Archive for March 2009

The 10th Annual Turning Stone Expo coming up

March 31, 2009

Betson has announced a schedule of events for the 10th annual Turning Stone Expo which is going to be held betson-f5-198_w.jpgApril 17th & 18th at the Turning Stone Casion/Resort in Syracuse, NY. While I am not sure what kind of product is going to be seen at this event, if at all, it is likely that some hardware will be seen and they will be holding a number of helpful seminars such as “Growing Your Business in the New Economy”. Full details are in the press release after the break.

[Discuss on the Forum]

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Japanese arcades to test new e-payment system

March 28, 2009

stinger11

jammaheaderJAMMA (also known as the Japanese Amusement Machine Manufacturers Association) announced today that testing will begin on April 1st, 2009 for the use of a universal cashless e-payment system. The test will last for one year and take place in four different game centers covering several hundred games. From what I could get out of the translation, it sounds like an IC Card system will be used which might not be new although the effort to get all game centers using the same system at one point is certainly a large endeavor. I imagine that the system will have to be inexpensive to implement down the road so that any size of game center could use the system – I know of a few arcades in my area which tried card systems several years ago which eventually gave up on the effort for reasons usually associated with costs and security. Still, there are some good advantages to using cashless systems as you don’t have to worry as much about employees stealing quarters or tokens (although this is where security comes into play – if they can make cards with a lot of points/credits on them and sell those on the street then that’s certainly not good for the operator.)

We’ll have to keep an eye on how this turns out and if successful I am sure that we will hear more about this effort in the not-to-distant future.

[JAMMA site: Experimentation with a new cashless system to go into effect April 1st] [Discuss on the Forums]

There's always a good reason to keep the classics around

March 28, 2009

mspacplayed

stinger11

Not many arcades have some of the good old classics on-site anymore but for those who do, there is one great advantage that comes out of it – those games easily attract older players who might not be enamored by newer games. Such is the subject of this brief news article in the Evansville Courier Press, which discusses how attractive classic game titles are at the Two Bit Bandit Family Indoor Sports Complex, located in Evansville Indiana. While the site operator does have some newer titles like Deal or No Deal, he also has a few classics which bring in the older players who might be looking for something else to play while their kids are playing the newer stuff.

I have seen this a little bit at my own arcade, and it’s one of the reasons I like having some classics on hand so that my game variety goes beyond the normal fare and so that anyone can find something that they would like to play. Sometimes the kids will go for the classic games but certainly not as often as the adults do.I even will have some adults ask for classic titles on occasion, such as Ms. Pac-Man or Frogger and my Asteroids Deluxe is played every day by the young and old alike (it helps to have that vector monitor of course). Of course the downside to some of the older games is maintenance, which can become troublesome as they get older but a couple of companies like Namco still release classic compilations on new hardware so you do not have to worry so much about that. Now if we could just see some more classic style games coming along with more modern graphics (that don’t all go to download services like XBL)

[Via the Evansville Courier Press] [Discuss on the Forum]

There’s always a good reason to keep the classics around

March 28, 2009

mspacplayed

stinger11

Not many arcades have some of the good old classics on-site anymore but for those who do, there is one great advantage that comes out of it – those games easily attract older players who might not be enamored by newer games. Such is the subject of this brief news article in the Evansville Courier Press, which discusses how attractive classic game titles are at the Two Bit Bandit Family Indoor Sports Complex, located in Evansville Indiana. While the site operator does have some newer titles like Deal or No Deal, he also has a few classics which bring in the older players who might be looking for something else to play while their kids are playing the newer stuff.

I have seen this a little bit at my own arcade, and it’s one of the reasons I like having some classics on hand so that my game variety goes beyond the normal fare and so that anyone can find something that they would like to play. Sometimes the kids will go for the classic games but certainly not as often as the adults do.I even will have some adults ask for classic titles on occasion, such as Ms. Pac-Man or Frogger and my Asteroids Deluxe is played every day by the young and old alike (it helps to have that vector monitor of course). Of course the downside to some of the older games is maintenance, which can become troublesome as they get older but a couple of companies like Namco still release classic compilations on new hardware so you do not have to worry so much about that. Now if we could just see some more classic style games coming along with more modern graphics (that don’t all go to download services like XBL)

[Via the Evansville Courier Press] [Discuss on the Forum]

More boat racing coming to arcades with Aquarace; also a video of Sega's Storm-G

March 28, 2009

stinger11

It looks like H2Overdrive won’t be alone for long when it comes to frantic boat racing – Korean game maker Simuline has their own boat racing title ready to go called Aquarace, which from the video below looks to have great graphics coupled with a motion base. The game itself is a bit different than H2Overdrive as I didn’t notice any power-up collecting or massive jumps so it should be interesting to see if Simuline will position this game outside of the Asian arcade arena or not. Video by akihabaranews.

I also noticed that the akihabaranews captured a video recently of Sega’s simulator game called Storm-G. Unfortunately they did not show much of the game itself, focusing more on the cabinet’s motion but it’s still looks like a cool ride with some game elements attached to it.

[Discuss on the Forum]

More boat racing coming to arcades with Aquarace; also a video of Sega’s Storm-G

March 28, 2009

stinger11

It looks like H2Overdrive won’t be alone for long when it comes to frantic boat racing – Korean game maker Simuline has their own boat racing title ready to go called Aquarace, which from the video below looks to have great graphics coupled with a motion base. The game itself is a bit different than H2Overdrive as I didn’t notice any power-up collecting or massive jumps so it should be interesting to see if Simuline will position this game outside of the Asian arcade arena or not. Video by akihabaranews.

I also noticed that the akihabaranews captured a video recently of Sega’s simulator game called Storm-G. Unfortunately they did not show much of the game itself, focusing more on the cabinet’s motion but it’s still looks like a cool ride with some game elements attached to it.

[Discuss on the Forum]

Taito To Bring FPS To Arcades Again

March 27, 2009

cyber_drive

Back in 2006 Taito brought out an arcade version of the legendary game Half Life 2. This game was fairly unique as it retained the FPS sytle game play of Valve’s flagship title. This game never really seemed to make it out side of Japan unfortunately.

Will Taito’s latest attempt at an arcade FPS make it over to European and American shores? We will just have to wait and see. Cyber Diver, as it’s being currently called, is an original take on the FPS and supports 5 on 5 network play. Looking at the screen we can see guns and swords and it’s reminding me a lot of Unreal Championship 2 on the original Xbox, but with a more Japanese feel. No mention of a release date yet.

UPDATE: Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report sent us a couple of links on this game, first is the teaser site for Cyber Diver and the other is a PDF describing the game in Japanese. On top of that I took a look at the AM-Net entry of Cyber Diver and they make a note about the Half-Life 2 Survivor cabinet under this game, which hints at the probability that HL2 arcades can be converted into Cyber Divers.

[Discuss on the Forum] [via Kotaku]

Design-A-Hole is back

March 27, 2009

4247_designahole_logo

The popular Design-A-Hole competition run by Incredible Technologies last year to coincide with thier 20th anniversary is back after popular demand. What was supposed to be a one off last year is returning and it’s your chance to be part of the game by designing a hole for the legendary Golden Tee! 

In 2008 this contest was a big hit with players and generated over 20,000 votes. Last year, Dave Hollingshead of St. Charles, Mo. created the winning design. Hollingshead design “The Falls” can be found on Black Hills #15 with its unmistakable waterfall.  Head over to the Design-A-Hole website to put in your entry.

[Discuss on the Forum]

Mutliple Gaming Goodies!

March 27, 2009

Here a few bits of gaming gear that I spotted this week which we can all add to our list of “Definitely going to buy one of those, but never do”.

Click on the thumbs to enlarge!

A Space Invaders chopping board via Arcade Lounge.  Hopefully this little bugger will stay still while your chopping.

 

space_invaders_cutting_board2

Get cosy with a Goomba in this Mario Bros quilt via Wonderland.

mario-quilt2

 

and this rather unique sewn Atari game box! Also via Wonderland.

skiing1

look closer…

skiing22

 

 

[Discuss on the Fourm]

Robo-Basho gets an upgrade, now testing in the Chicago area

March 26, 2009

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In lieu of the robotic arcade goodness I posted about the other day, I am happy to receive a tip about one of the games I mentioned in that post, Robo-Basho(tm), has been upgraded and is currently testing in the Chicago area. v2.0 of the game features several improvements over the previous version that had been tested about two years ago and if testing continues to go well, we have been told that Robotic Amusements (creators of Robo-Basho) hopes to have a release for the game in place soon. As such I will put Robo-Basho on the list of Upcoming Titles for 2009 and we will be sure to inform you about when it becomes available for purchase in the US and maybe even Europe.

Robo-Basho involves two player-controlled robots (instead of the three used int he previous version) that duel against each other in a battle where you attempt to knock the other player’s robot over. It is a form of robotic sumo wrestling you could call it and the robots can get back up by themselves once knocked over.  Gone from V1.0 of Robo Basho is the rising platform and the console-like controllers – in are more arcade-like controls (which have been fine tuned to be more precise and simplified for players so that even small children can enjoy the game), better reliability, a big LCD screen for the scoreboard and a lower price. Check out the very short videos below for a better idea of what to expect.

[Robotic Amusements] [Discuss on the Forums]


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