A Look at How I got into Arcade Systems

Over the past month I’ve been actively looking at ways to diversify the content we provide on YouTube and here on the site.  To be perfectly honest, the vast majority of our views/hits come from our successful YouTube channel.  This is what led me to start thinking outside the box, about how we could potentially offer viewers something they don’t see every day, yet stay true to our mission statement of providing content that gamers care about and are actively interested in.  Virtually everyone now has access to capture devices like the Elgato Game Capture HD, and because of that reviews we publish, while entertaining, are being done by tons of other people and are therefore not as special as they once were.  That doesn’t mean we’re just going to stop releasing reviews, it simply means they’re not overly unique unless we get early access to the game, or we cover something not too many people have access too.

It was this concept of talking about games that not too many have either ever seen, or have access too that lead me to rediscover the Neo Geo.  Our SEGA Saturn and Dreamcast reviews have done exceptionally well over the years, so clearly there’s a large demand for retro reviews, or features where we discuss retro games.  The Neo Geo was the perfect console that fit all the needs I was looking for.  It would scratch that retro itch people have, it’s not easy to get into collecting for the system, and there are tons of exclusives that aren’t available anywhere else besides the original hardware.  So I figured it would be great to mix Neo Geo content in amongst the modern day reviews we cover like South Park: The Stick of Truth.  What would happen next was a huge surprise to me.

I started participating on the Neo-Geo message boards and noticed the community was unlike any other I had been part of before.  These people were not hardcore gamers, they were omega gamers.  Some of the people on these boards have hundreds of arcade cabinets on top of massive Neo Geo MVS/AES collections.  Naturally the more time I spent on these boards, the more I started to see incredible deals on MVS games.  Every single MVS game I currently own (13) were all purchased from members of the forum, and the experience has been nothing short of amazing.  After a few months of getting to know specific members, a question was raised, did I own an arcade cabinet myself.  The answer is no, primarily because I don’t have any space for a full cab in a three and a half apartment, but then I heard a magical term I had never heard before: “SuperGun”.

This video led me to discover a fantastic site call Jamma-Nation-X, which actually create custom made SuperGuns.  So what’s a SuperGun, it’s basically a box with a bunch of connectors that allow you to connect an arcade PCB or system directly to your TV using a regular console controller.  Think of it like as the middle man between the original arcade system and your TV and controllers.  You can also get SuperGuns created with different video encoders allowing for S-Video, Composite or Component outputs.  In my case I decided to get an RGB SuperGun, which ended up saving me almost $200.  You see, all arcade systems have a native RGB output, which is the absolute best picture quality you can get out of older games, but the catch is that not everyone has access to an RGB SCART converter.  Thankfully I purchased a SCART-to-HDMI upscaler a short time back for my Saturn reviews, and I’ve been using it ever since.

So with my SuperGun ordered, it was then time to find some arcade games so I started with the site that had been so good to me already, the Neo-Geo forums.  There I found some incredible deals from some super nice forum members.  I won’t tell you which systems or boards I have because that’s a surprise video I plan to do in the next few days.  Not only can I continue to do periodic reviews of retro releases, and continue with brand new reviews for modern console, but now I’ll also have the ability to talk about real arcade games, which is a dream come true.  I’ve always wanted to talk about some of my favorite arcade games as they were meant to be played, on actual arcade hardware.  Some of you will be amazed by some of these games because several I have, have never been released on any other platform outside the original arcade hardware.

So that’s my story.  If all goes according to plan you can expect to see a video on my arcade systems in the next few days, and then I’ll slowly start to put together reviews sometime after that.  The SuperGun hasn’t arrived yet, but once it does I’ll try and have at least one review up per week on a classic arcade game.  I also plan to look at individual arcade systems and give those an overview/review because many people have no clue how arcade systems even work or what they look like.  My hope is that people find this content original, and enjoy it because there aren’t many people out there who have access to these unique systems.

2 thoughts on “A Look at How I got into Arcade Systems”

  1. The arcade scene interests me a whole lot because it’s something that is now extinct that I’ve missed out completely when it was huge because of the fact that I live in a town with 6000 habitants. Therefore, arcade cabinets were rare. I’ve watched a few documentaries and even read a fiction book and I really wish more people would make videos on the arcade scene in general, what it was truly like back in the day, how it was born and how it eventually died and whatnot. I’m also curious about the few remaining places in the world that still have arcade dedicated businesses. A fact that not many people know is that arcade in the 80’s made more money then hollywood films.

    1. Next time you’re in town I’ll take you to Amusement 2000 Plus. All they have are racing, dancing, and one or two fighting games I believe. They’re the last dedicated arcade left in Montreal, and they won’t be around for too much longer I’m sure. It’s sad because arcades were all the rage back in the day. I wish I had some footage of arcades from years back, but sadly I don’t. I hope you find the videos I’ll be making interesting because I’ll be dealing with some of the history, and focusing on certain arcade systems that made a MAJOR impact. Here’s a little known fact for you, the original PCB of Street Fighter II is extremely rare as the bootleg board sold over 6 times as much as Capcom’s official board. Crazy no?

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