Thursday, 14 September 2017

Arcades in Dymchurch, Kent

On day three of our holiday we ventured to Dymchurch, a small seaside village with a children’s amusement park, shops, cafes and sandy beach.  The journey from Romney was made on a one-third full size steam locomotive, part of the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway collection.


Deck Amusements

The arcade has a nice selection of videogames, including some I had never seen before.

Behind Enemy Lines: Coalition Against Terrorism – Sega / Real3D – 1998

Virtua Cop meets Operation Wolf in this awesome shooter.  I was really happy to play it, having never seen one before.  The game runs on Sega Model 2C CRX hardware, and the cabinet design is very similar to Gunblade NY with two mounted gun turrets. 

Here is a video of the game.

Operation Thunderbolt – Taito – 1988

Another awesome shooter, but from a different era.  It was great to see this classic.  Besides the broken grenade buttons on the Uzi’s, the cabinet was in excellent condition.

Side By Side – Taito – 1996
A forerunner to the Battle Gear series, the game has a strong Initial D vibe with the player selecting Japanese sports cars to race downhill.  Another arcade first for me.

A video of the beginner course.

The Electrocoin Goliath, running Tekken looked in great condition.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Arcades in Deal, Kent

On day two of our holiday at Romney Sands, we ventured down to Deal.  The first arcade we checked out was Pier Amusements on the seafront. 

The arcade featured mostly coin pushers and redemption machines.  However there was an OutRun2 twin as well as a Europa Jamma cabinet which had been converted into Lethal Enforcers II: Gun Fighters. 

After having fish n chips on the seafront, we went to Royal Leisure Centre. 

The arcade had some real classics.  There was a row of four Electrocoin Duet cabinets with a line-up of Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter II’ Championship Edition and Hyper Fighting and Track & Field.

Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker, The Simpsons and WF WrestleFest.

Four Trax, released by Namco in 1989.

A cool game I don’t recall seeing before.

The machines were in pretty good condition for their age.  The monitors were good and the games played well.  The only issue I had was the Moonwalker cab not accepting coins.  Towards the back of the arcade was a fruit machine graveyard.  There appears to be a N-Sub machine at the back behind them, a cool Sega game from 1980.

With Electrocoin cabinets complete with ashtrays, games 20p per credit, vintage arcade signs and the familiar sounds of Street Fighter II’ and The Simpsons, it really felt like re-visiting a nineties arcade.  

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Arcades in Herne Bay, Kent

During the holidays we travelled down to Kent and spent a few nights in a caravan at Romney Sands.  On our way down to Romney, we stopped off at Herne Bay and checked out the arcades.

Caine’s Amusements

Located close to Herne Pier, this arcade has a good selection of the latest releases as shown at EAG Expo 2017, including Cruis‘n Blast, Space Invaders Frenzy and The Walking Dead.

It’s great to see Space Invaders back in the arcades.  Although it’s more of a ticket redemption game, I love the frantic gameplay and can’t resist a go whenever I see one.

It was the first time I’ve seen After Dark DLX, a fun fantasy-themed shooter released by UNIS / Universal Space in 2013.

With two gun turrets and a steering wheel for steering / dodging events, the set up is almost identical to Namco’s Dead Storm Pirates.  This deluxe version also features a motion seat.

Here is a video of the game.

Talk of the Town

The first machines you encounter in this arcade are Sega Rally 2 and Le Mans 24.  I enjoyed a couple of credits on Le Mans 24, a Sega game you don’t see very often.  I had a race with my four year old daughter, who ended up driving the wrong way around the track whilst on fire.

Next up was The House of the Dead III and Time Crisis 3, the latter was switched off.

As we headed towards the back of the arcade there were some awesome surprises.

I could hardly believe it, an OutRun DLX!

The machine had been converted to Turbo OutRun.  I love the marquee topper and have never seen one of these before.

Although it was great to see an OutRun Turbo DLX, it was also a little sad to see it not working and unloved, gathering dust and being used to prop up fire extinguishers. 

The machine had some cosmetic wear and tear.  At some point in time ‘Jilly T’ had felt the urge to inscribe her name on the seat. 

Despite this, I’m sure that with a bit of tlc the machine could be restored back to its former glory.

Well I never thought I’d see Thunder Cross II in an English seaside town arcade in 2017!

This Sega Super Megalo 2 had a bit of an identity crisis, with Virtua Striker 2 side art, The King of Fighters ’98 instruction strips and Thunder Cross II installed in the cab. 

Unfortunately the rear projector screen was damaged and the colours washed out, rendering the game barely playable.

There were two Electrocoin Duet cabinets with Cosmo Gang the Video and Wonder Boy.

The Dr Who and Fish Tales pinball tables were both switched off.

Overall Talk of the Town was a cool arcade with some interesting game titles and machines that you just don’t see anymore, but it was a shame some of the machines were in a bit of a sorry state.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Broad Farm Touring Caravan Park & Campsite Re-visit

We recently went down to Broad Farm in Fleggburgh, Norfolk to check out a band and see if there had been any changes to the arcade.

Something has survived!  On my last visit The Lost World was out of order, it was nice to see it up and running again.

For some reason the shooter line up and Dirty Harry pinball table were switched off.

The ‘arcade graveyard’ section remains largely unchanged, although the Crazy Taxi cabinet has gone.

It turns out there is another arcade next to the bar area.  This comprised mostly of fruit machines, but the awesome Virtua Racing was a nice surprise.

Unfortunately the left monitor wasn’t working and the machine was a little worn around the edges.  However Sega Model 1 machines are a rare find these days and it was great to see one still being operated.

I can’t comment on the band.  My daughter was getting pretty tired and grumpy, and we ended up going home before they had even finished setting up.