The UltraCade

Ever since the last arcade in my town closed up to make way for a 60 family cul-de-sac, my experience with coin fed gaming systems has been limited. But every so often I get down to the Jersey shore and get my fix.

Well on my last trip I stumbled across what could be the best thing since a top-loading NES. This is The Ultracade Multi-Game System, put out by Hyperware.

As far as I can tell, this machine contains over 30 classic arcade games, including: Joust, Klax, Commando, Robotron, SnowBros 1 & 2, Mat Mania, and even the original Street Fighter (plus the first edition of SF2)… to name a few. And the best part is, they are presented in their original 8-16 bit forms.

10011001_ultracade-system-3-0-17However, despite the classic nature of the games, the marketing for the machine is pure 21st century drivel. During the selection process, you are constantly being hosted by a pink haired, very geometric looking anime chic, whose flashy effects and techno beats are bound to cause seizures of a Pokemon scale.

And, because the game is cased in those giant screened consoles usually reserved for fighting games, expect to lay down $.50 a go. Still, this is better than Nintendo’s approach to the mutigame system about 10 years ago. Remember that one? Twenty-Five cents for two minutes… I fell for it too.

Also keep in mind, once you put in your money, never ever ever push the red button! It’s the “Unload” button; aka the “steal-your-cash-ha-ha-ha-button.” This is here to get you to the menu screen before you press the 1P button and commit your credits. Don’t let it lead you to believe you can change games in the middle of play. This was the only thing the Nintendo arcade system had going for it.

The button is also good for denying people a free game, should you have to leave for some reason.

The multicade is not a bad idea; and is probably a precursor to the next wave of arcade gimmicks: “Retro.” However, if they really want to prey upon nostalgia buffs, make it a penny a game.

I guess not, huh?

UPDATE: 8/26/2015 – This just in, like a year ago, the founder of the Ultracade company sentenced for fraud, and company’s gone bellyup.
Via: Kotaku (The things you learn, remastering old posts).

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Written by

Ryan Livingston

Ryan Livingston