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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Good, Bad and Ugly of LA Arcades

What do you want out of your arcade in LA? Fun and excitement? A place to play and drink? That old-school feeling? I break down the arcades in the LA area for you.

Let’s go through are barcades first.

The Good

For those who have since grown up, but still want to play, Eighty-Two; 707 E 4th Pl; (213) 626-8200 is your best bet. The barcade only features machines from the late 80’s and early 90’s. They just got in a six-player version of X-Men, Terminator with the machine gun attachments and many other old-school titles. A room over from the arcade games they have a huge collection of movie and TV themed pinball machines. DJ’s and a bar to wet your whistle make it the perfect hang out to once again beat someone at Street Fighter II. Lacking its own food service you’ll have to eat up all the surrounding goodies nearby in the arts district.

*X-Lanes; 333 S. Alameda St. #300; (213) 229-8910 is walking distance and has bowling, prize games, pool and some of the latest arcade games.

The Bad

Too many colors, and sketchy arcade cabinets make The One Up; 13625 Ventura Boulevard;(818) 849-5181 put my thumbs down. I might get some slack as those who don’t want to venture out of the Valley flock to this barcade diner on weekend. The place gets passes on the food and drinks, try the Captain Crunch Fried Chicken. The arcade and décor side are in question. Whatever the designer was trying to convey-your first place is your parent’s basement?!!-doesn’t connect with anyone. Arcade lovers can’t stand the bastardized versions of older games with the ugly looking arcade cabinets. They’re free to play, but there’s no question as to why they’re free. Forget seeing titles you remember or loved.

The Ugly

Hello nightmare of being trapped with a serial killer with a Chuck E. Cheese fetish. Blipsy Bar; 369 N Western Ave; (323) 461-7067 has the imagination of taking a crusty old bar and having some old arcade units in it, one being an amazing Punch-Out arcade machine. Blipsy’s is so divey it doesn’t have a sign, just Pac-Man dots on it for you to find. Decorated with stuffed animals and a turned over Cobra Command Center on the ceiling there’s nothing you want to open your eyes for inside. It has a few classic machines, nothing to keep you from leaving.


For the family or for the office party or just friends, Dave & Buster's,
6081 Center Drive; (310) 846-9950; 6801 Hollywood Blvd; 323-603-2400 has the latest arcade games. Star Wars Battle Pod lets you re-enact your favorite scenes from the original trilogy. Race in the latest arcade version of Mario Kart or save Gotham City in almost every Batmobile that has ever existed. Prize games, shooters and Pac-Man air hockey are ready to play with all the newest titles. Games are paid by using credits on a card. It is a barcade, technically. I’ll never agree that it’s a restaurant, the food has to be some of the worst the many users of Yelp and I have had. I’m not for anything fancy, I eat at BK, but at the high prices and bad service, just forget about eating there.


A true arcade, Family Amusement Corporation;876 N Vermont Ave (323) 660-8180 has so many old titles that cost quarters and tokens that it immediately brings you back to the era of arcades. This place fixes and sells machines in back away from you playing. There are rows, real rows of old titles to play cramped under neon lights and mirrors. It feels like you’ve stepped back in time, not in gum. It looks old, like a good arcade with memories should.


Is the price perfect for Neon Retro Arcade; 28 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena; no phone?
The model of pay for play is an hourly rate of ten buck/per hour to play some classic titles in this newly opened arcade. It’s the newest arcade in the LA area and adjacent to the Pasadena Convention Center. Near many places to catch a bite, I would say it’s in a perfect location. Old titles are the only ones inside, retro all the way.