Archive for March 4, 2008

Anti-violent video game laws brewing in state legislatures – what effect on coin-op?

March 4, 2008

In the world of video games, we’ve always had to battle negative and usually erroneous opinions regarding our hobby, especially when it comes to violent video games. There was a time when arcades were central to the “controversy” as games such as Mortal Kombat  came along and gained popularity.  There have been a few other violent games in arcades, including what was probably the first violent game ever, Death Race which was released way back in 1976. But as time has passed the number of violent arcade games has decreased and governments put their attention on home and PC games – which they have already regulated with a detailed rating system and at least in the US, fines can be imposed on stores that sell these games towards minors. It doesn’t seem to matter that in the end it’s in the hands of the parents as for many governments it’s never enough as they seek to satisfy their appetite for regulation and power. This is of course a sensitive subject but it comes to mind as I read a post by the AAMA on They state:

With many state legislatures returning to session in January, there are again a series of bills that have been introduced that seek to restrict access by minors to games that contain violent content.  To date, all of these legislative efforts have been focused on the home- and PC-based side of the industry, with most attempting to restrict access to
games on the basis of ESRB ratings of “M” or “AO” which are not relevant for the coin-op industry.

The coin-op industry uses a different rating system (click on the thumbnail to enlarge)gamerate.jpg than home games where a series of color-coded stickers with a brief description of the game content are printed on them. Green stickers are the equivalent of “E”, Red stickers are the equivalent of “M”. The AAMA also writes about pending legislation for coin-op gaming in a few states which I’m putting this after the post break as I have some more to say on the subject.


Missing in Action: Scrolling Fighters

March 4, 2008


Missing In Action is a column where we take a look at genres that have all but disappeared in the arcade industry as light-gun games, racers and dancers have primarily replaced other types of games that play well in the arcade. If you missed previous articles, we have already covered Space Games and Puzzle Games. Today we are going to take a look at the scrolling fighter – also known as the Beat ‘Em ‘ Up or Brawler (depending on where you’re from – I usually refer to them as beat ’em ups) where instead of the fighter being a 1-0n-1 battle between you and one opponent, you walk along kicking the crap out of anyone that gets in your way. With the new resurgence of fighters on the market I felt that now is a good time to take a look at this nearly forgotten genre.

A bit of history first…

Scrolling fighters owe their creation to standard fighters themselves which came onto the scene as early as 1979 with VectorBeam’s Warrior, the first 1-on-1 fighter. This later would expand to games like Karate Champ(Data East, 1984), Great Swordsman (Taito, 1984) and of course Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. Scrolling fighters differed by breaking form the single screen format and combined elements of a platformer title with a fighter(keep this in mind if you look up scrolling fighters on sites like KLOV. They seem to use the term loosely). Scrolling branched off as early as 1984kungfumast.png with two games coming along to define the genre: Kung Fu Master where you fought waves of enemies off and a boss at the end of each floor in an attempt to save your girlfriend Sylvia; the second being Samurai Magic where you control a samurai fighting through waves of sword-wielding enemies and a boss at the end of each level. After this the number of scrolling fighters begun making their way to the scene including Knuckle Joe, The Legend of Kage, My Hero/Seishun Scandal, Nun Chackun, Rush N’ Attack, Express Raider, Gladiator, Guardian, Iron Horse, Rock N’ Rage and Trojan, but it wasn’t until the predecessor of Double Dragon came along that things really got rolling in this genre. Hit the post break for the rest of the story.


Tank Adventure and Drum Party

March 4, 2008

Here are a couple of new games that I discovered via Highway Games, called Tank Adventure and Drum Party respectively. Both games are in development by Tecway Development which is based out of Taiwan. I was a little surprised to see Tank Adventure as I was thinking about tank games recently for a Missing In Action article (which I will do still). From the Tecway site I grabbed a couple of videos of these games in action and while I don’t know how well they will be distributed, they are interesting additions to the arcade line-up. Tank Adventure seems a little unfinished to be honest – from this video the frame rate looks quite choppy but that wouldn’t be the first time someone has released a game to the public with a less than desirable frame rate although it’s quite uncommon to see such a thing in arcades these days.  The cabinet is really cool though and sports a 62″ LCD monitor. Drum Party is another variation of the arcade drumming concept although it’s design could well attract kids.

Tank Adventure

Drum Party

[Tecway Development] [Discuss on the Forum]

Forbes – Arcade Games Make A Comeback

March 4, 2008


This was spotted by the guys over at Barcade. Forbes has recently posted an article about the popularity of people buying old school arcade cabinets for thier home. I’m sure you’ll all agree; we would all have a collection of retro arcade games in our home if we could, right?

[Forbes – Arcade Games Make A Comeback]

[Discuss on the Forum]