Line Out Music & the City at Night

Friday, July 13, 2012

ARTCADE! Flash Arcade @ Vermillion

Posted by on Fri, Jul 13, 2012 at 1:23 PM

  • Chelsea Mannella

Flash Arcade, a "traveling arcade" made up of local enthusiasts Tim Uomoto and Sean Bray's personal collection of retro video game machines, is now on display at gallery/lounge Vermillion. Among the 18 games, all available for 50 cents or less per play, are five pinball machines, three shooting games complete with fake plastic guns, an old-school Street Fighter II and a new(er)-school Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (!!!), and classic multiplayer side-scrolling beat-em-ups like X-Men and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Not too long ago these bulky things were everywhere: restaurants, laundromats, 7-11s, malls. Now there have been seven "console generations" and you can play Modern Warfare against someone from Russia without leaving your couch. The oversized, stubborn (Time Crisis II and T2: Judgment Day were broken, and Uomoto had to open up the X-Men machine to fix it at one point) machines are the definition of obsolete, making them the ultimate piece of nostalgia for a very specific age group. People who were older when these games were popular saw them as for kids, and anyone born after the introduction of 16- and 32-bit consoles—the same processing speed as most old arcade games—played them on a TV instead.

Arcade Owner Uomoto and Demolition Man
  • Chelsea Mannella
  • Arcade Owner Uomoto and Demolition Man

But for me, and probably anyone else who grew up in the '80s or '90s and spent a fair chunk of their youth feeding quarters into these giant boxes, the fun factor hasn't changed a bit. The difficulty levels of Flash Arcade's games seemed to be on a friendly setting to minimize frustration, and there are placards on top of the machines with interesting facts and anecdotes from video game history. The installation runs until August 4, and cover is free (unless the bar decides to charge $5 on a Friday or Saturday). Vermillion's regular music/DJ nights in the back bar are still going on, too—tonight is "The Jam" with DJs Specs Wizard, Able One, and Absolute Madman. What's not to like here?

If anyone wants it in Marvel vs. Capcom 2, feel free to challenge me and get that ass whupped. Full list of all of Flash Arcade's games below:

X-Men (4-player version)
Ms. Pac-Man
T2: Judgment Day
Time Crisis II
Area 51: Site 4
Street Fighter II: Champion Edition
Marvel vs. Capcom 2
Golden Axe
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
King of the Monsters 2
Twilight Zone (Pinball)
Johnny Mnemonic (Pinball)
Demolition Man (Pinball)
Seawitch (Pinball)
Striker Xtreme (Pinball)


Comments (8) RSS

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Playing GOLDEN AXE, with a cold beer at hand is pretty unbeatable. YAY VERMILLION!
Posted by Kelly O on July 13, 2012 at 2:53 PM · Report this
stinkbug 2
Finishing Golden Axe with one quarter is pretty great.
Posted by stinkbug on July 13, 2012 at 2:58 PM · Report this
Or you could set foot off of the island of Seattle and travel down south to Dorky's where games like this are available all the time.
Posted by K on July 13, 2012 at 3:09 PM · Report this
wow. thanks for explaining what arcade games are. i had no idea. were these manufactured on planet earth?
Posted by legacy builder on July 13, 2012 at 3:49 PM · Report this
tehjakers 5
Now if only they had the Aerosmith branded Revolution X would it be mega awesome.
Posted by tehjakers on July 13, 2012 at 4:00 PM · Report this
@4 I dunno man, I'm just a music writer.
Posted by Mike Ramos on July 13, 2012 at 4:03 PM · Report this
derek_erdman 7
I played 720 for 45 minutes last night. I couldn't believe how archaic the game play was, or how much fun I was having.
Posted by derek_erdman on July 13, 2012 at 4:17 PM · Report this
Catherwood 8
Twilight Zone! Keeping it working properly is a real challenge: I salute them for the effort. IMO, one of a handful of the greatest pins ever.
Posted by Catherwood on July 13, 2012 at 5:45 PM · Report this

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