Archive for January 2010

Pop N’ Music 18 released in Japan; PM Studios sets up a tech support page for DJ Max Technika

January 21, 2010

(Thanks to Aaron Auzins for the info!)

Just a little music game news today, first off with Konami’s latest release in Japan, Pop N’ Music 18. If you are curious about this one, Bemanistyle.com has a song list and some screenshots for the game. Any arcades outside of Japan planning on importing this one?

In other music game news, PM Studios made an interesting move on their website by setting up a “Technical Failure Report Form” for DJ Max Technika. The idea is that players can use it to inform PM Studios of a DJMT machine that is broken in some way at a particular location. PM Studios will then contact that arcade and see what they can do to help them get it fixed. It’s certainly a nice way of making sure that the machine stays in top condition. I know that there are times where I overlook a problem with one of my games as I don’t always have time to play through every machine to see what works and what doesn’t. But where the players find out first hand, who better to report issues? Of course it would help if players would tell the arcade operator directly about problems – I have seen many times where someone is obviously having some sort of problem but they won’t come to me about it so I go to them to find out what is going on. But there are times where I am not there and an issue goes unreported for a while. So thumbs up to PM Studios for this idea, hopefully it will make sure to keep issues with their game down to a minimum.

[Via Bemanistyle.com] [Discuss on the forums]

A closer look at Trans-Force 5D interactive theater

January 20, 2010

This is The Stinger Reports 700th newsfeed to Arcade Heroes. Anytime you see the Stinger graphic above it means that it’s a SR newsfeed. – thanks guys! Visit The Stinger Report to sign-up for their in-depth industry newsletter.

While this isn’t the first time that we have mentioned the Russian made Trans-Force Interactive Theater before, the link that Kevin sent along to me for this includes a video of the first in-depth look at the game which I have seen. Trans-Force was actually at IAAPA but I didn’t venture inside as my head usually doesn’t get along well in motion-based rides any more. In case you haven’t read about this game before, it’s what they are now calling a “5D interactive attraction” which I assume means that it uses the same stuff you get with those 4D theaters which combine motion and 3D imagery along with actually playing a game (thus making it 5D). For those of you who have been around for a while, this should remind you of those gigantic Galaxian 3 games from the 90’s but in a compact size and up-to-date technology. From the looks of it in the incredibly cheesy promo video, the graphics are pretty nice (sans a frame rate drop here and there) and they even throw in some “edutainment” for the kids here and there. Overall I like the idea behind this, with a focus on co-op play in a unique setting.

You can check the video out below, but don’t say that I didn’t warn you – the narration will either make you cringe or laugh.

This is available for purchase already BTW but I do not know how much they are asking for it.

[Trans-Force Official Website (English)] [Discuss on the forums]

The "Next Generation World Hobby Fair" Winter show in Japan shows off more games catering to kids UPDATED w/ Transformers card game

January 20, 2010

As AH contributor Kevin Williams pointed out in his recent crystal ball look into 2010, KidTainment will grow to play a larger role in the arcade industry and in Japan, several companies are already showing off products that will fill in that niche. Translated as “Generation Warudohobifea” (any of you who can translate Japanese feel free to correct that if need be), the show seems to be about products that cater to kids and video games were in full force there.

How prevalent a lot of these games will be outside of Japan remains to be seen but there are a few games we can take a look at here, most notably from Namco and Sega. First off, Namco is targeting Tank! Tank! Tank! towards kids, which makes sense – it really has appeal to everyone. Their Bandai side also showed off their card-based coin-op game DataCardDass (which involves some Power Ranger-like characters and seems to be aimed more at boys) and a Tamagotchi card game for girls, which also includes some sort of phone device as a main part of the panel.

Sega has a couple of card games in their line-up to compete, including  War Gettenka History, which seems to be a card-based game with a little Dynasty Warriors-esque story behind it; a new game that has something to do with battling insects which also involves cards and a touch screen (the cabinet is similar to Sega Card Gen, it’s what is pictured above) and the title is translating as “If Mushikingubatoru insect guts!” – whatever that is really supposed to mean, I have no idea but I imagine that it probably sounds awesome to boys in Japan. Sega also was showing off a game for girls called Lil Puritsu Riyu Bipuruhime Chen!, which also uses a dual screen setup like the insect guts game but otherwise there aren’t many details on this one.

What are your thoughts on the growing surge (at least in Japan) towards KidTainment? I kind of already see redemption as KidTainment and we’re seeing a growing trend to use video games in the redemption sector; we also have games like Cooking Mama Arcade and Dino Duel available in various territories outside of Japan. How many more games will we see cater just to kids by the end of the year?

UPDATE: While poking around AM-Net.jp, I saw that Sega announced today plans for a Transformers based card-coin-op game which will be released this summer. Details can be found here and here.

2nd update: Thanks to Aaron Auzins for correcting a couple of things on the post.

[Via Game Watch] [Discuss on the forums]

The “Next Generation World Hobby Fair” Winter show in Japan shows off more games catering to kids UPDATED w/ Transformers card game

January 20, 2010

As AH contributor Kevin Williams pointed out in his recent crystal ball look into 2010, KidTainment will grow to play a larger role in the arcade industry and in Japan, several companies are already showing off products that will fill in that niche. Translated as “Generation Warudohobifea” (any of you who can translate Japanese feel free to correct that if need be), the show seems to be about products that cater to kids and video games were in full force there.

How prevalent a lot of these games will be outside of Japan remains to be seen but there are a few games we can take a look at here, most notably from Namco and Sega. First off, Namco is targeting Tank! Tank! Tank! towards kids, which makes sense – it really has appeal to everyone. Their Bandai side also showed off their card-based coin-op game DataCardDass (which involves some Power Ranger-like characters and seems to be aimed more at boys) and a Tamagotchi card game for girls, which also includes some sort of phone device as a main part of the panel.

Sega has a couple of card games in their line-up to compete, including  War Gettenka History, which seems to be a card-based game with a little Dynasty Warriors-esque story behind it; a new game that has something to do with battling insects which also involves cards and a touch screen (the cabinet is similar to Sega Card Gen, it’s what is pictured above) and the title is translating as “If Mushikingubatoru insect guts!” – whatever that is really supposed to mean, I have no idea but I imagine that it probably sounds awesome to boys in Japan. Sega also was showing off a game for girls called Lil Puritsu Riyu Bipuruhime Chen!, which also uses a dual screen setup like the insect guts game but otherwise there aren’t many details on this one.

What are your thoughts on the growing surge (at least in Japan) towards KidTainment? I kind of already see redemption as KidTainment and we’re seeing a growing trend to use video games in the redemption sector; we also have games like Cooking Mama Arcade and Dino Duel available in various territories outside of Japan. How many more games will we see cater just to kids by the end of the year?

UPDATE: While poking around AM-Net.jp, I saw that Sega announced today plans for a Transformers based card-coin-op game which will be released this summer. Details can be found here and here.

2nd update: Thanks to Aaron Auzins for correcting a couple of things on the post.

[Via Game Watch] [Discuss on the forums]

Popular Japanese voice actor Yoshio Nagahori found dead

January 20, 2010

A popular voice actor who has an impressive resume, voicing a number of characters in anime programs like Dragonball Z, Cowboy Bebop, Pokemon and many others as well as characters in some popular arcade titles such as Tekken, Dead or Alive, Soulcalibur was found dead on Sunday. Yoshio Nagahori whose screen name was Daisuke Gouri apparently committed suicide with a sharp object and he was found in the street, arm bleeding and collapsed. His final will was also found nearby, he was 57.

I have always found it a little strange how prevalent suicide is in Japan to the point where it is considered an “epidemic” so I won’t bother to comment on it further. RIP Mr. Nagahori.

[Via Kotaku] [Discuss on the forums]

Marble Madness designer Mark Cerny to be inducted into the AIAS Hall of Fame

January 16, 2010

It seems that more and more classic game developers are being recognized for their contributions to the game industry, both past and present lately and the most recent developer to get a nod who got his start in arcade industry is Mark Cerny. He started out at Atari, designing Marble Madness and he also did some work with Owen Rubin on Major Havoc. After that he went on to work on a number of very popular console games, from Sonic the Hedgehog 2, several Crash Bandicoot games, and currently he has credits for several of Sony’s major games on the Playstation 3. The AIAS (Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences) Hall of Fame will only have thirteen people as a part of it once Mark is inducted so it is not a very large club right now. Congrats to Mark for his achievements!

[Via Game Daily] [Discuss on the forums]

More game release news: Pump It Up Jump now available; Silver Strike LIVE coming Feb. 15th

January 14, 2010

It’s always a good thing when we have more arcade game releases to discuss and to help keep track of that, I have created a page for all arcade game releases for 2010. I will try and keep that as up-to-date and accurate as possible.

Let me point out a couple of game releases that operators and players can now look forward to: First Andamiro’s Pump It Up! Jump. This is PIU for kids and while I saw it at IAAPA I never saw anyone playing the game (although I didn’t see a ton of kids there either). This is now available according to at least one distributor(others I’ve checked haven’t listed the game yet), BMI Gaming although they are not listing a price for the game at this time. If you have a venue that attracts a lot of kids then this could be a great game to have. It also shows the increased push from some development houses into the “Kidtainment” sector that we have discussed previously.

Next up, Incredible Technologies Silver Strike LIVE has a release date set for February 15th. I did have a chance to play this at IAAPA ’09 although I wasn’t terribly good at it. SSL is promising a number of online features and tournaments that are sure to attract adults to the game and as always IT games carry with them an excellent price tag. IT says that in testing the game has seen a 300%-400% increase in cashbox revenues over previous SS games so that is a major plus to consider as well. You can check out the press release on that after the break.

(more…)


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