Wednesday, February 22, 2012

2012 Chicagoland Winter Carnival - February 17-18th event recap at Logan Hardware

First of all, I have to thanks everyone who helped out, especially Jim Zespy who gave us the backroom at Logan Hardware for the meet, gunbird18 for buying and bringing up an Aero City, caldwert for bring a big stack of pcb's and two monitors, handsomerackshas for donating a modden Saturn stick and a couple other goodies for the score competition and Andi who - as always - helps me out immesurably.

Set up was all day Friday, just finishing up as brentz and johnny5 arrived from their bus ride from Toronto that left at 1 a.m. Thursday night to make it to Chicago Friday afternoon. Damn - that's dedication. People continued to roll in in the late afternoon and started playing immediately, settling in the a long and intense weekend. It seemed like the back room was a sort of shmups crack den that people would only leave to hang out in the main arcade, go eat or sleep.

In the backroom of Logan, we set up two Astro City's, one Aero City, seven TV's including a 20" Sony PVM and my 29" NEC XM29, and seven dedicated old-school woodies - Empire Strikes Back, Scramble, Cloak & Dagger, Lunar Rescue, Moon Patrol, Gyruss and Gravitar. We also had just about every 360 shmup and a ton of other console games and systems. There was almost too much to play.

Things got rolling the first night with about 25 people rolling in and we played way too late. I think I got home with the people staying at my place at about 3 a.m., having left at 2 a.m.

Saturday went smoothly, with people showing up all throughout the day. The carnival title this year was Star Soldier R on the Nintendo Wii, which was hotly contested by a number of players and ended up being won by Zerst, who is making a habit of winning every score competition.

The late night old school title was Taito's Lunar Rescue this year, an awesome game Andi turned me onto a while back. Zerst also won this, with Andi close behind. He tried to mount a late challenge as time was winding down but just couldn't get a good run in.

DDP and Ketsui were mainstays in the cabs and drunkninja 1-All'd Ketsui and Zerst crushed DDP with a great run getting him into the second loop and a killer score, which I failed completely to get a picture of.

Twinkle Star Sprites was also hotly contested and seems to be a huge favorite, but I have yet to try a credit at it - think I will have to do this before next year.

I spent most of the event running around making sure there was soda in the cooler, beer after 9 p.m. and everything was running smoothly. I did get a few runs in on DDP, Ketsui, and the original Mushi, which makes me want to Matsuri pcb even more.

I did get a chance to play Ketsui pachi on my new JP 360 that showed up Friday after noon, just before the event got rolling and I fell in love, though I'm not sure how to maximise the scoring/hyper/10-chip mechanic - not intuitaive - but I will be playing the hell out of this in coming weeks.

Zespy was an instant convert and there may be good things in the works getting some candy cabs in at Logan with some good shmups. He also fell in love with Omega Fighter Special, which got a lot of love late in the weekend. It's a killer game.

Thanks to all who attended and Zespy has already given me the go for next year as well, so start banking those vacation days now!

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