6 Steps To Run Retro Arcade Games At Home
If you grew up gaming in the Eighties or Nineties, the arcade was the place to be – you’d play the most technically advanced games and see things that your home console often hope to replicate. But while the most popular games from those days received ports, there are many games that still don’t have arcade-perfect home versions.
What do you do in this case? If you’re like us, you don’t rely on conversions and just run the arcade games at home on your telly – and it’s not as hard as you might think. Here’s how we did it in the office…
Step 1: Do Your Research
We can’t stress this enough – make sure you know your stuff at every step along the way. While it’s not too hard to figure out once you’ve done a little reading, arcade hardware isn’t as user-friendly as console hardware because it wasn’t intended for the general public to fiddle with. It’s also much harder to spot bootleg products, if authenticity matters to you. If you get truly stuck, forums like JAMMA+ and Arcade Otaku are an excellent resource for technical advice.
Step 2: Choose A Supergun
Superguns – also known as MAKs, JAMMA Test Rigs and a variety of other colourful names – come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit the user. Fully-featured ones with built in joysticks, power supplies and nice cases can cost you hundreds of pounds. Ours is a cheaper barebones model, found for less than £50 at arcademultigame.co.uk, but you’ll have to provide your own controllers, power supply, SCART cable and speakers if you get one of these – we picked up some extras from Arcade World UK. If you’re handy with electronics and fancy a project, you could even design some of your own components from scratch! Choose something appropriate for your skills and budget.
Step 3: Choose A Board
Essentially, any JAMMA compatible board will now plug into your new Supergun, which is pretty much anything released between the mid-Eighties and late Nineties. The majority of boards only offer a single game, but you can get a wide range of games popular games more cheaply by buying a board with interchangeable games. These include the SNK Neo Geo MVS (King Of Fighters, Metal Slug) that we’ve pictured below, as well as machines like the Capcom CPS-2 (Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Darkstalkers). Beware, though – some popular games like Street Fighter II extend the standard with extra buttons, so double check your research to see if extra hardware is needed (in Street Fighter II’s case, you’d need a Kick Harness for the six button layout).