Saturday, December 17, 2011: No Limit Arcade opens in Algonquin, IL. Its one of the first arcades in the area to be opened independently from a mall in years. You won’t see tokens at this arcade though because their following the tradition of other arcades around the country that are using the “Pay For Unlimited Play” deal. At 20 bucks for unlimited play, a few people I talked to said that they thought that the price was very expensive to play, but I think these people may have forget how quickly one could rack up 20 bucks in tokens at an arcade.
The No Limit Arcade in Algonquin, IL
I had the distinct honor of being the arcade’s first paying customer on opening day and upon walking in you could see that they had a variety of machines to play from. Vintage machines like Pac-Man, Bump ‘N’ Jump, Discs of Tron, pinball machines and a variety of large scale machines like Sega Strike Fighter. Pinball junkies could get their flippers on three different games: Road Kinds, Theatre of Magic and Johnny Mnemonic. All 3 machines played without any issues, but I was shocked that the arcade only had 3 pinballs in the building as space really isn’t an issue. To me, one of the major draws of this place would be if they had a wall of pins to play.
Pinball Junkies can play, but they’ll instantly wish there were more pins.
They have some oldies, but they need some Donkey Kong/DK JR. cabinets!
I mentioned that I was their first customer right? With that being said, I shouldn’t of had too many issues with the machines; but I did. Street Fighter Alpha 2 had to be in one of the shortest cabinets I ever played a fighting game on and my back hurt while playing it. The sticks were having issues with diagonal right jumps and the low kick button would not respond quickly to a fury of low crouch kicks. SNK VS Capcom faired much worse, with the diagonal jumps hardly responding at all and a poorly spaced out 4 button Neo Geo setup. Tekken 4’s buttons would stick after pressing them in, making for a very poor play experience and Killer Instinct had some button issues as well as random resets. I’d hate to say it, but if you’re looking for a fighting game experience, you may want to look elsewhere. Plus, where is Street Fighter II?!
Paging Arcade Tech to the fighting game section please!
Machines issues didn’t stop there sadly. Some machines were on the floor but off completely. Others like Revolution X had major graphical issues that made the game unplayable, Virtua Cop 2 had issues registering shots and other games were making notifications that the voltage was low on them. One large cockpit game also had a Windows OS error on it. I can see these games having issues if this was a few days after the opening, but having issues like these right off the bat reflects poorly on the operators. Of course, opening a business is hectic, there’s only so much that can be done before opening day and maybe that was the case.
Pump Up the jam!
No Limit Arcade also has a separate building where they actually sell the cabinets. I didn’t get a close look at the machines myself, but it looked like there were a decent amount of them. I’m not looking for any machines at the moment, but I’d be somewhat cautious buying a machine from them based off how their machines performed in the actual arcade.
Take your wife for a ride on Artic Thunder, you can thank me later.
So what would I change in my opinion to make this arcade a success? For starters, I’d get more pinball machines in the building. Skip the EM’s, get one new Stern and then line up the wall with some pinball machines from the 80’s and 90’s. The plants are a nice look in between the pins, but you know what would look better? More pinball machines! Secondly: Lose all the large scale machines like Pump It Up, Sega Strike Fighter and a few of the racing games on the floor and replace them with smaller cabinets. X-Men, Final Fight, Street Fighter 2, Bad Dudes, Captain America and the Avenges, Soul Calibur. These are just a few games you could put in to replace the large scale games. Let’s face it, the large scales machines look like crap compared to anything in the home console market now and it’s the old school games people are going to get nostalgic about; not the ones that made the arcade industry start to tank. Leave the large machines to Gameworks. I’d really think a Barcade would be the route to go too…
All in all, No Limits is a decent arcade that needs to work out a few kinks before it really shines. If you need a new place to check out with some friends, its it least worth a try. Game on!