Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Christmas Crackers 2014

Here are some of my recent purchases, ready for the festive season!

Razion MVS Gamecenter Kit Shockbox LE # 511
I love horizontal shooters and I’m really looking forward to playing the latest release from NG:DEV.TEAM.

I recently picked this up on Yahoo Japan.  It was a bit of an impulse purchase really, I put on a low bid and ended up winning it.  The game certainly divides opinion, including my own!  I was immensely excited when rumours of its release started to circulate, the thought of seeing Capcom characters on Neo Geo hardware was awesome.  However the game was finally released and received a mixed reception.  I think this jaded my enthusiasm for the game.  I played the game for the first time during shore leave in Japan.  It was a small arcade with a few Astro City’s, I can’t even remember what town it was in.  First impressions weren’t great.  I found the game a bit dull and not much fun.  Well since then I’ve changed my opinion.  The character roster is excellent, although it would have been nice to have a bit more variety on the Capcom side.  Initially I wasn’t impressed by the art style, particularly the desolate backgrounds, but it’s really grown on me.  I was expecting more fan service with references to Capcom / SNK titles, however the bleak tone gives the game a unique look.  The music suits the backgrounds and the Capcom sprites are awesome.  Who ever thought we would see Hugo on the Neo?  The game isn’t perfect, but I’ve been having a lot of fun with it and it’s awesome it exists. 

Darius Odyssey Kōshiki Settei Shiryōshū Official Japanese Art Book
A very cool book featuring lots of nice art from the series.


Splatterhouse Pop and Bokuno Game Center Vol. 2 - Astro City featuring Fighting Vipers
I’m really pleased to finally get hold of a Splatterhouse pop after being outbid so many times.

Takara Transformers Sentinel Mega Drive Megatron
What an awesome idea, a Mega Drive Megatron transformer!  Or “Fully Transformable Antagonistic Videogame Console” as it says on the box.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Halloween at The Four Quarters

The Four Quarters is a new arcade bar located in Peckham, South-East London.

I was really impressed by the awesome selection and variety of games.  I played and enjoyed all the titles, but these were my highlights:

Final Fight and Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition
Two of my all time favourites.


So good to see and play this Irem classic again in a UK arcade, with the Bydo Empire proving to be just as unforgiving as ever.

Smash TV

Big money, big prizes, I love it!  I remember playing this down the seafront and then spending hours playing the Super Nintendo conversion.  It’s been years since I last played it.  Unfortunately my game hasn’t improved and I’m ashamed to say I had to credit feed to get to Mutoid Man.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I remember when this was released and spending all of my pocket money on it, it has a lot to answer for!  Still just as much fun today, the game was played pretty much non stop the whole time I was there.


I’ve actually wanted to play this for a long time.  I don’t recall ever playing or even seeing one before.  The first thing that strikes you is the aesthetics - the artwork and sharp luminous lines, the backdrop and backlight between the screen and controls, the joystick and spinner, it’s stunning. 

The game comprises of four subgames:
IO Tower Game – destroy Grid Bugs to clear a path to the flashing circle, which must be entered before the timer expires. 

MCP Game – shoot your way through a multicoloured wall and enter the master control program cone without touching a block. 
Tank Game – navigate a maze and destroy the enemy tanks before they destroy you.
Cycle Game – guide a light cycle in an arena, avoiding walls and the light traces left behind by the cycles and trap and destroy your rivals. 
The four subgames have to be cleared in order to move on to the next level.  The games were fun, however I seemed to struggle with the cycle game, only managing to complete the first level once.

It was great seeing people play and enjoying these classic games.  Turtles, Street Fighter II and Point Blank proved among the most popular, with these machines played pretty much non stop.


Pac-Man wasn’t far behind though and proved particularly popular with the ladies!

Halloween – the perfect time for killing Zombies.

Even the toilets paid homage to gaming, with pages from nineties videogame magazines decorating the walls.

A few of the magazine covers looked very familiar.  I’m sure I picked a couple of these up back in the day!

There was a multi-console set up in the upstairs chill-out lounge.  Of course all of the games were horror themed, and included The House of the Dead 2 (Dreamcast), Ghouls ‘n Ghosts (Mega Drive), Zombies Ate My Neighbours (Super Nintendo), Resident Evil 2 (PlayStation) and Maniac Mansion (NES).  Horror movies were screened down stairs in the ex-butcher’s basement.

The arcade games were set at one quarter per credit, with quarters available from the bar or change machine priced at four for a pound.  With a fantastic selection of arcade games, a great vibe and friendly staff, and an excellent range of cask beers, I had an awesome time at The Four Quarters.