I'll be offline again for a week, so don't expect any site updates. It's been
a busy summer here, which means that the reviews have been slow to show up.
In a few weeks I should have plenty of time for cranking out the reviews,
so stay tuned, and we thank you for your support. ;-)
Upcoming Contest News
I'm currently working on a new contest, one that will probably run from September
to Christmas. Yes, a full four months of giveaways and general fun.
Needless to say, it's taking a bit of time to get everything set up, but
it'll be worth it, I promise!
Excellent PinMAME/MAME Hybrid Cab!
this is a truly unique gaming solution: Next
Generation Pinball, a hybrid PinMAME/MAME gaming system built
into a gutted Star Trek: The Next Generation pinball machine cabinet
(and no, it was bought already gutted!)
"DefJam" has taken a 19" monitor
and full MAME hardware and mounted it inside of a pinball cabinet.
It's an unusual choice, and one that looks to be ideal for PinMAME
enthusiasts. Great job, Jim!
Just added to the Coin-Op.TV
- NEW ARTICLE: Pac-Man Collectibles An Unauthorized
Guide - Book Review & Interview with the Author - by Jonathan
Pac-Man Collectibles An Unauthorized Guide is the latest and by far the most
comprehensive book cataloging Pac-Man collectibles of the 1980s. The items
cataloged are so vivid and full of detail they will make you think you’ve
stepped back in time. You may just find yourself with a pocket full of quarters
and heading to the arcade!
- NEW EPISODE: Danielle Kotzias interviews
MARK ALHERS - championship level arcade player and all around friendly
guy. Mark holds titles on games like Dig Dug and Crazy Climber
and shares some of his tips of the trade!
Than Buying Tokens
Doris Self Coming to London to Re-Claim Title of ''World's Oldest
Video Game Champion''
Vs. Paris Video Game Championship
teen amazes with video game ability
Dream Arcades Licenses MAME™ !
Arcades LLC announces the first ever agreement with the MAME™ development
team to distribute MAME™ software with their arcades! From
the press release:
"Dream Arcades LLC is proud to announce an
agreement with the MAME™ development team to distribute MAME™ software
with their arcades. The licensing agreement along with a previous
agreement with StarROMS, Inc. will allow Dream Arcades to sell PC
based arcades with classic arcade favorites such as Asteroids and
MJoy16-C1 Analog Encoder
an encoder that also supports up to 8 analog axes, 64 pushbuttons,
16 toggle switches, and 4 rotary switches? Check out the MJoy16-C1
Encoder. Designed for flight simulator applications, it still
looks like it'd make a mighty fine MAME encoder. Price is about
$40 US, with an optional diode-equipped Key Matrix board for $28
US if you plan on using a lot of buttons. Thanks to Deadly Dad
for the link!
CP Sketcher 2.0
Kosa wrote in to let me know he's released a new version of his
control panel design software: "CP
Sketcher 2.0 is now available for download. This software allows
you to design a control panel using real parts and then build it
using the measurement information it creates. Or, use the program's
export function to create high-resolution bitmaps of your CP."
MAME Setup Service Needed
I got this request for help, and thought I'd pass it along
(pics of the cab are available on RetroBlast's still-in-progress Classifieds
a long shot but, I would like to find someone in TAMPA, Florida that
could perform a service:
Long story short…I’m from Virginia
and moved to Tampa FL, 33543 last week, new to the area. I had to
leave my Mame cabs behind. I just purchased a GAUNTLET LEGENDS DARK
LEGACY (ebay number 6193530250) cab; I have a PC, ARCADEVGA and a
JPAC. I would like to find someone local that could professionally
JAMMA-MAME this Gauntlet cab, reconfigure the control panel (add
track ball, 2, two players joy with 7 push buttons) , jack the arcade
speaker, add a main power switch to the cab. ETC. Please contact
me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dream Arcade Lighted Buttons
got an email from Dream Arcades announcing their new
lighted buttons: "Dream Arcades has just received new
translucent pushbuttons, now in stock. These buttons include a
colored LED and microswitch for just $2.09 each. The LED does not
require a resistor and will not burn out if momentarily connected
backwards. The button body is translucent and the middle is frosted
so you can’t see the LED. They look great when lit."
Next Arcade News
like those guys over at TLC have been busy: in addition to releasing
the Games Launcher software for their Next
Arcade games service, they've also greatly expanded their collection
of arcade-style games for the service.
The games launcher is slick, including built-in
links to their forums and a game browser to download new demos. (I
think I've found some new favorite games!) All of the games have
demo versions, usually just time-limited, which is a great way to
play-test a game.
ACT-Labs Guns Now Shipping!
gotten a few emails from people who had ordered the new ACT-Labs
light guns, letting me know the guns are now shipping. I've
also seen a few reports of problems with certain monitors — no
rhyme or reason yet to which monitors work and which don't, but
I'll keep looking into this and report back when I have more information.
Madden Tourney Next Weekend
64, Amiga, Spectrum Games to be Re-Released
this is something you don't see every day: a Pachislo
controller for the PS2. Apparently, the Japanese passion for
Pachislo slots has led to the desire to play them at home as well!
Thanks to Scott Peterson for the news!
PinMAME-HW Matrix Lighting
work on PinMAME-HW, a
hardware version of PinMAME that can drive an actual pinball machine,
continues with some very interesting developments. Here are three
videos (One, Two, Three)
that show the new lamp matrix support. As pinball circuit boards
become harder to replace, this project could be a lifesaver for
First Detailed Pics of NASCAR Pinball
News has the first detailed pics and videos of the upcoming
Stern NASCAR pinball machine. The playfield features a number of
unique new features, including a supercharger-fed "track" that
encircles the entire playfield. I'm not a NASCAR fan, but this
looks like a fun pinball. Word is that Stern is going to be releasing
it in Europe with a "Grand Prix" theme.
SlikStik Ships Illuminated Joystick Handles
it's been a bit of a wait, but it looks like SlikStik have done
themselves proud with these new illuminated
joystick handles for the Happ Super, Competition, and Perfect360
joysticks, which are now shipping.
SlikStik re-engineered the power connection system
on the stainless steel shafts, and the result looks to be a truly
unique product. (Is that a devilish red glow, or what?). Colors available
are Red, Blue, Green, White, Purple, Orange, Yellow & Multi-Color
cycling (morphs through all 7 colors).
To make things even nicer, the joystick shafts
are even on sale right now: $29.95 vs. the normal $33.95. I'm definitely
looking forward to reviewing them in a few weeks.
RetroBlast's First "Classified Ad"
Yes, another first for RetroBlast — Tim Waller has a new, still-in-the-box
Quasicade Jr. that he's selling. You know, I think this may be the start of
something cool: if you'd like to see a full "classified ads" section
on RetroBlast, let me know, as I'm thinking it just might be a really nice
service for retrogaming traders/sellers/buyers. Anyway, here's the ad:
QUASIMOTO QUASICADE JR. ARCADE SYSTEM –
NEW IN SEALED BOX!
The Quasicade Jr. Arcade System is an arcade quality cabinet that is designed
for you to hook up an Xbox, Playstation, Game Cube, or PC and play just like
you’re at the arcade!! Features a 20" High Resolution Digital Flat
Screen Monitor, Integrated High Powered 2.1 Sound System, Retractable Keyboard
and Mouse Tray, Backlit Marquee with Hidden Storage. Also includes QuasiCON
2P Control System. Get more information at www.Quasimoto.com.
SAVE $400 OFF THE DIRECT FROM MANUFACTURER PRICE! Shipping within 48 states
included! Sacrifice at $1300. (Remember, this is a new unopened box) Perfect
for game room, den, or anyone interested in video games. Click
Here to EMAIL Tim Waller or call (904) 220-0625 EST.
California Extreme 2005 Coming Soon!
you're into video gaming, you have to know about the annual California
Extreme show: imagine a huge exhibition hall full of arcade
games, all set on free play, and you've got an inkling of the reason
this show is so exciting for retrogamers. This year's show will
be August 6th-7th in San Jose, California, and will feature hundreds
(yes, hundreds) of video games and pinball machines, all
set for free play. If this place ain't heaven, I'm not dying...
Coin-Op Warehouse Liquidating Inventory!
If you're looking for a real bargain on genuine arcade games, this is the opportunity
you've been waiting for: the
Coin-Op Warehouse has sold their huge warehouse, and is now in a race
to liquidate all of their inventory! From what I've read, they're not going
out of business, but rather focusing on restorations, where they were making
the majority of their income. Whatever the reason, you've got until August
15th to negotiate some sweet "cash and carry" deals...
an arcade game played with brainwave power
Arcade Hardware Confirmed As Power-VR Based
but Still Goodies
linux project spawns Game Boy emulator
New GGG Versa49™ Handles
looks like Groovy Game Gear has come up with some...well, groovy new
joystick handles for the Happs 49-way joysticks. The
Versa49™ joystick handles feature polished stainless
steel shafts and unique translucent colored ball tops. Note that
they will not work with the older Midway49-way joysticks, but that's
probably not a major issue. They are very stylish indeed...
Arcade Treasures 2 Review
Ritchie: The Original Pinball Wizard
Cab Art at Michael Lett Gallery
Cartoon Network / Chuck E. Cheese Arcade
Looks like the Cartoon Network and Chuck E. Cheese have teamed up to give
away two arcade games as the grand prize in their new contest. No word
on what the games are, but heck, they're arcade games, right? (Thanks to James
and Tami for the news!)
New Act-Labs Light Guns Almost Ready to
like Act-Labs is gearing up to ship their newly
redesigned light guns. The design is a definite improvement
in terms of style, and it even has a detachable VGA Box this
time around. It looks like they're now listed as being on "back-order" instead
of "pre-order", and apparently you can still order
one if you're interested. (Thanks to Jim Wan for the news!)
HyperBowl for the PC
the bowling game with the super big bowling-ball trackball that
I saw during my visit to Dave 'n Busters is apparently also
available as a PC game.
The game is billed as the "arcade edition." No
word on how it plays with a trackball, but I'm going to have find
out! (Thanks to Mitch Gerson for the link!)
Three New Webisodes added to COIN-OP.TV
in last 30 days!
Coin-Op.TV: "We've had the chance to go through and
catch up on some of the footage that was starting to back up
- here's what the latest episodes are:
- Nafeesa DeFlorias interviews Keith Robinson,
President and co-founder of Intellivision Productions Inc. and
'Blue Sky Ranger'. (added 7/10/05)
- Angela Murrow interviews Melody Ann Pfeiffer
from TECMO at E3 2005. Melody gives the scoop on Tecmo's Classic
Arcade collection (which includes the popular TecmoBowl) coming
out on X-Box. (added 6/26/05)
- Danielle Kotzias interviews video game
record holder Todd Rogers at the Funspot Tournament in New Hampshire.
pinball wizards, heaven looks like Cando
and Activision Team Up For New Flashback System
the family just finished a great vacation up in the mountains of
Colorado (Montrose, to be exact). Give me a bit of time to unpack
and get back into the swing of things, and the updates on RetroBlast
will begin again. Ah, so relaxed...
A Visit to Dave 'n Buster's
had an opportunity this weekend to pay a visit to the local Dave
'n Buster's bar, restaurant, and arcade complex. Imagine if
you will a huge restaurant, with a separate huge gaming room that
features a bar in the middle of it!
The gameroom features all the latest games, and
everything is in pristine working order (a rarity these days!) It
was an excellent arcade, and I got to play a lot of games I had only
seen photos of previously.
One of the most unusual gaming items I saw was
a bowling game that featured an actual bowling ball as the trackball — definitely
a new record size for a trackball controller!
The one oddity I noticed, however, was that there
was not a single pinball machine to be found anywhere, the one black
mark on an otherwise exquisite arcade gaming experience.
I'm going to be taking a brief break from updating the site for a few days.
Nothing bad, just going to give myself a little R'nR time. It's summertime,
Mushrooms #14: Retro Defined
Salvaged Snapshots of the Time-Out Arcade
Invaders Landing on PSP
Last Days for X-Arcade Sale
you're looking to pick up a 2-player X-Arcade controller, now is
the time: there is a special $129.95
sale going on until Sunday (the X-Arcade is normally $149.95).
Want an even better deal? They're also throwing in free ground
a true pinball wizard
posts lower profits as arcade business declines
Pac-Man Pinball Advance
The Phoenix 2600 Arises
love the amazing creativity of those in the retrogaming community:
behold the Phoenix 2600, a genuine Atari 2600 console transformed
into a handheld gaming system! Mitch Gerson is a happy owner of
a Phoenix, and has interviewed
inventor Ben Heckerdorn about his latest handheld console creation.
The Ultimate Trackball Test Panel
upcoming control panel design service comes the RetroBlast! TrackBall
Test Panel (RTTP), designed using MAMEroom's CPD
software and produced using their CNC
milling equipment (Be sure and note the exquisite RetroBlast!
logo engraved on the top!) I should have the panel in my hands
soon, and then I'll have the proper "studio" for some
trackball glamor photography. (Oh, and expect a review of MAMEroom's
software and design service as well!)
A Visit to Chuck E Cheese
of trackballs, I found my first-ever 4.5" trackball sighting "in
the wild" at a local Chuck
E Cheese restaurant. It's part of a "martian racing game" that
requires you to roll the ball as fast as you can to move your plastic
martian around the lunar racetrack. This Chuck E Cheese had a nice
selection of games for retrogamers, including a Space Invaders
/ Qix combo, a Centipede / Millipede / Missle Command combo, and
even a Simpson's Pinball Party (the first time I've been able to
play one!) There was even a bubble-domed cockpit game that played
MechWarrior 4 and Crimson Skies. Needless to say, I had as much
fun as the kids...
New Wireless Lightgun Coming!
it looks like our requests to e-real games have paid off: their
web site has news of the upcoming
RGT:Firehawk wireless light gun, which will supposedly compatible
with any display source, including LCD and plasma displays. Slated
for a "Christmas 2005" release, it looks like a promising
replacement for the now discontinued ACT-Labs light gun.
New Pinball Simulator
looks like Future
Pinball, an upcoming "pinball construction set" similar
to Visual Pinball, is nearing release. It looks promising: "Future
Pinball uses the Newton Game Dynamic Physics Solution (link) for
the real time simulation of a Pinball's Physics Environment. This
allows the ball to behave correctly on the playfield and interact
with other objects as it does in the real world." Thanks to
John (of John's
Retro Arcade) for the news!
Comic on videogame nostalgia
Arcade to give away huge Nintendo collection!
it Old School
Cliffy's Pinball Protectors Update
just received a new pinball protector from Cliffy, one for the "Time
Expander" mini-playfield on my Bally Doctor Who pinball machine.
It's a protector that I've been hoping Cliffy would develop, as
the exposed plywood on my Time Expander has taken an awful beating.
I've updated my review of Cliffy's
Pinball Protectors to show the awe-inspiring results.
off the RetroBlast virtual press is a review of the QuasicadePRO
gaming cabinet by Quasimoto Interactive. The "big brother" to
the Quasicade2 I reviewed earlier, the QuasicadePRO adds an HDTV
monitor and a high-end sound system, plus several other refinements.
But how is it for gaming? Check
out the review!
SlikStik 4th of July Sale
Looks like SlikStik is
having some sales this weekend (until midnight, July 4th), including free pinball
buttons, free trackball illumination kits, and 3% off any order. If you're
inside cooling off sometime this weekend, check it out!
order of translucent buttons from FXButtons.com arrived
yesterday, and I've got to say they make a great first impression.
All of the buttons "feel" right, and I'm looking forward
to lighting them up with some LEDs and watching the show. I've
some of every color available, and will be getting some yellow
buttons when they are ready as well. Look for a "combo review" as
soon as I get the new GameCab LED driver board (I love blinky lights!)
Diodes for the TOKN16
looks like the TOKN16 keyboard
encoder now ships with a package of diodes as standard equipment,
a good move (since adding diodes can help to eliminate the ghosting
that is caused by the encoder's design when almost any three buttons
are pressed simultaneously). The TOKN
media site has been updated with the new details on using diodes
with the encoder.
just had to share this photo with everyone: that's my son with
the translucent blue ball that goes into the 4.5" Happ Controls
trackball unit. Impressive, no? The ball is huge, and I feel like
I'm conducting some sort of "arcade seance" every time
I roll it. It also has an amazing glow to it just from the ambient
Speaking of trackballs, I'm working on the trackball
roundup, and hope to have it finished in a few weeks. There will
be video (and lots of photos)!
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