Friday, 23 December 2016

Arcade Club

We recently made another visit to the awesome Arcade Club.  The arcade has a lot of new additions, including quite a few titles I had never played before.  Here is a walk round video of the main floor.

My gaming highlights, in no particular order.

Moon Patrol – Irem - 1982

This is one I’d never played before.  The controls are great and I love the physics of the buggy.  The game feels entirely fair and has that ‘one more go’ quality.  Awesome cabinet art as well.

Mechanized Attack – SNK – 1989

It’s been years since I’ve played this.  I enjoyed a run through, and saw the ‘You are dead!’ message quite a bit!  The visuals are great, with awesome Terminator inspired enemies.

Total Carnage – Midway - 1992

It was great to have a few credits on this Smash TV sequel.  I only ever saw this in one arcade back in the day, The Majestic, Great Yarmouth.

Vendetta – Konami – 1991

A fun scrolling beat-em-up with lots of nice touches.  I particularly liked the bucket.  Not a conventional weapon, but kick the bucket and it will land on an enemy’s head, causing him to roam about like a headless chicken!

These four-player dedicated cabinets were everywhere in the nineties, but it’s the first time I’ve seen a dedicated Vendetta.

Monkey Mole Panic – Taito – 1992

Basically a videogame version of Whack-a-Mole.  It’s the first time I’ve seen this Electrocoin cabinet.  Great fun, especially in multiplayer. 

Mercs – Capcom – 1990

I don’t recall seeing this game in the arcades, but remember renting the Megadrive version from the local video shop.  Awesome game, I love the control panel art.

Zaxxon -  Sega - 1982

Another arcade first for me.  I enjoyed playing this isometric shooter, but the more I played, the worse I seemed to get.  The joystick did feel a little clunky.  Yes that’s right, I’m blaming the joystick for my poor performance!

BurgerTime – Data East – 1982

Great fun and addictive, but never have fried eggs and hot dogs been so infuriating!  I love the control panel and side art.

Tapper – Bally Midway – 1983

Serve beer and collect empty glasses and tips, much more fun than it sounds!  Another title I’ve only played at Arcade Club.

I love how the cabinet is designed to look and feel like a bar, with possibly the best control panel ever!

Osman – Mitchell Corp - 1996
It was great to see this rare and beautiful spiritual sequel to Strider.  The artwork really is stunning, but the game is punishingly difficult if you stick to the one credit rule.  I actually have this game, and really need to get this in a cab and spend some time with it.

The awesome line up of Electrocoin cabinets takes me right back to how I remember arcades back in the day.

Some more pics of Arcade Club.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Lincolnshire Coast 2 Coast

During the summer hols, we had four nights in a caravan in Skegness.  We checked out the nearby seaside towns.  This resulted in lots of arcades, ice cream and fish n chips!  The arcades had some nice surprises, both old and new.

Day 1 – Imgoldmells

Planet Fun had a great selection of modern dedicated cabinets. 

Some pinball tables on the first floor.

Hopping Road – 2009

Hopping Road must have had a very limited Western release.  I’ve only ever seen it in a couple of arcades, including the Trocedero shortly before it closed.  The game released in 2009 on Taito Type X2 hardware.

Hopping Road was a definite hit with my wife and daughter.

It was also nice to see Afterburner Climax SDLX and two Sega F355 Challenge DLX triple screen cabinets.

The other arcades along the strip weren’t as good, but it was nice to have some credits on The Lost World.

P’s Attack, a gun shooting game by Korean developer Uniana.

Fantasy Island had a nice four player Daytona set up, although unfortunately the seat movement wasn’t working.  I love how the intro is split across the four screens.

There were also a couple of pinball tables.

Day 2 – Cleethorpes

Severely hung over, we headed to Cleethorpes.  Hangovers definitely seem to be getting worse the older I get.  Fortunately it was a nice sunny day and I had a couple of hours chilling on the beach to get over it.  I had a nap and found my wife and daughter had been keeping themselves entertained by covering me with sand and putting crabs on me.  After an ice cream I was fully recuperated and we headed for the arcades.

Cool Riders - 1994

There weren’t a huge selection of videogames, but it was nice seeing Cool Riders, a pretty obscure Sega game I had never seen before.  With a light hearted tone, eight selectable motorcycles and a choice of routes, the game has a similar premise to OutRunners.  There is even a radio giving the player a choice of tracks, including ‘Born To Be Wild’ and ‘Theme of Love’ from Hang-On!

The game uses digitised graphics and is the only game to run on Sega System H1 hardware.

Unfortunately the steering was slightly off and the monitor was in need of a bit of adjustment, but the game was still playable and good fun.

There was a nice Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga 20 Year Reunion cabinet amongst the fruit machines and grabbers.

Every self respecting seaside arcade should have OutRun2!

We also enjoyed a couple of credits on Let’s Go Island.

We rounded off the day nicely with fish n chips at the ‘Leaking Boot Restaurant & Chippie’ on the seafront.

Day 3 - Mablethorpe
We had a nice morning having a look round The Mablethorpe Seal Sanctuary and Wildlife Centre, and checked out the beach and arcades in the afternoon.

There was an awesome OutRun2SP DX set up.  The game was one pound per credit, the monitors were good and the sound was cranked up nice and loud.  We had a few credits on this.  Or more accurately, I played it until I finally beat my wife!

Luigi’s Mansion Arcade

Luigi’s Mansion Arcade was a nice surprise.  It was the first time I’d seen one of these.

Who you gonna call?

I’m not familiar with the Gamecube version, but the game was fun and certainly different.

Some old classics reinvented.

It was cool having a couple of credits on Rainbow Islands in an arcade in an English seaside town, even if it was emulation. 

Whilst not my favourite in the series, this Sega Rally 3 DLX set up in a nearby holiday camp was impressive.

Day 4 – Chapel St. Leonard’s
There wasn’t much old or noteworthy in the main arcades.  The best finds were these tucked away in the back corner of ‘The Happy Days Club’. 

These were the oldest machines we came across during our holiday.  It was cool to see Final Lap 3.  Unfortunately the Electrocoin cab wasn’t working.

We stopped by the little cafĂ© next door to ‘The Happy Days Club’ for some breakfast, and then checked out a few of the local holiday camps.  Golden Palm Resort arcade had a very nice selection of modern games, including After Burner Climax, Chase H.Q.2, OutRun2 and Star Wars Battle Pod as well as a couple of pinball tables.

Chase H.Q.2 - 2006

It was great to finally play the 2 player linked battle mode.  Select the stage and compete to capture the target car first.  The player who does the final damage to the target car wins, great fun!

Star Wars Battle Pod Flat Screen Edition - 2015

This is the first time I’ve seen the Flat Screen Edition.  With a 42” LCD screen and cool aesthetics, the game still feels very immersive.  However it does seem easier than the regular pod version and I managed to finally complete Vader’s Revenge without too much trouble.

Sonic returns to the arcades!

Day 5 – Skegness

The arcades along ‘Skecvegas’ seafront had the usual selection of modern games, including Operation G.H.O.S.T. and OutRun2SP DX.  I had hoped to find an old classic tucked away in the corner, but there was nothing old.  Not even the seaside town staple that is Daytona USA could be found.  The oldest videogames were at the backend of the pier, and included 500 GP, Alien Extermination, Star Wars Trilogy and Thrill Drive 2. 

Skegness Pier also had these pinball tables.

World’s Largest Pac-Man - 2016
The World’s Largest Pac-Man in the Pleasure Beach arcade was pretty cool.

Galaga Assault – 2016

Wow a new 2D shooter in a modern arcade!  Sort of.