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Author Topic: Midwest Gaming Classic 2013 (Image heavy)  (Read 729 times)
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Crawley
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« on: January 24, 2013, 08:01:23 PM »

Anyone been to this trade show before? It takes place in Brookfield, WI.

I've have a real itching to play actual pinball machines after playing a lot of Pinball Arcade and Visual Pinball. But these days there's not too many places where you can play a wide variety of pinball machines that are well kept. So found this expo, which is a reasonable drive, and it sounded ideal to check out some tables I had only played virtually.

It sounds like a lot of the pinball/arcade games are set to free to play - which is great. But I know most (all?) games are from private collectors. What's the etiquette? Are you expected to donate if you play their machines? If so how much?

Anyone have any experience with this or similar shows?

----
Might help to link to the Midwest Gaming Classic 2013 event if someone wants to take a peek.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 03:30:46 AM by Crawley » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2013, 09:28:59 PM »

I can't say that I've been to anything like that, but it does sound kinda awesome.  I've heard that pinball tables are expensive to maintain, so there might be some etiquette there, but I don't know what it'd be.  No tilts?
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2013, 03:30:34 AM »

So I went to this this past weekend. Been really pining to play some pinball and this turned out to be the perfect way to to it. Had a fantastic time even though I had gone by my self and played a ton of games both pinball and all types of video games. It exceeded any expectations I had. Here's some picture heavy posts recapping the event.

I showed up on Friday. The show doesn't officially start until Saturday but they have a few tournaments and other events going on Friday. I did the Tom Taylor Tour and the Up to Par tournament. The Tom Taylor tour was off site. Basically this guy has over 300 pinball machines and electromagnetic games in his warehouse. You get there at 3pm and can play as much as you want till 8pm.

Most of the pinball tables were from 50-80's but he had quite a few from the 80's-90s too. Here's just one of the rooms with a few classic arcade games and a bunch of EM pinball machines.



Only 100 tickets to the event were allowed and 300 machines so plenty of machines were open.



It was just room after room full of pins and arcade games. This one had a bunch of modern style pinballs, including a Baby PacMan which is a cross between an video game and pinball machine. I played it a few times but sucked.



He also had the Hercules pinball machine. The worlds largest pinball machine (the ball is the size of a billiard ball). Unfortunately it was not up and running. But you can see the size of it here.



Here's another room. There's a ton more pins to the right of this image and you can see another room fill with pins in the distance. Along the side of the wall here you can see a bunch of these plastic hand-held pinball type games from the 50's just covering the wall.



I was there from 3 till around 7 when I had to call it quits as I had the Up to Par tourny at 9. So reluctantly left to get some food and downtime. Plan on going to this next year for sure. There were a bunch of games I didn't get to play. But I did get to play a few of the pins that are in Pinball Aracde including Gorgar, Firepower and Central Park.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 05:10:35 PM by Crawley » Logged
Crawley
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2013, 03:44:06 AM »

So what is the Up to Par Tournament? Well I knew I would suck at any of the pinball tournaments as I haven't played pinball in forever beyond the virtual pinball, so I did the Up To Par Tournament. You're given a list of 15 video games and you choose 9 of those games from the list. Each video game is on a different system. Some going as far back as the 70's up to current systems (e.g. Vita). You basically play one game and try and score as high as you can. Your final score determines your stroke for that "hole". You add up the score at the end and the person with the lowest score wins.

Here's the 15 games you could choose from. I don't think anyone saw what games you would be playing until right before you got taken to the tournament.



I basically wanted to have fun so I tried to choose a bunch of games I hadn't played before:

Jungle Hunt (on an NES?)
Typing of the Dead (Dreamcast)
Pole Position 2 (Atari 7800?)
Galaga (unsure what system)
Gates of Thunder (TurboGraphix)
Raiden (Don't recall)
Geomety Wars 2 (xbox 360)
Duck Hunt (NES)
Zen Pinball 2 (Vita)

Was doing great on a few of the games, kicked ass in Pole Position 2. Was getting real tired at the end and tanked on the last two games. Including Zen Pinball 2 (Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back table) which I figured I would do last and do the best in. You had to score as many points as you could with a single ball and I lost it like 10 seconds in. Ugh!

But it was still great fun and my caddy that was with me was a great guy too and I think he appreciated that I played a few games others probably wouldn't have chosen. Here was my final score:



Didn't place at all with that score. Oh well. Was doing it for the fun of it.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 04:12:46 AM by Crawley » Logged
Crawley
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2013, 04:09:07 AM »

The next day was the real start of the show. Those that pre-purchased tickets could get them the day before. I waited in line for about 10 minutes to get my tickets. Those that got their tickets the day of the show waited a bit longer.



There were a few things I wanted to see at the show and being able to play the Wizard of Oz table was one of them. This is a new pinball table that is still being worked on and has mainly only been out in the prototype stage. But when I went over there there were like 15 people in the line so I decided to try later. I had two days the line would go down.

But it didn't. I never saw the line less than 7 people and said screw it and never bothered to wait to try it out. A bit of reget there but also knew my game would last all of a minute when I got up there after waiting a long time.



As you can see it was quite packed there.



Games to play were all over the place but the main play area was the Arcade hall which had a bunch of pinball machines and arcade games packed in together in a single room - all free to play. After about 30 minutes they turned the lights off and then it really felt like an old arcade. They had some odd pinball machines there too including the Trilogy Brewing Company pinball game. Score 100,00 and put your beer mug under this tap and get some beer!



And no it wasn't working. Just there for the fun of it.

There was also a Miss World table that no one seemed to be playing.



And then found out why some people might be hesitant (NSFW). I played it a few times.

Spoiler for Hiden:

I'll post some more pics tomorrow from the event. There were a lot of neat things set up there including a bunch of old video and computer game systems. Plus about 10 iMac systems set up to play the original Quake via LAN. Talk about a lot of fun and time flying by.
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2013, 04:45:40 AM »

Thanks for sharing, Crawley.  I missed the Dallas Pinball festival this year due to a conflict with the boardgaming, but I plan of going back.  Thanks for the excellent pictures and recap.
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2013, 04:47:15 AM »

Oh, and as for Baby Pac-man...
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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2013, 03:57:49 PM »

Dude, I'd LOVE to go to that.   That must have been a blast..thanks for sharing!
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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2013, 05:43:03 PM »

You really had to explore the hotel area to find everything. When I headed downstairs I was surprised by walking in to rooms with mini-arcades. Each room had the same deal, all free to play. So I played a bit of Kangaroo, a Donkey Kong clone, and a Japanese import Macross (e.g. Robotech) and a few other arcade games that I hadn't played in decades. It was hard not to play everything but I had to explore more!



So tucked away in another side room was one that had a bunch of video game consoles. Most were old ones, some I've never played before but they also several of these set up:



I gave it a whirl. One of the guys volunteering in the area came over and walked me through the initial mech power-up phase. You had to press a few buttons, flick a few switches, neat stuff.  Then he gave me a few pointers on the controls and foot pedals and sent me on my way. I didn't know what the hell I was doing in the mission but got my mech out of the docking bay, blew up a bunch of stuff, pressed a few buttons on the controller to swap weapons, and managed to finish the mission. Overall a real neat experience.

I asked him if they were going to network the consoles together for multi-play and he said they tried that last year and it didn't work out. People were too confused by the controls which I can see.

Also in this room was an Intellivision with Burger Time on it. Never did get an Intellivision but my cousins had it and was always a bit jealous of that since the graphics were so much better than the 2600's. But man that controller SUCKS for platforming games like Burger Time.



Another room had a mix of classic video games and old computers that you could play games on. For computers I saw a few there I've never seen before including a Commodore Pet, an Apple ///, and a C64 with a dual-disk drive. They even had my old Apple //e there where someone was playing Oregon Trail.



They did a great job with this room as they had 80's music playing and even had some 70's/80's artifacts to set the atmosphere.



But they also had some modern stuff like 4-player Smash Bro's.

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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2013, 07:22:12 PM »

Now that you've played Steel Battalion, can you explain why ANYONE thought "These controls are complicated - let's remove them all and use motion controls!" was a good idea? 

That looks like it'd be a lot of fun.  There just isn't anything like that out here in Phoenix, sadly. 
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« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2013, 07:39:23 PM »

There's an Arizona Pinball Players League.  And ZapCon starts on April 6th. 
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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2013, 08:45:19 PM »

That looks like a pretty fun event.
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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2013, 08:49:11 PM »

I'd love to go to one of those classic gaming expos one of these days... too bad they're always so far away.
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« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2013, 10:11:44 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on March 28, 2013, 07:39:23 PM

There's an Arizona Pinball Players League.  And ZapCon starts on April 6th. 

Interesting.  Bad timing but perhaps the next go around I'll cover it GT style! 
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Crawley
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« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2013, 12:33:53 AM »

A few more interesting pictures here to close this out.

The Sunday event is considered "family day" so there were a number of kids around. Would be interesting to hear what they thought of some of the older arcade game consoles and older video games. I know in the console room a bunch flocked to the 360 that had God of War running on it. But with the Quake LAN there were quite a few younger kids playing. I suspect they were the damn spawn campers!

Someone had brought in a Fix it Felix, from the movie Wreck it Raph.



They put it in one of the hallways on Saturday and was being played pretty often. Neat stuff.



The highlight in the show for me was getting to play Cactus Canyon Continues. Cactus Canyon was the last Bally DMD pinball released before pushing out their two Pinball 2000 tables that were the very last (Star Wars: Ep 1 and Revenge from Mars). Before the Cactus Canyon team could finish the game they dismantled the team and released less than 1,000 units with its incomplete code. So the game came out a bit unpolished and missing a few modes. So a guy who owned the machine decided to add in a few of the missing modes, add some new modes, hire one of the original voice actors to record more lines, then took the machine to the show.

I've been playing the Pinball Arcade version of Cactus Canyon quite a bit, loving it in its incomplete form, so I was very interested in checking out Cactus Canyon Continued.

The table was tucked away in one of the corner hotel rooms so wasn't getting a lot of traffic. I was able to spent a bit of time playing it and talking to the project creator. He was nice enough to set up several of the new modes to trigger for me. It turned out to be my highlight from the show.



The vendor hall was downstair in another part of the hotel I didn't even manage to see the first day. I wish I had since there were even more games tucked away on the walk over there I would have loved spending more time playing. But by Sunday I was pretty pooped and ready to head back so just walked around the vendor hall which was crowded as hell but had a ton of video game related stuff to check out.



If you're looking to buy any old console games oor even some hard to find PC games, this is definetly the place to be. I have a feeling next year I'll pick up one of those Retcon 5 machines and then buy a bunch of cheap video games from the vendor hall at the show.



I was kinda surprised to see a number of sealed Atari 2600 games too. I probably haven't see this many Atari 2600 games since the 80's at KB Toys.



And if you ever need cables for anything. This looks to be the place to get them.



Another nice thing about the hall was that there were some playable games tucked here in there including a few rare ones. Like a Tapper machine that was a Budwiser Tapper instead of the typical RootBeer Tapper - could get that for $1,500. And a Joust 2. I really wanted to play that Joust 2 but right after some people finished playing the game died or the screen turned off or something so didn't get to play it but took this sad screenshot of it.



So that was the gist of what went on there. The venue was bursting at the seams with games and people. But I kinda liked it that way as there seemed to be always something new you would discover just walking around. People for the most part were pretty friendly. Only had a few people who kept playing one game after another without looking behind them to see if anyone was waiting to play too. And only a few incidents of bad BO.

There were a few cosplayers too. One young woman dressed up in this sexy Bowser outfit (from Mario). And there was a fat guy with tits and a wig. Although I'm not 100% sure that was cosplay.

I'll probably make this a yeary thing as it was just a lot of fun, inexpensive, and there was plenty of stuff I wanted to check out that I just didn't have time for. Including playing the WoZ table. I'm waiting in line next year.

« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 01:31:54 AM by Crawley » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2013, 01:58:57 AM »

Quote

OMG.. Megaforce, MASH and Mountain King.. I played the heck out of those on the 2600.  very cool and thanks for sharing!
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« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2013, 07:16:15 AM »

There's some nice memories in just that pic alone. Thanks for sharing.
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