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Sunday, 7 August 2011

The anatomy of a British Arcade

This was supposed to be at the end of last weeks rant at MAME, alluding that fruit machines could be included in an upcoming build.  If it goes ahead  then it could leave MFME (a slot based incarnation, based on a closed source of MAME) redundant.  What with WOS's coverage of Coindozer and the demise of  the Troc this covered most of what I had to say.  That and complete and utter brain drain, anyway...

What you were supposed to get was a round up of the other stuff in your average English Arcade, so without further ado lets rant on.

The token nod to arcade heritage.

This is normally either a bleeding edge arcade game (Tekken 6 or some sort) or some sort of late 90's 3D game, based on either the Naomi board (virtua tennis) or Model 2/3 (Daytona or Sega Rally) you might have a fighting game either a Tekken or a version of Virtua Fighter(see sentence above).  Rarely will there be a dance game like a Dance Dance Revolution or some Korean version, under no circumstances will there be any 2D games unless there is a mame cab tucked away somewhere.  Most of these are non mame at present but do a google search for:
Makaron if you have a hankering for Naomi / Dreamcast stuff
SuperModel for Model 3 stuff.

The 18s  only area.

Rather than pole dancing or adult stuff.  This area houses those slots that contain big prizes and normally cost something like 30p a go and that.  Like all slots they trade on the hopes of the punter and like everything else in gambling are horribly skewed toward the house.

The non 18s only area.

Regular fruit machines and Coinpushers. There may be a modern nod toward the old arcade in some coin pushers, as modern ones have video screens that are triggered when you put the coins into a special slot.

So far no one has begun emulating these.  For good reason too,  they would be such a massive test of  physics simulating the movement of  dozens of coins as well as the hardware and screen.  Really, at present I don't know if it could be done, but I suppose could be a fun test of 3D hardware.

Other stuff.
Stuff like Kiddy rides, Pool and Air Hockey tables and various crane toys. Oh and bingo, but theres a billion on line bingo sites so these don't count.


You'll occasionally get the odd table,  but the only place to really go to town for pins is in fact the Leisure Casino near Goodge Street Tube station.    The sad truth is that they are much more prevalent abroad, with plenty of old Williams Pins retiring to the Spanish coast like cockney Gangsters.
Pin Mame and Visual Pinball do a sterling Job of emulating these.

Foreign Imports. 
No one seriously has Pachinko or its Slot based offering Pachislot in the UK and previously when I've covered it its always been stuck in the windows of some arcades.  Japanese in origin, they are a massive deal over there.  Working sort of like redemption machines, tokens/balls collected can be cashed in for prizes and items or sold through a hole in the wall for cold hard cash (illegal).  If they are popular enough they are converted to
console for home play.  Though I've seen Pachinko done in Visual Pinball, I don't know if MFME would cover Pachislot the same way.  They seem genuinely fun, though that maybe the exoticness of it all, in fact we had Victory Zone for PSX back in the day and it was wall to wall tedium.

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