01/10/2017

☆ Britt's Bridwater Bender At Time Warp Arcade ☆ #Arcade #Retrogaming

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Over the weekend of 15th September, I was away at a stag weekend, it was set at that most typical stag destination, the market town of  Bridgwater in Somerset. There was obviously a lot of smoking, boozing and curry-eating but there was also a large amount of button-bashing and joystick-waggling. 

The stag is a close friend of mine who is a massive fan of gaming and chose Bridgwater as it houses a free-play arcade called Timewarp (www.timewarparcade.com) and also has a retro game store called Insane Games (which I spent a fair whack of cash in, Good!).
Firstly, we shoved the hangovers that we were all sporting from the Friday night up our skirts and got a taxi into town, I did swing into some charity shops / second-hand stores on the hunt for gaming gold as a slight sojourn on our way into town but didn’t see anything too interesting, although I did pick up two Metal Gear Solid games from a really funky antique store for a quid a pop.
The picture below was taken from a pub across the river, apologies but I completely forgot to take pictures of the inside because I was so excited at the prospect of buying games, it’s quite a big store with a great mix of consoles, games and accessories. Even better was the 10% off sale that they had on as they are in the middle of relocating to another store nearby.
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The prices in Insane Games are really saucy, possibly the best I’ve come across in a gaming store, to give some examples, some of the games I picked up were:

Captain Planet (Mega Drive) - £12
G Police (PS1) - £1
MRC Rally (N64, boxed) – £3
Army of Two Dirty Money Graphic Novel – 80p

In the end I picked up 13 games from the store. They also sold DVDs and modern games but I was focused mostly on Mega Drive, PS1, N64, Atari and Xbox. Some other guys on the stag picked up some DS games (Kid Icarus Uprising was one I can recall) and another guy picked up some Game Gear games, including a sealed Jungle Book for £3.70!

The manager of the store was available for a chat and he explained that they were moving and that Insane Games is owned by the same people as the Timewarp arcade, which was just around the corner, that’s where most of the day was spent.
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The fact that this was a free-play arcade made all the difference. At £6.50 for 8 hours of gaming (the arcade is open from 12-8pm) and £20 for a four-week pass, the value for money is awesome. I had a chat with the owner (and will upload an interview with him in the coming weeks, again, I arranged to have a video interview with him beforehand and then got so excited playing arcade games that I completely forgot about it) and he was telling me that they have regulars that come in and smash their own high scores on some of the games on a daily basis. 
One patron was hips deep into Crazy Taxi and had every single score in the top 30 to his name. We all had a crack but only one of us knocked his score off at a lowly 26th
There were around 40 or so machines in the arcade fully working with around 20 others being fixed up to get ready for action. What was nice was how the machines not in play had cards on their screens explaining the issues and when they will get fixed, it drove home the point that this is an arcade that will always be growing with new games in the mix as opposed to a tired old dungeon with clapped out games, it’s a really positive view on the arcade scene. 
I also have to point out that all the machines that were switched on worked perfectly with solid controls and had all light gun games / racing games pre-calibrated so it was a truly accurate arcade experience. I’ll put up some of the pictures that I took below (apologies for the quality, I was drinking quite hard and forgot to turn the flash on), there was also a ‘console corner’ that I didn’t use but has Gamecube, N64 etc all set up with some couches for those people who fancied a sit down and a crack on Mario Kart, for me, the arcade machines were all I needed.
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Capcom Vs SNK in the distance next to Dance Dance Revolution. I think Fatal Fury is in the foreground.
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One pic of a small section of Console Corner, you can also see the Air Hockey and Manx TT in the background.
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Next to Manx TT is Pole Position, Metal Slug 6 and at the back are Simpsons, Rygar and some others.
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Naturally I had to have a crack on Golden Tee ’97…
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..and get stuck behind a bloke on a tractor.
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I don’t think my friend Vinnie left Capcom Vs SNK in all the time we were there, don’t worry folks, the one game I had against him I won, so don’t panic.
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Lee on the left is smashing into Street Fighter 2 (I’m assuming he is playing as Vega) Whereas Ben on the right is trying not to be sick whilst looking at a Sega Touring car game.
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The stag playing an urban tobogganing game (Apologies, I forgot what it was called) in the background you can see the section of the arcade featuring games that were being fixed.
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There were a couple of pinball machines there as well, here is Lee playing lethal Weapon 3 and to the right is a Star Trek pinball game.
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I quite enjoyed Fighting Mania, based on the Fist of the North Star manga, it’s brief but quite tiring, whack-a-mole for the anime fans. I finished the game with a solid ‘C’ rating.
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Here the stag is playing Parodius, to his right is a space invaders game, then Rave Racer, which I adored and wished I could have bought from the arcade!
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This is the Space Invaders game, I think it’s a 1991 version with co-op gameplay.
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I can’t recall what this game was sorry, also apologies for the picture quality, I’d been drinking pretty hard.
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Another unknown game.
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There were a few light-gun games there, Silent Scope, Lethal Enforcers, Area 6=51 and Virtua Cop 2 (KLUTZ COP!) I completed Virtua Cop 2 with a solid ‘average cop’ rating. I also forgot how much of an endurance test these games were! Holding your arm up for half an hour is tiring. I did want to finish Silent Scope as well but it was quite a popular machine. It was quite nice to see so many age groups in Timewarp, fathers with children, kids in their teens, guys in their twenties and older folk as well, it was a really nice atmosphere.
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A sneaky Star Wars toy and a Vectrex tucked away in a corner near the pinball machines.
There were so many other games there that I didn’t get pictures of because I was too busy playing them, for example  a four player X-men machine (which four of us completed, naturally I chose Wolverine. “X-MEN…WELCOME…TO DIE!”), Propcycle (amazing game), Special Criminal Investigation (which I finished and then got tripped up by the secret final stage!) not to mention Cavemen Ninja, Super Baseball-Bat Man, Virtua Tennis and many, many others. It really is a great place to visit and as Bridgewater is just across the bridge from me in Cardiff there’s already been talk of a group of us heading back in a few weeks for my birthday in October. Timewarp arcade is a fantastic gem of a place and the free-play setup works so well as opposed to paying for individual credits, it allows you to try out new games, complete old favourites and set some serious high scores. I was especially proud of my single credit 94,100 in Commando.
Visit Timewarp soon, if you can. It’s a great place for gamers, kids or a family day out. After leaving the arcade we headed back to where we were staying and  got stuck into some Bomberman on the Gamecube. There was also a retro-gaming quiz that I had put together which is below, if you fancy a crack.

What is the name of the legendary sword in the Zelda  games?

Name all seven characters in the first Mortal Kombat game (POINT PER CHARACTER) 
Johnny Cage was based on which Hollywood action Star?
How many FIFA games were released on the Mega Drive?
In the game Streets of Rage, the female character Blaze wears a red leather dress...but the box art was clearly designed before the game was completed, what colour are her clothes on the cover art?
Die Hard Arcade was released on the Sega Saturn in Europe and the US, but the game was released in Japan before they acquired the Die Hard license, under what title is the game known as in Japan?
A video game was released  for the Commodore 64 entitled, 'How to be a complete b*ard, who starred in the game and also wrote the book that the game was based on?
Finish off the name of this popular Neo Geo franchise, 'Metal ....'
I personally own the rarest game on the Mega Drive  ....what is the name of that game?
Donkey Kong features a man rescuing a woman...what are their names? (POINT PER NAME)
What is the name of the protagonist in the Syphon Filter series of games?
Name three characters from Final Fantasy 7 ( POINT PER NAME)
Name three zones in the sonic games. (POINT PER ZONE)
What game am I playing?  I need to rescue Daisy from  the evil wizard Zakks, I will need the help of Denzil, Dora, Dozy and Dylan to do so....(final clue - I am wearing red boxing gloves)
Name five weapons from the N64 game, Goldeneye.
(There was also a sound bite round which I sadly cannot re-create here)
To sum up the weekend, here’s a picture of a Nintendo fan all gamed out:
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Britt

"STAY FROSTY!"