There is a new edition of The King of Arcades that has just hit DVD.  The documentary itself was not touched.  There is just a slew of new extras which are perfect for fans of the film.  I’ve never reviewed the film personally but I’m very briefly in the film (though my part is so superfluous you can cut the one minute segment out and it not affect the film in the slightest).  Still…it was pretty cool being included in The King of Arcades because it really is an extraordinary film about one of the most amazing personalities I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.  Though my run-ins with Richie have always been brief, they are always memorable.

If you have no clue what this film is about The King of Arcades follows Richie Knucklez – a singer who decides to start refurbishing arcade machines and opens an arcade.  But the film is so much more than Richie’s story as it involves everyone from the Twin Galaxies era (including Walter Day and Billy Mithcell) to interviews with those who helped shape videogame culture as we know it (like Ralph Baer and Eugene Jarvis).  There’s huge highs for Richie as there are huge lows.  This isn’t crafted drama like some reality show.  This is really what one man went through in his struggles not to just be successful, but who just wants to be true to himself and have a life he truly enjoys living.

Here’s the trailer to the film:

So what makes this latest edition worth picking up?  I’m going to take a look at the great Special Features that are included on the disc.

For those who know all about Richie and love the film there is a feature that serves as a Richie Knucklez update.  The thing is this is almost a film in itself as this runs for nearly 90 minutes.  Most of this section takes place at Richie’s new home out in East Jabip, New Jersey where he has found a home that certainly looks peaceful.  After catching up with Richie he shows off his massive collection of games, showing us what he is working on, how he restores these machines, and projects he is going to work on in the future.  It really is interesting, made even more so because this home is an arcade lovers dream.  It certainly is one billion times more interesting than my house.  I really think I need to chat with Richie one of these days about acquiring an Arkanoid…

Most of this update occurs at Casa De Richie.  If you are interested enough to be the documentary you are probably interested in the update.  I will say that this section is nearly entirely devoid of music – it doesn’t take away from anything but I just seemed to notice it for some odd reason.  At the end Richie goes to the arcade which is pretty great to see again.  Though…I mean the arcade is only about 25 minutes away from me so I should really get off my ass, support Richie, and play some videogames.

Also included on the disc is a look at the world premiere of the film up in Bethlehem.  It looked to be quite a party and had some amazing guests show up for the film like Billy Mitchell and Walter Day.  Of course the crowd is made up of people who all love arcade culture (and who love Richie), but I imagine this amazing doc must have been great to see up on the big screen.

There is a review of the film from Film kings – which was a video produced for (While they have a YouTube channel as well I couldn’t find the King of Arcades review on there.  Just the site.).  As the website and its employees are from the Netherlands we get a review of the film that is almost completely in Dutch (I assume its Dutch.  It sounds Dutch but, then again, I could be wrong).  The guys really had a fun time with the doc and talk about how games affected their life.  Listening to Dutch for ten minutes straight without walking around Amsterdam was a tad off-putting for me but the two guys reviewing were pretty fun and had charisma.  It is worth the watch.

There is another featurette titled In The Studio: Pac Man Fever.  Richie’s band Knuckle Sandwich did a cover of Jerry Buckner’s famous Pac-Man Fever (the novelty song actually made it to #9 on the Billboard charts back in 1982).  This is the group in studio which I personally found to be the most entertaining and informative of all the special features.  It is probably because I am not a musician so I really don’t know what producing music in a studio looks and sounds like.  Still – I really liked this feature.

And the girl in green?  I so want to be your friend. I may be slightly crushing on you.

I had no clue who Leonard Herman was when I clicked on The Leonard Herman Collection featurette.  Herman is a long time video game collector who is also the author of the book Phoenix IV: The History of the Videogame Industry.  The IV comes from the fact that the current version is the fourth edition of the book.  This featurette takes us into Leonard Herman’s stash of videogame systems, games, and memorabilia.  This collection is fantastic.  It is a video game collector’s dream.  There is stuff down there that I never knew existed so it was quite informative.  It also made me thinking that maybe I should pick up History as it seems that Herman’s wealth of knowledge is nearly beyond compare.

There are two very long interviews included on the disc (parts of which were used in the actual film)  The first interview is with game designer Eugene Jarvis who created such seminal classics as Defender and Robotron: 2084 – 2 games that I spend a massive amount of money on as a kid (and totally suck at as an adult).  Jarvis’ interview is 50 minutes long.  The other interview is with singer Jerry Buckner which runs about 45 minutes in length.

If you have yet to see The King of Arcades this is probably the version you should pick up.  If you are a huge fan of the film this is also worth picking up if you are into the special features.  Personally I think they did an amazing job with the new version with three hours of bonus footage.  If you own the film but don’t care about special features you probably don’t need to pick this up.  The film looks the same so you would basically be buying the same exact movie twice.  I did hear rumors of a Blu-ray version down the line so if you are into HD Richie that hopefully is coming soon.


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If you came all the way to the end of the page and are still reading you can click the links below to hear the full Richie Knucklez interview from my radio show R2HT.  Broken up into two parts it also includes interviews with Billy Mitchell, Walter Day, and Joel West.

Richie Knucklez (ft. Billy Mitchell) Part 1

Richie Knucklez (ft. Walter Day) Part 2