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.


Monday, 17 July 2017

New Arrival - Atari Klax Cabaret

IT IS THE NINETIES AND THERE IS TIME FOR...


About The Cab
It seemed like this cab was for sale forever on Ebay and on Jamma+ and Ukvac arcade forums.  In the end I decided to buy it mainly for my wife, with Klax being one of her favourite games.  Plus I thought it would be cool having an Atari cab and would bring something a bit different to my collection.  When the cab arrived, I was short of space and it ended up behind the TV in the lounge for a while.  Then we moved house and all my cabs were put into storage during the transition.  Finally Klax takes pride of place in my new games room. 


The cab was made in IrelandTipperary town. 


Interestingly it looks like the cab has been operated in Germany, with Deutsche Marks on the coin inserts.

The Good
-The cab is fully working!
-There are some small marks from general wear and tear, but the cab is generally in excellent condition.


-The monitor is a Wells-Gardner, Model No. 19K7901, and the picture is great with no noticeable burn.


-Being a cabaret, the cab is nice and compact.
-The cab is funky, with nice side art and chrome T-moulding.
-The bezel is in great condition.
-The cab is extremely clean inside.  Other than a bit of a hoover up inside the base, I haven’t had to do anything to it.


-The instruction card is intact and attached to the rear door.
-It came complete with manual and keys
-With the cab being Jamma standard there is always the option to put other one button puzzle games in there as well.  

The Not So Good
-There is some slight cigarette burn on the left hand side of the control panel.
-A small section of side art on the right hand side has started to peel away.
-The coin door key is missing and one of the locks is missing the latch.
-My wife is very good at the game, and I’m not.

A massive thanks to Danscu (Ukvac) for this cab, I’m really pleased to add it to my collection.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Daytona Championship USA Hits The Arcades!


A local arcade in Great Yarmouth, The Golden Nugget now has a Daytona Championship USA twin set up.  It’s great to see the new Daytona hitting the arcades and I have dropped plenty of gold coins into it to give it a thorough testing. 

Below are my thoughts on the game and some general observations.

Cabinet Design
The cabinet is very striking, with its video billboard marquee, engine under the seat and cool colour changing LED lighting. 




The 47” HD LED screen provides a very immersive experience, although it does seem susceptible to glare and light reflections.

A pic of the cab shortly after arrival.


The cabinet utilises some parts from older Sega cabinets.  The gear shifter and foot pedal assembly are identical parts to those used on my OutRun2.



Graphics and Sound
Although the visuals don’t break new ground, the game does look good.  With bright, vibrant visuals and blue skies, the game is unmistakably Sega.


Three-Seven Speedway still features Sonic engraved into the side of the cliff face.  The slot machine banners are now absent.


The Jeffry statue on Seaside Street Galaxy has now been replaced with Akira.

The music is good with some nice remixes of the original Takenobu Mitsuyoshi tunes.

Video Billboard Marquee
A ‘Live-TV’ inspired video board allows spectators to see what’s happening in the race.  It also incorporates a live camera feed.  The billboard is a nice feature and really makes the cab stand out.


Gear Shifter
The cab still has the ‘up / down’ shifter as shown at EAG.  It looks as though Sega have made allowances in the design so that a four speed H-type shifter could be fitted. 


Tracks
Despite the all new cab and graphics, the game feels instantly familiar.  In addition to the three updated tracks from the original, there are three new ones.  The game now features two beginner, two advanced and two expert tracks.  Beginner comprises of eight laps, advanced six laps and expert one lap.  The new beginner track is Daytona International Speedway.  The track is very similar to Three-Seven Speedway and based on the newly renovated Daytona track. 


The new advanced track is Lakeside Castle Speedway.  The track is a mirrored version Dinosaur Canyon and features a picturesque moated castle, a purple sky sunset and fire works. 

The new expert track is Metro City International Raceway and is a mirrored version of Seaside Street Galaxy.  The cityscape track features a low-flying plane overhead and has a bit of a Ridge Racer vibe.

Gameplay
In single player there are two modes of play - Quick Race and Championship. 



On Quick Race, the aim is to beat the fastest time of the chosen track.  On Championship, the player must get in the top three in order to qualify for the next race.  This is no mean feat and so far I haven’t managed to get beyond the first race.

Overall
Daytona Championship USA is bound to divide opinion.  The game is more of a reboot, and those hoping for a fully fledged sequel may be disappointed.  The game has a strong nostalgia factor and is fun for casual and more serious gamers alike.  Personally I’m really enjoying it and happy to see Daytona back in the arcades.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

New Arrival – Bally / Midway Mappy

THE ULTIMATE CAT-AND-MOUSE GAME!


About The Cab
Mappy is a bit of an odd one.  I never played it back in the day and the cabinet wasn’t on my radar, but Mappy is now one of my favourite cabs in my collection. 

 



Mappy was developed by Namco in 1983 and distributed in the US by Bally / Midway.  The cab even has all the original license stickers from when it was on site at Illinois.

 

“The player takes the role of a police mouse called Mappy.  You must retrieve stolen goods from a mansion of crooked cats, Mewkies and their cat crime boss Nyamco.  Mappy can use doors, bells, and even microwaves to slow them down.  How can Mappy and the cat crime syndicate move between floors?  Why trampolines of course!  The house is full of them.”  I would have loved to be at Namco HQ when the idea was pitched!  It sounds a bit crazy, but the game is great fun and very addictive.

 

The cab is a bit of a beast and the design borders slightly on ridiculous, but I absolutely love it.  Just Jr. Pac-Man shares a similar cabinet design.  The artwork is great and the oversized marquee gives it a really unique look.


I really like the mix of cartoon style and pixel artwork.


The Good
-It’s a US Mappy!
-The cab is in nice original condition, solid and fully working.
-The monitor is a Wells-Gardner K4600 and the picture is great.
-I love the cabinet design, artwork and oversized marquee.
-The glass bezel is in great condition with very little flaking.
-The cab has nice side art, and good T-moulding.
-The cab is extremely clean inside.


-The coin door paintwork is in good condition.
-It came complete with keys.

The Not So Good
-The monitor has some light burn, although this is not visible through the perspex screen cover.
-The back door lock is missing, and is currently secured by screws.
-There is rust on the transformer block / fuse holder.
-There are some small marks from general wear and tear, and some slight wear on the edges of the side art.
-The marquee and bezel are a little faded.
-Hey, come on, this cab is over thirty years old!
-In fact scrap ‘The Not So Good’, I love it!

Now here is the mystery part.  When I was wheeling the cab into my games room, I tipped the cab back on the sack barrow and my wife noticed this artwork on the bottom.

 

I had read that Bally / Midway used to recycle cabinet parts.  After asking on Ukvac, it turns out that the art is from Solar Fox, a cool looking space shooter and a Pac-Man type game all in one.  Released in 1981, it seems the game is pretty uncommon and wasn't all that popular. 


A massive thanks to Muddymusic (Ukvac) for this awesome cab.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Dorset Coast 2 Coast

This time work took me to Portland, and I had a chance to check out some arcades during my time there.

Bournemouth Pier Update


The pier has an excellent selection of modern titles, including Dark Escape 4D, Jurassic Park, Moto GP, Star Wars Battle Pod, Storm Racer G, Terminator Salvation, The House of the Dead 4 and Time Crisis 5.  The arcade was very popular, with a lot of families visiting the arcade.  I enjoyed a couple of credits on Storm Racer G, Time Crisis 5 Mastermind Edition and Ghost Busters pinball.


Since my last visit, Star Wars Battle Pod had been replaced by two Flat Screen Editions set up for multiplayer.


It was the first time I’ve seen Storm Racer G, by Wahlap Tech. 


  
MotoGP, by Raw Thrills is another new addition since my last visit.



The arcade still has an impressive selection of pinball tables. 


The line-up has altered slightly since my last visit, with the excellent Ghost Busters replacing X-Men.






Swanage
Funworld arcade on the seafront had a fair selection of modern games.


Weymouth

The Pier Bandstand


I visited this arcade a couple of times after work, only to find it was closed.  I phoned them up and enquired about the opening hours, and was told it closes between half five and six depending on how busy they are.  I finished work a bit early to check it out.

In the window was this very clean Pac-Mania cab.  The Op said it was working as well, so not to sure why it wasn’t running?  Update: Since my visit, the Pac-Mania ‘window display’ is now back with an arcade collector, the same person who originally sold the cab to the arcade.


In the arcade I had a couple of credits on The House of the Dead, THOTDIII and Alien Extermination.  The calibration of THOTD gun was way off and I got killed by the first zombie, but the other games played well and in good condition. 




It was the first time I’d seen a Pac-Man Battle Royale cocktail cabinet outside Japan.



Harry’s Amusements
Lucky & Wild and Ridge Racer 2 were nice surprises.


The Ridge Racer 2 was in excellent condition for its age and played well.


The arcade also had some pinball tables.


Royal Arcade Amusements
It’s always good to see an OutRun2.  The LCD conversion was horrible, but the game was still perfectly playable.


Fantasy Island, Bowleaze Cove
Other than Sega Rally 2 DLX and The House of the Dead 4, there was not much to report here.