Thursday, 4 October 2018

Arcade Operator Warehouse Mini Raid

I recently visited an Arcade Operator who has been in the industry for twenty five years.  Nowadays the Op deals in fruit machines and vending machines, pool tables and jukeboxes.  Video games have become a smaller part of the business, and sadly he admits that a lot of arcade gear had been scrapped over the years.  The Op told me he had lost track of his inventory.  He allowed me to have a rummage round the premises and stockpile items I was interested in buying.  There were some nice items to be found.

Machine Storage Area

In this room there were a lot of fruit machines with a few arcade cabs amongst them.

A partially buried Simpsons cab.

Point Blank and Ninja Assault, two great Namco shooting games.

A Mr. & Mrs. Pac-Man pinball backbox.

A Dinosaur King and a Love and Berry cab.  I think it’s the first time I’ve seen the latter.  The Op mentioned that these may go back on site.   

A generic cocktail cabinet.  Unfortunately it looked pretty beat-up.

A classic Taito Space Invaders.

Parts Store Room

I spent most of my time rummaging in this room.  Items had to be relocated to move round the room, and getting gear out was a bit of a mission!  It was mostly fruit machine parts, but I did manage to dig out some nice items.

There was a full arsenal with guns, sniper rifles and even a crossbow!

Some buried monitors.

These Sega cages were well buried, but I was determined to dig them out! 

The Op thought they were Sega Rally and Touring Cars, but wasn’t sure.

There were all sorts of random items on the shelves, including monitor chassis, joysticks, buttons, looms, power supplies and Sega Model 1 parts.

Workshop and Storage Area

The workshop area had shelving units full of spares.  On one shelf I found a stack of PCB boards and some monitor chassis.

The PCB’s include Asteroids, Liquid Kids, Space Invaders and Wardner, as well as some others I haven’t yet identified.  Quite a random selection to find on a shelf.  I don’t recall seeing either Liquid Kids or Wardner back in the day.

They also had pool tables, crane machines and a Terminator Salvation.

My pile of pick ups.

After a bit of Tetrising I managed to fit it all in the boot.

Asteroids Update
The Asteroids board had a hand written note attached. 

I sent the board off to RetroClinic to have the board repaired and refurbished.  Here is a test video which explains what was done.

Sega Cages
These turned out to be Sega Rally and Virtua Cop.  The Sega Rally proved to be fully working, and the Virtua Cop required a new CPU.

Sega Rally being tested on a Virtua Fighter cab.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Clacton-on-Sea & Walton-on-the-Naze Arcade - 2018 Update

We spent a couple of days in Clacton during the summer hols and checked out the arcades during our seaside days out.  It’s been just under two years since our last visit.


The pier still has a good selection of modern arcade games.

Mario & Sonic At The Rio 2016 Olympic Games Arcade Edition – Nintendo / Sega
Well who would have imagined Mario and Sonic joining forces in the arcades!

Crazy Tower – Adrenaline Amusements - 2017

The first thing that strikes you is the cool 3D holographic display.  The game utilises a LED projector and enables four-player simultaneous independent play.

Players are tasked with building a tower and must tap the button at just the right moment as the blocks overlap.  If the blocks aren’t perfectly aligned, the size of the next block diminishes until it’s game over.  Simple, addictive arcade fun.

There is an arcade / bowling alley just across the road from the pier with some modern titles.

Luigi’s Mansion Arcade – Capcom / Nintendo – 2015

A cool game that’s not seen all that often.  I love the Poltergust 3000 vacuum controllers!

Operation G.H.O.S.T. – Sega - 2012
I was pleased to see this still here.  A cool game and pretty uncommon.

I also tried my hand at winning the worlds biggest Chupa Chup, but no such luck.

The amusement arcades along Pier Avenue also had a selection of modern titles.

Ghost Busters – ICE / Play Machanix / Raw Thrills - 2015
It’s a bit of a novelty game, but I love Ghost Busters, and who can resist shooting ping pong balls at ghosts and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!


On arrival, I saw a banner proclaiming that the pier is under new management.  There have been quite a few changes since my last visit, unfortunately not all of them good.  A gambling area for over eighteens has now been set up at the front of the arcade.  This is seemingly at the expense of the videogames.  Quite a few games have now been relocated to the back.  A few older classics, including Manx TT Super Bike, Rapid River and Sega Rally have gone, as well as Tank! Tank! Tank! and Panic Museum 2, two uncommon games.

On the upside, there is a lot of OutRun and Ferrari love in the building!  The OutRun2S DX is an awesome new addition.

The OutRun2SP is still present at the back of the arcade.

And a Ferrari parked inside the pier!

Unfortunately OutRun2SP DX was hampered by a number of issues.  These include dead screen, flickering screen and steering pulling to the right, leaving just one car working correctly. 

Tomb Raider –Square Enix / Crystal Dynamics - 2018

It was the first time I had seen this game.  Admittedly I’m not the biggest fan of Tomb Raider.  I had the original game on the Sega Saturn and never managed to get out of the first room.  However it was great to see a new arcade shooter.

The large screen size and four player option is pretty cool.   The guns are reloaded by pulling back the top slide, rather than the usual ‘shoot outside the screen’ mechanic. 

The first level features wolves attacking you, and the second level introduces human adversaries.  Unfortunately enemies occasionally proved difficult to see, with me not noticing some until after I’d been shot at.  Also the enemy animation was a bit poor, and the game felt a little uninspired.  It’s definitely not up to Namco or Sega standards, but we still enjoyed a couple of credits.

Some more pics of the Walton pier arcade.

A small graveyard section tucked away in a corner. 

There were no videogames, but I did spy a Pac-Man Ball pusher.

It’s a shame some of the older titles have gone.  However there are still some decent video games, and with the fairground and beach (tide permitting) it’s a nice way to spend a summers day.  Here’s hoping the OutRun2SP SDX is repaired soon!