Archive for August 2007

20 Difficult games by Gamasutra – a few arcades mentioned

August 31, 2007

sinistar.png 

[Via Joystiq]

Arcade games are supposed to be hard. That is just something we all understand, accept and like as arcade gamers. They test your skills, endurance and will-power but hard games also don’t bode too well with mainstream gamers, who either avoid hard games or buy strategy guides when they buy the game and just use it as a walkthrough.

Gamasutra has an intersting article up discussing game design and difficult games. Among the batch they mention Defender & Stargate, Sinistar, Solomon’s Key, Tower of Druaga, Super Monkey Ball (yes there was an arcade version although not many people know about it), Faster Harder More Challenging Q*Bert and even the arcade version of Lode Runner. Ninja Gaiden is mentioned although it pictures the NES version (people always seem to ignore the arcade version in favor of the NES version for some reason). It does mention several console or PC games naturally and one nice thing is this isn’t one of those ‘of all time’ lists that seems to claim that it’s the end all discussion of what the hardest games are. Of course there are harder games out there to find such as Cannon Fodder, Zero 5 (Atari Jaguar), Cybercon 3 (ok, none of these are arcade titles) but since it’s just looking at a few hard games, I have no room to complain. I totally agree with Sinistar – very difficult game but I love it anyways for some reason. Toobin’ is also briefly mentioned although it doesn’t have it’s own entry (I hated that game BTW). Hit the link below to check the article out or talk about hard games that you either love or hate in our forum.   

[Gamasutra: 20 Difficult Games] [Discuss on the Forum - Difficult games you love or hate]

Pac Man Carpet

August 31, 2007

paccarpet.jpg 

[Via The Stinger Report]

Here is something that would be great for a game room – carpet with a Pac Man maze design weaved into it. It seriously would be a good contender against some of the black light carpet I have looked at before. If it weren’t priced so high of course.

The design looks like it was based on MS. Pac-Man as it appears on the Atari Lynx, they are very similar. The price is set at 15000.000 SEK (Swedish Kronor) which according to a currency meter I used that is $2182 USD or £1080. It is 210x310cm – so either way at this price you’ll really need to love Pac-Man to go for it.

[Pac-Man Carpet] [Discuss on the Forum]

Stern Still Going Strong

August 30, 2007

3582_stern.jpg

The New York Times published a story that profiled small, entrepreneurial companies that are/have made changes to adapt to changing times and markets.  One of these companies was the one and only Stern Pinball, read on…..

Take Gary Stern, a second-generation pinball entrepreneur.  
 
In the early 1990s, about five companies in the United States sold roughly 100,000 pinball machines a year. Today, only 10,000 new machines are sold annually, all made by Stern Pinball in Chicago.  
 
Mr. Stern, the founder, who started working in the industry as a teenager, said he defied a basic tenet of entrepreneurship to pursue his passion.  
 
“They tell you in business school to be in love with business, not your business,” he said. “But we’re in love with our business.”  
 
Mr. Stern has tweaked his business many times in pursuit of profits. He designs games based on popular movies to attract customers. He exports to Europe, and markets to men over the age of 45 who want a pinball machine at home.  
 
Mr. Stern, 62, said he had no plans to shut down.  
 
“We have a mission,” he said. “The world would exist without pinball, but we’d lose a little bit of the fabric of life.”  
 
To find the complete article, “As Industries Wane, Entrepreneurs Reinvent” by Dalia Fahmy visit The New York Times website.

[via Barcade]    [Discuss on the Forum]

An Epiphany, an End, and a Beginning.

August 30, 2007

Sad news in the arcade website world. Retro Blast has come to an end. Kevin Steele, the creator of the site has called it a day so he can put all his efforts in to his Gameroom Magazine, and to enjoy life a little more. I totally understand this decision, I mean you have got to leave time to play games right? Hit the link to read his farewell to Retro Blast

[Discuss on the Forum]

Arcade's £1.8 million extension given all clear

August 30, 2007

Good to see the local councils are supporting the cause.

[via ATE Online]

KW Reader and Sons has been granted planning permission by South Tyneside Council for a £1.8 million, 16,000sq ft expansion at The Dunes amusement arcade in South Shields. The revamped arcade is set to include a giant galleon-style indoor play area, beach hut-style party rooms and an ice cream parlour, which will turn into a pizzeria at night. Managing director Kenneth Reader said the new areas will compliment the existing Dunes Bowl 10-pin bowling alley, which has been open for six years now. “My plan for The Dunes is a great range of quality facilities for people of all ages to enjoy – all under one roof,” Reader commented. “As well as the fabulous bowling alley and traditional slot machines, we’ll boast the biggest indoor play area in England, with fantastic facilities for mums and dads too.” He added that building work on the facility is due to start in September and is due to open in May.

[Discuss on the Forum]

Arcade’s £1.8 million extension given all clear

August 30, 2007

Good to see the local councils are supporting the cause.

[via ATE Online]

KW Reader and Sons has been granted planning permission by South Tyneside Council for a £1.8 million, 16,000sq ft expansion at The Dunes amusement arcade in South Shields. The revamped arcade is set to include a giant galleon-style indoor play area, beach hut-style party rooms and an ice cream parlour, which will turn into a pizzeria at night. Managing director Kenneth Reader said the new areas will compliment the existing Dunes Bowl 10-pin bowling alley, which has been open for six years now. “My plan for The Dunes is a great range of quality facilities for people of all ages to enjoy – all under one roof,” Reader commented. “As well as the fabulous bowling alley and traditional slot machines, we’ll boast the biggest indoor play area in England, with fantastic facilities for mums and dads too.” He added that building work on the facility is due to start in September and is due to open in May.

[Discuss on the Forum]

Shaggy's Weekly Review: Super Bikes by Raw Thrills

August 30, 2007

Time is hard to find these days so I find myself remembering to do a review but with little time to write a new one up. Fortunately I have this one that I had planned on sending into Hardcore Gamer Magazine but I couldn’t get the right assets as their website only offers pictures that are too blurry for a magazine article (and there is no character art available which is something they request). Either way, this lets me easily do something a little more recent for my review here. As such it follows a slightly different format from my typical online reviews and I don’t see the need to rewrite it for now.

————————————————————————————

The Fast and The Furious: Super Bikes Review

Developer: Raw Thrills
Publisher: Raw Thrills/Betson
Players: 1-2 (linked)
Genre: Motorcycle Racing
Category: Fast AND Furious
Release Date: 3/20/2007

Arcades have always been able to provide something that is difficult or impractical to implement in a home environment – unique ways to control the game experience. Whether arcade game makers take advantage of such freedom issuperbikesmenu01.jpg another story all together but in the case of Super Bikes we finally see the return of the motorcycle controller, which was almost forgotten by time with classics like Hang-On. Players sit on a motorcycle-like shell that veers from one side to another to simulate racing on a motorcycle. While this certainly is not the first time such a device has been seen in arcades, it is good to see it back in action as there is no other way to race with these types of games.

In Super Bikes You can choose from 8 different racers, each with varying stats that may improve your chances at winning or decrease that chance depending on your skill. The characters themselves are forgettable and have nothing to do with any of the characters established by the Fast and The Furious movies. The bikes however are all licensed motorcycles that any bike guru would probably recognize in an instant. One nice touch that was seen in the previous F&F arcade release is that you can upgrade you bike with bigger engines, better tires, NOS and more. One nice touch is that the game has a keypad along with a built-in save system so you can keep track of your “tricked out bikes” without resorting to a card system.  That technology is nothing new (it was great on games like SF Rush 2049) but it is welcome. (more…)


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