LOOK AT JOURNEY VIDEO GAMES
Don't Stop Believin' That The Really Really
Back in "the day" my pal Bill and I were videogame
junkies. We'd spend every moment of our free times playing our ATARI 2600
machines. Laughably basic by today's standards, the primitive graphics,
sounds, and single button joysticks still made for gameplay that would eat
up an afternoon in no time, while listening to great music of the day from
STYX, DEVO, and JOURNEY (OK...we sucked).
We'd eagerly await with baited breath for the
latest issue of ELECTRONIC GAMES magazine. Always chock full of the latest
Atari, Intellivision, and Odyssey 2 cartridges, it was the perfect way to
stay on top of the videogame world. And in the back of one issue in 1982
was an ad for a JOURNEY ATARI GAME!
The magazine ad was great. With a photo of the
band, it had a tagline at the bottom that said, "And just like Journey
Says ... Some May Win ... and Some May Lose." They even made a special TV
commercial for the game that you can
DOWNLOAD HERE (just a small 548K Real Media File).
It features concert footage and a cheezy voiceover by none other than
Casey Kaem, that challenges you to "Live to rock another day!". How
could someone NOT want to buy this excellent game?
the long gone company DATA AGE, this Atari game featured a crude version
of "Don't Stop Believing" that while you guided each band member to
safety, avoiding love crazed groupies and greedy promoters. The annoying
music made it nearly impossible to play for more than 10 minutes without
wanting to hurl the cartridge across the room and shatter it to bits.
As you can see from the picture above, they had a
tough time actually capturing accurate likenesses of the band members.
This is either Neil Schon or Steve Perry...it's hard to tell for sure.
By the way, I found this picture on a particularly
disturbing eBay auction. The seller had 12 different boxed Journey
games. How on earth does someone accumulate 12 of these, let alone
You'd think this grand experiment of mixing rock
and video games for the very first time would have stopped here. But
Journey took it a step further. Data Age was struggling financially
(Gee...even after spending a fortune promoting this classic?), so they
sold the rights to Bally/Midway to actually make an Arcade version of
I remember when this first appeared at the LeMans
Speedway arcade at Southland Mall in Hayward, California. There was a
crowd of teens around it, not sure what to make of it. The gameplay was
horrible, but there was some amazing features to it that really set it
Instead of Pac-Man still "blip and bleep" type
music, the game played actual full vocal version of the Journey hit
"Separate Ways". Reading about how hard it was to get voice synthesized
for games as primitive as BERSERK, I was amazed to hear a whole song in a
It turns out that the "way ahead of its time
audio" was actually an internal cassette player that had an endless loop
tape ready to go. You can only imagine how long that lasted before
breaking with all the kicking and smacking the machine took in an average
Another innovation the Journey arcade game had was
the first widespread use of digitized photographs. Avoiding the generic
likenesses in the Atari version, the arcade had actual black and white
photos of the band members faces.
Again this is pretty goofy looking by today's
standards, but when you consider the best facial graphics belonged to
Mario in Donkey Kong, it was pretty amazing for the time.
But gimmicks aside, the game was a piece of crap.
With so many other fun games to choose from that didn't involve pretending
to be Steve Perry shooting a microphone, it was no mystery why it soon
started gathering dust.
A magazine called "Faces" wrote an article about this game in 1983 that
Apparently mixing music and videogames wasn't the
marriage made in heaven videogame manufacturers hoped it would be. SEGA
tried their luck with the 1990 flop MICHAEL JACKSON'S MOONWALKER, but no
self respecting teenage kid would be caught dead playing that in an
Midway actually tried their hand at mixing Rock
and Videogames 11 years later after their grand Journey experiment when
they released REVOLUTION X. With gameplay that tasked the user to rescue
the kidnapped members of AEROSMITH, and their hits blazing in the
background, the game was essentially a ripoff of the TERMINATOR 2 shooter
A couple of music themed games actually worked
okay. SEGA had a Motley Crue themed pinball game that was rather fun, and
a WU TANG CLAN game was pretty fun as well. (But how could a game that
lets you be Old Dirty Bastard NOT be fun?)
Though it's not likely you'll ever find a working
version of the Journey arcade game to play, through the magic of Arcade
Emulation, you can download a few small files to play it on your own