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Everything retro - big and small! Live from Perth, Australia!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Retro Game On Goes to an Arcade

I received two weird looks for taking this photo from random passer-byers. I hope someone appreciates it. 
Being the 20-something hot potato I am, arcades have always been out of reach for me. I basically missed the arcade generation by a good 15 years, instead jumping straight into the 32 and 64 console bit era.
The concept of going to an arcade and spending lots of change has always intrigued me however; a bygone era where you couldn't beat a game without waiting in line and spending all your pocket money.
Today I had a chance to check one out though, as I had to wait in a shopping centre for six goddamn hours. Shopping centres generally repulse me. I hate them, and all the slow pensioners, fat bogans and screaming kids within. Why would I force such a sour place on myself though? Well, I was waiting to spend nearly a grand on my car, that's why. A $150 service turned into a $900 hole in my pocket far too quickly (the Retromobile isn't such a hot-spud its self any more); but that's not what this post is about. No, I'm here to tell you about the ten whole dollars I spent at Leisure Island instead, within the suburban wasteland based mall I spend the majority of my day in.

Of course you can't just use 50 cent pieces any more; you have to buy obnoxious tokens instead. In a world where arcades aren't the money sinks they were, but instead a novelty to people walking to and from a cinema, they want to graciously accept as much of your money as possible. $10 grants you ten tokens, with many of the machines costing one or two tokens per play. There are prizes as well but it's all plastic based garbage which I didn't bother with. If I wanted a plastic piece of garbage, I would track down a Game.com instead.

First off, I played Midnight 3 DX... Plus. With a long name like that, you know it's a Namco title.
It's quite an interesting concept actually; it's a story-based racing game. You can use these cards which save your progress, meaning you don't have to sink 5 bucks every time you play it to get where you were beforehand. Quite important these days really, where it's so easy to play console equivalents in your greasy, Sailor Moon themed living room.

The safety warnings where incredibly insightful and easy to understand. 
The game its self was quite easy, but even though I was winning it wanted me to pay to continue playing. At this point I gave it a menacing frown, which must of intimated it because I found two tokens in its coin return. Hehe, I win again, machinery. If you're reading this, my kitchens toaster: you're next you toast burning piece of shit.

Next up was this 'winner' of a machine that graciously ate my coin, but did not give me a play. I guess it was the winner here this time... but I'll be back.

Woah hey, AccaDacca! Don't non-Australians know of this band too? Or was Steve Irwin and that shrimp on the barbie dude the only guys who made it alive across the Pacific Ocean?
I have previously played this at my local pub, because of course I did, and my opinion that it's a musical sham machine continues. Too many balls conveniently fell "straight through the guts" as I played this; totally unfair. I guess I do suck at pinball through lack of experience, but I would like to think that it was somehow stealing my money. It makes me feel a bit better about myself, oddly. 

Next up.. Time Crisis 4. I was actually doing pretty well at this, but then I suddenly wasn't and the turn ended. Out of all the stuff I played though, I was most interested in paying for a continue here. I didn't however, as I was determined on spreading my fake coins around as much as possible, and this particular machine cost the equivalent of $2 per turn.

Although only a hundred yen in its hometown.
That was a pretty stupid thing to think however, as I only made it to one last obnoxious sounding machine...

Street Basketball, where you play as Bad Man 00. I'm sure a compelling plot follows such a name, but it wasn't mentioned. Shame.
Suffice to say, I absolutely owned this game. I earned four fricken tickets for my troubles, but did not get a chance to spend them as I then got the horrifying call from my mechanic that I would have to spend my happy-go-lucky beer and video game fund.

Leaving this arcade (four coins and four tickets heavier) I felt a bit sad. This may have had something to do with spending $900 on a $3500 car, but I would like to think it was over an obsolete industry. I've read about the glory days of arcades, and this resembled it in no way whatsoever.
What I would kill (probably that Tekken machine) to go back to the 80's and play the greats of yesteryear for a penny. Never again will we be able to go pimply-nosed into a dark, dank arcade that smells of stale Coke and cigarette smoke to beat my best scores of Altered Beast or Ghost 'N' Goblins. Those days are long gone, replaced by home consoles and computers. Sure those are better things, but the atmosphere has be squashed; gone forever. All we can do now is appreciate the glory days for what they were.

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