arcade gaming


Arcade games remind me of

hot stuffy afternoons, sleeveless tops

as sweat drips on our necks and foreheads

and cousin rivalry where one constantly screams


and another nags for a turn.

Arcade games remind me of

uncontainable excitement exploding

through the atmosphere like fireworks,

happiness spreading contagiously

like a disease as we all scream

“TURN!!! TURN!!!”

and despair in chorus.

omg I just saw on one of the tsum tsum FB pages that there’s finally a tsum tsum ARCADE GAME in the US!!!

Finally, you don’t have to go all the way to Japan to play and/or use ebay to get the prizes!!! hehe

It’s in City of Industry, California at Round 1.  This is the location!

If any of you are able to go, feel free to post about it and I’ll reblog it here!! :D


In April, I talked about Gaia Crusaders, an imperfect but ultimately well-meaning beat-em-up whose strongest selling point was a good combat system, which we can all agree is pretty important in a game of this type.

Apparently, someone at a group known as Primetek Investments liked the game more than I did, because in 2001 they decided to bootleg it, calling their new game Thunder Heroes. Of all the games by Noise Factory one could choose to rip off, why pick Gaia Crusaders? Why not a Power Instinct title, or perhaps yesterday’s game, Sengoku 3? Maybe they felt the obscurity of this game would allow them to get it through unnoticed.

Amazingly, this is one of the uncommon instances where a direct copy of an existing game was made objectively worse in the process. Some games, like 1996′s Atlant Olimpic, improve on the hardware that they’re so obviously aping. Not so here. Compared to Gaia CrusadersThunder Heroes has less characters to choose from (4 vs. 5), fewer stages, crummy weapons like knives that auto-throw as soon as you pick them up, unnecessary and nonsensical changes of characters and colors (one of your characters is replaced by a boss character, which you still have to fight as a boss late in the game), and no actual ending. It’s just plain bad.

Most amusing, perhaps, is the changed intro. Gaia Crusaders had laughably bad grammar and punctuation in its opening cutscene, and that’s also true of the rip-off–perhaps as an homage to the original. The only real effort it seems that Primetek took with Thunder Heroes was to draw up new opening graphics and write a new story for their game. The picture reflects the now only-four heroes that you can pick to play. I appreciate how the story for Thunder Heroes talks of bringing back peace to a land that already looks, for all intents, to be as idyllic as any post-final-boss scene you would expect. Heroes!!! Go!!!


Take a look at this Frank Lloyd Wright inspired custom Arcade Stick. Designed and handcrafted for our good friend Michael Heald at Fully Illustrated

Quarter sawn Oak: walnut stained, à la Frank Lloyd Wright. 
Seimitsu Buttons: black plungers, clear rings.
Sanwa JLF joystick.
Blue LEDs w/ custom LED controller.