Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Gotta Drank (& Play)! The One-Up

It was a Saturday in Sherman Oaks as we ventured north to catch 50 Shades of Grey at the Arclight then made our way down Ventura Blvd to the Von Eaton Animation Art Gallery that had a Disney exhibit going on. Right next door to that is The One-Up, a cozy barcade. With a chill vibe and great ambiance courtesy of 80's classics Back to the Future, The Goonies and Fast Times at Ridgemont High on repeat along with lots of English easy listening pop as I haven't heard Travis in ages. There's a small menu of pub favorites like burgers, mac n' cheese and delicious mini-corn dogs. There's a list of specialty cocktails or a full bar to choose from. My Moscow Mule wasn't amazing so I switched to the very tasty Monkey Brew, a mix of scotch, orange tea, lemon and mint. Unlike Eighty-Two or Blispy's, there are no quarters required for the games at One-Up as they're all free to patrons. There's maybe 10 emulator cabinets with 10 pages of games each in the vein of Mario Brothers, Pac-Man, Galaga and the like. I played some plane flying/shooting 1943 and Ghouls and Ghosts before the holy grail of the joint opened up: a sit down, two player console with 400 games on it. Mainly your fighting and side scrolling beat'em ups. I didn't even peruse the entire list to see what oddities and golden nuggets were inside but you had several Samurai Showdown's and Street Fighter's along with Final Fight and THE PUNISHER.

You see, Beat'em Ups or Brawlers are multi-player games where you take on lots of opponents through button mashing mayhem. You usually punch, kick, jump or do a special move and can pick up useful items like weapons and food along the way. Double Dragon got it going in the late 80's and soon you had Golden Axe, Final Fight, Alien Vs Predator, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons, X-Men and The Avengers gracing arcades in the form of scrolling beat'em ups. The Punisher hit arcades in 1993 towards the tail end of the Brawler glory days but remains an awesomely good time. As either Mr. P. or Nick Fury, you battle thugs and criminals on your way to a showdown with The Kingpin. Not only can you punch, kick, spin and jump kick, you can pick up pipes, bats, katanas, knives, pistols and M-16's! We battled our way through 4 stages before I began to worry about the remaining time on my meter and called it a night. It was a lot of fun, like playing Avengers in Salt Lake City as you just beat the hell out of guys named Chrys, Scully and Yan Lee in clubs, casinos, bars and subway trains. One-Up could definitely use a second console with these 400 games as shit like Dig Dug and Pac-Man just can't hold a candle to beating the crap out of thugs, 90's karate style!

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