Arcade games were designed to take your quarters. As a gamer it was your job to give as few quarters as possible & get as far as you could. That was part of the game. That was a game within itself. When you take that part of the equation away you're not playing the same game.
People that haven't experienced arcades most likely won't be able to understand them.
Couldn't agree more with Irenicus.
As a arcade game designer,if people were playing your game longer then 10-12 minutes on a single credit,you were doing something very wrong.
When my friend and I play MAME,we like to pick out spots on the game that we have dubbed "Quarter Eaters" Basically they are points in the game that were designed to eat your quarters,because they were not humanly possible to get past on a single credit.
In addition, it's hard to tell how many credits you've actually used because you earn bonus continues a long the way (without realizing it). At the end of the game it might say I have 7 credits left, but I know I used far more than 3.
In many classic arcade games that could be continued, you have to press a button to virtually insert another quarter before being able to continue when it's rereleased at home. Too bad they didn't keep that mechanism here since it would solve the problem of accidently continuing.
Basically my reasons behind past statements in this thread is this release is intended to bring the arcade experience home intact. The purpose of this release isn't to adapt an arcade game into a home game like a Super Nintendo conversion twenty years ago would've been.
Something like returning you to the start of a stage or hard coding a limited number of credits (I'm all fine if the user could select their own amount) goes against the point of such things if the original arcade game didn't have those features. The point of things such as this is to recreate as faithfully as possible the original experience. That means HMOVE lines in 2600 compilations, kill screens in some games, slowdown if the original did so, bugs if they were present on the original, etc.
You might lose the occasional beneficial change, but if you liked the original, there's no reason you shouldn't like a faithful conversion of it flaws and all. And such an attitude prevents unnecessary and unwanted changes that would hurt in fact the experience instead of improve it. I was talking to the guy that operated the Digital Eclipse and now the Code Mystics studio a while back and they'd have it written in their contracts that they wouldn't make changes to the original source just to protect the integrity of the original game from poor changes a company like Atari might request them to make (Such as colorizing Asteroids for an example off the top of my head where a well meaning change could be for the worse where the gamer is concerned).
While I can see some room for criticism (I've seen enough people request the ability to select the number of continues they get over the years to wonder why such an easy feature isn't standard for coinop rereleases that have a continue feature), I don't understand getting down on them for not doing something like editing the game to start you off at the beginning of a stage instead of where you left off.
It's all about recreating faithfully the original source, in my opinion.
If you just port it straight, and add a button for inserting credits, you ruin the entire balance. You DO have infinite ability to push that button, so if the game has no other punishment for bad play than the loss of a credit, the balance is gone, and you're left with a game where you essentially have infinite lives. That's not fun in the slightest, which is why console ports of arcade games revamp the credits system to make the games work at home.
If a home port of an arcade game like this wants to have the option to play it exactly like in the arcade (with infinite continues and all), that's fine, but not having the option of playing a revamped version that changes up the system so it plays like a console game should is a massive flaw. The point of a game is to be fun, and beat-em-ups with infinite continues just [i]aren't[/i] fun.
Such a revamped version seriously doesn't take much effort to create, either. A very good example is the Neo Geo home release of Magician Lord, where exactly three changes were made - 1) if you die, you restart at the beginning of the room, 2) if you continue, you restart at the beginning of the level, and 3) you have 3 hit points instead of two. Those changes turned an annoying and unplayably unfair "buy-your-way-through" platformer into an excellent, highly challenging but perfectly fair twitch platformer. That's all it took.
Likewise, the "Hardest" difficulty mode on the SNK Arcade Classics version of Metal Slug lets you play on the highest difficulty setting with 5 lives and infinite continues from the beginning of the stage you died on. It's incredibly tough, but also extremely rewarding, and the most fun I've ever had with that game. And it took so little effort.
My main gripe with these releases is neglecting to add an options screen which would have a credits option. With arcade games, this is akin to having a difficulty selection. Not having it ruins the game, whereas I could control myself, there isn't that urge to utilize skill when it comes to other gamers. That's why X-Men pissed me off so bad - people would just die over and over so they could access their special moves repeatedly
Digital Eclipse produced the Midway Arcade Treasures series last generation and most (if not all) of the games had options that let you tailor you number of credits.
[QUOTE=Adamant]The problem with "recreating the original source" is that it won't recreate the original [i]experience[/i].[/QUOTE]And I suspect the original experience still won't be replicated just because they go in and start modifying things so you can't just simply run through it with infinite continues (Which as I've been saying throughout, you're under zero obligation to take advantage of).
Tried playing Gauntlet lately? I have with three friends and we limited our continues ourselves to a handful. Yet it just wasn't any fun. Changes aren't going to turn you and some friends back into 13 year olds and send you back 20-25 years ago to in front of an original arcade cabinet with just a few quarters to play arcade games with.
I just don't think they should make changes to classic arcade games when they're rereleased. You might lose some beneficial changes like your suggestions quite possibly are, but I think you prevent far more possible changes that could have a negative impact on the original by adapting such a policy.
I think difficulty options should be limited to DIP switch settings or things the emulation program can do itself, such as the Critic's credits option. Even if it's occasionally detrimental, I think trying to be as faithful as possible to the original source is the way to go.