Odaiba's Retro Video Game Arcade


Note: I have covered this arcade partially in a video I created for YouTube if you wish to see it in motion:
[VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQqu9-L98rg&feature=youtu.be">

If you are an avid video game fan then this article may interest you to some degree. While it is true that in Japan the video game arcade scene is thriving in comparison to the west where arcades are very much a thing of the past, I find that Japan too has become a bit underwhelming in regards to most of their arcades. Why is this? Basically most arcades lack variety and this disappoints me to no end as there isn't really a reason to go to one arcade over another. I could look at an arcade here and without going inside take a guess as to what games they would have on offer. At the time of writing this article, saying something like "oh that arcade has Initial D, Border Break, Tekken 7 and Dissidia Final Fantasy. Oh and that one down the road also has those same games" would be quite accurate. Not to bash these games (i'm quite a Tekken fanatic myself), but a bit of variety would be nice.
This is where Odaiba steps in. Odaiba is a large man-made island within Tokyo and has all sorts of fun things to enjoy such as an old car museum and a giant Ferris Wheel (which was the tallest Ferris Wheel in the world when built). One attraction many people may flock to is Sega's Joypolis amusement park which in itself is definitely worth a visit, however if you go to the entrance of Joypolis and turn around, you will see an escalator. Ride this escalator up and right in front of your eyes will be a floor known as Daiba 1-chome Shoutengai. To avoid confusion, let's just call it nostalgia street because that's exactly what this floor contains nothing but. There are an array of old style lolly shops, a trick art museum and if you get hungry at the far end of the floor there is a Takoyaki Museum.
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What I will focus on here though is what is immediately to your left when you enter this floor. There is an old school arcade featuring all sorts of retro goodies. What immediately struck me was the retro aesthetic of the place, everything from the bright coloured floors to the walls decked out with manga covers from decades past. They truly do mean retro here as there are many machines reminiscent of today's pachinko that you can try your luck at. There are also a lot of pinball machines if that is your forte (it definitely isn't mine).
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Now, onto the actual video games. Over by the far wall there are loads of table top and small arcade cabinets that are loaded with all of the classics that you know and love with some of the notable ones including Street FIghter II, Xevious, Puyo Puyo and Super Mario Bros. VS.
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The most impressive part of this arcade in my opinion are the individual dedicated arcade cabinets that they have on offer. These you don't run by very often in Tokyo and are usually only found if you travel out of the main city to smaller areas. If you're an avid Sega fanboy like I am you'll be delighted to see Virtua Cop 2, The House of the Dead, Super Hang On and Outrun cabinets. Although unfortunately the accelerator handle for Super Hang On gets slightly stuck and does make it slightly difficult to play. If you need a Super Hang On machine that has no flaws, head to Akihabara's Club Sega New Building. If those games weren't enough for you, they also have dedicated cabinets of the Namco classic Point Blank and Chase H.Q.
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Every time I visit this arcade I end up losing track of time, there are just so many great games to play. If you're like me and prefer the classics, definitely hit up this arcade which is a must if you visit Tokyo.

Ben White