Wednesday, 14 September 2016

REVIVAL Solstice 2016

REVIVAL Solstice 2016 was held at Banks’s Stadium, Walsall on the 30th and 31st July.  After the successful comeback event ‘Winter Warmer 2015’, REVIVAL once again returns to large scale with a friendly atmosphere and a great mix of arcade, pinball and console games.  There were some great additions to the arcade line up, including some very rare machines kindly loaned to the show by collectors.

Nintendo Arcade

Nintendo Arcade showcased some classic titles, including Donkey Kong, Sheriff, Space Launcher and VS. Balloon Fight.  It was awesome playing VS. Balloon Fight on the Nintendo Red Tent, and Sheriff was a definite highlight.

The awesome Sharp SF-1 Super Famicom TV combo unit.

The ‘Donkey Kong Barrel’ and ‘NEScade’ custom cabinets were very cool.

The arcade driving game section had a nice selection of titles, with Badlands, Konami GT, OutRun and Turbo OutRun.

Once again there was a great selection of pinball tables.

There was a nice selection of traders selling various retro collectibles.  Rastermania was back selling a selection of PCB’s, MVS and various arcade parts.  I picked up a Chase H.Q. upright manual complete with schematics for a very reasonable £5.

Here are some of my gaming highlights.

Sheriff – 1979

It was the first time I’d ever seen or played Sheriff.  The game was developed by Nintendo R&D1 and was the first game Shigeru Miyamato worked on.  The cabinet is Japanese and is the taller cocktail version, the only one known to exist. 

The player takes on the role of the Sheriff, Jack and must rescue his kidnapped FiancĂ©e, Betty.  In each level, gangs circle around Jack trying to shoot him.  The player must dodge the bullets and kill all the bandits in order to rescue Betty. 

The game is a lot of fun, addictive and has a unique control system.  An eight way joystick controls Jack’s movement, and a cooker style switch is used to aim the Sheriff’s gun.  Push the switch to fire. 

The closest game I can compare it to is Space Invaders, but with a twist!  Here is a video showing how the game plays.

I had only learned about the existence of this fantastic game a couple of months ago, and it was great to be given the opportunity to play it.

Video Pinball – 1978

This is another game I’d never seen or played until the show.  The physics of the ball are great and the game plays really well.  The game utilises a clever mix of video, physical and mirror to combine them, creating the illusion of playing a live action pinball machine.  During the course of the weekend, this is probably the game I kept popping back to play the most. 

The House of the Dead 2 – Sega Dreamcast
I’m not sure if it’s entirely appropriate, but mowing down hoards of zombies with my little girl proved to be a great father and daughter bonding experience.

Centipede – 1980

Another Atari classic I enjoyed playing.

I love the artwork on this cabinet.

Once again an awesome weekend of gaming, I’m eagerly awaiting the next REVIVAL event!

Friday, 12 August 2016

Arcades In Southport

Silcocks Funland

In addition to a selection of modern arcade games, including Star Wars Battle Pod, this arcade has a small classic gaming section.  The Defender cabinet looked in really nice condition.

Southport Pier’s New ‘Old’ Penny Arcade

Stretching over a kilometre across the Southport Sands and into the Irish Sea, it’s well worth making the journey to the end of the pier to visit this arcade.

The arcade features old one penny slot machines, pinball tables and two cocktail cabinets.

The cocktail cabinets had 1942 and Super Space Invaders '91 installed.  I enjoyed a few credits on both games.  By sheer coincidence I had been reading an article about the 1942 series in Retro Gamer magazine that very morning.

Premier Bowl & Laser
This venue has a cool Avengers pinball table as well as some modern arcade games.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

PLAY Expo Blackpool 2016

PLAY Expo Blackpool was held at the Norbreck Castle Hotel on the 30th and 1st May.  Despite an impressive exterior, the venue was somewhat dated.  However I imagine it was pretty spectacular back in its heyday.

The show encompasses all aspects of gaming, although most of my time was spent in the arcade section.

Here is a video of a walk around the arcade machines.

There was a fantastic selection of titles, including Sega classics and a nice row of Nintendo cabinets.

My gaming highlights had a definite Atari theme!

Marble Madness - 1984

The last time I played this was at Mikado arcade in Tokyo back in 2012. It was great to play it again, although I’m still rubbish at it!

Road Runner - 1985

Another fun and addictive Atari title, and one I’ve never seen / played before.  As Road Runner, the player must escape Wile. E Coyote, pick up bird seed and avoid the obstacles just like in the cartoon.  Beep Beep!!

Toobin’ - 1988
Toobin’ certainly stands out from the crowd, with unique controls, cool artwork and an awesome cascading waterfall marquee.

I remember seeing Toobin’ many years ago down Great Yarmouth seafront, but I don’t recall ever playing it. 

Like many other Atari titles, the game has a very original concept.  Paddle down the river and avoid the hazards, which include branches, hungry alligators, dinosaurs whipping their tails, and punks throwing cans at you!

The control system features four buttons at different diagonals, which control the characters legs and arms.  Also you can throw cans to slow the other player down. 

Toobin’ was loads of fun and great to play after all these years.

The show had a good selection of pinball tables.

I remember the Virtuality machines at the Mint arcade in Great Yarmouth.

Here are some more pics of the show.