Pang Man Continues His Travels Around Tokyo With A Visit To "The 8-Bit Cafe" Just For Games Freezer.
This Place Turns Out To Be A Retro Gamers Dream So Read On To Find Out More!
"Having enjoyed my visit to the Super Mario themed bar, I thought I would see what other gaming bars were available in Tokyo. After a bit of online research, I found the perfect place to visit; a retro gaming bar called the 8Bit Café.
I got off at Shunjuku-sanchome station and managed to find the right street. The sign for the Bar is quite subtle (a small sign pointing to a staircase on the side of the street) but luckilI i spotted it and made my way up 5 or so flights of stairs.
At the top of the stairs was a small Famicom computer on a desk, indicating that I was in the right spot. Luckily I had arrived just after opening time (7pm ish) which ensured I got a seat.
I sat down at the bar and paid the Cover charge of 500 Yen (£4) to the bartender and proceeded to look around. (Note: although it is called the 8bit Café, it is really more of a bar than a café)
I think the thing I liked about the Bar the most, was the music being played in the background. Cool retro gaming music that brought back fond gaming memories. (Even hours after I had left the venue, I found I was subconsciously humming the Castlevania theme with a smile on my face! I even went on You Tube later on just to listen to old gaming theme songs)
Visually what caught my eye was the giant Gameboy in the middle of the room. I never did figure out if this was simply a prop or if it had another purpose (storage perhaps) but it was pretty cool nonetheless.
Scattered around the bar were various gaming related figurines.
There were also some retro gaming consoles and peripherals displayed that brought the nostalgia factor back. I mean who remembers the Super Scope on the SNES? When it 1st came out I was super excited, after all, although other game consoles had light guns, this was a bazooka! In retrospect the Super Scope turned out to be a bit of a dud in the end, and the games were rubbish, but it was something I was pumped about when I was young.
They also had a truly rare piece of kit; the Virtua Boy. Now this was one of the earliest attempts (1995!) at producing a pseudo Virtual Reality home console. Although a flop at the time, the fact that VR is only becoming big now shows that Nintendo were true innovators. The Virtua Boy in the 8Bit Café wasn’t plugged in (maybe for display only?) So unfortunately it was not playable, but my understanding is that the graphics were single colour (red) and the system had no head tracking so the 3D effect was limited (I.e. crap).
The Gameboy Booster peripherals made me laugh. When the Gameboy came out the screen was quite small and there was no light, so all these manufacturers came up with these cases which added a magnifier to the screen and a light etc. The Gameboy booster was one such product, but their peripheral was so big, the Gameboy was no longer so portable!
A yellow Game Gear and a Rob the Robot were on display too. Now I remember wanting to get a Game Gear (and an Atari Lynx) because it was in colour (unlike the Gameboy), but for some reason I never did.
Later on, I asked the bartender (who I noticed, was adorably wearing a PaRappa the Rapper hat!) If she had an English drinks menu.
Luckily, much like the Star Club, there were gaming themed drinks available. There were about 20 plus drinks on offer, but sadly I only had time to try two.
I went for the Dr Mario (800 Yen, i.e. £6.50) which was a mix of Gin, Vodka, Dr Pepper and Coke. The presentation of the drink itself was top notch. It came in a beaker and had a test tube with 2 medicine pills (i.e. red and yellow sweets) which I chucked in my drink.
I decided to go for the Puyo Puyo next. This was 700 yen (around £5.50) and contained Midori, (which is a melon liqueur), syrup and pineapple juice. The result was a green and yellow concoction that tasted pretty good.
As more customers had started to arrive, I decided to have a quick bash on the gaming console. I only had time to play one game, so I went with a classic; Super Mario Kart on the Super Famicom. (The original Starfox was also on offer, as well as a number of other games.)
I chose Toad (my go to character in the old days) and played my heart out. It was truly a joy using the proper SNES controller, and I still remembered the feather short cut on Ghost Valley. My drifting was way off, but I guess that would have come back with time. In the end I finished a 2nd in the cup, not great but not too shabby.
I was really reluctant to leave in the end, the 8bit Café had a very chilled out, relaxed vibe, and it was the kind of place I could have stayed for ages (and indeed they are open to the early hours of the morning).
Overall it was a great slice of retro gaming heaven, and probably the best gaming bar I had the pleasure of going to in Tokyo. If I had to choose between this and the Super Mario themed Bar, I would probably choose to return to the 8bit café. The 8 Bit Café was a bit more spacious, had brighter lighting, a bigger variety of gaming themed drinks, awesome background music and easier access to the games."
This Place Sounds Like The Perfect Bar!
Let Me Know What YOU Think Of This Cool Hang Out That Pang Man Visited In The Comments Box Below.......
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