Ever get the craving to head down to a local arcade to hit the best coin-ops from back in the day? Ever tried to locate one on Google? We have. and it ain’t fun! Thanks heavens for Arcade Universe (www.arcadeuniverse.net) – which will (fingers crossed) be the largest resource on the web for getting to that arcade fix! I caught up with the site’s founder Pieter to find out a little more…
Pieter – great to have you here at Arcade Attack! Arcade Universe is great idea – can you tell our readers a little bit about it and what inspired you to start it.
As an arcade enthusiast I read forums and blogs as probably many of you do as well. In The Netherlands where I live it was quite difficult to find arcades so I started looking abroad. Through some blogs I bumped into some arcades and arcade museums in Germany and France and that is how the idea to do a roadtrip started. But yeah, in order to do a roadtrip you need a map. And so the initiative was born. I first started with Europe but within 15 minutes of searching I discovered that I was not alone in this quest and found a lot of people that were willing to help in this as they too want to visit arcades on weekends, vacation or business trips but did not know where to go.
What’s your background and have you created any other websites?
I have a lot of experience with websites, blogs and forums escpecially in niche markets. But it is actually very boring to tell you about. It concerns fish, miniatures, job boards, management blogs… like I said, boring. When I am not working on my websites in my batcave I actually work as a Credit Collector, so don’t forget to pay your bills on time or I will have to give you a friendly call. Besides this I am a husband and a father to two sons who share the passion for gaming with me as well!
Of all the arcades you’ve been to in the world, which is you favourite and why?
Unfortunately I am spoiled to death as a friend of mine literally has a warehouse full of arcade machines almost next to my house. I help him out on repairing some stuff on a regular basis and he organizes regular events to play on the machines. Last time he had 70 plugged in, it was utterly insane. I really consider myself blessed by this. The most inspiring arcade after that is Arcade Street in Paris (Rue des Immeubles Industriels) which is an arcade that is being kept alive by simply the old fashioned way, flipping coins in the machine and play the game. This is substantially different compared to a lot of current arcades in Europe right now as they ask admission to the location and all the machines are on free play. In Arcade Street you have the old feeling of arcades because of the fact that you have a limited amount of coins and you need to decide where to spend your money on. I felt like a small kid again! Fortunately the world has a lot of locations and I already found too many to visit but I will continue my quest until I have found all the arcades in the world!
We’re big retro gamers here, what is your favourite retro arcade machine?
Ooooeeee, that is a very good question and a difficult one to answer. Let me see if I can limit my answer to 3000 words as there is so much beautiful eye candy out there…
There are basically three types of arcade cabinets (not including racers). Dedicated cabinets that were created to play a single game title, universal woodies which were designed for owners to switch games once in a while and you have Japanese candy cabinets which is a newer generation metal/fiber bodied universal arcade cabinet. I love them all for their own reasons but let me tickle the interest a bit by sharing some examples.
My favorite dedicated woody:
Outrun (woohoo! – Ed), for the simple reason that this was one of my first games to play in the arcade and it was insanely awesome. The music, the sounds, the forcefeedback on the steering wheel. Graphics were great too, shifter, you could change the music but you always choose the same number anyway, Splash Wave
Universal woodies can be pieces of art to be honest. A famous example is a zaccaria universal cabinet. You can find a lot of examples of that at http://www.zzzaccaria.com/ and if you just quickly look you can see the most beautiful art and paintings on them.
For candy cabs feel free to roam around http://hard–candy.com/candy-cabinets
My personal favorite is the Egret 29, it has a 70s look that I find irresistible.
Jawdropping… well to me anyway 🙂
I love the canary as well btw.
It is a pity I do not have a warehouse of my own… I would definitely have a lot of cabs as well 🙂
Are you a fan of consoles and if so, what was the first one you ever owned?
How can I be an arcade enthusiast and not love 8 and 16 bit art! I love consoles but mainly the older consoles, and before arcade became affordable to me I had consoles to get my daily fix. For me it started with Nintendo’s NES, that really had a great assortment of nice games and beautiful art. It will not surprise you that I loved titles like Mario, Megaman, Metroid, Zelda, Kirby. From a gaming element the 8 bit games I love most and maybe my favorite game is Mario Bros 2 on the NES. But from an eye candy perspective the SNES was a beautiful next level of console gaming. After that the games became more beautiful but it never really helped me get my fix though. Although I still have a couple of console (xbox, xbox360) I use them just a couple of times for games like Trails, Outrun 2 and Forza Horizon. But to be honest I continue to go back to 8 and 16 bit. There is nothing that can beat that for me… so far 🙂
Which do you prefer – Final Fight or Streets of Rage?
Come on, what kind of question is that! Who would not go for Final Fight? I realize that Final Fight on the console is not as good as the arcade game so I am open to debate the console vs console version but let’s be honest the arcade version is awesome (he’s got us there – Ed)! The artwork that is accustomed to what you can expect from Capcom is what I really love to see, preferably on a nice crispy and sharp CRT monitor.
If you could go for a few drinks with any video game character/arcade game character, who would you choose and why?
Interesting question and not one to take to lightly either.
Alright, so let us assume that character needs to drink something, and it will probably not be milk but something a bit more stronger. My friends from Samurai Shodown will chuckle down sake by the gallon, not really my taste. Pacman will gobble down all the peanuts at the bar so that is a no go too. So I am doubting between Ken from Street Fighter and Agent 47. But on the other hand if you meet Agent 47 it is probably the last thing you see so Ken it is!
What I love about Ken is that he loves a challenge and does not like giving up or failing. I recognize myself in that as I do not like to do easy stuff. I’d rather have a good challenge than just meddling around with something I know I can do easily. Ken is arrogant (no comment), respectful and is a disciplined fighter. I can only appreciate that. And no there is nothing wrong with a bit of (respectful) arrogance 🙂
Wow, thanks so much for giving us a quick email interview Pieter – all the best with the arcade search, we’ll be keeping an eye on it!
Thanks for having this interview with me. I think your site is great and I especially love the articles from all the consoles I have never played in the past. Keep it up!
We’ll do our best 😉 Thanks Pieter!