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I wonder if anyone remembers seeing any of these multi-monitor monsters in their arcades back in the day? If so, did you get to play either one of them?

It seems like Takumi and Taito were the only companies making multi-monitor games.

 

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I've never seen those two above. The only one I saw in an arcade back in the day was The Ninja Warriors. It was a marvel to look at, but as far as gameplay was concerned, I felt it was rather cheap. Even though it was three screens wide, it still seemed like you could take damage from off-screen enemies firing at you before you even knew they were there. Also, the large size of the characters nullified the extra screen real estate to some degree. I think Darius is probably the three-screen game that best used the extra display space... but i never saw that machine in person.

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I played both back when they were current.

 

TX-1 struck me as basically being Pole Position II's spiritual successor. Good game, but nothing really extraordinary about it, though the graphics were pretty good for the time.

 

Buggy Boy was a lot of fun, though. Trying to get the flags in the correct order while still making it through the obstacles in time to cross the finish line gave it a pretty decent challenge. The Atari ST port was pretty good, too.

 

One thing about both games that's not immediately-apparent: the three-monitor layout was kinda gimmicky. Cool effect, but it didn't really add much to the gameplay, and in some ways made it more difficult.

 

What's not evident from the MAME playback in the videos above is that the monitors were separated by their mounts, which put big, solid, vertical lines between them, making it very clear that the monitors were basically set next to each other. This was annoying, but the annoyance was amplified when an on-screen object moved onto or off of a side monitor from the centre screen; that object became more of a distraction than something that was a fluid part of the gameplay as it crossed the lines between monitors. Add to this that in both games your car remained in the bottom-centre of the screen while everything else moved in relation to it, and it could make for frustrating gameplay at times.

 

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Don't get me wrong - conceptually, the idea was very cool, but after a few games the novelty wore off pretty quickly. If the three displays had been stitched together with mirrors the effect would have worked a lot better, but hindsight is 20/20.

 

Oh, and those cabinets are heavy. Don't try to move one with the monitors in it.

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I've seen an F-355 Challenge cab that had three screens. That was pretty cool to see and play for a simulator F-1 racing effect.

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We frequented a mall that had a arcade called "Just for Fun" that had a TX-1. I remember being in the front entrance right when you walked in. I think I might have played once or twice, it reminded me of a glorified Pole Position which I wasn't really fan of - I was more of a Turbo guy.

 

I guess the hardware was very problematic which made sense... I seem to recall it being down more often than working the few times I visited that place.

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I've never seen a Buggy Boy in the arcades, but I used to play the hell out of the Speed Buggy Jr. single monitor version. One of my favorite arcade games. Many a gaming blisters were earned playing the port on Commodore.

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