Now Playing: Gunblade NY

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Our latest game, Gunblade: NY is now playing at the NVA and what a game it is. 

 If you’ve ever played Time Crisis or any related rail shooter then you will love this game, it really is something else.

Gunblade is a true shoot ‘em up, there are no points for accuracy and the ridiculousness of the physics aboard this crazy helicopter makes this a must play. You can play 2 player by yourself and dual wield, fly a helicopter upside down and your enemies explode when they hit water(?!).

The biggest difference from your regular arcade shooters, and in my opinion the best feature, is that you never have to reload – ammo is infinite! Believe me, though, you will need every last one of those infinite bullets, as it is majorly hectic. The guns are bulky and actually backfire too, prepare to be immersed!

This model, like many of the machines in our galleries (circa 15!), is owned by the NVA’s producer Joe Dickens. Joe bought the machine from a recently closed arcade, over 400 miles away in Aberdeen.

The machine arrived at the arcade without a hitch, but that’s when the problems began. This unit weighs a literal tonne and does not fit in our lift, why did we decide to put it upstairs! Once in place – after a number of fixes – Joe and Lex, Videogame Exhibition Manager at the NVA, told me the game actually caught fire…

“Fortunately we had the front section of the unit off and could see orangey and firey colours coming from inside. It’s likely some dust came loose in transit and, as we know, 90’s dust is highly flammable!” Joe tells me. “We just took out the circuit board that was on fire and decided to saw the burnt bit off” explains Lex, “we didn’t know at the time what it did, but we know now that it is a filter – it smooths the electrical current. It works fine though, don’t worry!”

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Lex and Joe are smitten with this FPS, his favourite parts of Gunblade – without spoiling it – is the unreasonable feedback it gives you and the nostalgic on-screen reminder of the government inspired anti-drug campaign which tells players that “winners don’t use drugs”.

Gunblade hit arcades and bowling alleys around 1996 and raked the money in for owners. At 50p a pop it doesn’t seem expensive until you realise the number of times you are bound to die. Fortunately the NVA has disabled the paying feature so you can play till your heart’s content whilst your wallet stays fuller!

Rebecca Maher