Gamer Guide Naha Vol 2: Local Arcade
In my last post, I told ya’ll about a Game Bar on Kokusai Street. Well on Kokusai Street is this wonderful place called “Makishi Market.” An indoor market with tons of tax-free discount shops, clothing stores, coffee & tea shacks, bars, traditional Japanese restaurants and of course a place to game. Once again call it sheer luck or just gamers intuition, but I found this place by accident. Seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life as of late. Deep inside on the quieter side of the marketplace, nestled alongside a string of buildings near a taco joint is a place where gamers can face off against homegrown top-notch Japanese competition for just .50 cents a round. From the outside, the motorbikes are lined up, and red lights pour on to the entrance and what awaits you is gaming with some serious nostalgia. This place is Game in Naha 2. Now I know the name sounds like someone ran it through Google Translate, but the place is so awesome we can overlook something like a less than stellar creativity when it comes to naming can’t we?
Upon first walking in, the sound of gaming nostalgia and cigarette smoke invaded my senses. The atmosphere is pretty dated with old seats and arcade machines from the early millennium but that didn’t detour me not one bit. In fact, it just added to the whole “kickin it old school” experience I was having. Games like MVC2, SF2, 3rd Strike, KOF 2004, and 3 different Tekken titles were just some of the things that I couldn’t resist. Not to mention they had the Spawn Game and Zombies Revenge which I used to play the hell outta on my Dreamcast. And of course, the Japanese only titles. The Arc Systems games are all compiled into their own machine which you can freely switch between and they even had Melty Blood which is a fav among the anime crowd.
But it wasn’t just the games that kept me. See each game is set up to have 2 of the same machines back to back. So when someone takes the machine on the opposite side of the room, you are greeted with the ol’ “Here comes a New Challenger” in the middle of your game and this is where the magic happens. These local’s as Wu-Tang so elegantly put it ” ain’t nothing to eff wit!” The second your match starts they just go in for the kill. If there’s any kind of glitch or exploit in the system, they WILL milk it! I was happy I got 2 matches in a best outta 5 in Tekken 7. When my match first started I got destroyed instantly. And this is a reoccurring theme. I watched a few matches on a couple of games and all had one thing in common. No one wants to be the sucker putting another 50 yen into the machine for the salty runback.
Since you will most likely be experiencing high levels of sodium after the first few 0 of 3 rounds, there is a machine that converts your yen into 50 so you can continue playing until you’ve had your fill or ran out of money (I actually saw that live), and if you would like to be wiser with your money simply join the crowd and watch. Grab a seat at an empty game behind you, or just stand a few feet behind the player. You will no doubt see this the most with 3rd Strike as it is the most popular game in the joint. If you wanna get some practice in to potentially avoid your wallet falling victim to high sodium syndrome, just swing by in the morning. Most of the players are at work or school so it doesn’t start getting crowded until nightfall.
The drawback to all this is that all the games are in Japanese (go figure) so it will help 10-fold if you have played some of the titles before. I am no stranger to import games due to the inpatients of myself and my siblings. I have some of the same games in both Japanese, and English. The menu placements and option are the same so memorize your games set up. Also, have fun waiting for a free machine especially on 3rd Strike. It’s first come, first serve to wait your turn bub. I was shocked to find there are some people that stayed there for hours. I went in the morning and then in the evening and I swear there was the same guy on the rhythm machine trying to get perfect on all the songs.
So, if you are looking to face some fierce competition, or just looking for some arcade nostalgia, hit up Game in Naha 2.