Today we have a guest post to share with you by James Mowery. He takes a look at the effects the upcoming Super Street Fighter IV Arcade can have on the scene. Continue on the link below to read James’ take on Capcom’s next big arcade release
Posted tagged ‘coin-op’
Guest post: Capcom Turns Console Gamers To Arcade Releases With Release Of Super Street Fighter IV CabinetSeptember 7, 2010
As the US celebrates Labor Day this weekend, a number of charitable events also get underway for various causes. Incredible Technologies already held their third Players Charity Championship this past weekend however and have announced the results just in time for the holiday. 72 Golden Tee players can together for a tournament and raised over $75,000 for a Chicago based organization called Salute Inc., who specializes in helping US veterans and their families. It’s the largest amount ever raised in the history of the IT Players Charity Championship and I have a feeling that there will be plenty more of these special competitions in the future. You can read all of the details in the press release below
This seems to be a new trend for Capcom these days, announcing a fighter with coin-op roots but only talking about a console version of that game until later when they suddenly allude to the coin-op version of the same game. That’s how it was with Super Street Fighter IV and now that could also be the case with Street Fighter X Tekken and Tekken X Street Fighter. According to Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report:
Sources at GamesCom reported that while Street Fighter IV producer Yoshinori Ono and Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada –demonstrated Street Fighter X Tekken gameplay to event attendees they alluded to a amusement version of the Capcom and Namco Bandai versions.
It will probably be a while before we hear anything else on the coin-op versions of these games but it’s nice to know that they are being considered. Namco at least has a strong network setup internationally for handling the production and sales of these games in the coin-op sector. I wonder if they would have Street Fighter X Tekken use the same setup as SFIV (VS. configuration) and Tekken X Street Fighter use the same cabinet as Tekken 6(2p on 1 cabinet). Such options would be a great way to see what players and operators really prefer (according to our poll players the standard 2p cab setup won the vote) although why not offer both cabinet configurations for both games and see what sells best?
Back in January, Sega Japan made an announcement that they would be producing a new arcade title based upon the cartoon favorite Transformers. No details were given about the nature of the game other than it would use cards, which is a popular feature for kids games there. Today we have more details on what Sega is doing with the license and it’s actually based upon another concept that they introduced to Japanese arcades last year, which we covered last September. You might recall a story on an effort by Sega to market coin-op games to kids with their Patrol Chaser and Battle Police cabinets and apparently the new Transformers titles will make use of these same kinds of cabinets. One is a dual racing game, the other a mounted light-gun title and both will allow players to use collectible cards (which are available now) to import different Autobots into the game to use. It’s a pretty good idea actually and it’s the kind of concept that I think could work outside of Japan but that being said it’s unlikely we will see it – Sega USA was testing out a card vending coin-op game called Sega Card Gen MLB out last year(which was not a kids game) but after it showed up at AMOA, we haven’t heard of it again which could mean either dismal testing or retooling. Then again I don’t think that the concept should be dead, Transformers is quite popular outside of Japan too so this would be a good way to test the “kid vending” card concept out a little more, especially where the controls use familiar items like light-guns and racing wheels. For now however, this is a Japan-only set of titles and the games will launch this summer.
When a mainstream website takes notice of current events surrounding the arcade industry, then it can go one of two ways – they get accurate information from people inside the industry and thus create an accurate report, or they go off of assumptions and little investigation (which is usually where you come across “arcades are all dead so what’s this new game doing here?” sort of articles or worse when they don’t even realize they are reporting on an arcade game). I always like to focus on the former and that’s what we have today with a new article over at Tech Radar discussing “The best and weirdest new games in Japanese arcades.” If you are not familiar with Tech Radar, they serve as an Engadget-style site for the UK.
The expert advice that they sought includes Kevin Williams (who provided me with the link to the story), Brian Ashcraft, author of Arcade Mania and Kotaku editior, and some unnamed industry sources. While the article won’t be covering anything new for regular readers of Arcade Heroes as far as new game content goes (a lot of it covers games found at AOU this year), they also delve into the current arcade scene in the UK where Kevin makes the great point about how you find coin-op machines in much more than arcade venues these days.Too bad they didn’t point out that the pic used with the Pac-Men playing Tank! Tank! Tank! was at Amusement Expo, promoting the international version of that game but it’s a minor thing really.
Reminders for releases this month: Terminator Salvation, Tank! Tank! Tank!, Pump It Up Pro 2 & Fiesta, Sega Racing ClassicMarch 20, 2010
This post is just a reminder of some new games that have come to arcades this month which you can be on the look-out for. In case you need a little help in finding an arcade near you, beyond looking in the Yellow pages we can also suggest Aurcade.com and ArcadeFly.com.
First, Terminator Salvation by Raw Thrills’/Play Mechanix. We first broke the rumor that this would be coming to arcades about a year ago and the game is finally here. Some might be wondering why the game is coming out now when the movie it’s based upon also came out almost a year ago. The answer according to Raw Thrills’ – game refinement. I’m sure that everyone doesn’t mind having a better game by waiting a little longer and from what I have played, they certainly have fine-tuned the game quite well. The cabinet is very stylish and attention grabbing, the guns are pretty cool too with the clip reloading and the varying force feedback. Graphically it looks really good – I was surprised by the color they threw in there when you expect it to be nothing but drab post-apocalyptic stuff. I have been hearing a lot about how well this game is earning already so we’ll be keeping an eye on how it continues to do. Where it is an arcade exclusive (i.e. much different from the console versions of TS released last May) that helps too. [See the game in action!] [2nd video link, longer footage but older game build]
Another great arcade exclusive that is available now is Namco’s Tank! Tank! Tank! A spiritual successor to Tokyo Wars, this let’s you drive a tank around blasting either your friends in a free-for-all deathmatch or team up against hordes of monsters together. This is one of my personal favorites that is an original game which is a ton of fun to play. It features a vertical screen, graphics that are colorful and fluid, force feedback in the seat and steering wheel and Namco’s picture avatars. The bright yellow cabinet should be noticeable from a good distance. In case you are wondering why we had this listed as a release last year that is because we were under the impression that the game was to be released in December and didn’t find out until afterwards that it had been pushed back, apologies for that. [See the game in action!]
From Andamiro we had two new games that were released at Amusement Expo 2010, Pump It Up Fiesta!, which is an upgrade kit for PIU’s and Pump It Up Pro 2. PIU is a solid dance game series that has a loyal fan following and I heard nothing but praise from fans on the new modes that each game has as well as the song lists. The cabinets are attractive and the game looks like it’s fun to play although I do admit that out of all the games on this post, these two are ones I missed out on playing at the Expo. [See both games in action!]
Next is Sega Racing Classic by Sega. It’s a remake of the original Daytona USA minus the name and primary theme-song. It also features a nice new cabinet with a 720p screen and while we’ve been hearing that they will be offering these for cheap, I still haven’t been able to get a price on it yet. UPDATE: BMI is listing this for $6475. So much for it being priced “well below our other racers” as I was told at a trade show. I’m sorry but this pricing is WAY out of line for what this game is. I have come to think of this as what a Daytona remake on XBLA or PSN would be like right now but with the price sitting in just a few hundred less than other racers out there, the ball has been dropped here. There may not be any surprises from what to expect on the game itself since it’s the same thing as the original Daytona with an HD resolution and a nicer cabinet to play on but that at least makes the game worth a play if you come across it. [See the game in action!]
I think that should cover it for what has come out this month to the US (I’ll need to double check on European availability) and as such I have moved all these games to the “Already Released” columns on our Arcade Releases 2010 list. It’s a pretty nice selection of new games to pick from this month, there’s something for everyone which I think is a good thing. If your favorite location doesn’t have one of these games and you want them to get it, let them know about it. Get out there and play!
This is just a friendly reminder for many gamers out there that the Midwest Gaming Classic is upon us, with the show coming up on March 27th (a Saturday) and the 28th. As usual they will have a number of arcade games to play there (in addition to a large assortment of console gaming) and among the unique arcade-related games you’ll find is one of Ben Heck’s recent projects, Bill Paxton Pinball (which as far as I know, is not being picked up by Stern) which we discussed a little while ago.
Also it’s important to note that Eugene Jarvis (owner of Raw Thrills’ as as you know, maker of many great games from the 80’s up to today) will be speaking there and Play Mechanix, Raw Thrills’ and Stern Pinball are sponsors of the event so I imagine they willb e showing off some new product there as well.
You can get the full rundown on what to expect here, at the Midwest Gaming Classic website.
We’ve provided a bit of video from Amusement Expo but there were a couple of things that I wasn’t able to grab with my camera but Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report was also there and captured a few moments with his camera, including something I had completely missed, with Namco getting four girls to wander around with Pac-heads on. Good times. Hit the break for more photos.
Since this probably won’t be the very last post I make in regards to the Amusement Expo that happened this week (we’ve got a podcast coming next week which will talk about it and Kevin Williams has some extra photos of things I missed), I’ll call it wrap-up part 1 until I get to those other things.
My overall feelings about the show: this is the best March show I have been to so far, since I first went to ASI 2008. That first ASI was slightly disappointing and I left a day early because of that but this time it was quite satisfying and fun. The combined shows was a great idea and I look forward to them expanding in the future.
The content to be found at the show overall was great. Some things we have seen or heard about already but even then there were a few little surprises tucked in. I’d like to thank everyone involved in the show and the different people who went out of there way to get me all of the information I could want about the games. There are a lot of people I could name but I
Thanks to Phil Arrington for his hard work in getting that live broadcast on Vokle put together, while it was frustrating how the connection and/or the power on his laptop kept going out(he was more frustrated about that than anyone else), it was a lot of fun and next time we’ll make sure we get it down so everyone can enjoy it.
Here is a look at the Stern Pinball booth. They had a couple of Big Buck Hunter Pins in operation and there was a tournament running on Shrek as well. If anyone wants video of BBH my local distributor has one so I can run over there anytime and record that in action, it’s actually a lot of fun. I wasn’t sure what to expect with it being based upon a video game but they did a good job.
Here is a cool thing I just happened to come across, a redemption game based upon the classic board game Operation. Unfortunately my camera battery was in the final stages of dying so I couldn’t get any video but it was a cool idea that was implemented well.
As I stated earlier, we’ll have a little bit more for you next week but this and the other AE posts take care of pretty much everything.
As I wasn’t able to finish uploading these video last night, I saved them for today along with this post. Namco had a strong presence at Amusement Expo and that was obviously dominated by the new Pac-Man Battle Royale (which you can see here if you haven’t already). But there was more at the booth than Pac-Man, which I’ll get into here.
As you can see with the video below, they had some recent games there which are already available for arcades to pick up, such as Nirin and Razing Storm. But Nirin has new software, which modified how the game works by shortening tracks and changing a few other things such as boosting and handling so the game is easier for your average player. Also with Razing Storm, while they didn’t update the software, they have a new 42″ cabinet that the game can come in at a much lower price than the deluxe edition. Another update was to Tank! Tank! Tank! – this actually wasn’t released to the US last December as originally planned as they have been tweaking the game for release and the improvements made to the game are all positive. One interesting feature is for the team-up-against-monsters mode. The game will switch off the enemies you battle on a monthly basis, i.e. one month the first level features spiders and the next it features bees and the month after that it flips back to spiders. The second level had the three-headed dragon and now it will flip between that and a huge octopus monster which can morph you tank into a small ink-spurting octo-tank. In addition to that there are new pic overlays that fit the tastes of the American market, and more importantly, new weapons such as the flamethrower. Apologies for not capturing these new features on film – I had fully charged my camera before the show but once I got there it suddenly dropped bars and it finally died while I was filming the Namco booth. (my apologies to anyone at the show where I wasn’t able to get video of your product, such as Incredible Technologies and PM studios).
First here is the overview of the booth where my camera died while filming Go Go Grand Prix. This is a very cool game that will be a great attraction for large locations.
Here is the ending of Deadstorm Pirates. I was walking by this while the girls playing were battling the end boss but I didn’t realize that until one of the Namco reps said they were on a special stage so I grabbed the footage. This game will be released in May and it featured the latest software build at the show, which not only included all of the levels but improved graphics as well.
Also a word on Dead Heat Street Racing. I talked with one of the developers about the game and I was able to get a pretty good idea about what the game will be like without seeing it. As I had mentioned on my Twitter, the game is going to be sort of like MaxiTune 3 in the US, with certain US city streets replicated for racing(Chicago was mentioned specifically). The game will let the player keep track of their stats on the machine along with a ghost racer that you can race later on. An interesting feature with the ghosting is that the game will record ghosts from everyone that plays the machine and then throw those into the game at random as the drones you race against. The game uses a modified version of the PC-based ES1 hardware, featuring a more powerful graphics card than the other Es1 games like Nirin and Tank! Tank! Tank! We’ll most likely be seeing more of this game in September, which is about the same time Pac-Man Battle Royale will be released.
Thanks to the guys at Namco for giving me the detailed rundown on all of these projects!