This is why you should have had a SNES!
I was at a con in Cardiff yesterday and the highlight was a selection of old console set up in the corner of the hall. They had an original Atari playing Asteroids (or a clone); a SNES running Sensible Soccer; a Spectrum +2 (I think - one of the later ones with a built in tape deck) running Joe Blade (I think it was called); Mario Kart 64; Sonic The Hedgehog and the original Tekken. Sensi was fun, but I think everyone who gave it a go was rather confused by the fact that the game seems content to play itself. Setting a team as player controlled is rather unintuitive. Asteroids was fun, moreso when I realised the wonky controls were due to me holding the joystick upside down. The Spectrum game was just terrible and bemused everyone.
But Tekken was the most interesting for me. I’ve played it once, about twenty years ago, so was keen to give it a go. I got through a lot of arcade mode (I suspect it was set on easy and it was down to 1 round per match) and some kid, about 9 years old, came over to watch, clearly wanting me to vacate and let him play.
Kid: Wow, you’re really good at this game.
Me: Thanks. I’m quite surprised, I’ve only played this once before and that was around when it was released, about twenty years ago.
Kid: (aghast) You were alive when this came out?!
And that’s how I got kicked out of a con for bitchslapping a child. (Ok, not really, but screw you, child. The mid-90s was barely ten minutes ago!)
While killing time, I also went by a barcade in the city centre called Kongs, a spin-off from Kongs of King Street in Bristol. It’s a fairly spacious and gloomy basement bar with a Burger Theory menu and a selection of classic arcade machines, including Street Fighter 2 ’ Championship Edition. That was the first one I alighted up and i was a little dubious of it, as it seemed like it might have been one of those essentially knock off cabinets - where you get a generic cab, put in a raspberry pi esque board running MAME and then get some repro marquees.
But after having a go on it, and looking at their other machines, it probably was a legit machine. It’s just hard to tell because they’ve gutted it of its original CRT monitor and put in an LCD flatscreen. This takes up less space, so they’ve installed it at a shallower angle, to reduce glare. Which is an interesting, if heretical idea. Unfortunately, they hadn’t set up the displayed properly so about 1/6th of the screen was being cut off on the right hand side, which isn’t great.
They’ve done the same for most of their other machines and it’s worked better on those. You do lose the original CRT feel, but it’s much easier to see the screens in the dimly lit arcade. They’ve got Donkey Kong, Double Dragon, Pang, 1942, International Track & Field, NBA Jam, a modern Namco arcade classic machine, the aforementioned Street Fighter, Alien vs Predator and Mortal Kombat 1 (which unfortunately either wasn’t working or just wasn’t turned on, so I wasn’t able to try out the recently discovered code that opens a secret menu of bonus stuff). There’s also some classic pinball tables.
Worth checking out if you’re in Cardiff and have some time to kill.