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The Classic arcades of the 80s and 90s are dead or I am massively jaded?

modern arcade dead classic end jaded

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#26 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 3, 2019 5:03 PM

I for one am glad that beat-em-ups have dropped off in popularity. I also don't care much for the simple & dumb games, licensed or new or not. Superhero based or movie tie-ins are meh. I still have my imagination, gaming skill set, and a moderate level of intelligence. And that means computer games or classic games - engagements where those things still matter.

 

---

 

Nostalgia is a niche thing. I get plenty of it from mame. And *IF* there were a totally 100% accurate 80's arcade I would still likely visit it only a few times every now and then. Nostalgia isn't high-frequency consumption. When you repeatedly have to pay for it you may only do so a few times and then you're done.



#27 Shaggy the Atarian OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 4, 2019 12:17 AM

 

Will do if I am ever in the Utah area.  Is the West Valley the best valley I haven't been there?

Lol, not if you ask most people. I for one wouldn't mind it if the city's name was changed to something like it was originally (Hunter). But if you're ever in the area, I'd be happy to see you drop by!

 

 

Thank you for your great and insightful response.

The Injustice fighting game with slap buttons was the tipping point for me when I saw it I was like "oh my what fight games been reduced to "



I guess things change, and I know why the gun games and racing games are there, it just is sad how the classics are mostly gone or at the fringes.

I feel bad Capcom deceived you maybe they should change their name to CapCon.

I guess seeing as you are still in business you aren't letting nostalgia get that much in the way of the business.  I guess the people that held on went out of business or had to pivot into barcade business models.

 

Welcome. I'm happy to provide a perspective you don't hear from often out there these days.

 

Injustice wasn't designed to revive the fighter scene which is a common misconception - it was made to bring the "card vending" scene from Japan to the States. Games like that (Animal Kaiser and others) have been very popular in Japan, but nothing managed to breakout here. It started out with Dave & Busters specifically working to bring that genre here, and they figured that an IP like comic books would be the best way for it to succeed (I spoke with the Senior Executive VP of D&B a few times about this, he said it was his idea; he's been the guy that has been pushing a lot of the exclusive developments the company has). So far, they've been correct as the game has done well. Marvel is a continuation of that, but building on it to be a little more like a fighter that people want.

 

That said, keep an eye on the Exa. It's really the only chance I see for arcade fighters to make a comeback in the market that's on the horizon.  

 

Yeah, I have no love for Capcom after that. They are looking at bringing Street Fighter V Type Arcade to the states, but I'll not be burned again.

 

I'll answer the nostalgia part below :P

 

 

I for one am glad that beat-em-ups have dropped off in popularity. I also don't care much for the simple & dumb games, licensed or new or not. Superhero based or movie tie-ins are meh. I still have my imagination, gaming skill set, and a moderate level of intelligence. And that means computer games or classic games - engagements where those things still matter.

 

---

 

Nostalgia is a niche thing. I get plenty of it from mame. And *IF* there were a totally 100% accurate 80's arcade I would still likely visit it only a few times every now and then. Nostalgia isn't high-frequency consumption. When you repeatedly have to pay for it you may only do so a few times and then you're done.

 

I've seen the "nicheness" of nostalgia first hand so many times I've lost count. Here's one typical manner in which it plays out:

 

Guy arrives at the arcade a little starry eyed. Says something to the effect of "wow, I didn't know places like this still exist" or "I haven't been to an arcade in years"

 

He wanders around for a few minutes, stopping at a game here and there until he finds that one game he remembers from the good ol days.

 

"Oh man, I haven't seen this game since was 10 years old! Where did you get it?" Sometimes they'll have a faulty or confused memory, bringing up a feature the game didn't have or maybe belonged to a different game.

 

I'll explain the history about it depending, they thank me and usually add "it's so awesome that you have that!" then...they walk out and I don't see them again. No buying a token to check it out for old times sake or whatever. They're content just knowing it exists, but don't want to spoil their memory, I suppose (as most don't perceive that if they have fond memories of a game, it's from when they were a few feet shorter).

 

There are variations to this - sometimes, someone will play the game a few times, but that's it. Or I won't have their beloved game, so they tell me if I did have it they eould "be here every day!" I tried that a couple of times (as I liked the game they mentioned), but funny enough I never saw them again. 

 

Once in a blue moon, a dad will bring his kids in to try and convince them to enjoy the same memories, but often the kids will gravitate towards the new stuff. Even my own kids don't really give most games I have a chance :P

 

So yeah, you can only get so far on nostalgia. Unfortunately most new games are now riding the coattails of licenses to ride along where nostalgia fails. I guess we'll see if that is a "bubble" or not.



#28 redsteakraw OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 4, 2019 8:44 AM

 

I'll explain the history about it depending, they thank me and usually add "it's so awesome that you have that!" then...they walk out and I don't see them again. No buying a token to check it out for old times sake or whatever. They're content just knowing it exists, but don't want to spoil their memory, I suppose (as most don't perceive that if they have fond memories of a game, it's from when they were a few feet shorter).

 

There are variations to this - sometimes, someone will play the game a few times, but that's it. Or I won't have their beloved game, so they tell me if I did have it they eould "be here every day!" I tried that a couple of times (as I liked the game they mentioned), but funny enough I never saw them again. 

 

Once in a blue moon, a dad will bring his kids in to try and convince them to enjoy the same memories, but often the kids will gravitate towards the new stuff. Even my own kids don't really give most games I have a chance icon_razz.gif

 

That sucks with those people that just walk in and out, I am assuming it would cost only 25 cents to a a dollar to play for a little bit and that seems like it is worth it to support it and keep it there.  It is far better to play a game and get something out of it than to give it to a panhandler.  Now seeing that the games I liked are disappearing and are few and far between I play them when I find them.  I found your youtube channel and it seems like you have most of my favorites. 

 

On the business side of things that are the margins large enough that making the move to the bigger area was financially easy or did it take more investment?  Either way / it great to see an arcade not only merely exist but to expand. 



#29 accousticguitar OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 4, 2019 9:06 AM

I've seen the "nicheness" of nostalgia first hand so many times I've lost count. Here's one typical manner in which it plays out:

 

Guy arrives at the arcade a little starry eyed. Says something to the effect of "wow, I didn't know places like this still exist" or "I haven't been to an arcade in years"

 

He wanders around for a few minutes, stopping at a game here and there until he finds that one game he remembers from the good ol days.

 

"Oh man, I haven't seen this game since was 10 years old! Where did you get it?" Sometimes they'll have a faulty or confused memory, bringing up a feature the game didn't have or maybe belonged to a different game.

 

I'll explain the history about it depending, they thank me and usually add "it's so awesome that you have that!" then...they walk out and I don't see them again. No buying a token to check it out for old times sake or whatever. They're content just knowing it exists, but don't want to spoil their memory, I suppose (as most don't perceive that if they have fond memories of a game, it's from when they were a few feet shorter).

 

There are variations to this - sometimes, someone will play the game a few times, but that's it. Or I won't have their beloved game, so they tell me if I did have it they eould "be here every day!" I tried that a couple of times (as I liked the game they mentioned), but funny enough I never saw them again. 

 

Once in a blue moon, a dad will bring his kids in to try and convince them to enjoy the same memories, but often the kids will gravitate towards the new stuff. Even my own kids don't really give most games I have a chance :P

 

So yeah, you can only get so far on nostalgia. Unfortunately most new games are now riding the coattails of licenses to ride along where nostalgia fails. I guess we'll see if that is a "bubble" or not.

That's not how nostalgia works for me. The last time I went to an arcade I got a $10 roll of quarters and I didn't leave until it was gone.



#30 VectorGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 4, 2019 9:12 AM

I spent a week-end at FunSpot (New Hampshire) last October

there are just too many games

But I'll probably never return to FunSpot again

You're ill



#31 Lord Innit ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 4, 2019 11:37 AM

For years now, my local arcade has been reduced to fruit machines and redemption games. They still have a load of old cabs, but they are all switched off and shoved to one end of the room. And they have more in storage. The owner refuses to sell any off. Pretty sad sight to see.

#32 redsteakraw OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 4, 2019 12:29 PM

For years now, my local arcade has been reduced to fruit machines and redemption games. They still have a load of old cabs, but they are all switched off and shoved to one end of the room. And they have more in storage. The owner refuses to sell any off. Pretty sad sight to see.

 

Fruit Machines?  Do you mean slot machines?  There was a small arcade similar that just had redemption games and limited cabs it closed around the same time Dave & Busters opened in that same mall.   It is a shame the owner isn't doing anything with them what does he / she say when you question them?



#33 Lord Innit ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 4, 2019 3:49 PM

Fruit Machines?  Do you mean slot machines?  There was a small arcade similar that just had redemption games and limited cabs it closed around the same time Dave & Busters opened in that same mall.   It is a shame the owner isn't doing anything with them what does he / she say when you question them?

Yep, the common name for slot machines is fruit machines here in the UK.

As for the owner, he's a well known character amongst the arcade collectors here in the UK. He'll give people the short shrift if you even come close to asking about the cabs. There are even a few pinball machines including Terminator 2, just sitting there unused.

Here's a link to what someone posted about the place a while back.
http://planetharrier...ast-sussex.html

#34 Shaggy the Atarian OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 4, 2019 8:15 PM

 

That sucks with those people that just walk in and out, I am assuming it would cost only 25 cents to a a dollar to play for a little bit and that seems like it is worth it to support it and keep it there.  It is far better to play a game and get something out of it than to give it to a panhandler.  Now seeing that the games I liked are disappearing and are few and far between I play them when I find them.  I found your youtube channel and it seems like you have most of my favorites. 

 

On the business side of things that are the margins large enough that making the move to the bigger area was financially easy or did it take more investment?  Either way / it great to see an arcade not only merely exist but to expand. 

 

There are companies that have remade the cabinets to a variety of classic games, everything from Pac-Man to Major Havoc. But when you talk about the game hardware itself and the controls, it becomes more difficult. Eventually those boards will stop working and we'll have to hope for a non-MAME solution if you want to play it in a cabinet that doesn't look like it was dipped in a Ninja Turtles mutagen ooze.

 

We've moved around the same mall four times since I opened. The first three times was out of necessity due to mall reconstruction, but each time we saw earnings go up. This most recent time was at our request so we could have more space, and it's been a real boon. The problem now is there is a big, multi-million $$$ FEC moving in this August. It could mean I have to close up shop and move to a completely different place, but at this point, there is no mall in the area to go to; strip malls can work, but could end up being very expensive and risky enough that it would be like starting all over again.

 

That's not how nostalgia works for me. The last time I went to an arcade I got a $10 roll of quarters and I didn't leave until it was gone.

 

That's great! I mentioned a typical example, but certainly wasn't meaning to imply that everyone does that icon_wink.gif It's also worth mentioning that we've had regulars who will just come in and play something like Ms. Pac-Man or Donkey Kong or Street Fighter II. But, those examples are few to the point that a vast majority of my games that are played are new titles (to compare on earnings, $350/wk vs. $20/wk or even $1/wk)/ I've seen that other example of nostalgia enough times that I've lost track. Especially the whole "I'd be here EVERY DAY if you had such-and-such game!" but they wouldn't. Which is something I learned the hard way after doing that a few times (granted, if I do hear a lot of people asking for a particular game, I know that means it will do well. Obviously a Time Crisis II will do better than a Namco Assault). 

 

For years now, my local arcade has been reduced to fruit machines and redemption games. They still have a load of old cabs, but they are all switched off and shoved to one end of the room. And they have more in storage. The owner refuses to sell any off. Pretty sad sight to see.

The situation in the UK is unfortunately much different than it is in the US, the polar opposite especially on the retro game front. New games are available, but most locations would prefer to get the fruit machines since those rake in the cash. It's not unlike the redemption craze on our side of the pond; but I do know of a few places in the UK that aren't completely beholden to the slots; Arcade Club, Las Vegas SOHO and Novelty Automation come to mind.

 

Speaking of locations, I just posted about a bunch of new places opening up in the US. The "FEC" (Family Entertainment Center) market has been blowing up for a while now, and it doesn't look like it's slowing down. This does concern me as this is also reflected in the games most manufacturers are creating, with sizes and price tags that are fine for these giant multi-million dollar centers, but out of the question for mom & pop operations like mine:

 

https://arcadeheroes...-arcade-pub-ga/


Edited by Shaggy the Atarian, Mon Mar 4, 2019 8:21 PM.


#35 redsteakraw OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 5, 2019 7:32 AM

 

There are companies that have remade the cabinets to a variety of classic games, everything from Pac-Man to Major Havoc. But when you talk about the game hardware itself and the controls, it becomes more difficult. Eventually those boards will stop working and we'll have to hope for a non-MAME solution if you want to play it in a cabinet that doesn't look like it was dipped in a Ninja Turtles mutagen ooze.

 

There are FPGA replacement boards you should look into, I know there is a Williams multi FPGA board and a Berzerk FPGA.  There also is the MiST FPGA project that is implementing arcade chipsets with some that are Works In Progress.  In-case you don't know FPGA is a chip that can physically rearrange it's internals to become a new chip or emulate other chips in hardware.  So a good FPGA will run the Arcade ROM just like the actual hardware but can be updated to allow for new monitor outputs like VGA, displayport or hdmi.  There also are Repro Vinyl you could apply to fix damage artwork.  Don't get me wrong it is a lot of work and it seems like you are constantly trying to fill a bucket with a hole in it but it is possible. 



#36 Cynicaster OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 5, 2019 1:18 PM

Retro arcades are almost like the new "50's diner" in that they are falling further and further into the past and are starting to become mythologized as to what they actually were like.  Just like the 50s-style diner, the 80s-style arcades tend to be pastiches of pop culture cues set up to evoke the sensations of a bygone era, while not necessarily being demonstrably accurate to any kind of objective standard for what constitutes a proper 80s arcade (probably because no such standard exists; arcades were everywhere and came in all shapes and sizes).  I believe the word for this is "simulacrum."  https://en.wikipedia...wiki/Simulacrum

 

Still, I had a pretty good time, but the experience ended up a shallow one for me. Not just because my faves were missing, but because there are just too many games.

 

I had a similar feeling when I visited Galloping Ghost a few years ago.  I was there for 7-8 hours and when I left, I was stuck with this disappointing sensation of having just skimmed the arcade without getting anywhere with any of the games.  Nowadays, I just do a quick skim of the arcade to see if there is anything of personal interest I've never played before on real hardware, then I focus on playing games that I am familiar with, trying to get my name up on the HS tables.  I had a blast at Ground Kontrol a few months ago, using this approach. 

 

I've seen the "nicheness" of nostalgia first hand so many times I've lost count. Here's one typical manner in which it plays out:

 

Guy arrives at the arcade a little starry eyed. Says something to the effect of "wow, I didn't know places like this still exist" or "I haven't been to an arcade in years"

 

.. Snip ..

 

There are variations to this - sometimes, someone will play the game a few times, but that's it. Or I won't have their beloved game, so they tell me if I did have it they would "be here every day!" I tried that a couple of times (as I liked the game they mentioned), but funny enough I never saw them again. 

 

Interesting, this is exactly what I suspected it was like.  I remember when I was at Ground Kontrol, there were at least a dozen instances where I was playing a game and I overheard conversations of other people walking in.  "Whoa, Asteroids!  So old school!  I used to skip class to play this!"  (actual quote) But they wouldn't be there long and they'd hardly play anything.  People like that are happy to just get a little puff of nostalgia in the moment, then they forget about it and move on. 

 

It takes a very specific type of brain wiring to compel somebody to devote time to decades-old video games, especially on a repeated basis.  Most people don't have that circuit in their brain.   



#37 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 5, 2019 3:23 PM

I'm kinda like that. I'll stroll into an arcade on occasion (2x a year) and scope out the game offerings. I may play once in a while, if they have a game I don't have at home or hadn't seen or hadn't ever had a chance to play. But I am not going to make a special outing of it. Not like I did when I was a teen back in the day. The need and urgency and drive isn't there. Not because of age, or more important things, but because of emulation at home. If there was (God forbid!) no emu then I might frequent the arcades a little more.



#38 sramirez2008 ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 5, 2019 4:09 PM

@Cynicaster its funny that you mentioned Asteroids. Thats my favorite game, so Im always looking for that cabinet whenever I go to an arcade. Im fortunate, as the local arcade has one and several other vector games.

Last time I visited, they had Battlezone in their repair shop. I need to go back and play that!

#39 simbalion OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 5, 2019 6:33 PM

I actually would like a good arcade to go to once in a while, but those don't happen here anymore. I am odd in that I actually have vintage arcade cabs, but have gotten to the point where I would just prefer a place to go play them instead as upkeep can be expensive and a pain. I went to the Pinball Hall Of Fame a few or so years back in PA and it was nice, but I haven't been back since. It's not the place I mind, it's the drive! Roughly 2 hours from my home to get there. Eastern Ohio is depressing to drive through due to all the derelict towns and PA is just plain boring. It's like you are constantly driving through narrow valleys with hills on both sides and very little change in scenery. Also, all the roads in PA seem to be posted 40-45mph, so it takes forever to get where you are going. If there was a place like that closer to me, I'd be going on a more regular basis and might even be tempted to sell off my collection except a few choice machines.



#40 Shaggy the Atarian OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 9, 2019 3:46 PM

I had a similar feeling when I visited Galloping Ghost a few years ago.  I was there for 7-8 hours and when I left, I was stuck with this disappointing sensation of having just skimmed the arcade without getting anywhere with any of the games.  Nowadays, I just do a quick skim of the arcade to see if there is anything of personal interest I've never played before on real hardware, then I focus on playing games that I am familiar with, trying to get my name up on the HS tables.  I had a blast at Ground Kontrol a few months ago, using this approach. 

 

Interesting, this is exactly what I suspected it was like.  I remember when I was at Ground Kontrol, there were at least a dozen instances where I was playing a game and I overheard conversations of other people walking in.  "Whoa, Asteroids!  So old school!  I used to skip class to play this!"  (actual quote) But they wouldn't be there long and they'd hardly play anything.  People like that are happy to just get a little puff of nostalgia in the moment, then they forget about it and move on. 

 

It takes a very specific type of brain wiring to compel somebody to devote time to decades-old video games, especially on a repeated basis.  Most people don't have that circuit in their brain.   

 

Galloping Ghost is definitely on my bucket list, but I have mentally prepared myself for experiencing that feeling. I figure unless I spend a week (or a month) there, I'm going to feel like I missed a lot. 

 

On the brain wiring, "right on!" I've noticed that the people more likely to play a classic is someone who doesn't have an original cab at home, or doesn't know how to setup emulation or doesn't have an Arcade 1up (at least by what I've gathered on talking to them). Pinball fans are one exception though. A lot of them want to see pinball as a whole grow, so many of them will come out and play despite having a nicer collection of pins at their homes. They also are more likely to play in leagues.

 

I'm kinda like that. I'll stroll into an arcade on occasion (2x a year) and scope out the game offerings. I may play once in a while, if they have a game I don't have at home or hadn't seen or hadn't ever had a chance to play. But I am not going to make a special outing of it. Not like I did when I was a teen back in the day. The need and urgency and drive isn't there. Not because of age, or more important things, but because of emulation at home. If there was (God forbid!) no emu then I might frequent the arcades a little more.

 

One thing that arcades are terrible at (as a culture or industry) is marketing the culture of the "pluses" or advantages of playing at the arcade. For the most part, that's social. There was an episode of that anime High Score Girl that touched on that, although it was referring more to fighting games as opposed to single player (the idea that arcades are social gathering spots, and that playing at the arcade against flesh and blood is unique compared to training against the CPU at home; or to modernize, it's better to play against someone standing right there compared to a rage quitter online).

 

Another thing you get in the arcade is the ability to show off in public. I used to be really good at Star Wars Trilogy by Sega and Crisis Zone by Namco. I'd play them on my break, and I remember one time I was breezing through Star Wars on a single credit without getting hit. There was a part where the screen faded to black for a second and in the reflection of the screen, I saw a crowd of people standing there watching me play. I was so engrossed in the game, I didn't realize that I was drawing any attention. It was a nice ego-stroking feeling :P Granted, that made me more self-conscious on how I was doing all of the sudden, but it made for a unique feeling that I've never had at home, even on online games where I'd do really well. But you have to be in the zone at your game and it has to be busy to draw a crowd. Still, it's a really cool experience.

 

@Cynicaster its funny that you mentioned Asteroids. Thats my favorite game, so Im always looking for that cabinet whenever I go to an arcade. Im fortunate, as the local arcade has one and several other vector games.

Last time I visited, they had Battlezone in their repair shop. I need to go back and play that!

 

I used to have an Asteroids Deluxe and a BattleZone. I love vector games, particularly Atari ones, but unfortunately I ended up selling them last year for two reasons:

 

1) They started breaking down a lot, and it was becoming very expensive and difficult to find particular parts to repair the vector monitors

2) They made practically nothing to warrant the repair and operational costs ($3/wk average)

 

Of course most retro arcades these days follow the Galloping Ghost model - put everything on free play and charge an entry or hourly fee. Or there's the Nickecade model of charge an entry fee, then have the games take nickels. Those models do even out the cost vs. earnings issue compared to a more traditional place like mine (which has expensive modern games from 2017, 2018, etc). 

 

But that is why most modern FEC arcades like Dave & Busters or Round 1 USA or whatever other multi-million dollar company doesn't bother with games from the 80's or 90's, as from a business perspective, those titles are just a loss and a maintenance headache. :/


Edited by Shaggy the Atarian, Sat Mar 9, 2019 3:48 PM.


#41 Shaggy the Atarian OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:25 PM

Here's one example of what I was talking about above. Granted, not many bother to play act the games, but when you're this good, there's no better place to show it off than at the arcade ;)

 



#42 redsteakraw OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:30 AM

Here's one example of what I was talking about above. Granted, not many bother to play act the games, but when you're this good, there's no better place to show it off than at the arcade icon_wink.gif

 

With ceilings that high it looks more like a setup in a convention center rather than a permanent arcade.  Either way point taken. 



#43 Crimefighter OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:00 PM

My advice - visit the Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield, IL - 705 arcade games on the floor from the 70s to the 2010s.  It's the best place to go if you're a longtime arcade junkie.

 

 

They absolutely have no Atari Games or traditional arcade cabinets with a joystick style game.  No more are the joystick games or classic arcade buttons no more are any hardcore skill games.  In someways I get it but it seems as if decades of arcade games are just gone from any new arcade.  I remember arcades always used to have the older games, in the 90s they still had the games from the early 80s.  Gone are the arcade tokens a tradition reaching almost a century back is gone in a modern arcade, they will only appear as a novelty in the gambling coin push games.      

 

If that doesn't make you feel old I don't know what will.  What are your thoughts on this and modern arcades?  Has the Classic Arcade come to an end?  Post any pics of classic arcades to keep it's spirit alive.    But hey maybe I am just jaded and becoming an old curmudgeon.


Edited by Crimefighter, Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:01 PM.


#44 Crimefighter OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:02 PM

 

Galloping Ghost is definitely on my bucket list, but I have mentally prepared myself for experiencing that feeling. I figure unless I spend a week (or a month) there, I'm going to feel like I missed a lot. 

 

 

For the initial visit - you need two full days, but now that it's over 700 games you may need three.



#45 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:13 AM

Arcades stopped being "classic" in the mid-late 90's.

#46 GoldLeader OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:14 AM

In Denver:

 

https://www.hyperspa....com/index.html

 

https://the1uparcadebar.com/

 

In Cheyenne:

 

https://www.facebook...f=page_internal



#47 Shaggy the Atarian OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:26 AM

With ceilings that high it looks more like a setup in a convention center rather than a permanent arcade.  Either way point taken. 

 

Check that guy's channel for other such vids. That place does look like a convention center, but he has others that were definitely taken in an arcade ;)



#48 coleco82 OFFLINE  

coleco82

    Chopper Commander

  • 104 posts

Posted Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:48 AM

My 2 cents about arcades then and now.

 

I used to live in Syracuse, NY there was an arcade called Button's Arcade, they had a mix of 80s and 90s stuff.  I used to talk to the owner quite a bit, he was a very nice man.

Sometimes, he would say "close your eyes and hold out your hands for a surprise!".  He would then dump a cup full of tokens into my little hands ( I was a kid then).

Mr Buttons was the man, he fixed every machine, and if you lost credits he would give you more.

 

He once told me in 1996, "I think arcades are dying, Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis give immersive experiences, and now the Playstation is even more engrossing, I won't see as many people here as I used to."  I tried to cheer him up by saying, "You only charge 1.00 for 7 tokens, a person could play forever, if they knew what to play."  He responded, "I wish I had more customers like you."

 

Fast forward to 2019.  My wife and I live in Madison, Wisconsin.   The only arcade is Geeks Mania Arcade.  Last year they moved to a $15 a person pay model. 

Of course everything is on free play, so I was able to beat games I never could 20 years ago.

Even the pinball machines are on free play as well.

The arcade keeps expanding, they just added a marvel room with a showcase X-Men konami game from (1992),  also in this Marvel room are:

Captain America and the Avengers, Marvel vs Capcom, and X-Men Children of the atom.

 

Due to the fact it's $15, I don't go very often and the games I like change month to month.  However, they seem to hold onto "certain" ones.

I wish my friends could visit me out here, I know they would love it there.


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#49 Keatah ONLINE  

Keatah

    Missile Commander

  • 22,067 posts

Posted Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:30 AM

IMHO superhero stuff has been overdone in the movies, and it's likely the last thing I'd wanna be playing in an arcade. But that's just me. Give me the abstract creative material from the golden era.

#50 redsteakraw OFFLINE  

redsteakraw

    Chopper Commander

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  • 200 posts

Posted Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:48 AM

IMHO superhero stuff has been overdone in the movies, and it's likely the last thing I'd wanna be playing in an arcade. But that's just me. Give me the abstract creative material from the golden era.

 

I don't know people that grew up with Fox Kids with the X-Men and Spiderman shows plus all of the newer generations with the MCU and X-Men movies would find it as a nice surprise.  People like seeing familiar characters in games that and unlike the home consoles most of the Arcade properties with super heroes were actually pretty good.  I personally love the X-Men game specifically the huge 6 player version due to the unique huge setup and double screen.  That being said they are Genre games and like anything that fits in a Genre there are tropes and conventions at the expense of creativity.  This is also the case as well for books, TV and movies so arcades are not special.  I have a cultural theory also that Japanese developers tend to work within genres and are very good at refining a given genre, where as many Western devs were open to far more experimentation.  In the end though it may have been too much to their detriment as people like a genre for a reason and it is a crapshoot on whether a new idea or concept will click with the audience. That and by making predictable games you can standardize controls and you have things like the JAMMA standard which leads to cheaper and generic products and easier to maintain cabinets.  It is simply less risky and easier to buy a property and conform it to a genre and ship it than to blow money on custom parts and risk things on an unproven concept.







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