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Sunday, 21 August 2011

Namco Station.

Not Namcotstation.
Its time for another foray into town, this time taking in two new places. 

Part 1.
First of all is a nice trip to Namco Station, which sounds like some badly branded PS1.   This subterranean monster is off the radar to most people who usually visit the Trocadero (now closed) and the Casino leisure (more later), as it's situated on the banks of the Thames just down from the London Eye and the London Aquarium.  The top floor has a few crane toys and penny falls, and an escalator down leads to the basement where the main action is.  Here are a variety of fruit machines and penny falls including PacMan Ball and some other refugees from the recently closed Troc

Arcade game wise there is nothing much here, they have a Rambo and a Silent Hill the arcade game and a copy of Time Crisis 4, but nothing else of note.  Most of the fruit machines are geared up to dispense tokens,  you get 1 even if you fail, and it takes a kings ransom to redeem for even the lowest prize on the list. 

Good points, one crane toy had the most amount of Donald Ducks I'd ever seen.  They have a regular coin pusher version based on Pac Man and a dodgem track taking up the most of the ground floor, but apart from that its a wasteland and didn't compare to either the Leisure Casino or the now defunct Trocadero.

Outside is miles more fun, as it takes in the whole gamut of performing arts. Including several human statues and my new favourite performance guy (edging out a bloke I saw dressed as a baby in Barcelona) a guy dressed as a dog hiding in a pet carrier / desktop combo.  It was awesome as he sang a song as well.   Oh and some dude dressed as a lizard on a bike.
Dave Mirra has nothing on him.
 Further along there was a crop of beach huts as part of a South bank exhibition, this included a giant seagull kiosk as part of the RSPB display, and Tim Hunkins under the pier show transplanted from its Southwold home and is well worth a visit.  Strangest of all was a group of lads surrounding a guy on the floor with breathing appartus on and his shirt off.  They had paramedics come to treat him but to this day I still don't know if its performance art or a genuine medical emergency.

Part 2  
Our main aim was, thanks to a well placed article in Wire Magazine, a visit to the Science Museum to see an Exhibit on Daphne Oram Founder of the Radiophonic Workshop and experimental composer.  The exhibit itself is on the second floor of the science museum and comprises of an installation remaking the remarkable Oramics Machine, and a rebuilt version in its entirety behind glass.  There is also a film clip taken from a BBC documentary of Daphne explaining what Oramics sets out to do and how she would achieve it.
Its not bad and is quite humbling to see the roots of electric music are just sine waves and reel to reel tapes.
Part of the Oramics Machine.
Part 3
Finally after fiddling around with the installation (we wanted to take some video but our camera wasn't playing ball) we decided to take one last arcade trip to the Leisure Casino down town.  We were pleasantly surprised that the GTI club they had languishing upstairs was kicked out in favour of a brand new Darius Burst cab.  Complete with bass boosting seat and a massive three screens, it takes some inspiration from Caves Deathsmiles in that you can flip direction to blast creatures behind you by pressing a button, there is also a button dedicated to shooting off a massive beam weapon (unless your playing as the original Silver Hawk then it just drops bombs ala Gradius),  which is bastard well impressive.  Bosses of course are still based on sealife with a massive Nautilus to take on when you tackle normal.   Oh and power ups are still true to Darius, shooting down creatures gets you a power up pod that you use to gradually level up your guns.  So far its pretty cool we don't know if the hold down the shield to capture an enemy remains but it looks the business.

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