18/03/2019

๐Ÿ•น️ Britt's Amusement Arcade Memories Amidst A Flooded Flat - Video Games Memories ๐Ÿ•น️ #RetroGaming #Arcade

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There is an undeniable connection for a lot of people to some form of gaming, no matter how distant or seemingly inconsequential.
A moment that I found really funny (in hindsight) was a few years ago in my old flat, my girlfriend woke me up at three in the morning because the bathroom ceiling was gushing with water (pinch me) and so I pegged it upstairs to wake up my upstairs neighbour (a guy in his thirties) who immediately ran down to my flat to see the damage. We headed into my living room to grab a load of towels to stem the flow, all in a complete frenzy due to the level of water coming through.
Amidst all of this, as we were running back to the bathroom, he stopped and pointed at something on display in our living room and said, “Is that Scramble? Wow, I had that when I was a kid, haven’t seen it in years!”.
Naturally, I walked over to him and filled him in on the finer points of our gaming collection until my girlfriend walked in and said, incredulously. “Umm….can you talk about games after we’ve stopped our bathroom flooding?”
Obviously, I split up with her on the spot.
It was just one of those moments where someone has a flashback to a pleasant memory their childhood, always cool to see.
After reading Rich’s article on his arcade footy memories, it got me thinking about my own experiences with arcades through the years. Being from South Wales, the main ports of call for an arcade-y day out was either Porthcawl or Barry Island (as made famous by TV’s Gavin and Stacey) which had the usual seaside attractions of rides, mini-golf, fish chip shops…and arcades.
Thanks to the inevitable decline of arcades throughout Britain due to home consoles, online gaming and various other things that have crept in over the decades since their 80’s and 90’s heyday, some of the places I used to visit still exist but in a shadow of their former glory, now being host to ticket machines, fruit machines and ‘grabbers’ (as an aside, the worst arcade I have ever been to is one under the pier in Bournemouth, easily 80% of the machines were completely broken, it stank of damp and was generally one of the most depressing places on Earth…and I’ve been to Abersychan).
Of course, this wasn’t always the case and I remember playing some games that stuck in my memory, the main one being Final Fight, in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever walked past a Final Fight machine without playing it. The great thing about having rundown arcades that keep the same machines for years on end (although now my precious Final Fight spot is a market selling holiday tat) is that as my pocket money went up and I began to earn more from part-time jobs…the machine still cost 10p a crack. Winner, winner, Yul Brynner.

A few other specific machines that I recall as I was growing up was the always amazing Super Baseball 2020 in our local video store alongside World heroes and a side-scrolling shooter whose name escapes me. My parents were also not able to pass up a quick blast and some titles, my mum loving the fireball spitting Toki and my father preferring Operation Wolf (the difficulty spike on the 2nd level is crazy)and always having a crack at Football Champ whenever we passed one by. I was never enticed by the huge cabinets of outrun and the like, instead preferring stand-up cabs with the standard joysticks and buttons as these tended to house the fighting games which were my bread and butter. I also recall the now long-gone Rainbow records in the also demolished Pontypridd precinct, at the back they had Metal Slug and Aliens, I may have never bought a record from that shop but my word I pumped some cash into those bad boys.


We now have two machines in our living room, a cocktail table with 80’s classics on and a upright cabinet with a Pandora’s Box installed, which sates my arcade itch (Turfmasters gets the most plays, I can even remember the game number on the list, 276!) but I do fondly remember the days of wandering around on a day out with my parents, one eye ever on the prowl in the hope of finding a lone arcade cabinet somewhere, beckoning my 20p’s towards it…heck, maybe it’ll even be The Simpsons, Turtles or Super Sprint so the whole family can have a go.
Britt

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