Posted tagged ‘location’

Location Review: Bowlplex, Basingstoke

June 1, 2008

As you might imagine, Rambo wasn’t the only thing I played on my trip to Basingstoke’s Bowlplex last week. Having spent something like £20 on the return train ticket, there was no way I was ever going to do that. In fact, it wasn’t just the train journey – as I found out, the Bowlplex is located in a busy leisure district, and walking there from the train station was ever so slightly ambitious. Bang goes another £5 on a taxi. Being in a leisure district, the Bowlplex is surrounded by a variety of other things, including a swimming pool, an ice rink, a bingo hall, an Odeon cinema (which contained a Time Crisis 3 cabinet) and two food outlets, a McDonalds and a KFC (which is where myself and Overlord chose to eat).

Upon arriving in the Bowlplex, you’ll immediately see all the arcade machines contained within. At the time of visitng, this one contained Time Crisis 4, Mario Kart Arcade GP, an OutRun 2 cabinet which appeared to have been upgraded to OutRun 2 SP, Rambo (which was on test and will soon be gone), The Fast and the Furious Superbikes, House of the Dead 4, two Dancing Stage machines of forgotten version, and a Grand Prix pinball table from Stern (which was a pleasant surprise). Additionally, there was a pool table and an air hockey table. It’s a good variety of games, as you’ll see that the games cater for all ages and levels of interest in gaming. The machines were clean and seemed to be maintained well, which is always crucial. The one unexpected twist was the use of tokens rather than regular coins for payment, which is something that I’ve never seen in the UK. Each token is worth 50p (unused tokens are non-refundable) and every machine took two tokens per game, with the exception of Rambo which took two tokens to start and one to continue. There is only one token dispenser and this results in the occasional small queue. However, at one point the machine seemed to run out of tokens and though the problem was quickly rectified, this does call the use of tokens into question – the credits follow standard pricing and using regular currency would have required no extra outlay as the token machine already gives change.

In terms of other activities available on site, the name of the site makes it obvious that 10-pin bowling is the primary activity taking place in the building, and there’s a large number of lanes available. The site also offers a bar and grill, and while we didn’t sample the food due to the KFC consumption earlier, the bar was nice (if somewhat expensive – £1.50 for a large coke). The seating area for the bar has a large projector system for showing sporting events, and the League One playoff between Doncaster Rovers and Leeds United was on at the time we visited. The diverse range of activities on offer attracts a wide selection of people, ranging from families on the arcade machines to men who were there for the football, and the atmosphere was pleasant at all times.

The Bowlplex in Basingstoke is open seven days a week and has long opening hours. It’s a great place to visit when you’re on a family day out, and the leisure park location makes it very easy to slot in some time after seeing a film or going swimming. However, with the location being relatively out of the way, it may not be somewhere that you’ll visit regularly.

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Location Review : Phoenix Arcade @ The Summit

May 27, 2008

Here in Niagara Falls, NY there is a mall called The Summit and in addition to the Krow’s Nest with the bowling machines there is another arcade called Phoenix arcade. They have 2 storefronts in the mall. They have a wide variety of games between both their storefronts including the original Outrun simulator, classic games, some modern games, prize cranes, foosball, air hockey and much more. Their newly opened arcade is decorated very nicely on the outside. Here is a video of the newly opened arcade.

Overall the location is very clean, the games are priced cheaply at 25 and 50 cents per play, however this location suffers from many of the problems that classic arcades suffer from such as dead games and lots of monitor problems on the games. The phoenix arcade has quite a few games though and keeping up with them must not be that easy.

A video of their other storefront in the mall will follow in a short while.

New Asian venue with focus on “Eatertainment”

May 12, 2008

It’s no secret that the idea of “Eatertainment” – a restaurant venue that also seeks to entertain it’s clientèle with aspects other than just food, which may include arcade games. – is a valid idea that has worked for many different companies over the years including Chuck E. Cheese and Dave & Busters. Now here is a new venue opening up in Asia with a similar concept although it looks like their main coin-op focus will be crane games. The cranes look a lot like the cranes that Sega recently released for the UFO Catcher but whether or not these are just modified UFO Catcher cranes is unknown. The venue will also feature live performances and has a lot of attention focusing on sweets – some of them look pretty mouth watering. Click on the link below to check it all out.

[One on One Amusement Complex] [Discuss on the Forum]

New Asian venue with focus on "Eatertainment"

May 12, 2008

It’s no secret that the idea of “Eatertainment” – a restaurant venue that also seeks to entertain it’s clientèle with aspects other than just food, which may include arcade games. – is a valid idea that has worked for many different companies over the years including Chuck E. Cheese and Dave & Busters. Now here is a new venue opening up in Asia with a similar concept although it looks like their main coin-op focus will be crane games. The cranes look a lot like the cranes that Sega recently released for the UFO Catcher but whether or not these are just modified UFO Catcher cranes is unknown. The venue will also feature live performances and has a lot of attention focusing on sweets – some of them look pretty mouth watering. Click on the link below to check it all out.

[One on One Amusement Complex] [Discuss on the Forum]

Video location review – The Hollywood Connection, West Valley City, UT

April 24, 2008

So I finally got tired of my crappy DXG digital camera and decided to shell out a little bit of business cash for an HD camcorder. It’s working great so far and is much better than that other piece of hud I had as a camera. But the bad thing is that I’m not sure where I can host an actual HD file of it right now – if I upload it to the site here, wordpress converts it into a low rez flash video; youtube does the same (although I recently found some videos on Youtube that allowed you to switch to HD resolution but they must be paying them or something because I don’t get that option when I upload a video). It looks much better in HD so if anyone can help me out on this, I’d appreciate it.

Anyways, here is a video of my old arcade stomping grounds, The Hollywood Connection. I worked there for about a year and half and it was a lot of fun and for most of that time I was part of the management team. While I was only a sub-assistant manager of sorts, there were many days where I ended up being the only manager there and I ran the whole thing by myself for the whole day, which helped prepare me for my own arcade. They have changed the game selection a little bit since I worked there but there are several games that are still around. They don’t have many brand new titles though, they stick to games that are a few years old but still earn well.

HD Version!

Oh and the reason why there aren’t many people there is I went there on a Monday right as they were opening.

[Discuss on the Forum]

Trials, Tribulations and Locations

April 18, 2008

So over a month ago I made a post saying that I would be getting my own arcade started that next week and that along with it I would be making regular updates but you may have noticed that I haven’t been doing that and for good reason – it hasn’t happened yet. When I made the original post I was under the impression that I would be signing the lease to my location very shortly because Sears, the landlord of the site, told my realtor to expect it to happen within 5 days (that was on about the 15th of last month). So I waited for about five days and nothing happened. I kept waiting and nothing happened. The person apparently in charge for submitting the work to the lawyers so a lease could be created hadn’t even bothered to send it to them yet and I was given no reason why, until today. Today my own realtor was able to move up somewhere in the Sears chain and get some straight answers for a change and apparently the reason why I’m still waiting is because some other business is interested in the same location and they have been given priority because they are an established business and have a lot more capital than I do. It doesn’t matter that I submitted a letter of intent back in November and because Sears’ realtor drug his feet on it because he wanted a larger cut.

So my frustration has been multiplied many times over as I have had to wait needlessly on two people who in my opinion have lacked total professionalism and competence. I have only been waiting on this site as no other properties have appeared during this time that would work out for what I need (in terms of price, space, location, and more) but now I will have to bend a bit more on what I would like as I need to open before the summer break hits.

I guess the lesson for those of you who want to open your own arcades is have a lot of capital backing you either through a large bank account, line of credit, investors, property, etc. Of course I can’t vouch for Sears either but I’m nice enough to give them the benefit of the doubt as it may have just been the combination of the realtor they picked for this particular property combined with the person in charge of the property with Sears themselves. I still don’t understand why both of them have been so secretive about their intentions and why neither has had the courage to tell us what it is that needs to be resolved to move forward.

So tomorrow I’ll be exploring the city looking for any properties that don’t show up on the online searches for whatever reasons, as will my own personal realtor (who has been great and is different from the realtor Sears has in charge of the property I’ve been trying to get into).

[Discuss on the Forum]

New arcade open – Retro’s Classic Arcade

March 22, 2008

retros1.jpg

I always enjoy news of new arcades showing up on the scene, even though I won’t be able to visit most of them. This one is called Retro’s Classic Arcade, located in Clarksville Tennessee, USA and we have a pic review up for you to enjoy. From the looks of it, Retro’s is a real classic gamers arcade with a number of well-maintained retro games there to play. Hit the link below to check it out!

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