Today let's go back in time to 1986 and pay a visit to the「YOU」game center which is located in the notorious Dobuita Street in the city of Yokosuka, Kanagawa prefecture, Japan.
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When we first step inside the atmosphere is incredible! From the well-known local shady customers, to the cracked floor tiles and the exposed pipes in the ceiling. The retro feeling is awesomely spot-on. We are truly being transported back in time to a small Japanese game center in the '80s.
As we can see the walls are decorated with valuable retro game posters of various popular SEGA games of the time. On this wall we can see posters for「FLICKY」,「SPACE HARRIER」,「FANTASY ZONE」,「HANG-ON」and the 1984 quarter-view shooting game「FUTURE SPY」.
On the background we can also spot a non-working cabinet of「ASTRO BLASTER」...bummer. (T^T)
On the front side we have from left to right the cabinets for the original game「EXCITE QTE 2」, the punching game「QTE TITLE」, and the groundbreaking 1985 shooting game「SPACE HARRIER」on a standard sit-down model cabinet.
The Quick Time Event (QTE) game「QTE TITLE」featured here is actually based on the arcade punch machine「BIG TITLE」released by the arcade manufacturer「TOGO」. Punch machines such as this were very popular in Japan during the '80s.
But of course nothing could stand out more than this「HANG-ON」deluxe「Ride-On」model cabinet. A real beauty!
In reality you hardly would have seen this type of deluxe cabinet on a small game center like this one, so I think we can safetly say this is the main attraction of the place.
■LOST IN TRANSITION ?
The promotional disc「What's SHENMUE」features a trial gameplay mode where the main protagonist「RYO HAZUKI」must search for the former SEGA ENTERPRISES Senior Managing Director「HIDEKAZU YUKAWA」(湯川英一)who seems to be somewhere in Dobuita Street.
But more interestingly the game center on this trial edition has an Upright model cabinet of「AFTER BURNER」right beside the SPACE HARRIER sit-down cabinet, and that was unfortunately removed from the final release. (T^T)
I t's now time to leave the YOU game center. What a great place. You really can't help but wonder how many people in Japan missed classes or school altogether to hang out in game centers like this one during the '80s.
The「YOU」game center as featured in the DREAMCAST game「SHENMUE CHAPTER 1: YOKOSUKA」.
One of the best aspects of SHENMUE is certainly the fantastic job the game does at depicting the Japanese culture of the period. And I really cannot think of a better homage to the wonderful arcade spirit of the '80s which for many of us was a big part of what made that decade so memorable than this just as wonderful virtual game center. It's truly fan-service at its best.