Archive for April 2008

A visit to a warehouse loaded with games

April 30, 2008

As I mentioned just a few posts ago, I had the chance to go and check out a warehouse full of games today. I am kicking myself however as I forgot to bring my camera along for images/video. So I’ll just have to describe what I saw and when I get to go back hopefully I’ll remember the camera and they will allow me to film it.

Of course with the way everything was setup there it might not have worked out too well recording video as I have never been in a warehouse with so many games. And not only did they have a lot of games, there was very little space between them so I had to do a lot of climbing over things and standing on games to get to the back. Good thing I’m skinny.

When I first arrived I was walked to the back through their main workspace that also had many games laying around although most of those were being worked on and weren’t up for grabs AFAIK. They had some rare pins there, including two Medieval Madness pins and a Revenge From Mars. I saw a couple of Crisis Zones, two Dark Legacy cabs, several Artic Thunder cabs, a Wangan Midnight cab, Ballistic (by TrioTech) Wild Ride by Sega (which I had never heard of before), a Maze of Kings and an SF Alpha, just to name a few.

Arriving in the back I got to see what I was up against – about 8 rows of games stacked back to back along with other cabinets sprawled about. Keep in mind most of these games have a problem of some kind whether it was missing the board, dead monitor, busted controls, etc. Among the many games I looked at I saw a couple of Area 51’s and a Site 4 cabinet; a Time Crisis 2 cab w/o the guns; a Revolution X, a SF Rush 2049 w/o the board, several Crusin’ games including USA, World and Exotica; a Virtua On; a Konami punching game that used motion-capturing boxing gloves but it was different from MoCap Boxing – it instead had physical targets to punch called Fighting Mania: Fist of the North Star (thanks Paul); and this was only on 1 row. Hit the post break for more!

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SNES Super Mario Kart on the Force Dynamics 301

April 30, 2008

While Mario Kart GP marked the arrival of Nintendo’s popular franchise game to the arcade, I honestly have only seen a cabinet once – which was at ASI and it was a GP2 cab. It seems to receive mixed reviews from players and operators would probably be more willing to carry the game if it didn’t cost them $9000 per cabinet and for that price the game doesn’t do much to stand out from Double Dash on the GameCube, much less the newest installment of MK on the Wii.

But maybe if they added this new motion-base system from Force Dynamics they would have a winner. At least it looks like putting the original Mario Kart onto this system is fun. The Force Dynamics 301 has been made for a variety of venues but according to their website, it could be used in an arcade as well. The platform is open-source so it looks like anything can go into it, they can also customize the platform for you. They say it’s low cost but from briefly investigating their website I didn’t see pricing or an ordering page.  Of course motion simulation is gaining steam in arcades with one developer (IMOtion) already dedicated to nothing but those kind of games and both Sega and GlobalVR have created motion based systems for some of their more popular games.

[Force Dynamics website] [Discuss on the Forum]

Northwest Pinball and Gameroom Show 2008

April 30, 2008

Say what you will about pinball, it’s impressive to see so many annual events dedicated to the game despite the fact that it does not have the same power in the market that it used to. While I did overlook the Rocky Mountain Pinball Show the other day (which ironically is the one closest to where I live) I was keeping an eye out for pinball news and came across information on the Northwest Pinball and Gameroom Show. It will take place in Seattle, WA from June 6-8 and in addition to including a large selection of games to play, the event will also have tournaments and seminars. The site does mention video games as well (but not which ones to expect)so I’ll assume some of the more notable classic games will be there but either way it’s an IFPA sanctioned event so I’m sure that it will be good. For more details check out the main site below.

[Northwest Pinball and Gameroom Show 2008 site] [Discuss on the Forum]

Vega and M. Bison return in SFIV

April 30, 2008

[Via AM.Net and Famitsu]

It looks like the SFIV character roster continues to expand and with it come some characters that might be an old favorite (or not). In pictures revealed by Famitsu, we see that both Vega and M.Bison are returning to the scene in SFIV. I never cared much for M. Bison but I did occasionally play as Vega but honestly it has been a while since I played any Street Fighter game to remember all of the details on their moves. Go here for all the new pics.

Speaking of SFIV, it seems that Capcom still hasn’t found a distributor for the title in the US but it’s unsure as to which distributors they have contacted so far. I know of at least one fairly large distributor that they haven’t contacted yet – here’s hoping that they will soon. And if no one wants to carry the full cabinet then Capcom should at least make the kit available – there are HD coin-op cabinets out there that it could go into. Either way I will personally find a way to get my hands on this later in the year for my own arcade and I’m quite sure that I’m not alone on that.

[Discuss on the Forum]

Panel on violent video games next week

April 30, 2008

A little while back we had a brief discussion on violent video games along with a look at some new research where it was suggested that the effects of violent video games may not be as bad as it is generally made out to be. While arcade titles have been out of the media spotlight when it comes to the subject (Paradise Lost was a recent red label game and I’m sure that Rambo will be as well) and at the moment the media is focusing on GTAIV, that doesn’t mean that we’re invulnerable as video games are video games no matter what format you play them in.

Some of the same people responsible for the research I mentioned above are holding a panel next week (May 6th)where the facts behind violent gaming are going to be discussed, presented by Greater Good Magazine. It should be interesting to see where it goes and how much attention will be attracted, especially where I just caught on the newswire that there was a shooting on a Florida college campus this morning – it sounds like so far no deaths are being reported fortunately but either way the media always jumps to “they must be playing violent video games to make them do this” argument no matter what might be the case. And with the aforementioned release of GTAIV and violent games coming back into people’s minds, hopefully some attention can be brought to reason on the subject. There is a press release after the break, if you’re interested.

[Via University of California, Berkley] [Discuss on the Forum]

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Checking out a warehouse with games tomorrow

April 30, 2008

Tomorrow I have a golden opportunity to go and check out a warehouse with some games. The person with the games was going to throw the games out but fortunately  my distributor was on top of it and convinced him otherwise. I’m not sure how many games there are but from the sounds of it there are some good cabs there to be had, including a possible Crusin’ USA. I have found out that Crusin’ cabs are suddenly a hot commodity, all thanks to the Tokyo Drift kit with many operators looking at making a conversion. I have to admit that it’s certainly tempting – it gives me a relatively new game for a cheap price. I still am thinking of a NASCAR setup and I would go for a Chase HQ 2 if I had the extra funds.

In addition to this I’m coming across some other opportunities for games beyond what I mentioned above which is something that seems to be coming together at the right time where I am so close to opening my arcade. Which BTW I should have an update on later this week with a possible location secured (other than the one I had thought I was getting into with Sears – that pretty much fell through but I think this other place will be better). I’ll have to mention these other opportunities as they approach closer although one in particular has me excited with the possibility of picking up one of my favorites – a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Stay tuned for updates – it’s tomorrow according to my time, the site says it’s the 30th already as the time is set in the UK.

[Discuss on the Forum]

Poll: What do you like to use to pay for your game?

April 30, 2008

I’m going to try a new poll feature out here, via gfxpoll.com. Other polls I’ve tried have been through SurveyMonkey but I’ve been wanting something that you can embed into the site, so here it goes. Just click on the link below for your preferred choice and it should show up on the graphic below. Also feel free to leave a comment about your choice in the comments section.

Poll: How do you prefer to pay for games? (Click on these links, not on the graphic)

Status:

Also want to create a poll? Click here

[Discuss on the Forum]

Big Buck Hunter Media Event

April 30, 2008

[Via The Stinger Report and Betson]

About a week and a half ago, Betson held a media event in New York City they called the “New York Media Night” where they showcased the new Raw Thrills/Play Mechanix game Big Buck Safari and the latest version of BBHPro Online. Writers from AOL, CNet and the AP attended the event and played the games as Betson sought to bring some mainstream media attention to the latest arcade offerings.

I think it’s great for companies to reach out to more media outlets and drum up some rapport with them. I still believe that one of the greatest weaknesses of the coin-op industry is in marketing. Just compare it to the game console industry and it’s not hard to see the differences. Of course one thing is that console developers hype their games up leading up to a release whereas arcade developers seem to focus on bringing it up after the game is on the streets. Anyways, hit the post break for the full press release.

[Discuss on the Forum]

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The Rocky Mountain Pinball Showdown 2008

April 29, 2008

Here’s one event that passed under my radar – the Rocky Mountain Pinball Showdown 2008 in Golden, Colorado. Pinball is quite popular in my state of Utah, so I imagine that a few people from here made the trip over to Colorado to play. From the clip below it looks like it was a success, bringing old and new players together to play pinball. The newscast also mentions that some video games were there too but they are not shown. The clip is a little weird in the editing dept.(with the way the news people edited it) by breaking apart quotes from different players at the show and then stringing them together in fast succession. Video posted by youtube user ClassicArcadeResourc.

[Discuss on the Forum]

Reproducing arcade artwork

April 29, 2008

One of the coolest aspects of arcade games is the artwork that companies commissioned to be made to decorate each cabinet. The better the artwork was, the more attractive the cabinet became. This was especially prominent with companies like Atari and Cinematronics who would hire comic book artists to draw the art, making it that much more detailed and eye-catching. The problem is that if you collect some of these old games, it can be a little difficult to come across a game with pristine artwork. Of all the games I own, four have significant artwork on the sides and each one has scratches, smudges, tears, etc. that the games have received over the years. If you are in this situation, you may wonder how you can get the artwork replaced – it is possible but it will take some work. And if you’re lucky, someone has already reproduced the artwork for you.

Rotheblog has a couple of articles detailing on how one can go about reproducing side art for their classic game. The article is for the “potential future collector”  and walks them through the steps of getting the artwork reproduced. As I mentioned, it will probably take some work but if you can replace some beloved artwork that has been damaged from wear and tear over the years, then it is worth it.

(Image via Rotheblog)

[Rotheblog - Arcade Artwork Tutorials] [Discuss on the Forum]


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