So how Sega is your father? Mine used to play a lot of Sega Worldwide Soccer 98 on the Saturn and Virtua Striker on the Dreamcast and is also quite the fan of the House of the Dead games. So what if I was to tell you about Kevin Kerinert, a 49 year old Californian who buys Sega R-360's and restores them as a hobby, and also has his kids try out his modified 2 player set up? No, yours neither? Read on after the jump about a truly awesome individual who has been long overdue a mention here at Sega Memories..
For those not in the know about the R-360, it was one of Sega's most elaborate arcade machines made between 1991-1994 for flight combat games like G-LOC and WingWar. What made this machine so special is it was essentially a seat, joystick and screen in a sphere that could rotate in full 360 degree movement meaning it would spin you upside down and all around. It needed a proper seat belt to play, and needed an attendant to start up the machine on a separate base covered in buttons, and there was even a big red button you could hit in case it started to make you feel sick. They are not common by any means most likely due to their size and expense. Micheal Jackson had one in his Neverland arcade (see page 27 of the auction catalog) and Taro flies a modified R-360 called a R-720 in Segagaga's finale.
My personal but sadly singular experience of one of these machines was at Segaworld the first time I went there in 1996, which I believe was set up to G-LOC but I could be wrong. Next time I went there a year later it was gone. When I found out what the machine was called a while back I googled it and one of the first results was Kevin's restoration project website.
This man loves the R-360: he brought his first one in Cal in 2001 and currently owns THREE of them, which he went out to Las Vegas and Disneyland Anaheim for. He knows the ins and outs of this machine, even able to modify a regular sit down version of Wingwar so it can play in 2-player with the R-360, which he experiments on Batman and Stormtrooper with in the video below!
If you go to his Youtube account you will find videos of him explaining how the machine works. If you were to end up somehow buying one of these, this is the man you wanna talk to about anything to do with it. He also buys up any he can get his hands on (within reason I'd imagine!) and restores them to sell on again (sometimes to countries like Estonia!).
Oh, and also I can't not mention his personal collection in his massive gameroom full of pinball, slot machines, a Jukebox and countless other classics. Just pointing out the Sega stuff, he has the After Burner Deluxe machine (one of my absolute favorites as a kid and one of the games that got me into Sega in the first place), a Deluxe Virtua Racing machine and even a Sega arcade machine from 1973 called Moto Champ which uses miniature bikes moving around on a magnetic road of sorts which just has to be seen if you dig Sega's earlier history and not-video game machines:
So that's Kevin Kerinert, No.1 fan of the R-360. Ever since I discovered his site I wanted to do a write up about him here, he's doing a great service for preserving a piece of Sega's arcade history.