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nilcam avatar 10:17 AM on 01.27.2009  (server time)
Cactus Jack's Arcade review (And a call-to-arms for Oklahoma City Dtoiders)

As I noted last week, my wife and I discovered an arcade here in Oklahoma City named Cactus Jack's. It's been around since 1974 and, according to its site, is an awesome place. Saturday morning, we headed there to test the veracity of that statement.

Cactus Jack's is huge. When you walk in, you're looking directly at the ticket redemption/customer service counter. There are quite a few token machines around this area. If you look to the right, you'll see the usual ticket payout games - skeeball, token slides, etc. Off to the left is a massive hallway of video game cabinets. As we walked through, I noticed a NeoGeo AES with King of Fighters 94, Samurai Shodown II, Metal Slug and some other game that was neither Bust-A-Move or Ninja Combat. There were quite a few classic games in this area including Baby Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga and Galaxian. In the corner of this room there were 5 pinball machines. Unfortunately, Funhouse and the Simpsons pinball machines were not there. Also along the wall were several fighters, including Tekken 3, Tekken Tag Tournament and Soul Calibur. Cactus Jack's has a large collection of racing games. There were Cruisin' Machines, Sega Rally machines and a side-by-side Initial D machine complete with card reader. In the last room on the game side, there was a large collection of Bemani games and 2 dancing games - a Pump it Up machine and another machine. In the rhythm game section, there were Keyboard Mania, Guitar Freaks, Beat Mania DX and some DJ game which used a keyboard and turntable. Unfortunately, there were no Street Fighter machines at all.

One great thing about Cactus Jack's is that it's very clean. There was no funk in the air unlike most arcades. The game selection is very varied and overall pretty good. I love that there are games from almost every generation of arcade gaming, but the lack of 2D fighters and the complete lack of shmups is very sad for me. The condition of most of the machines was very good. The NeoGeo AES has been tampered with. The buttons are not as good as the originals and the spring on the joystick has been tightened too much. This brings about another point - arcade equipment is no longer preferable to your home set up. None of the sticks on the fighters were as good as my Hori Real Arcade Pro 3. They were mostly American-style Happ parts or Happ knock-offs and I've come to prefer the Japanese-style Sanwa sticks and buttons. Cj's is a decent arcade and decent arcades are hard to find.

Call to arms
It's up to you, OKC Dtoiders. If you would like to have a meet up there, let me know. I'll put up the $75 to reserve 2 tables and get $90 worth of tokens. If I can get enough people to commit, this will happen.

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