GamesYouLoved approached me on Twitter and asked if I'd like to give them a blog post about my games room. Well, I'm no blogger but I do love my games room so here goes!
If you are old enough to remember the heyday of the arcades then, like me, you probably miss them chronically. I grew up in a seaside town in the 80s and 90s so arcades featured big in my childhood. The last true arcade in my town closed in a few years back and this left me mourning. So, as many retro gamers do, I start looking to buy an arcade machine... Three years later and I have a room that looks something like this.
To those that aren't arcade machine collectors, this might seem excessive! Well, what you see there aren't all the machines I've purchased over the past few years. Many have been bought, played, and sold to get funds or make room for "new" games. Those games that you remember and realise that you "have to have them".
This is one dangerous hobby to get into! By the time you read this, the line-up will have likely been changed. That's how it goes! I've been asked me to give a run-down of the machines I currently do own, so here we go... Data East WWF Royal Rumble This is one of the better Data East games but people still tend to overlook it because of the theme. I'm a huge wrestling fan so the theme is a plus to me! It's a widebody pinball but this doesn't close the game down a great deal.
The table features a bunch of WWF superstars from the early 90s. Just the decal of Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan is enough for me to love this great machine. It's pretty common to see the lamps on older tables replaced with LEDs. That's not been done to this one, it still has the nice original glowing incandescents. Some games look better with LEDs, some don't. I like this how it is! It has some scrapes here and there and there's nothing wrong with a bit of history.
It plays perfectly and the sounds will take you back in time. OOOOH YEAAAAAAH! Ms. Pac-Man It's the most successful American-made arcade game of all-time. It's pretty as hell. It's Ms. Pac-Man! If you don't love Ms. Pac-Man, maybe you've never really played it... some people come round my house not really knowing Ms. Pac-Man, many of them leave wanting to play more. This is an original Bally Midway machine, imported from the US last year. It has a transformer inside so it runs on the UK mains. The monitor has a little screen burn. There are some chips to the control panel, as is typical for machines of this age, but everything is in good working order!
The only thing that divides collectors on this one is the artwork. The original artwork is painted and fades over time. Rather than leave it as is or spend weeks reproducing the paintwork, I went for the vinyl sticker route. I think it looks gorgeous, some collectors think I've committed treason! Well, it's my Ms. Pac-Man.
Don't like what I've done to it then get your own! Scud Race Fact: I'd never played this game before I'd bought it. I did have a Daytona USA upright and boy was that loved! But I've wanted a sit-down since I started in this hobby and a Sega driver came up at a good price... so Daytona USA was sold to Arcade Club in Bury and in came Scud Race.
This is one half of a two player machines. Those machines share a unit between them for the coin box, power supply, service panel etc. When they are split in two, one side (the master) gets the tower, the other (the slave) has to make up some bits.
This was the slave side so you may be able to see an exposed service panel! This is no issue whatsoever as it's not going out on-site whilst I own it. Another fact: it's a great game! Point Blank I've got a pinball, I've got a driver, I needed a shooter, and I found a Point Blank! I love this game. For a shooter, it's fairly innocent compared to Time Crisis, Namco's other great shooter.
The artwork and overall look of the Point Blank cabs is stunning. So this is a perfect machine where it all comes together! In fact, I had to put this machine together as the cab fell to pieces when we got it outside my house. If you buy an arcade machine, check that the monitor is screwed in place, that's what I learnt that day. The second gun is faulty somewhere on the PCB side of things and sadly I doubt I'll ever be able to fix it.
On this arcade system, Point Blank was the only game to be released outside of Japan and Namco aren't the greatest at providing schematics.... but player 1 is all good! Neo Geo This is a Lordsvale Neo Geo cabinet with a four slot mobo. These cabs don't have marquees but are very sturdy, easy to work with, and very "front room friendly".
They are popular cabs and it took me some time to find this one. It has some bad screen burn from Neo Turf Masters but otherwise it's perfect. Right now, the MVS carts I have in there are Aero Fighters 2, Street Hoop, Spinmaster, and Neo Turf Masters. Neo Geo cabs are great for giving players more than one game without resorting to emulation, which my last two cabs provide... Adelphi Challenger This is a "chip shop" JAMMA cab. As you can see, it's got a two player control panel and has the extra kick buttons for games like Street Fighter 2.
Inside is a Raspberry Pi with MAME and a few thousand games connected to the standard JAMMA harness. The Pi handles pretty much all games up to around the mid-90s and then it gets choosey! But all your favourite games from the 80s should be on here... and when you play them, they'll look how you remember them as this MAME machine has a CRT! One of my favourite features to this cab is the ashtray!
Not only does that really take you back in time, it also functions as a very handy 20p holder! Vertical JAMMA And lastly, this is the latest addition to my room. I don't actually know what it is, it's a bit of a Frankenstein cab! I love the style, similar to my Ms. Pac-Man. I've put in a 60-in-1 board in it (a JAMMA multiboard with 60 classics including Donkey Kong, Galaga, Frogger etc.) The insides of the cab are weird.
The control panel is obviously from another machine... but I love it! It's perfect for a 60-in-1 and rounds my collection off nicely! Anything else? Originally, the plan was for this room to also have some consoles, a sofa, and a beer fridge. The arcade machines had other ideas though! All my other retro gaming bits are now in a different room, except for the decorations on the walls and my TomyTronic 3D Thunderin' Turbo... So that's my arcade room.
Who knows what the future will bring! Maybe another Scud Race to make it two-player, maybe another pinball machine... whatever the next machine is, the challenge of space means the rotation of cabs will likely never end!
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