Archive for January, 2009
On a recent trip to Clarksburgh, West Virginia I had lunch at a place called Dagwood’s. The fare is simple… sandwiches and pizza. And although there is no sandwich named for the famous Sunday-Strip-Blondie character, this simple diner-esque eating establishment does make an amazing sandwich. I was especially fond of the Club Sub.
While enjoying my subway sandwich, I spied a big fat antiquated jem pushed into the back corner of the restaurant. An ancient Ms. Pac-Man machine–and not the remake anniversary edition that is so popular today. No this was the original 1981 Full Size Arcade model. It was turned off and leaning sadly and ever so slightly to the right. The paint was faded and the screen’s glass hadn’t been cleaned in years–if ever. I spied the manual atop of the machine, water-stained but intact. And then I found the switch.
I pushed down hard on the switch fully expecting this tired old lady not to wake up. But to my amazement the foggy screen slowly warmed up. I borrowed a quarter from my co-worker Brian Lee and prepared to play. We decided it would be a good idea to document the find–as they’re so rarely found original in the wild. Although the machine was old and is in dire need of cleaning and restoration, the number of Pac-Men had been increased from 3 to 5, the volume was cranked high and there was no clear evidence of burn-in. Take a look at the photos below for the action shots.
A couple of years ago, Jakks Pacific made a huge splash with their initial TV Games series. At $20 USD a pop, these little nuggets of joy delivered solid old-skool gaming action, that was not only portable, but incredibly convenient (the Mortal Kombat one was slightly disappointing). I’m sure more than a few of us have at least one of these wonderful little contraptions tucked away in our gaming stash. Well, get ready to shell out for the newest member of the TV Games family. Geek.com spotted this little guy in the wild at CES 2009, and decided to share the joy with everyone. First thing to notice; the style. Jakks seems to have really gone the extra mile with this model. It looks like somebody tore the control panel off a Pac-Man cabinet, and then beat the hell out of it with a mallet to squish it down. The stick looks full-sized, and the buttons actually look like a set of solid Happs Controls push-buttons (although I’m sure they’re not, just a close resemblance). However, aside from all that, there’s one piece of lovely that sets this puppy apart from all others that have come before it, and elevates it to GUARANTEED purchase status. Behold:
Yes, that is a coin slot. Do I really need to say any more about this to convince you it’s the greatest thing ever? Expect this to sell for the same low retail price as the rest of them, which means I expect everyone that reads this site to snatch one up as soon as they hit stores later this year. Check out the gallery below for more action shots I snapped out of the video.
A friend of mine pointed these out to me today, and I knew immediately that I had to have them. Better than papercraft ones, and cheaper than the real deal, they offer a great way to let your retro-gamer flag fly at the office. While not quite in the same league of hardcore geek miniatures as the gashapon consoles (my Sega collection), the nerd readings are still high enough to capture my attention. Head over to J&C Studios to get yours. They also offer mini pinball tables as well, which are equally as awesome. I expect action shots from anyone who picks some up.
Yes, powerful home consoles and online multi-player have severely crippled the arcade business in the U.S., however, we do still get a few new titles once in a while. This latest one is from old reliable GlobalVR (the company that brought us the Need For Speed arcade titles), and is based on the Justice League license. The game play looks fun, and seems to be a pretty straight forward arcade brawler, which I’m of the opinion that we always need more of. The only bummer to me is that they seem to have passed on the opportunity for solid 4 player action, thus keeping it out of the league of Gauntlet and the legendary (to me) TMNT games. Graphically, it’s not going to win any awards, but the cell-shading looks passable, and fits the source material very well. Now begins the waiting game to see if this machine shows up somewhere in the metro. Hit the gallery for some screenshots, and a look at the deluxe cabinet (sporting a rather large hi-def monitor).