We trawl Scottish arcades for Sega games,
then film & write about them.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Beach Esplanade, Aberdeen

It's not unreasonable to expect a fifteen year old arcade game to be a little worse for wear. A lot of
them are visceral experiences, with pedals to be stomped, shotguns to be pumped, not to mention
those arcade machines that are literally designed to be hit. It's also not unreasonable to expect that
an arcade game that has been stomped, pumped and hit into a pathetic state should perhaps be
repaired and it's certainly not unreasonable to expect that most games should at least have visible
displays and and have means of accepting money to allow us to play them.

Both Sunset Boulevard and The Boardwalk at Aberdeen's beachfront leisure complex have some
pretty impressive games on offer, but are sadly marred by the fact that so many of them are in such
a sorry condition. I can sort of understand why Sunset Boulevard's Manx TT Superbike cabinet was
showing some cosmetic damage, as it's almost old enough to enlist in the armed forces, but why is the excellent Sega Rally 3 from 2008 in the same arcade suffering from a washed out
screen and absolutely destroyed seat mechanism? Even more galling is the state of 1997's The Lost
World: Jurassic Park
on offer. Even though an employee had to help a pair of players activate their
credits during our visit, when we tried to play it later, the same problem struck again.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Further Portobello Thoughts: Light-Gun Games

Driving and shooting have been pretty common arcade themes for quite a long time now for very understandable reasons. Even if driving or shooting take a degree of skill to do properly, the fundamentals are basic enough that a casual arcade gamer can apply them pretty quickly and flexible enough that they can drive a respectable amount of variations and sub genres, not to mention the appeal of the novel control methods these games offer, even if the steering wheel or light-gun is a more common control method than the joystick in many arcades.

The dominance of these genres is pretty clear at Portobello, although there is a notable exception in Virtua Striker 2 '98. There hasn't been an update to this series since 2006, although its bright, saturated style would perhaps be a neat alternative on modern consoles to the largely more realistic style of the more popular football franchises around now. The cabinet appears to be in good condition, although I unfortunately didn't get a chance to play it as it was surprisingly pretty popular and I have to confess to not being particular eager to wait around for it to become free with the likes of Crazy Taxi and The House of the Dead II trying to magnetically draw pound coins from my pocket. (This is a lie, pound coins are not magnetic, so the theft magnets installed in Crazy Taxi cabinets don't work in the UK).

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