Archive for September 2007

Retro Games @ Nottingham Festival

September 30, 2007

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After Edinburgh, Nottingham is fast becoming a cultural contender for the arts, with so many festivals running back to back and attracting worldwide attention. International and UK premieres from the world’s top dance troupes will take place next month at nottdance 07 from 12 – 21 October. Visitors to the city centre during the festival will get the chance to take part in a series of public works.

A retro arcade trail around the streets of Nottingham will get all passers by interacting in the festival. And parents can find out what the kids are up to in ‘Who’s Afraid Of Video Games?’, a workshop that covers everything from getting to grips with a joystick to Nintendo Wiis.

Hit the link to read more about the festival.

[Discuss on the Forum]

Spiderman Challenge

September 28, 2007

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Still waiting to play this latest Stern table, hopefully Preview? 

[via Barcade] 

Stern Pinball is hosting the 2007 IFPA-AMOA Pinball Championship at the AMOA International Expo Show in Las Vegas. The Championship will be held September 27-29th at the Las Vegas Convention Center, North Halls 3 & 4 at Stern’s Booth #2220.

Everyone attending the Expo is eligible to participate. The pinball in question is Stern’s latest hit, Spider-Man, which includes villians and other items from all 3 hit movies.

There are many prizes that you can win, including money, DVDs, autographed & framed Stern Spider-Man translite, among other things

The Stinger Report – Record Number of Incidents in Amusements in August

September 28, 2007

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[Via The Stinger Report]

This last August was the worst month in history for the international amusement sector, not in terms of sales, but in injuries and deaths as is reported in the lastest issue of The Stinger Report. They document 16 separate incidents that occured in a number of amusement parks, some incidents affecting multiple riders including a couple of families that saw several deaths due to either mechanical failure, rider misadventure or operator misadventure. The issue also discusses the recent recalls of arcade titles such as Arm Spirit by Atlus and a safety harness issue by Raw Thrills.

Overall it is a very distrubing trend and what is equally disturbing is that some parks didn’t even close down after the incidents and continued letting people on the same rides afterwards. This demonstrates both gross incompetence and  apparent indifference by park owners. The amusement industry really needs to do more to ensure that their rides are safe and working if they really want to survive, and safety is something they should be putting first, around the world. Fortunately it is rare that arcades end up injuring someone, many times that is due to the customer misusing the game. Either way, let’s hope that some changes are made and that we never have to see a fatality nor injury rate like this again.

[Discuss on the Forum]

Now that's cool – the Transparent pinball machine

September 27, 2007

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[Via Gizmodo]

I’ve seen a transparent Ms. Pac-Man cabinet before but even that pales in comparison when you imagine how much work it would take to make a transparent pinball machine. Based on the 1976 game “Surf Champ” and done by Michael Schiess who is the owner of a pinball arcade in California known as Lucky Ju Ju Pinball, this will be on display and ready to play at the Pacific Pinball Expo in San Raefel, CA on Oct. 5-7

[Discuss on the Forum]

Now that’s cool – the Transparent pinball machine

September 27, 2007

transpin.jpg

[Via Gizmodo]

I’ve seen a transparent Ms. Pac-Man cabinet before but even that pales in comparison when you imagine how much work it would take to make a transparent pinball machine. Based on the 1976 game “Surf Champ” and done by Michael Schiess who is the owner of a pinball arcade in California known as Lucky Ju Ju Pinball, this will be on display and ready to play at the Pacific Pinball Expo in San Raefel, CA on Oct. 5-7

[Discuss on the Forum]

Play Mechanix hiring

September 26, 2007

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Have you ever wanted to work for a game company that creates arcade titles? Well now might be your chance as Play Mechanix (Big Buck Hunter, Aliens: Extermination) is looking for  a game programmer. While it is unknown what Play Mechanix is working on next, it is safe to assume that this position will probably be dealing with a new project they are starting. They are also looking for someone who can manage their new online system (the one BBH Pro is using). It will be interesting to see what they come up with next, considering that both BBH and Aliens have been pretty successful games.

[Play Mechanix Jobs] [Discuss on the forum]

The Last Starfighter on HD-DVD = old arcade goodness in high-def

September 26, 2007

OK so it’s not really the purpose of this blog to write about movies, but I have to commenthdlsfcover.gif on what I got in the mail yesterday. Last week Universal released The Last Starfighter on HD-DVD and for someone like me – who loves arcades, space stuff, and certain cult films from the 80′s,  it’s my kind of movie to have in the great presentation that HD offers.

You might be familiar with the movie even if you haven’t seen it before – a teenager whose life is going nowhere ends up getting really good at an arcade game that shows up at his trailer park by the name of ‘Starfighter’. He even breaks the world record (to which everyone in the park comes running to watch his achievement). While he’s excited about the record and his improving relationship with his girlfriend, he has no idea what is really in store for him when it turns out that the Starfighter game was actually a tool being used by an alien to recruit someone as a Starfighter to defend Rylos and the Frontier against the evil Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada many light-years away. I don’t want to give away the whole movie if you haven’t seen it, but it’s a lot of fun with a little cheese from the 80′s in there but it also features some nice action and some great lines. In fact it discusses a few things that are pretty cool – not to think that you’re a nobody just because you think you are and such.  It also features loads of CGI effects – probably more so than my other favorite arcade-related movie Tron. While the CGI is outdated by today’s standards, it looks great in HD and I caught more details in things like the Gunstar lsfhd1.jpgbattleships than when I had when I had seen the film before. This also means that the footage of the game Starfighter in action is also great to watch.

In addition to the Starfighter game (which was in development by Atari and nearly finished but was canceled by Atari management when it turned out that the game would cost operators $10,000 to purchase – I sure wish some of the manufacturers felt that $10k+ arcades were outrageous today), there are a couple of other arcade related things to find in the movie, starfighter_1.pngincluding a table-top Zaxxon game and of course the whole scene of Alex breaking the record has a total Golden Age feel to it when people would get excited for someone if they reached that sort of acheivement. It’s too bad that you don’t get to see all sorts of other classic games from the time in the film, although it was made during the game crash. Either way, I enjoyed it and it’s never looked better than this presentation on HD-DVD.  

[Discuss on the Forum]

First look at Primeval Hunt by Sega

September 25, 2007

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(Click to enlarge)

[Thanks to Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report]

Kevin has sent us a couple of pics of Sega’s latest hunting game, Primeval Hunt. This cabinet looks awesome – highly detailed, nice screen, eye-catching marquee and as you may notice, it also incorporates a touch-screen! We don’t know how it will be used yet, adinohunt11.JPGbut this might be part of how this shooter will differentiate itself from other shooter games (especially other hunting titles which are huge on the bar scene). It is easy to see how this could take hunting games up a notch, although as usual I need to withhold final judgement until I can play the game. If it incorporates online play that would be great. If this comes out at a reasonable price I could go for it as so far this looks like something that would do well at my arcade.

[Discuss on the Forum]

288 Best Arcade Games of all time in just 9 minutes !!!

September 25, 2007

Found this video on Youtube and it does exactly what it says on the tin. With some NICE tunes to boot! Enjoy!

[Discuss on the Forum]

Screens for America's Army, NASCAR and Puck Off

September 25, 2007

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Well the games have been out for a few weeks now but we haven’t seen any screengrabs of America’s Army nor of EA NASCAR from GlobalVR until now. They finally updated their website which includes information about another game that I don’t recall hearing anything about called Puck Off, a shuffleboard game that is being sold as a conversion kit.

Since I have not yet had a chance to play any of these games I cannot comment on how they play (which I think is most important) so for now all we can do is comment on how they look. These days it’s especially bad to judge a game solely by screenshots (or even YouTube videos) as the quality of the games seems to be downgraded when in still form. NASCAR looks great in the static shots and I can’t wait to see this game in motion. The Deluxe motion cabinet also looks amazing, sporting a huge 57″ HD screen and of course the motion base. I am glad to see that the other two cabinets, while sporting smaller screens, also have HD support. The site also reveals that the PC-based hardware is using an nVidia 7600 based graphics card and a 6 speaker audio system. Let’s just hope that it has the features to set it apart form all the other racers out there. We will see.

America’s Army looks rather bland. I noticed that the marquee had an Unreal logo on it indicating that the game would use the Unreal engine, but it must be an older Unreal engine as it looks similar to a Wii title from these screenshots. I’ll withhold final judgement until I actually see the game in action but this is not one game that will blow your socks off with the low poly environments and jagged edges. It looks like it might have some good lighting effects with soft shadows but again, it’s impossible to really tell until you see it in action. Of course a game that is based on shooting ranges probably doesn’t need graphics that will blow you away. It does feature leaderboards however (although it does not say if they are online) so at least it promotes the old values of arcade competitions.

Puck Off is a surprise as I don’t recall hearing about this one before. As I mentioned previously, it is a conversion kit so that makes it a good alternative for street operators looking for something new. It looks like this game was made to compete with some of IT’s latest games like Target Toss Bags. It is actually video shuffleboard, which could do well on the bar scene. Once again this game doesn’t look terribly impressive despite have some decent hardware to run it (Dual-Core CPU and 1 GB of RAM), the primary part which looks bad are the character models. If they are going to look like that you may as well just digitize some actors and use 2D sprites. Anyways, with a game like shuffleboard I don’t think you really need something that looks uber-photorealistic so it’s OK. I would like to try it out as it looks like fun and it even features internet connectivity so you can play against others online, which is a nice bonus in a game like this. Overall any fan of shuffleboard will probably enjoy this game, given all of the features it has.

Hit the post break to check out the rest of the pics!

[GlobalVR Homepage] [Discuss on the forum]

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