austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

The sea of clouds lies underneath me

Ah, but how is the Klassic Arcade as an arcade? Well, for price alone it's pretty unbeatable: five dollars and play all day. They've got a collection of about sixty pinball machines and vintage video games. The pinball games date from as far back as 1971 (Play Ball) to as recent as 1999 (South Park), and seem to be in decent shape. The one serious problem was Terminator, which had some weird issue where the rubber band on the right inlane was a tiny bit out of place, so a ball would get wedged in there, which brought a game to a screeching halt. They also had The Who's Tommy, but something on it broke between when we got there and when I'd have the chance to play. Too bad.

I got strangely intrigued by NBA Fastbreak, a basketball-themed pinball in which scoring is be design extremely low: you earn points by ones and twos and threes, in ways themed to match field goals and free throws, and it even includes a pretty neat feature that tosses a ball up and possibly into the net, if you time things right. It's the only game I've played where scoring a 65 felt like the result of a really good game, and I'm rather sure it was.

They had a Maverick, based on the movie made in the 90s, which taught bunny_hugger that there had been a movie version of Maverick in the 90s. Sadly some weird glitch caused the river boat target not to register correctly, which screwed up all the multiball-starting shots. And while the gameplay was a little balky we both rather enjoyed Gladiators, a 1993 Gottlieb pinball that really seems from the art like it should have come out in 1981.

While playing we alo had an interesting encounter: bunny_hugger was wearing her Lansing Pinball League t-shirt and drew the attention of a guy who lives in the Lansing area and had been at the Pinball At The Zoo event a few weeks ago, and had no idea there was a league in his backyard. We told him about where it's held and when and hoped he'd take us up on the invitation.

And the video games. They've got a healthy selection of mostly 80s machines, including a Q-Bert with a functioning knocker so when a character falls off the grid you hear him splat in the real world. bunny_hugger enjoyed quite a few good games on machines like Pengo while I very nearly got nearly a third of the way through the first board of Donkey Kong Junior. She also had a pretty good game of Sinistar and discovered on the sheet of paper listing high scores that our pinball wizard friend from league was also listed as having a high score on that 1982 video game. He insists the arcade must have made a typo and meant to record a good score on the Simpsons pinball. Plausible, except they didn't seem to have a Simpsons pinball there (though their roster lists it).

We closed the place out, of course; we're just that sort of people.

Trivia: The American Red Cross had 107 local chapters in 1914. It had 3,864 by the end of the Great War. Source: The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History, John M Barry.

Currently Reading: Revolutionary Russia 1891 - 1991: A History, Orlando Figes.


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