Feb 16, 2013 - Stern AC/DC Premium Pinball Review - Gameplay and Unboxing - ACDC Pinball
Here's a video review of my friend's AC/DC premium pinball machine. This game was released by Stern in 2012. It was designed by famed pinball designer, Steve Ritchie, who also designed Black Knight, High Speed, F-14 Tomcat, and more! This is the "premium" version which has more features and toy than the "pro" version. The one big addition is the bell in the center of the playfield which is a very cool shot and the lower playfield! The game also has color changing LEDs which really adds to the dramatic look of the game. The audio in the game is also great and the machine has a 12" subwoofer.
Feb 7, 2013 - Capcom Breakshot Pinball Review - 1996
Here's a video review of a Capcom Breakshot pinball machine. This game was released in 1996 and was designed by Greg Kmiec. The art is by Stan Fukuoka. This is a fairly rare pinball machine with only 1,000 games ever produced. In this game, Capcom tried recreating an EM pinball type experience using Solid State type hardware. Also in this video is a sneak peak at my friend's new in box Stern AC/DC Premium Pinball machine.
Jan 28, 2013 - Vs. Castlevania Review - Konami 1987 - Nintendo Vs. - Vs. Top Gun conversion
Here's a video review of Konami's VS. Castlevania for the Nintendo Vs. Dualsystem and Unisystem. This is actually a conversion of a Konami Vs. Top Gun daughterboard to Vs. Castlevania. To convert a Vs. Top Gun to Vs. Castlevania it's nothing more than a EPROM and PPU swap. Very easy mod!
This version of Castlevania is very similar to the NES version except it is much harder. Other than that, it's the same version! Same as the PC-10 version, too. Just much harder!
Jan 28, 2013 - Pole Position World Record Attempt!
Wow! I love Atari's Pole Position! Have I ever told you that? Well, it's true! I did a Pole Position video a long time ago and at the time I was pretty bad at the game. I have gotten a lot better and in this video I do my best to beat the high-score in my basement and talk about some of the strategies I use to play the game. Well, I don't beat the high score, but I have a pretty decent game. I do complete and finish the game and in the end I get a respectable score that is in the TOP 20 of recorded scores. Nothing wrong with that, right? :)
I am pretty obsessed with this game and would love to get in the top five at least for high scores. I think I can do it, wish me luck!
Game is set to CHAMPIONSHIP settings:
Game Time: 120 Seconds
Practice Difficulty: "C" Rank
Extended Lap Difficulty: "G" Rank (75 - 51 - 57 - 61)
I made a couple of tech videos in the last week. One shows how to install a video amplifier in a Pinball 2000 machine. This mod boosts the video signal and significantly improves the picture, it's amazing!
The other tech video shows how to test voltages in an arcade machine using a multimeter and how to replace a switching power supply. Check them out below!
Here's a video review of Stern's '24' Pinball Machine. This pinball was based on the TV show of the same name. This game was designed by Steve Ritchie and features a suitcase multi-ball, a terrorist hide-out, and a sniper. It also has drop targets in the middle of the playfield which is a pretty cool feature! This game is voiced by the actress that plays Chloe O'brian in the TV show and has canned audio from the show.
Jan 20, 2013 - Multipede Kit Review! Braze Technologies.
Here's a review of my Centipede Cabaret cabinet with the Braze Technologies Multipede Kit. This cabinet has a Millipede PCB with the Millipede PCB to Centipede Adapter.
Centipede was released in 1981 by Atari and was designed by Ed Logg and Dona Bailey. The game features trackball controls and a single fire button. Millipede was the sequel to Centipede and was released in 1982.
Here's a quick little video review of a pretty interesting game for the Nintendo Vs. System, Vs. Skate Kids! This game was a graphical hack for Vs. Super Mario Bros. and was released in 1988 by Two Bits Score. Anyways, check it out! It's, uh.... odd. :)
Jan 6, 2013 - Faster Harder More Challenging Q*Bert Review!
I posted a video review of FHMC Q*Bert. It's a pretty cool game that was never released in the arcades. It features a female Q*Bert named Q*Bertha and a bunch of interesting game mechanics that were never in the original game and a cool bonus level! Check it out:
Jan 1, 2013 - Williams Whirlwind Pinball Review - In-depth Gameplay and Hardware Review - System 11b
I haven't talked about my Whirlwind in a few years. The last video I did was when I first got the game and it wasn't even working right! So, I hope you like this new vid!
In this video we'll explore the entire pinball machine. We'll take a peek under the playfield and inside the backbox. We'll talk about the CPU board, Power Supply, Driver Board, Audio Board, and how to remote mount the battery pack on the CPU.
And, of course we'll talk plenty about the gameplay, the rules, multiball, the bonus modes, etc. I play a quick game and do 'ok'. :)
This game was released in early 1990 by Williams Pinball and was designed by Pat Lawlor. Art by John Youssi. Music and Sound by Chris Granner.
Dec 28, 2012 - HOW TO SOLDER - Arcade Tech - Soldering Basics, Monitor Cap Kit, Desolder, etc.
In this video I show the basics of soldering including what type of soldering iron I use (Weller WTCPT), what type of soldering iron tip to use (Weller PTP7), what type of solder to use (60% lead), what desoldering tool I use (soldapullt), how to use a multimeter (I use a FLUKE) to check continuity between soldering connections, how to properly insert a capacitor while observing polarity, and more! Please be careful when you are doing this as soldering irons are hot and can burn you and the solder fumes are TOXIC! You have been warned!
Dec 24, 2012 - How to "Bullet Proof" a Pole Position Arcade Game - +5V and Ground Mod - TECH
In this tech video I show how I modded my Atari / NAMCO Pole Position's PCB and harness by jumping the +5V and Ground from each harness to the test points on the PCB. I also connected all the +5V and Ground test points together on the PCB. Do this mod at your own risk. This mod worked great for me and it made my Pole Position pretty reliable.
This is a video review of a HyperPin cabinet with three monitors. The cabinet has a large LED display for the playfield and LCD displays for the backglass and DMD display. This cabinet was scratch built and modeled after a William's Wide Body pinball Machine (Dr. Who). The machine is running the HyperPin frontend with Future Pinball and Visual Pinball Emulators. It has classic pinball games like Medieval Madness, Addam's Family, Twilight Zone, Cactus Canyon, Attack From Mars, etc. It also has fan made games like Metal Slug and Jaws. It's pretty cool!
Here's a video review of GORF by Bally/Midway. This game was released in 1981 and contains elements of Space Invaders and Galaxian. It's essentially four games in one. It's a pretty neat cabinet! The joystick in this game was designed by famed pinball and video game designer George Gomez. It is the same joystick that you will find on Tron, Discs of Tron, and Satan's Hollow. This video was filmed at the Flux Capacitor Arcade in suburban Chicago.
Nov 28, 2012 - How to discharge an arcade CRT monitor - Tech Video
I pulled the WG 4900 monitor out of my Moon Patrol tonight to work on it and decided to film the discharging of the monitor and removal of the chassis and neck board. For a lot us collectors this is pretty basic information. But, at one time this was a big mystery to me so I hope some find this information useful. Check out the vid below!
Nov 26, 2012 - John's arcade on the road! OutRun 2 review
John's Arcade hits the road once again in this video review of Sega's OutRun 2. This game was released in 2004. I review this game in the Flux Capacitor arcade which is GregBL's arcade in Suburban Chicago. Greg has an awesome collection of lovingly restored games and features games such as Space Duel, Tempest, The Simpson's Pinball Party ,and more. At the end of the video I also show a sneak peek at a Gyruss that I will restore in the spring. ENJOY!
Updated Nov 16, new files! Unlocked! No watermark!
So, did you see Disney's Wreck-It Ralph movie?! Amazing movie, I loved all the 80s arcade references. It was definitely made by a bunch of people who understood the nostalgia we all have!
Anwyays, in one of the scenes the Wreck-It Ralph game had a sign on it that said "Out of Order. Check back with me tomorrow." When I saw it I knew people were gonna be talking about it over at KLOV.com and sure enough someone asked for a copy of it and if someone could make a printable version. So I sat down tonight and tried to make an accurate one based on screen grabs from the film. And, I think it turned out great! I grunged it up a little so it looked like it went through a Xerox machine a few times. :)
Anyways, if you have a sick game, go ahead and download the vector PDFs of the sign below and print them out. I am including two versions. One version is white and is designed to be printed on orange paper. The other is orange and you can print this on a laser printer or whatever on standard white paper. Anyways, ENJOY!
Click on any image above to download a selection of files for the Wreck It Ralph Out of Order sign. Vector PDF files and also PNG files. ENJOY!
Nov 12, 2012 - How to erase, burn (write), and read EPROMs using an EMP-10 to convert a Nintendo Vs. arcade game into another!
I put up a little tutorial tech video showing how to convert a Nintendo Vs. game into another game by burning a new set of ROMS using an Needham EMP-10 EPROM burner and a cheap UV light EPROM eraser. In this video we'll convert the crappy VS. SOCCER game into the far superior VS. ICE CLIMBER! Topics covered include EPROM writing, reading, erasing, Nintendo Vs. PPUs, CPUs, and ROMs. ENJOY!
Oct 27, 2012 - John's Arcade Video #100 SPECTACULAR - Arcade Tour and MORE!
Here it is! My 100th YOUTUBE video! Whoa! Can you believe it? In this video we take some time talking about every game in my arcade and also have some awesome "congratulatory" videos at the end from my podcasting friends like Michelle Madison, Matt Bradford, Chip Cella, Gadgetman and more! This video features pretty much EVERY game in my arcade. ENJOY!
Oct 20, 2012 - How to remotely mount the battery holder on a Williams System 11 pinball machine
My Whirlwind recently started acting up. I would get a "Factory Settings" message every time I turned the game on. This is actually quite common, it typically means the batteries are bad or there is an issue with the battery holder, etc. When the game is powered off, three AA batteries keep your settings, free play/coin settings, high-scores, etc. If the batteries are dead, or if there is a connection issue with the battery holder, you get this error and your settings are lost. The game resets itself back to factory defaults.
It's common for the batteries to leak and/or for the original cheap battery holder to be corroded. The original holder is not very good. If your batteries have leaked in this area it is CRITICAL that you clean up the acid properly or it could spread all over your CPU board. Acid loves eating up and following traces. I suggest googling how to do this, but you should do it! This posting is not going to cover acid clean-up, we are only going to focus on the battery holder.
Anyways, I pulled my Whirlwind's System 11B CPU board out of the game and removed the original battery holder by de-soldering it with my soldering iron and a solder sucker. When I removed the battery holder, I noticed that one of the terminals on the battery holder basically fell off from corrosion. So, this is why I wasn't getting voltage from the battery holder!
Ok, now that we have the old battery holder out, let's replace it with a new one and remote mount it.
I went to Radio Shack and picked-up a four cell AA battery holder, a 1N4004 diode, and some quick connectors. You'll also need some wire which I already had on hand.
The System 11 board wants three AA batteries, not four. You can use a four cell AA battery holder since they are cheap and easy to find. Simply place and solder the diode in the fourth cell slot with the band side connecting to the red wire side. See photos. This diode simply protects the batteries from being charged by the CPU board. The System 11 boards DO NOT charge the batteries by default but this is just an extra safety measure and you need to fill up that fourth battery slot anyways! This also lowers the voltage slightly of the battery pack so the game will alert you to change your batteries sooner than later (FACTORY SETTINGS) which is also good additional safety.
After installing the diode I made a "twisted pair" with my cordless drill and two wires. Basically, insert your red and black wires into the drills chuck and then twist them together with the drill. This makes for a very clean mini-wiring harness. I didn't have red and black wire on hand so I used green and black. I used green for positive.
Ok, after that I installed my quick disconnects to make it easy to unplug the battery holder if I ever need to down the road.
Then, after that, you just need to solder the negative wire (black) to the top right battery holder solder pad on the PCB and the positive wire (typically red, I used green since this is what I had on hand!) to bottom left solder pad on the PCB. And, that's it! You're done.
You can screw the battery holder somewhere in the head or on the light door, I just placed the battery holder in the bottom of the head. If you do that, just be sure to unplug the battery holder before moving your game if you fold the head down.
Here's a quick video review of VS. RBI BASEBALL for the Nintendo Vs. system. I am playing the game in a Vs. Nintendo Vs. Dualsystem "red tent". This game features two-player simultaneous play on one side and does not use two monitors like Nintendo's Baseball game. It's a great game with the Major League Baseball Player's Association license. McGwire, Canseco, Clemens, etc. are in this game and it rocks! But, it's not as good as my favorite, Baseball Stars!
I was getting a ton of SPAM in the comments so I am trying a new comment system. The bad news is all the comments that have been left throughout the years are gone but the good news is it's a much more powerful comment engine. Anyways... Wanna leave a comment? Scroll down to the bottom of each page!
Getting caught up here on my little site. In the past month I posted a bunch of new video reviews including one for Black Knight 2000 pinball, Addams Family pinball, Nightmare in the dark on the NEO GEO, and a video review for the Arachnid English Mark Darts Super Six Plus II dart board.
I just put up a couple new vids on Youtube. The first vid is an in-depth review of Donkey Kong, my favorite game. In this vid I'll show you the inside of the cabinet and how to score 100,000 points in Donkey Kong. It's a long video, about 30 minutes. I hope you enjoy it!:)
The second vid is a review of Atari's arcade version of Tetris. Enjoy!
Here's a quick video review of Capcom's 1996 game, Street Fighter Alpha 2. This game was called Street Fighter Zero 2 in Japan. I am not a very good Street Fighter player but I do my best to show you the gameplay, etc. This cabinet is a 3-KOAM Z-Back cabinet and was originally a dedicated Street Fighter II: Champion Edition. My favorite players are Chun-li and E. Honda. Sadly, E. Honda is missing from this game. ENJOY!
Jun 10, 2012 - Atari Star Wars 1983 Video Arcade Game Review
I put up a quick little video of Atar Star Wars with the ESB kit. This is the first part of a two part video series. The next video will show Empire Strikes Back. This game features an Amplifone monitor and is all original.
I posted a little video review of John Popadiuk's Theatre of Magic. This is a 1995 Bally/Williams/Midway pinball machine with a pretty cool magic theme. It's a pretty great game and it features a rotating trunk.
I just posted a quick video of one of my most memorable childhood games, Scramble! This game was the granddaddy of the shmup and some say is the prequel to Gradius. If someone can tell me how to get past the end, I would be grateful. I can't do it! :)
So, I traded a local collector friend my minty Jungle King for his Outrun Cabaret. I really love Outrun, it's definitely one of those iconic games from the 80s. I consider it one of the top three arcade racers (Pole Position and Turbo being the others.) I've really been enjoying it, it's a FUN game. I installed the Freeplay and High-Score Rom hack on it. If you have an Outrun, you NEED this! Information for this hack is here.
Anyways, here's a quick video review of SEGA Outrun!:
Feb 5, 2012 - Q*Bert Qubes and Multi Q*Bert 10-in-1 Kit Video
Recently I installed the new Multi Q*Bert 10 in 1 kit in my Q*Bert, it's pretty cool! I just put up a video showing how it works. This video mostly focuses on Qubes but also shows the multi menu and how the mod is installed. This mod was created by Dave Widel and Mike Doyle. It is available on Mike Doyle's blog and here.
It's definitely a cool mod. Most of the games are not that great but I really like FHMC Q*bert and Q*bert Qubes. It also adds a more modern way to save games. This is good because my Q*bert never saved high-scores properly. The only negative is that you need to exit out of the game and go back into the menu to save scores. This is a minor annoyance as you have to remember to do so before you turn the game off.
I just updated the Nintendo Vs. Tech page with some pretty useful info and a new manual!
2600 over at KLOV sent me a copy of the Nintendo Vs. Playchoice conversion kit manual. It's now available at the bottom of this page. This manual is for the kit from Nintendo that allows you to add a PC-10 to one side of a Nintendo Red Tent. Neat kit.
I also added a notes column to the list of games on the Nintnedo Vs. Tech Page. I hope these notes are helpful as I added a little bit of information for each game. And, I also added Konami Vs. Daughter Board conversion info. Did you know you can convert a Vs. Top Gun to a Vs. Castelvania? Well you can! Head on over here and check it out!