While the weekend is almost over, and I have a Newsbytes curated news post about ready to go, I hate doing those almost back-to-back, so let’s do a little bit of padding out with some unboxing content. This post will include info on game performance so far, so that it’s not just a phoned-in rehash of things that you have read already.
My recent trend of unboxings began with my acquisition of LAI Games’ Outnumbered (2020), a light-gun target shooting game with themed levels instead of a generic shooting gallery setup. The setup shown below took about 5 hours to complete, as the game arrived disassembled, which is a little unusual, but fortunately I had enough help to make it all work out.
Since recording this video, I was able to find the missing bolts needed to attach the gun marquee pieces, so it looks like it should. Thanks to LAI Games’ fantastic help, I was also able to fix the networking issue that is mentioned near the end of the video, although it did have to be setup in another spot using ethernet for a bit until that was fixed. There was also a bizarre issue that caused the game to constantly crash that was fixed – one of the cables to the side monitors failed. The fix: Replace that cable (this was also reported to LAI, so that the software was also corrected so it wouldn’t crash like this in the event of a cable failure.)
The game has been performing well so far, just a little behind my Aliens Armageddon. Since it doesn’t featured a licensed brand name, it’s expected that it has a name recognition battle to fight, but we’ve seen a few people download the app to build up an account. Another nice this is that it’s been rare for the guns to get drop slammed onto the floor – that happens all the time with the other free gun games, but the holster design for ON seems to drive people to put them back properly (I’ve been baffled by how many people can’t fit the Aliens guns back into place – if they can’t get it right away, they just throw them on the floor or on top of the pedestal).
Blazing Chrome AC
My most recent acquisition for the exA-Arcadia was the Super Contra/Strider style game Blazing Chrome AC (2021). Since this is just a plug-n-play kit install, it was a bit easier to handle than the Outnumbered above or the StepManiaX below.
I recently did a full playthrough of this with a direct capture and I was surprised to find that it has about an hour’s worth of gameplay, but there’s more replay value than that thanks to additional difficulty levels and Mirror Mode.
My Metal Slug 6 failed the other day (burning smell – hurray), but I pointed the guys who were trying to play that to BCAC as an alternative and they seemed to dig it, giving it some continue plays. Beyond that anecdote, it needs more time to see how it stacks up against the other games in the machine (my most popular so far has been The Kung Fu Vs. Karate Champ followed by Gimmick! Exact*Mix & Vritra Hexa). Unfortunately the location where the exA is currently located hasn’t been doing too hot lately – April was absolutely dismal and May wasn’t much better, so that’s affected how all games are played across the board.
Due to the arrival of the game mentioned below, I did just move the exA to a new spot. While the front of the store is prime space for any game, sometimes certain games start doing better when moved. I’ve even moved games only a few feet, to find that they suddenly start doing well. The exA is now in the center of the store on the side where we had our Pac-Man 25th Anniversary cab, so we’ll see if things improve for it there.
The most recent ‘get’ is the first rhythm game that I’ve picked up in a long while. The last time I’d grabbed such a game was in 2015 or so with DDR Extreme. Some different games in the genre have come along to tempt me over the years, but when SMX launched in 2017, I was really hoping to jump on it at some point. That point is now, and I decided to bring this to the aforementioned struggling location in the hopes that this kind of game can help turn things around there.
Since it hasn’t been around for more than a weekend, we can’t judge on whether or not it’s doing that yet, although it’s already seeing a bit of play from my own observations on Friday and from what I hear from how it went yesterday. Here are some extra photos of the machine post-setup:
The quality of the stages is a vast improvement over the old DDR pads, and not just because of the LEDs. They have a different feel to them – I don’t know if you’d call it industrial grade or military grade…either way, these are built to take a beating and built to last.
During the unbox filming, the exA-Arcadia machine was up-front, but after getting SMX in place, it just didn’t feel right with the cabinet (mainly due to the monitor being unprotected like that so close to a stage where people are physically active – last thing I need is for that 4K gaming TV to accidentally get a nice crack in it). Since I have Step Revolution’s ReRave Plus on-site, we moved that beast of a cabinet over next to it. It’s still a little awkward, but not as much, and RR has the metal casing on the outside. That and it makes sense to put these two together if you’ve got them. Here’s a pic of it getting played before we had the chance to move games – these were the first customers to give it a try after setup was finished. It’s hard to see, but they were recording themselves with their cell phone too.
The next unboxing will be Minecraft Dungeons Arcade, although I am not 100% sure when that will arrive – could be this week, could be next. I can’t imagine that will require much more than installing the marquee and attaching the control panel, but we’ll see. I’m already trying to figure out how to arrange things for it’s arrival, which might require taking a game from that store and putting it up at the other location to free up some space.
After that, I’m not sure if I’ll have anything for a while – I need to catch up on paying off a bunch of these things and getting too far into debt to get them isn’t a wise move(already feels like I’m riding on the edge there). I am trying to sell off some other things to sort of help in that regard, getting rid of older stuff that isn’t doing too well anymore, although getting an actual sale on a lot of that is tough. I’ve had a couple of scammers reach out to me, but no one serious about any of it.
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed these installs and updates. Is there anything that could be done better? Let me know!