Video Game Book Reviews
Sega Arcade History is noticably thinner than its console-focused counterpart, and lacks the fuzzy and melancholic feeling of conclusiveness that Sega Consumer History is blessed with, since of course Sega kept producing new arcade machines afterwards. On the other hand it can be more thorough, as it "only" features Sega's own output - 432 games as advertised on the cover. With the exception of highlights like Space Harrier, Virtua Fighter or Derby Owners Club (don't forget, it's Japan), the introductions are just as brief as Consumer's, but all custom cabinets, starting from their early '70s stuff, are shown in photographs. The only problem: Most of them are tiny, the same goes for the small selection of vintage flyer art at the end of the book.
Interviews are more secluded as well: The book opens with words from some really old '60s Sega veterans no one hardly anyone will know/remember, but later representatives from most of the former AM teams have their say. Old legends like Yu Suzuki talk about the beginnings of their careers just like still rising stars such as Hisao Oguchi (Hitmaker/AM3, now one of the big bosses at Sega and Sega-Sammy Holdings), Toshihiro Nagoshi (Amusement Vision/AM4, now producer of the Yakuza games), and even some lesser known technicians and voices from the non-vide game amusement machine departments.
Nice features like a hardware timeline (which visualizes how the Model 1 outlived the much older System 16 only by a month, for example) and a look at some of their "attraction" machines (hydraulic CGI-3D-rides and the like) round up the package, but it still feels a bit barebones compared to the Consumer History, and the images really suffer from the small format.