Archive for the ‘Space Invaders’ category

Soap Invaders

June 5, 2009

space_invaders_soap

In the long line of Space Invaders spin-offs are now these cute little soap invaders for you to scrub away with. If invaders are you’re cup of tea, then give the old tetris blocks a soaking! Pick up this retro soap here for Space Invaders and here for the Tetris variety

[via Arcade Lounge]    [Discuss on the Fourm]

Space Invaders Piggy Bank

January 20, 2009

spaceinvaders-piggybank

There’s a certain irony of a Space Invaders cocktail cabinet piggy bank. So much money put in to them back in the day, but now you get to save the coins this time around!

[via JeanSnow]     [Discuss on the Forum]

Space Invaders art exhibits portray the story of a world invasion

October 27, 2008

Video games have almost always been a great place to find inspiration for creating art and in particular classic titles from what many call the 8-bit era. Quite a few classic arcade titles feature iconic characters that show up in art today, and in this case, it’s Space Invaders related. I have heard of someone going around the world putting up SI stuff and I am not sure if this is the same person or not but according to the map of exhibits, they have been all over the place, invading a number of venues on pretty much every continent except for South America. With this one it seems that Taito is content on not saying anything (unlike that WTC/SI thing a short while ago since this isn’t controversial)

[Urban Invasion Detected] [Discuss on the Forums]

First footage of Taito's new Space Invaders: Beat The Attackers

June 19, 2008

We first saw Taito’s new Space Invader’s based redemption game at the Park Avenue Open Day in the UK a short time ago and now it has been seen on location at the Funland in the Trocadero, London. Thanks to Patrick from Sega for sending us this short video of the game, it should be interesting to see how this takes off as we first saw Sea Wolf be remade into a redemption game and now this.

[Discuss on the Forum]

First footage of Taito’s new Space Invaders: Beat The Attackers

June 19, 2008

We first saw Taito’s new Space Invader’s based redemption game at the Park Avenue Open Day in the UK a short time ago and now it has been seen on location at the Funland in the Trocadero, London. Thanks to Patrick from Sega for sending us this short video of the game, it should be interesting to see how this takes off as we first saw Sea Wolf be remade into a redemption game and now this.

[Discuss on the Forum]

Park Avenue Open Day – Familiar games as well as brand new ones

June 6, 2008

For an industry that is supposedly dead, it happens to have a lot of official events where new product is being shown. Take for instance the Park Avenue Open Day, which took place a short time ago in the UK. In

addition to showing off some games that we know about already, there also were a number of new games there and thanks to our friend Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report, here is a run down of the event:

While the games were inside, one could enjoy the weather outside and network with other people in the

industry. Here is Electrocoin’s (a UK distributor) outside booth. (On all images, click on them to see the full size).

Inside is where it gets interesting however. First off is a new sci-fi themed table for the Virtual Pinball system by TAB Austria. I believe that one distributor in the US carries these and the nice thing about the system is the fact that you can install new table themes. Electrocoin also had Sega Rally 3 on hand (in the picture below it is being enjoyed by the guys at Taito) and it was revealed what the price tag would be for the motion deluxe version of the game (operators might need to brace for a shock): a mere £15,000 ($25,000). Not entirely surprising considering the quality of the game but it still can get to you when you see these high prices. We’ll have to see how much the standard edition goes for.

There’s a lot more to come so I am going to fit it in after the break, hit the link below for a look at a few other new games including a brand new Space Invaders game for arcades by Taito!

(more…)

Space Invader snow sculpture

February 10, 2008

thumb463x_spaceinv.jpg

Could this be the beginning of a new epidemic of videogame related sculptures. Remember the wave of pumpkin sculptures?

[via Kotuku]

Kotaku reader Ryan attended the Sapporo Snow Festival last week in Hokkaido, Japan. He spotted this cool snow sculpture of a Space Invader and sent this picture to them and said;

It was dwarfed by some of the larger creations there but was still very cool to see. A lot more cool than the Al Gore snow sculpture that looked like Kim Jong-il.

[Discuss on the Forum]

Preview of Taito's AOU booth

February 9, 2008

taitoaoubooth.jpg

(Click on the image above to enlarge)

Japanese arcades might be suffering a little at the moment but that won’t cancel the upcoming AOU 2008 show in Japan next week. Thanks to the Stinger Report, here is a mock-up view of what Taito’s booth will look like. From this it looks fairly impressive and you can tell there are a number of Viewlix cabinets to the right and what might be a banner for Samurai Spirits. You may also notice the banners for the 30th anniversary of Space Invaders which we brought up just a few posts ago. Expect to see more next week!

[Discuss on the Forum]

Preview of Taito’s AOU booth

February 9, 2008

taitoaoubooth.jpg

(Click on the image above to enlarge)

Japanese arcades might be suffering a little at the moment but that won’t cancel the upcoming AOU 2008 show in Japan next week. Thanks to the Stinger Report, here is a mock-up view of what Taito’s booth will look like. From this it looks fairly impressive and you can tell there are a number of Viewlix cabinets to the right and what might be a banner for Samurai Spirits. You may also notice the banners for the 30th anniversary of Space Invaders which we brought up just a few posts ago. Expect to see more next week!

[Discuss on the Forum]

Celebrating Space Invader's 30th anniversary

February 8, 2008

Cometh the Invader!

The 30th Anniversary of ‘Space Invaders’ will play a major part in promoting the Taito empire over the coming months – the AOU show in Japan will be awash with celebrations. But before the corporate historians ‘whitewash’ the brand beyond recognition, The Stinger Report wanted to share the compiled time line that charts the meteoric rise of this important title.

By 1978 the video amusement industry had moved from its infancy in 1972 with Nutting Associates Computer Space, and grown into a serious competitor to the electro-mechanical amusement market with games like PONG! While American attempted to control the market, the Japanese amusement scene worked hard to establish a video amusement market of their own, seeing this as a logical successor to their mechanical coin-op scene.

si1.jpg Space Invaders (1978)
Japanese manufacturer Taito launched under their Taitronic range this phenomena; first released as a table top game (designated T.T. in Japan) – the game was designed by Tomohiro Nishikado. The creation of the concept has fallen into video game folk law with Nishikado-san attributed as claiming the game idea came to him from a dream where he saw Santa Clause replaced by aliens steeling presents, later in a interview also attributing the game to descriptions of aliens attacking in H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds – in reality the game bore more to the electro-mechanical coin-operated game Space Monsters released in 1972

The game was a phenomenal success unlike any other that snowballed – popularity with players caused a shortage of Yen coins to feed the cash box; while young players were blamed for a wave of petty crime to feed their SI habit. Within the emerging amusement scene the game become one of the most bootlegged and copied of the classics. To address this Taito licensed the game to Bally Midway who they had already established a relationship with their previous video arcade products (such as Gun Fight) – this however would cause confusion as Midway did nothing to correct the perception that the game was developed by them.

In 1979 Taito attempted to embrace new technology and produced a new version of the game that used a colour monitor that replacing the need for the colour film overlay of the original machine.

si2.jpg Space Invaders Part II (1980)
Taito was still finding its feet in the development of video amusement and proved slow to create a major sequel to the originals meteoric success. This next release used a colour monitor in Japan, but mainly a superficial enhancement on the original game play. Launched by Bally Midway as Space Invaders Deluxe in America the company was cutting corners by using the old colour overlay than employ a colour monitor – the game was proving a great cash-cow which they could not get enough of.

si3.jpg Space Invaders II (1980)
The confusion of the linage of the SI series is blurred by the confusion between Part II and this title. The Japanese manufacturer had licensed SI to Bally Midway – the Midway division had started to create its own programming resource. This game was actually developed by Midway and not a Taito creation. At the time Midway defended the move saying that they had requested a sequel to the smash hit, but Taito’s development time was too glacial. The legality of using the SI brand in this game is another grey area – a subject airbrushed from most Taito and Midway histories.

si4.jpg Space Invaders The Pinball (1980)
The use of the SI franchise gained momentum, along with a hoard of bootlegs and the appearance of foreign grown copies, other genres of products wanted to cash in. Bally (the pinball and electro-mechanical parent of Midway) launched a pintable that used the SI name, but did not use any of the iconography or brand elements – purely jumping on the bandwagon.

si5.jpg Return Of The Invaders (1985)
For Taito they had established their presence as a major amusement factory and built on their influence to develop a wide selection of games. However they did return to the SI concept creating a reworking of the original concept changing the aliens and create an enhanced playing experience.

si6.jpg Super Space Invaders ’91 (1990)
Also known as Majestic Twelve (MJ-12), named after the secret UFO government agency; this weird release offered major graphical update of the original concept far more than the 1985 release and also built on the use of the latest PCB technology a factor shaping the amusement scene.

si7.jpg Space Invaders DX (1993)
A faithful representation of the original game but on a JAMMA board with different variations of the series. A homage product that allowed operators to drop this game into their JAMMA compatible cabinets; the ability for the SI franchise to still earn not lost on the Japanese manufacturer.

si8.jpg Space Invaders ’95 (1995)
The game having the tag-line “The Attack of Lunar Loonies” this was a zany reinvention of the original SI concept. The game featuring stylized cartoon aliens and a fast and uniquely Japanese representation of the play-field. This game marked the last time that the original creator, Tomohiro Nishikado, would be linked to the franchise, leaving Taito that year to set up his own development studio (Dreams).

si9.jpg Space Invaders Anniversary (2003)
Another compilation product that mixed strange new versions of the original concept with a more traditional representation of the game. The title was launched not just to milk the franchise, but also to offer credibility to a new game board system that Taito was launching to try and keep relevant in a changing market.

si10.jpg Space Invaders Silver Anniversary / Qix (2004)
By 2004 Taito are a shadow of their former self, with hardly any international representation – but hunger for the machine in America continued, avid rec-room builders and traditional arcade operators are running short of servable SI cabinets. The opportunity to create a reliable supply of traditional SI machines saw Namco America undertake the development of a SI machine to coincide with anniversary celebrations – after a laborious license the cabinet was released in both upright and tabletop and once again was a success.

Unofficial hunger for SI has not diminished, fueled by the MAME revolution, there have been a number of amusement game packs such as the Ultimate Arcade Space Invaders Game Software Upgrade Pack (2006) that offered classic versions of the original for home and amusement use – though was soon scorched by Taito lawyers.

Space Invaders place in the hall of fame is more than just its meteoric success and iconic stature – it is the game that made the world look at video amusement and gaming as more than a flash-in-the-pan after PONG!, seeing video amusement take off. Also the game proved a important license for consumer, with the Atari 2600 version would sell thousands representing the first ‘official’ video amusement license for home.

With the 30th Anniversary, the Square-ENIX ownership of Taito allows more funding to support the anniversary, with mobile phone and console versions planned. Sadly as of yet there is no news of a new amusement outing.

Finally, the ability to research the life and times of an arcade title has been made much easier than when we at the Stinger first started reporting on amusement. Excellent websites such as Killer List of Videogames (KLOV), Arcade Flyer Archive and System16 offer a detailed and compelling archive of the arcade scene – this supported by the web resource Wikipedia that attempts to compile a effective encyclopedia. Thanks to all these resources for their help in compiling this feature.

[Discuss on the Forum]


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 28 other followers