Neo-Geo, Arcade, Portable, & Every Other Platform
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Nyukki
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What got you into arcade hardware?

by Nyukki Mon May 19, 2014 10:11 am

I feel like I'm standing on the brink of an exciting, but dangerous journey. I'm thinking about getting into buying arcade hardware.

For as long as I can remember, or at least the last couple of months, the idea of expanding my gaming options to that of actual arcade hardware has been embedded in my mind, surfacing when idle, pestering my conciousness, goading me down what could be a slippery slope. It's all quite exciting.

I suppose what I'm looking to purchase are things like an MVS and the odd PCB. I've come across what look like good deals on Taobao, PCBs for Raiden and Strikers 1945 for about $50 each, and similar deals on MVS and IGS motherboards. I feel tempted, but I'm not entirely sure why I feel this way.

I suppose, getting back into gaming over the last couple of years, it started with NES emulation and then I ended up buying all the consoles I either used to have or missed out on. Been into MAME for a good two to three years now, I don't think that my interest in arcade hardware stems too much from 'arcade nostalgia' since most games I've played in MAME I've never even come across the real hardware. Though perhaps this is why it's so intriguing.

Ideally, I'd love to have three candy cabinets: one dedicated MVS, one tate for shmups, one six button for fighters/other. Many discussions, some ending in (my) tears, have been had with my wife, and the consensus, unfortunately, is that there will be no cabinets in our apartment. So I've heard about these things called Superguns that let you play arcade PCBs on your TV, sounds cool. But I wonder, to me playing on original hardware as opposed to emulation is largely about getting that "as it was intended to be played" feeling. Since I won't have a cabinet, is hooking it up to the TV pointless and should I stick to emulation instead?

Enough rambling. Basically I would be interested to hear from those who play on orignal arcade hardware at home the reasons you got into arcade hardware over emulation. I'm eager to hear tales of taking the plunge and learning the ropes and how you feel about the decisions you've made.

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Ghegs
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Re: What got you into arcade hardware?

by Ghegs Tue May 20, 2014 7:38 am

I've just about never played any arcade games in actual arcades, but I got started with a CMVS some three or four years ago. Don't exactly recall if there was some game I really wanted to play on it, or if I saw a nice deal that I decided to jump on. Probably a bit of both. Now I have ~20 games for the system. I'd say CMVS is a very good start for home arcade gaming since it's a fairly simple, console-like experience with the carts and everything. I thought I'd be quite happy with that and have no need to venture beyond into other arcade systems.

And then I got a supergun. I started with the philosophy that I'd only buy boards of games that don't have good home ports. That held for a while, and the majority of my boards are such titles (I even have a few unemulated games), but I ended buying some games that have solid ports anyway. It gets very easy to spend a lot of money on this hobby.

Here's what it boils down to: Do you want to play the games in their original form, without wanting to worry about possible emulation/port inaccuracies while sometimes having to pay quite a lot for the board you're after, and then having to deal with exotic hardware problems occasionally? If yes, then getting into arcade hardware might be for you.

I'm playing these on a supergun, on a CRT TV, with a modded Saturn controller. I have no interest whatsoever in getting a cab.
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synbiosfan
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Re: What got you into arcade hardware?

by synbiosfan Tue May 20, 2014 12:02 pm

The Metal Slug games.

The Home System/AES prices have been ridiculous for a while so 5-6 years ago I bought a CMVS and a little later a supergun.

I won a Mappy and bought a Fathom pinball machine in the 90's but sold them due to space issues so getting another cab would have been a headache for me.
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Re: What got you into arcade hardware?

by mjmjr25 Tue May 20, 2014 12:29 pm

To me nothing beats a sit down cab for shooters and a stand up cab for fighters. It's impossible, to me, to come close to that experience on a brilliant monitor, with scanlines, and the speakers right in your ears, with no hiccups, no loading, etc.

That said - yes, a ton of enjoyment can be had with a supergun. I had a supergun first, then sold it when I got my first cabs. I've since acquired 3 more superguns as they offer different experiences depending on what you get.

I like Sigma Raijins and Vega Jr's for their JP arcade quality controls and having them built in to a heavy arcade style control panel is pretty good at emulating the experience of an actual cab, without the permanent footprint. Very portable, hold their value, and built like tanks. I recommend having it setup to a nice midsize CRT for sure, but in a pinch it can hook up to an LCD in a bedroom or at a friend's house.

I agree w/Ghegs, part of the enjoyment and draw is playing games that are unported, poorly ported, or really just don't feel right being played on a PC setup.

I would caution about your first purchases - reselling some boards is not easy, it's a smaller market, so patience is key, and you will lose money on the shipping - it isn't like a SNES cart you buy for $100, don't like it, sell it for $100, spend $3 to ship it and you're done. You can easily buy a board for $50, not like it, try to move it, end up getting only $40 for it, plus spending $15-20 to ship it. You've lost $30 on that rental. Be smart, be selective, and have fun. You'll want to research bootlegs, general repair, soldering, revisions, regional differences, etc too - you might see an EspRaDe PCB for $280 on ebay and think it's a good buy. Then you get it only to discover it's an international version, not JP, now it's really only worth $250. Then you see it's had a couple chips borrowed from other boards and a jumper repair done - now it's only worth $200-ish. A lot goes into a pcb purchase, so just be sure to do some research on each game before plopping down your dollars.
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Re: What got you into arcade hardware?

by synbiosfan Tue May 20, 2014 3:56 pm

mjmjr25 wrote:I would caution about your first purchases - reselling some boards is not easy, it's a smaller market, so patience is key, and you will lose money on the shipping - it isn't like a SNES cart you buy for $100, don't like it, sell it for $100, spend $3 to ship it and you're done. You can easily buy a board for $50, not like it, try to move it, end up getting only $40 for it, plus spending $15-20 to ship it. You've lost $30 on that rental. Be smart, be selective, and have fun. You'll want to research bootlegs, general repair, soldering, revisions, regional differences, etc too - you might see an EspRaDe PCB for $280 on ebay and think it's a good buy. Then you get it only to discover it's an international version, not JP, now it's really only worth $250. Then you see it's had a couple chips borrowed from other boards and a jumper repair done - now it's only worth $200-ish. A lot goes into a pcb purchase, so just be sure to do some research on each game before plopping down your dollars.


Solid advice as usual!

Search various forums for dedicated arcade sales threads too. Like the Zelda doll trading forum, don't be fooled by the name (inside joke) and it's a good way to buy/sell things. I try to avoid eBay (who doesn't) and use forums as the sellers are usually willing to describe and take the pics you need, if you're a serious buyer. People on forums tend to pack things better too. Your reputation is on the line more with forums so most sellers try a little harder than eBay imo.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: What got you into arcade hardware?

by BoneSnapDeez Tue May 20, 2014 4:01 pm

I have no interest in owning cabs, but I think I'd like some MVS carts and maybe some CPS games someday...
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Re: What got you into arcade hardware?

by ninjainspandex Tue May 20, 2014 4:12 pm

MJMJR25, ever since I hung out at his house I had the itch haha. Started out with a hmm it be nice to have a supergun and my favorite arcade games, TMNT, Simpsons Arcade, Aliens Vs Predator. Then I got an AI CMVS and the I'll just buy the Metal Slug carts and play the rest on my multicart, and somehow that spiraled into me buying all the games I felt were essential for the Neo Geo.

Then shortly after that I bought my first cab, A Neo Geo 2 slot, and now Mike is tempting me to buy an Egret 2 with him.

Damn you Mike, Damn you.... I hope your reading this :lol:

This summer I need to move into a bigger apartment that is on the ground floor, I measured my door right now and it is only 29 inches with the door off. No way I'm going to fit an egret through that haha
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cha cha
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Re: What got you into arcade hardware?

by cha cha Tue May 20, 2014 5:05 pm

Long story short-
I dreamt as a teen of owning and operating a "kickass" arcade that would be well maintained and popular among all gamers.
Then when I was in a position to do so- I beheld reality and the current markets, demographics and trends that told me it would be an indefinite black hole for my money and I didn't posses the capital to wade waist deep through heavy losses for as long as it would take for me to build/market it into something sustainable.

So the handful of cabinets I "amassed" for that dream are now either sitting in my gameroom or have been pseudo-donated to my community at our public play area (pseudo-donated meaning, I left them there indefinately, but if we as a group ever leave that place or I move far away, I will reclaim/sell them).

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shallowgamer
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Re: What got you into arcade hardware?

by shallowgamer Wed May 21, 2014 12:15 am

a legitimate CMVS and a not so legitimate Xbox w/ CoinOps scratched my itch. That said, I've made an effort to recreate the arcade "experience" over the years... dance mats, maracas, joysticks, beatmania, guncon with "industrial" pedals from red octane..

I do have 2 pinball machines, because you just can't fake that. But that's another maintenance pitfall...
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Re: What got you into arcade hardware?

by fastbilly1 Wed May 21, 2014 10:00 am

When growing up it was beyond a treat to go to the mall and get to spend a quarter on an arcade game. Mostly because it was at the out of the way mall and my parents would have to sit around while my brothers and I played the games. The arcade was called Challenges and was open until a couple years ago when it finally died and became a boardgame/cardgame store. The only time that I got to play more than one or two games was at a friends birthday party when they rented out the arcade. I distinctly remember taking over a schoolmates character on Xmen 6 player and almost 1ccing the game in 6 player as Dazzler, that and one time I earned 10k tickets in the bowling ticket game and spent the bulk of them on small robots that they sold for four or five tickets a pop.

I started buying cabs in Highschool when my Algebra 2 teacher told me about an auction she and her husband went to. So I went to one, and well lets just say Ive owned a dozen or so Dynamos over the years and now have just two cabs - a 2l6b sitdown Astro City and a Nintendo Vs Tent.

To me, some arcade games create an irreplaceable experience. Sure I can have arcade sticks on my tv, but it does not compare to four people crowding around a cab playing a beatemup. Fighting games are the same story.
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