Friday, 9 November 2018

Lunapark Reflex – Ostend, Belgium

During a recent port stop in Ostend, the ship I was working on had a breakdown, and I took the opportunity to checkout Lunapark Reflex arcade.

The arcade has an awesome selection of modern arcade games, well maintained and in excellent condition.  I liked how the majority of videogames are in one area, separate from the pushers and redemption machines, giving a proper arcade feel.  This was further enhanced by cool lighting, which really showed off the machines.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Raw Thrills – 2018

I’ve been really looking forward to playing this!  I have fond memories of playing Konami’s Turtles arcade games back in the day, and it’s awesome to see Raw Thrills revive a genre which has been dormant in the arcades for decades.  The cabinet looks fantastic, and the game plays really well.  Best of all you can throw foot soldiers out towards the screen just like you could in Turtles in Time.  Hopefully we will start seeing it in UK arcades soon!

Hummer DX – Sega – 2009

Another nice surprise!  Running on Sega Lindbergh hardware, Hummer DX is an awesome motion based, off road racing game which is pretty uncommon.  In fact I’ve never seen one in the UK, and the last time I played one was in Japan back in 2011. 

The game features a cooperative play mode allowing two players to take turns driving with their own set of controls, similar to OutRun2SP DX.

I’ve always found it slightly odd how the front of the Hummer is at the back of the cab.

The arcade also had Ghost Squad, Grid, OutRun2 and Sega Rally 2 DX in the Sega lineup.

It’s always great to play some OutRun when working away from home!

The arcade also had an impressive selection of pinball tables.

I enjoyed a few credits on the new Star Wars table, very cool!

Here are some more pics of the arcade.

A video of Hummer and the arcade.

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.