Archive for March 2010

Stern says Ironman pinball available now UPDATED

March 31, 2010

This caught me completely by surprise – according to a press release that was just sent out by Stern Pinball, Ironman pinball is now available for purchase. I am surprised by this as I was expecting to see the game in May and not right now, especially where the game wasn’t at Amusement Expo just a couple of weeks ago. But the game is now featured prominently on Stern’s main page so with that and the press release, it looks like you can place an order already. Hopefully the movie studio has provided some content from the upcoming film, all we know at the moment is from the press release:

Iron Man™ Pinball features speech, art, and dot matrix display images of all of your favorite characters, including Tony Stark, Iron Man, Whiplash, War Machine, Rhodey, Iron Monger, Pepper Potts, Black Widow, and many more.  The pinball machine also contains songs from the Iron Man movie score.

As you can also see in the image above, there is a cool mechanism that has Iron Monger rise above the playfield, which reminds me of a feature in the Doctor Who pinball which I saw earlier today when visiting a distributor. For the full press release, hit the break below. (via Coinoptoday.com)

UPDATE: Thanks to Bobby’s comments, we find out that it appears that Ironman is a re-themed Austin Powers pinball machine. This means that the two games will be similar in layout, with a couple of minor differences along with completely new artwork and software of course. While this isn’t entirely surprising (Stern recently made a similar move with NBA pinball which was based on the old Space Jam design) I can certainly understand the disappointment for fans, especially if they didn’t like the Austin Powers layout. I also found a video of this on Pinballnews.com (via toddisbored.com)

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Action buttons – a classic arcade tribute sculpture

March 31, 2010

Via

When you think of sculptures, the likely thought to enter the mind is something carved out of stone. But that doesn’t always have to be the case, as we see here with this interactive arcade tribute sculpture by Steve D’ Angelo. The video below speaks for itself

King of Fighters XIII official site updated detailing characters, story, moves and more

March 30, 2010

(Thanks to Aaron Auzins for the info)

In case you are eagerly anticipating the arrival of SNK’s next installment of the King of Fighters series then you’ll be happy to know that the official site for the game has now been updated with quite a bit of information. Details range from the storyline, most of the character roster (one cool thing about this is that it shows the characters in animation as they will probably appear in the game), move sets and even videos. According to Aaron:

…the mechanics involve the typical system with the standard SNK commands of dashing, backstepping and the like with KoF’s four-button scheme while
detailing throw escapes, guard cancels, usage of the power gauge, EX special maneuvers (w/video athttp://game.snkplaymore.co.jp/official/kof-xiii/system/ex.html) and a hyperdrive mode that allows for some pretty tricky combos (w/video at http://game.snkplaymore.co.jp/official/kof-xiii/system/hyper.html).

Hopefully these features as well as the nice character roster (which will feature 31 different fighters at least) will be enough to propel this game above what KOF12 was in the eyes of many fans. Also as a sidenote, the next location test for the game will be showing off a version that is 90% complete, according to this site

[King of Fighters XIII - Official Japanese site]

The arcade presence at PAX East

March 30, 2010

Via

When it comes to indie game development, one annual show certainly tops the rest in bringing the spotlight onto such games and that is the Penny Arcade Expo or PAX for short. The events of PAX East have been grabbing some headlines, especially the demonstration of an official sequel to Midway’s Hydro Thunder called Hydro Thunder Hurricane (Specular Interactive was not involved in the development of this title but a small independent studio was; Microsoft now owns the rights to Hydro Thunder BTW). But beyond the console gaming stuff, there was a small arcade full of rare games to be seen at the show. We were promised some pics of that arcade but as they haven’t been sent to us yet, I’ll have to point you to a gallery on Kotaku for now. (If we get those pics, I’ll update this post)

There also was this article on Wired.com covering the arcade there and in particular a rare laserdisc arcade game I had never heard of before called Us. Vs. Them. Released as a conversion kit for MACH 3 machines and programmed by Warren Davis who also did Q*Bert, Us. Vs. Them is a shmup that features action similar to MACH 3, with sprites overlaying video images that play in the background. It also includes a number of cut-scenes that pop in during each level, showing different people reacting to the battle you are waging against aliens overhead. I found a video of the game in action, not from PAX though.

Other rarities at PAX’s real arcade included Joust 2, Spy Hunter Pinball, Quantum, Leprechaun, and Crazy Otto.

Gameworks restructuring plan means seven locations will close, some may reopen in the future

March 30, 2010

Via

It’s never a good day when we have to report about arcade locations closing – we always prefer times like last week where we reported on several new places opening around the US. But the reality of business is that venues open and close all the time and when times are tough, large chains generally aren’t exempt from the conditions either.

According to a press release issued today by Sega Gameworks, they are restructuring the company and as a result they will be closing locations in the following areas:

“Long Beach, CA; Columbus, OH; Detroit, MI; Minneapolis, MN; Indianapolis, IN; Tampa, FL; and Miami, FL. The company has introduced potential new tenants to mall ownership, in hopes that some locations may be reopened in the future.

I like to emphasize that last part to point out that there is hope for some of these locations, so hopefully something good comes of it. From what I have seen Gameworks locations generally have an excellent roster of games so as long as new ownership can maintain that, and perhaps improve upon any faults, the locations can become more profitable.  Their eight other locations will remain open, if you’d like to know what those are, check out the press release after the break.

UPDATE: Looks like they didn’t plan on how to handle pre-paid items such as game cards and parties in advance.

UPDATE #2: The location in Tampa, FL has already been picked up by a new owner, and they are taking the location into a more family-friendly direction (i.e. more redemption)

UPDATE#3: I am aware that Reuters posted an article today (Apr. 28th) where they made it sound like they entire operation is in liquidation. We are checking into this to find out if that is really the case or if it was just a poorly worded story that is actually talking about the news we initially posted about here.

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Could Elevator Action: Death Parade be getting a release outside of Japan? UPDATE: Yes it will

March 30, 2010

(Thanks to Aaron Auzins for the tip)

While Taito hasn’t held a very strong presence in the arcade scene outside of Japan for the past few years, they still have been out there, getting a game out in European or US markets every now and then. I have a Chase HQ2 sitting in my arcade which was released in 2007 and we have seen their light-gun shooter Panic Museum at recent tradeshows. But as for what games they produce will make it out of Japan and into English versions, that’s usually anyone’s guess. But now, Taito has launched an English version of their arcade website and have added a couple of games to the roster that are listed as available: Chase HQ2, Panic Museum, Hopping Road and surprisingly Elevator Action: Death Parade.

We’ve heard of all of these games before, including the new light-gunified version of Elevator Action, but I was never sure if that would see an international release. They say on the site that it’s been available since January 2010 but I have not heard of a distributor in Europe or the US that is carrying the game yet. For example, Electrocoin distributes Taito products in Europe (including one title not listed on the Taito site, D1GP) but they don’t have the new EA listed. ICE is carrying Panic Museum in the US but they also don’t have EA there. So until we hear something from a distributor we’ll have to put this into the ‘maybe’ column – the Taito site also shows Half-Life 2 Arcade on their titles list and I don’t know of anyone who carries that game outside of Japan.

What would your thoughts on the new Elevator Action getting an international release? I haven’t played it myself and I do wonder how the concept behind the game translates over to a light-gun fare(the original EA titles were side-view vertical scrollers, my favorite being Elevator Action Returns) but I like the usage of the elevator doors in front of the screen. If you missed out on coverage of Elevator Action: Death Parade, here’s a trailer below and here is an article we ran on the game last March.

Also if you are interested in checking out Taito’s new site, click here. They also have a Twitter account where they have been updating it with generous amounts of information on the past history of the company, which includes details and pictures on games as they were in development as well as new things that the company is working on.

UPDATE: I tweeted to Taito asking about the availability of the game in the US and here is their reply: “Death Parade is an arcade-only release, but if overseas arcades want to carry it we’re happy to work with them!” I just sent another tweet asking how that works and I’ll share it with you here as well.

UPDATE 2: Taito replied: “Please contact us at globalsupport@taito.co.jp and we’ll put you in touch with the right people!” So any operators out there, if you’re interested in getting a hold of this game, that’s the place to go to. I would love to really see this in action and I am quite curious to know how it would do in the US.

'The Office' goes to the arcade

March 27, 2010

Because of my schedule, I don’t have a lot of time to watch TV. On top of that there aren’t many shows out there I would go out of my way to watch but I do enjoy The Office, which I usually catch after 10PM on a channel that shows re-runs. But when I started receiving some messages last night and today that the most recent episode featured the office crew at a Dave and Buster’s type place, I had to find a way to see it of course. The newest game I caught a glimpse of was Madden Season 2 (GlobalVR) but I could have missed a few. I also noticed how they covered up the names on a couple of games, like Daytona with something else. In case you want to see it,  NBC.com has recent episodes available for free viewing so  you can catch up by clicking the link below. It’s great to see some love given to arcades on a popular show, it’s stuff like this that can always help public perceptions bit by bit.

[Happy Hour - NBC.com]


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