash & Burn and Trancers II) has her as a burdened teenager struggling with the loss of a mother to suicide, soon having to deal with a malicious virtual reality arcade named ARCADE, equipped with artificial intelligence. ARCADE can take the souls and bodies of those who lose against it! Preposterous premise is typically B-movie as only a Charles Band production could be. The special effects are very much of the rough variety as opposed to what we see today (Big Hero Six, this is not), of the time right around when The Lawnmower Man would introduce some promising signs of a fabulous future in science fiction. The cast of recognizable faces will be perhaps this film's interest as a curio: Peter Billingsley (A Christmas Story; The Dirt Bike Kid; Death Valley), Seth Green, Bryan Datillo (known as the flawed long-time character, Lucas, on Days of Our Lives), AJ Langer (My So-Called Life; Escape from LA) as friends of Ward, including the creator of ARCADE played by Star Trek The Next Generation's Q, John de Lancie and Don Stark (of That 70s Show) as a brutish bully arcade player who picks on Green. Even Sharon Farrell (It's Alive and lots of television) has a bit part as Ward's mother, efficiently used as a traumatic device by ARCADE to hurt his nemesis during a faux "nightmare awakening" sequence which milks her suicide. Use of neon aesthetic for the arcade itself produces a nice visual but overall director Pyun seems to be going through the motions with little use of his enthusiastic camera stylistics on display. I think Ward is good enough to keep our attention even if the film doesn't seem as interested. The budget just seemed too small to really set this film off. Arcade seems to be a middling effort from Full Moon but it falls in line with the output regarding the use of sci-fi for off-the-wall plots. The ending is a bit of a clunker pulled right out of the ass of the filmmakers but goes with the "virtual reality could be dangerous if toyed around with" theme that echoes throughout. Jonathan Fuller's voice for ARCADE has a full snidely confident relish, deep and antagonistic (listen to how it often refers to Ward as "BITCH!") which fits in line with the purpose of the machine's evil manifesting itself against players wanting to defeat it. ARCADE's taunting Ward as a failure is a strong dramatic device for us to root in favor of her.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In this film Albert Pyun posits a future in which an arcade called Dante's Inferno has a new virtual reality arcade game called Arcade. It's being test-marketed by a company man who is handing out free samples of the home edition and hyping the thing up like he'll die if it doesn't sell, which is not far off.

    The problems start here. The arcade has a cool name and the game has a really boring one. Arcade? Let me see the creatives who sold that one and I imagine their balls have their own independent orbits. Also, what arcade allows someone to hand out home systems that will keep players out of their establishment?

    Alex Manning (Megan Ward, Tentacles II, Amityville: It's About Time, PCU, Encino Man) is a troubled kid whose mom killed herself last year and only finds herself through video games. To make things even better - or worse for the characters - Arcade was once a little boy who - VR Pinocchio kinda sorta - has been used as the brain for this game.

    As silly as this gets, the cast is good and game. Peter Billingsley (yes, Ralphie), John de Lancie (yes, the original Q), Seth Green, A. J. Langer (who the rest of the world knows from My So-Called Life and I know as Utopia from Escape from L. A.) and Don Stark (who is in everything from That '70s Show to Switchblade SIsters, Evilspeak and Santa With Muscles) all do the best with what they've got.

    This film is filled with CGI and would have had light cycles in it, but Disney caught wind and sued the puppet-sized pants off of Full Moon. Oh Disney, so willing to sue daycare centers and small-budget films, yet so unwilling to go after racist rednecks that at will steal the Punisher logo and tarnish the Marvel brand.

    This was written by David S. Goyer, who may have started his career in Charles Band land, but would move on to write movies like Dark City, Blade, 2014's Godzilla, the Nolan Batman films and even the new Hellraiser, which is in production.
  • Found this on DVD through Full moon pretty cheap thought I would give it whirl. Peter billingsly is in it, the porno kid from christmas story. Not too bad actually. A video game sucks these kids into it and they get trapped and actually get killed. I guess thats kinds cool. The video game resembles something you have seen walking through a mall in the early to mid 90s, you know. The one game that went upside down, people waited an hour to play.. uh no thanks, im going to wetzel pretzel.. This was my kinda movie. Cheap, quick and dirty, terrible acting, decent story, non stop fun. Solid 5 in my book and a place on my shelf of guilty pleasures forever.
  • This movie had an unusual hold on me. I knew it wasn't that great as I was watching it, but it kept me interested anyway. Something about the era, the setting, and the tone all came together to give it an atmosphere that drew me in, even though it was completely predictable. I liked Megan Ward's character and her refusal to give in against insurmountable odds. Peter Billingsly played it as straight as could be, but it worked. Of course the story and effects are reminiscent of Tron, but it didn't bother me. 6/10.
  • There really isn't anything special about this movie. Filmed 2 years before its release year. Charles Band wanted to punch up the CGI to make it look better...He should have tried again. The acting is decent with such actors as Megan Ward, Peter Billingsley and Seth Green to hi0llite some of the main characters.

    Arcade, though one of Full Moon better, not great, but better movies, really tries to be something big, but due to a poor script, fails to deliver the goods.

    5 out of 10
  • The main reason I ever watched "Arcade", was because I was into Full Moon films during my teens (back when they still made charming horror features on small but still comfortable budgets). This one actually is more sci-fi than horror, and more particularly a poor "Tron" wanna-be. I re-watched this baby because I felt like it after seeing the "Bishop of the Battle" segment from "Nightmares" (1983). Basically "Arcade" is a whole heap of nonsense about a bunch of teenagers getting sucked into a computer game. They have to complete several levels. The visual effects are very poor but fun to look at, in a way. And the boss-fight in the end is... uhm, pathetic isn't the right word, because there actually isn't a real battle. More like a confrontation, and that's it. But still, I had some fun with all this. I usually do. Megan Ward is kind of cute, and a pre-Buffy Seth Green is in it too.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Story Synopsis: A company specialising in Virtual Reality games holds a demonstration of their latest game "Arcade" in an arcade parlour. They give out home versions of the game to a group of high school students. But the game, which has had its AI designed using the brain cells of a dead child, comes to life, taking the souls of anyone who plays it & loses. Alex Manning, one of the students given the game (& who is still recovering following the suicide of her mother) discovers the game's secret. She tries to stop her friends from playing the game but fails. Along with a friend who is a fearsome game player, she enters the VR world & tries to defeat the AI & rescue her friends.

    Film Analysis: When the pretty-to-look-at but totally brainless VR thriller The Lawnmower Man came out in the early 1990s, it spawned a whole slew of films that used VR as a plot device. Arcade, a cheap entry in producer Charles Band's Full Moon stables, is one of the lesser ones, even by the standards of the subgenre.

    With the exception of the Lawnmower Man films, just about every one of the VR films that came out during the 1990s used VR as either simply a hook to hang a thriller plot onto or to showcase killer AI systems. Arcade, written by future genre legend David S. Goyer & directed by cult genre director Albert Pyun, is a member of the latter category.

    The film is, by most standards, a fairly brainless sci-fi flick that has dated somewhat badly since the demise of the VR market. The critics have slammed the film, citing cheap effects & a stupid plot that recycles certain horror film elements. Personally I had not too much a problem watching the film. Sure the effects look quite cheap but judging from what I've seen from films made during that era, the effects don't look too bad. As for the story, Arcade takes a few cues from the A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET films, with an AI that acts a lot like a high-tech Freddy Krueger (brought to life by Jonathan Fuller's spirited voice over work) & even having a dramatic but brainless scene where star Megan Ward has to confront her dead mother in order to defeat the game.

    Arcade is not the sort of film you would expect from a director whose bread & butter features revolve around kickboxing, future locales & killer robots (or all three at once), but Pyun manages to keep the story moving along with almost no problems in the narrative department. The only problem with the story is a lack of consistency – the game's structure is quite simple, too simple in fact – plus the mysterious disappearance of a couple of levels.

    The acting is okay, with Megan Ward (who came to the genre's attention after her performance in the zombie flick TRANCERS II) playing a vulnerable teenager quite well. Making an early bit part is Seth Green as well as long time Pyun associate Norbert Weisser as a zoned-out computer programmer.
  • This movie is total sh*t! Maybe of slight interest to people who were fans of the UK TV series Knightmare to which this bares a slight similarity with cgi dungeons and stuff. The movie is terribly written, the sets are awful, the actors get through their lines as well as could be expected but that's not worth watching it for. If you want to see a movie with the same kind of storyline either watch Tron or Evolver, not this terribly mix of the two. The CGI is bad but I can like bad cgi I loved Captain Power when I got a copy of it but this movie is just bad in so many other ways too, as well as the fact there is quite a bit of cgi that was in the trailer for the movie which wasn't even in the film! The film insults the teenage games players in both intelligence and directly. It could have been so much better, but unfortunately this movie is better left unseen, this makes Evolver seem like a cinematic masterpiece, plus Evolver has all the same characters and even has John De Lancie too in virtually the same role. Also another thing, it looks like they ran out of budget for cgi part way through and had to instead film on a bit of wasteland with a tinted sky. Only if you have to see every example of computer game plotted films should you see this and even then it should be at the bottom of your list.
  • Yes, this is the worst film I have ever seen. That's not to say it's the least enjoyable film I've ever seen, that dubious honour goes to My Dog Skip, a hideously patriotic story of a boy who learns all life's lessons through his pet dog that I was forced to watch on a bus. But Arcade has the worst plot, the worst production values, the worst script, the worst acting, the worst... everything, really.

    This complete lack of virtue is, of course, Arcade's saving grace. This really is a freak show exhibit of a film. I watched it all the way through because I simply could not take my eyes from the grotesque spectacle on the screen. I had to see how much worse it could get. And boy, did it ever get worse.

    How did this film get made? Who knows. I'm glad to see it went straight to video, which is where it deserves to be. Watch it if you've got a taste for the truly horrible.
  • ctomvelu15 December 2010
    Classic Full Moon video about a bunch of teens who try out a new video game, only to be sucked into it and trapped there. Dull, poorly executed and downright silly at times. You know you're in trouble when characters keep saying, "Virtual reality is the future!" However, this does have John DeLancie of "Star Trek:TNG" and the very pretty Megan Ward to keep us mildly interested. A young, pre-"Buffy" Seth Green plays a teen punk and Peter Billingsley of "A Christmas Story" fame is one of the teens. When my daughters were little, we never missed a Full Moon video, and this was made during the height of Full Moon's popularity. Cheap, down and dirty entertainment. Full Moon's laurels rests on its "Puppetmaster" series, which was only slightly better than other Full Moon titles. By the way, the attractive Ms. Ward turns up in several other low-budget videos of the period, including "Amityville: Time" and "Trancers 3."
  • Arcade is an early example of one of the truly awful trends to overtake low budget horror and sci-fi over the past twenty years: the use of CGI effects by films that do not have the budget to pull them off. Full Moon Entertainment reported spent three years trying to master the effects for this film, and it still looks bad, even by early nineties standards.

    The plot follows a young woman who discovers that a new video game, Arcade, is stealing the souls of its players. With the help of her friend Nick, she has to find out the game's secrets and play it to rescue her friends.

    One of the biggest problems with the film is that it attempts more than its budget can pull off. Full Moon Entertainment simply did not, and does not, have the money to do CGI in a competent manner. Consequently, the film is one long special effects failure. Actors are clearly just running around in front of a green screen, and one scene of the protagonist running across a virtual reality wasteland clearly features shots of the actress going through a vacant lot. Indeed, the film's effects, along with its emphasis on virtual reality technology, date it so much that it appears to have been one of the few Full Moon releases never to be issued on DVD.

    More damningly, the film does not really live up to the horror one expects from a Full Moon release. There is very little violence or gore and no nudity. The R rating is largely for cursing and a scene where a woman rather graphically kills herself with a handgun. Charles Band would have been better off editing out the language and blood and releasing under Full Moon's Moonbeam Entertainment label as a PG / PG-13 family thriller.
  • dukeakasmudge25 May 2017
    If I saw this movie when it 1st came out in 1993 I can't imagine I would've even liked it back then.Arcade started out interesting enough (I guess you could say) but as it went along it got worse.I usually try & read the description of a movie or a little something before I watch it but this time I didn't.I wish I would've then I wouldn't have expected to like the movie as much as I thought I would.I expected Arcade to be a movie about an arcade (I use to LOVE going to the arcade) but it wasn't, it was about a single game named Arcade.You know if you took all the R-rated stuff out, You'd have an episode of Goosebumps or The Haunting Hour? I wish I could've at least said this movie was good but I can't.When Alex had to go inside the game to beat it & rescue her friends, that had to be some of the worst graphics in a movie I've ever seen.You know those REALLY bad Youtube videos where people make their own special effects or graphics? That's exactly what it was like.Even if you LOVE BAD movies as much as I do, I couldn't recommend watching this movie unless you want to torture yourself.Not only were the graphics bad but it was BORING as well
  • xyzunit22 October 2005
    So I was at blockbuster and I thought, "Hey, a movie about video games! I love video games! I better get some popcorn 'cause I'll be having fun tonight" So I popped it in my VHS player, and tried REALLY hard to like it. Its basically crap, and there is no point to it. I watched the entire thing, and I've got to say, it was really boring. Basically, these kids are kind of beta-testing some virtual reality game, and things go *cue the dramatic music* horribly wrong! Yeah, seriously, its horse feathers.

    I had no idea Seth Green was in this.

    Now I suppose I'll have to go back and watch it again. Maybe this time around, I'll enjoy it?
  • "Arcade" is not only the name of this direct to video feature, but the name of the cutting edge video game within the feature. This game Arcade is a virtual reality extravaganza that its makers hope will be all the rage among todays' kids. However, something's gone horribly wrong with the game (natch) and the teens who play it go bonkers and then get trapped somewhere inside the game. And the game would dearly love to become a part of the "real world". Megan Ward ("Encino Man", "Freaked") is sexy and appealing in the main role; even if technically she's too old for her role, casting 20-somethings as teenagers is a concept that's hardly new for the movie business. It's also extremely amusing not only to see a young Seth Green in this, but none other than Peter Billingsley (a.k.a. Ralphie in "A Christmas Story") as another of Wards' friends. The cast also includes John de Lancie (Q from 'Star Trek: The Next Generation), Sharon Farrell ("Night of the Comet"), A.J. Langer ("The People Under the Stairs"), Bryan Dattilo ('Days of Our Lives'), Don Stark ('That '70s Show'), and Norbert Weisser, a regular in the films of director Albert Pyun ("The Sword and the Sorceror", "Cyborg", "Nemesis"), as the games' designer. The issue that this viewer had with "Arcade" was that considering its subject matter, it still turned out to be a rather boring, muddled story. It simply has little energy, and it's too hard to muster much interest in the characters or the tale being told, even though there's one intense story thread with the heroines' mother having killed herself. And even for a company that specialized in low budget genre fare, this looks especially cheap. The special effects are basically adequate; "The Lawnmower Man" had more visual buzz when it came to the whole virtual reality concept. This may entertain less discriminating viewers, but with the characters lacking rooting interest and the movie coming up short in dramatic tension, it has to rate as a below average Full Moon production. Four out of 10.
  • Arcade (1993) was another in the long line of mediocre movies the Albert Pyun has made during the nineties. Grant, a few of them are pretty good but for the most part, Mr. Pyun is an average director at best who cranks out low budget mundane films. Why does he direct so many blah films? Who knows, at least he gets paid for what he does. This movie makes virtual reality look lame and pretty much a far out pipe dream. If you ever wanted to know what happened to Peter Billingsly (A Christmas Story) then you'll want to watch this movie. He's finally grown up. Keep an eye out for Seth Green as well. Recommended for bad movie fans.

    The nineties were the beginning of major players appearing in straight-to-video movies. Stars who have fallen from the realm of "Who Cares" have found a new home. They're making bad d.t.v. films or appearing on Hollywood Squares or hosting a paid programming advert hawking either useless products or worthless real estate. The beginning of a new video market , the movie theaters were becoming less and less relevant.
  • Something fishy is going on. After playing the newest, hottest video game on the market a bunch of teenagers in the neighborhood begin to disappear. The special effects are the main attraction here. At the time of it's release they were pretty good, but today they are badly dated. Pretty bland entertainment without any excitement.

    Rated R; Violence.
  • As a once avid gamer, I'm compelled to mock the utterly boring experience that the "Arcade" game offered, while shake my head at what gets portrayed as the gamer's world. This is a movie for people who've barely ventured into a real arcade or picked up your PS controller (or to be fair to the film, a SNES controller.) If you're oblivious to the game world, then you may buy into it.

    I could nitpick the "Arcade stealing souls and taking over the world" plotline or the technical general "eh" elements of the production, but I'd rather nitpick the gaming inaccuracies.

    One - character design. You're hardpressed to find a game where the characters are dressed only in a wetsuit-lookin' outfit. Let's cut away from the typical anime-ish stuff that's expect from Japan with freaky colored hair etc--we have actors and a low budget, we can't redo their look from the ground up. Still, character outfits are usually more visually interesting than an all black wet-suit and motorcycle-wannabe helmit. The motioncapture artists wear this, yes. The characters in the game no. And typical female characters, regardless of genre, usually show a lot of skin. Whether the wardrobe department abided by this rule or not, I wouldn't have cared . . . even the hideous outfits the characters wore outside the game were more interesting than the in-game stuff.

    Oh yeah, and as for "Arcade" himself? Heh, I don't think I've ever seen a game-last-boss design that stupid

    Two - Interaction. Yes, there's Myst and 7th Guest and a Tetris of every imaginable flavor as well as other "puzzle" games, but for the most part in the gaming world you're up to your eyeballs with interaction. From blasting the hell out of zombies in Sega's House of the Dead, Slashing through the demon castle in Symphony of the Night, or bouncing through the colorful world of Mario, you're facing things/fighting things and/or constantly interacting with your environment. And if not, you're sitting through plot in an RPG . . . me personally? You'll find me over at the Soul Calibur machine and nowhere near that boring game featured in the film.

    It's not the obvious blue screen that gets to me, it's the fact that they never do anything inside "Arcade."

    Three - Typical games have a distinct look and feel to it - a certain game play style. Ridge Racer, you get in a car and do nothing but race. Mortal Kombat 2, you fight one other person and that's all you ever do. Dynasty Warriors 4, you constantly fight 500 guys, Tomb Raider constantly means exploration. And usually these games are the best at what they do. Occassionally you'll have a game that switches between game styles but it only has a handful of styles and ends up switching back and forth frequently. Why do film makers always make the games in their movies "action/adventure" games?

    Four - once upon a time programmers would put cheat codes into their games to ease the testing phases and speed things up and programmers got lazy and left these codes (sometimes even debug modes) in the final product. Then as gamers found codes, it became common practice putting codes into the game. The movie Arcade fell into this era of gaming history. Now adays, they've implemented a "Beat the game x amount of times x amount of ways to unlock the things codes used to do" and dropped the codes.

    Five - Granted Mortal Kombat only had 4 people on the team, the movie implies that the developer of "Arcade" is a big name company and this is their next big seller . . . the setup of the developers did not convince me of a blockbuster game development team.

    Six - An all knowing game . . . BS! Sorry, watch eXistenZ to see what the game characters would really sound like. Even advanced AI wouldn't be able to know what this game knows and if it did we'd have freakin' Skynet from the Terminator films. Game AI is pretty stupid. It does what it's programmed to do and nothing else, and if a programmer didn't anticipate it then you just found yourself a loophole and a freeride.

    Seven - Maybe it's just where I live, but Arcades don't look like the entrance to a bar . . . and before you point any fingers, yes I get the Alighieri reference and found it inappropriate. They're usually turned off at night and turned back on the next morning (each going through their own little boot-up sequence) via power strip to start a whole group at a time, and I've never found a home game that comes in an oversized shoebox.

    Oh well, on the plus side it is interesting hearing Alan Howarth and seeing Star Trek's Q (John De Lancie) alongside Dr. Evil's son (Seth Green) in the same movie. I'd recommend eXistenZ for freaky virtual reality games . . . as screwed up as that world is, at least the nailed the in-game elements. Go figure.
  • Cheesy fun with pretty bad "virtual reality" effects and a very dumb ending. Like some other Albert Pyun films of that period (especially the "Nemesis" sequels"), this is short enough and unpretentious enough to be bearable...and that's all. Megan Ward's rather appealing performance is a notch above the rest. (*1/2)