Archive for February 21, 2008

Arcade Attack – Pinball Character vs. Space Invaders

February 21, 2008

The things I find on YouTube get weirder and weirder.

It starts off as a documentary about pinball machines and the rise of the video game. Especially focused on the game ‘Defender’. A rockabilly type of guy explains his love for Pinball machines and another fan walks around a room that must be the wet dream of every pinball-lover out there. Then it cuts to a guy playing defender and explaining how it works. They also show you a couple of classic arcade machines. So you would think that videogames would mark the end of an era for the pinball machines and that the documentary would go in this direction. Wrong. They keep switching between pinball machines and arcade machines until the artwork on both machines come alive (through the wonders of animation…although i not sure if is rotoscope or not..) and start battling each other through the city of London. So you have an Egyptian Horus (straight of a pinball machine) fighting a space invader. And another warrior-girl throws pinballs to destroy a space invader. And then something amazing happens to the rockabilly pinball-lover. I can’t explain it and i won’t. You just have to see it to believe it. But it was so much more. It turned into a unbelievable trip. Go watch it… NOW.

[Discuss on the Forum]

Arcade Fighting games in 2008 – Revival? Revolution? Renaissance?

February 21, 2008

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Arcade Renaissance has posted a nice round up of all the fighting games that are coming our way in the near future. Definitely worth checking out because I know even I am struggling to remember what’s coming out and when. It’s just a shame some of these titles may not see the light of day outside of Japan and even if they do they will probably be hard to find 😦

[Arcade Renaissance’s upcoming beat-em up round up] 

[Discuss on the Forum]

Big Buck Safari European Flyer

February 21, 2008

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We first saw the latest installment of Big Buck Safari at ATEI this year and we even had some video and a picture or two of the game in action. As this is Raw Thrills’ first releasesafari_dx.jpg outside of the US, it is already up on Namco Bandai Europe/Brent Sales website and with it comes the flyer for the game. We also have another image of the deluxe cabinet (Twisted took a picture of the DX model at ATEI) in case you can’t get enough. The flyer summarizes up what the game is all about and what new features this title touts over Big Buck Hunter Pro (a few new play modes, different animals, more trophies and it now shows you which critters you blasted). It’s expected that Raw Thrills’ will reveal the US release of the game at ASI in March.

[Big Buck Safari Flyer (PDF)]

[Namco Bandai Europe] [Discuss on the Forum]

Taito expands their FEC business in Japan

February 21, 2008

The internet lit up last week when news came of Namco closing a bunch of their arcadestaito_logo.png and news sites were quick to jump on the news that between the Nintendo Wii and high gas prices people have decided to stay away from arcades. Well I didn’t buy that story – I mean I like the Wii but I don’t think that it’s an “arcade-killer” by any means. High gas prices I can understand as that has affected a number of businesses but a business run smart will find ways to overcome these problems. I don’t believe that Namco has been doing that well and as some proof to that argument comes this news that Taito is expanding their arcade business in Japan. As usual the Japanese to English translation is a little unclear in a few parts and it does appear that while Taito did have a bumpy ride in the arcade sector last year, they are not planning on folding. Of course with the success of AOU I imagine that operators in Japan are a little more optimistic about the future of arcades in that country, especially where Taito/Square-Enix had a pretty solid showing at the show.

[Via Nikkei Net] [Discuss on the Forum]

It takes patience to start a new business (update on my arcade)

February 21, 2008

Well here is another update on the very slow progress for my arcade. For any of you following my progress, it has been slow going – I submitted a request to the owners of the store I am looking to get into (it’s one store of many in a strip mall owned by Kmart/Sears) way back in November and we still haven’t hammered everything out. A lot of the blame I have to put on the realtor that Kmart/Sears is using as he has not been very helpful. My own realtor will fax in requested information, call up to ensure that it was received and no one answers the phone but he leaves a message. He keeps trying and it takes three weeks or longer for Kmart’s realtor to finally get back to us. Then he just happened to loose the fax and we have to do it again. So with the realtor being difficult to contact for some reason (in fact my realtor says that he sounds annoyed when he talks with him – like we’re doing him a favor by trying to do business with them), it makes a process that should otherwise be simple take much longer than required. I have sought to discuss things with the owners but have not had much luck there either. This has left me quite frustrated and I have been looking for a different store but unfortunately nothing else has come along that fits the price and is a better location than this one. Also they need to have the store re-keyed because the keys have been lost to the particular store I am wanting to get into – so overall it has been a very trying experience for my patience but I am hopeful that we will finally get it taken care of soon as we were able to get some information from Sears today that clears things up.

Dave and Busters looking to reduce debt and exploring a sale?

February 21, 2008

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Fox Business reports that the arcade restaurant chain Dave and Busters has retained Jefferies & Company to reduce it’s debt and explore a possible sale of the company. According to the CEO of the company Steve King “The decision to engage Jefferies & Company and reduce debt is a direct result of our continued strong comparable store sales growth, substantial earnings growth and significant free cash flow generation”. In other words the company has been doing well despite slightly rough economic circumstances. Dave & Busters is one of the largest arcade chains in the US and combines a restaurant and bar with the arcade element – a little like Chuck E. Cheese’s but geared towards adults. If the company is sold off, it’s hard to say if things will change drastically for the company but it’s good to point out that in the press release they say that they experienced a strong 4th quarter – despite factors that other companies seem to have a difficult time with such as the Nintendo Wii.

[Fox Business – Dave & Buster’s Press release] [Dave And Busters Website] [Discuss on the Forum]