Archive for September 12, 2008

Seen at Andamiro's booth – Arcana Heart 2 (AMOA 2008)

September 12, 2008

This came as a surprise – I was wandering around the show near the GlobalVR booth and between two Pump It Up games I see two Japanese candy cabs housing a fighter in them. I get closer to check it out and it’s Arcana Heart 2! I really didn’t expect to see this in the States in arcade form, but I’m guessing that the effect of SFIV is making some developers think twice about fighters.

The basic gist of the game is about girls fighting each other – with magic and sometimes swords. It’s hard to pass that up! While I didn’t consider myself good at the game, I think I did OK beating out two opponents and getting a several levels into the game before being defeated. The game has two modes – arcade and story. The story mode has a bit of text to go but at least it’s optional.

Graphically it looks very good between the high-res 2D animation (I’m not sure if it was HD resolution or not but it looked like it) and the special effects that the game throws about. The control scheme takes a little getting used to – I’m not used to fighters with five buttons schemes. Fortunately the marquee also serves as the manual so you can figure out what it is that you are doing.

Andamiro is going to bring AH2 to the States in kit form and at a “very low price”. I don’t have a date yet on this but I will be checking with my distributor on that as I assume that it is going to be very soon as the game is complete. For more check out the video below and witness my failed attempt to try and play the game with one hand. I guess it wasn’t too bad considering that it was the first time I played that game and the first time I tried to play a fighter like that.

Later I will be posting videos and info on GlobalVR, Incredible Technologies and more, but I might only get to that tomorrow.

[Discuss on the Forums]

Seen at Andamiro’s booth – Arcana Heart 2 (AMOA 2008)

September 12, 2008

This came as a surprise – I was wandering around the show near the GlobalVR booth and between two Pump It Up games I see two Japanese candy cabs housing a fighter in them. I get closer to check it out and it’s Arcana Heart 2! I really didn’t expect to see this in the States in arcade form, but I’m guessing that the effect of SFIV is making some developers think twice about fighters.

The basic gist of the game is about girls fighting each other – with magic and sometimes swords. It’s hard to pass that up! While I didn’t consider myself good at the game, I think I did OK beating out two opponents and getting a several levels into the game before being defeated. The game has two modes – arcade and story. The story mode has a bit of text to go but at least it’s optional.

Graphically it looks very good between the high-res 2D animation (I’m not sure if it was HD resolution or not but it looked like it) and the special effects that the game throws about. The control scheme takes a little getting used to – I’m not used to fighters with five buttons schemes. Fortunately the marquee also serves as the manual so you can figure out what it is that you are doing.

Andamiro is going to bring AH2 to the States in kit form and at a “very low price”. I don’t have a date yet on this but I will be checking with my distributor on that as I assume that it is going to be very soon as the game is complete. For more check out the video below and witness my failed attempt to try and play the game with one hand. I guess it wasn’t too bad considering that it was the first time I played that game and the first time I tried to play a fighter like that.

Later I will be posting videos and info on GlobalVR, Incredible Technologies and more, but I might only get to that tomorrow.

[Discuss on the Forums]

Sega @ AMOA 2008 – Rambo, Sega Rally 3 & Clay Challenge

September 12, 2008

I was happy to see that Sega had a stonger presence at AMOA than they did at ASI and it was great to finally get a chance to play games like Rambo and Sega Rally 3. I spoke with one representative at their booth who gave me a run-down on the prices as well as a little info on games not present at the show such as Hummer Extreme and R-Tuned Racing. It sounds like both of those games are coming along nicely and they say that R-Tuned looks great and Hummer has a motion base but I couldn’t find out more. I asked about House of the Dead EX but they didn’t know anything about it at the time; I also asked about what happened to Sanguozhi War 3 – it sounds like it tested fine but ultimately they decided not to bring it over. Part of the problem was that there was no translation for the game at the time of testing which hurt it a little but hopefully the idea will still be on the table. They also said that they have begun remanufacturing House of The Dead 4 again due to demand.

Anyways, onto the games at the show. Rambo is a lot of fun as it’s all about wanton destruction and it presents itself in a theatrical way by combining movie scenes from the Rambo movies into the game. Graphically I like it although it is a little rough on the edges (it could use some anti-aliasing or a higher rez) – still the action never slows down as enemies pummel you from all sides. I love the Rage mode that you activate with a button on the side or front of the gun (depending on the model) once your Rage Gauge is high enough and I’m also happy to see a standard version of the game for those operators that can’t fit or afford the deluxe model.

Sega Rally 3 was first revealed to the world via Arcade Heroes and so I was happy to get a chance to finally play it.  I tried the motion deluxe version and was impressed with the motion – it didn’t throw me around making want to vomit so that’s a plus in my book. It also looks incredible, the hardware design was obviously a good choice on their part. While I didn’t play the standard version, I like the screen, it looks a little sharper than the deluxe version but the cabinet they had there was not the final design for the US.They said that the standard version would go for about $7200 per cabinet, but I’m not sure when it’s going to be available here.

Sega’s Clay Challenge was a surprise, it’s a fairly simple game where you shoot clay pigeons in different locations but it is being released as a kit upgrade for the Atomiswave board. I had thought that the Atomiswave was no longer going to be supported by anyone but it looks like it will be for a little while longer with this game. The version at the show wasn’t final but you get a good idea of what to expect from the video below.

They also had an updated version of Shoot This! Win This! with updated software, a Spongebob Squarepants redemption game and the Mini-Rider 2 that I didn’t try out but I did catch some video of it that you can see below.

Rambo

Sega Rally 3

Sega Clay Challenge

Mini-Rider 2

[Discuss on the Forums]

Raw Thrills' @ AMOA 08 – Nicktoons Nitro, Big Buck Safari Online & Eugene Jarvis!

September 12, 2008

Continuing with our AMOA ’08 coverage we’ll start with the first video game booth I saw at the show, Betson/Raw Thrills’. They had a spacious booth that was spearheaded by six Nicktoons Nitro games as you’ll see in the video below. I do like the game – it captures the kart racing feel perfectly, it has a subtle sense of humor, the graphics are pretty good (once again I did film the game with my HD camcorder but you wouldn’t know it after it goes through the Youtube filter) and I love the sound. They also had a number of Big Buck cabinets about – two Safari Deluxe cabs (currently scheduled for release on Oct. 1st), a couple of Hunter Pro Online cabs and eight BBSafari Online cabs. The Online upgrade is available now although the first tournament won’t be until November. Also thanks to Ryan at Betson I got some ‘schwag’ in the form of Big Buck Safari T-Shirts. I’ll be giving some of these away in some form (probably a competition) at my arcade, they are professionally done though. I had some great conversations with Ryan and he also introduced me to a number of people including Eugene Jarvis! We had a great conversation for a little while where we talked about arcade gaming in general as well as what RT is up to for the future. I look forward to talking with him more in the future. 🙂

I also talked with the people at Betson about finding a way to add a keypad to my Tokyo Drift’s. Since I got Crusin’ USA cabinets that don’t have that feature, I’d like to find a way to add it to the cabinets so players can keep track of their cars. I don’t have anything figured out yet but I’m going to be looking into it further. They also had a few cabinets with an LCD screen in the cabinet, which looked pretty nice. I noticed more LCD stuff at the show and I am thinking of getting one or two, if I can afford it.

Anyways, enough blabbling, here’s some video! First is Nicktoons Nitro, second is BBS Online.

[Discuss on the Forums]

Raw Thrills’ @ AMOA 08 – Nicktoons Nitro, Big Buck Safari Online & Eugene Jarvis!

September 12, 2008

Continuing with our AMOA ’08 coverage we’ll start with the first video game booth I saw at the show, Betson/Raw Thrills’. They had a spacious booth that was spearheaded by six Nicktoons Nitro games as you’ll see in the video below. I do like the game – it captures the kart racing feel perfectly, it has a subtle sense of humor, the graphics are pretty good (once again I did film the game with my HD camcorder but you wouldn’t know it after it goes through the Youtube filter) and I love the sound. They also had a number of Big Buck cabinets about – two Safari Deluxe cabs (currently scheduled for release on Oct. 1st), a couple of Hunter Pro Online cabs and eight BBSafari Online cabs. The Online upgrade is available now although the first tournament won’t be until November. Also thanks to Ryan at Betson I got some ‘schwag’ in the form of Big Buck Safari T-Shirts. I’ll be giving some of these away in some form (probably a competition) at my arcade, they are professionally done though. I had some great conversations with Ryan and he also introduced me to a number of people including Eugene Jarvis! We had a great conversation for a little while where we talked about arcade gaming in general as well as what RT is up to for the future. I look forward to talking with him more in the future. 🙂

I also talked with the people at Betson about finding a way to add a keypad to my Tokyo Drift’s. Since I got Crusin’ USA cabinets that don’t have that feature, I’d like to find a way to add it to the cabinets so players can keep track of their cars. I don’t have anything figured out yet but I’m going to be looking into it further. They also had a few cabinets with an LCD screen in the cabinet, which looked pretty nice. I noticed more LCD stuff at the show and I am thinking of getting one or two, if I can afford it.

Anyways, enough blabbling, here’s some video! First is Nicktoons Nitro, second is BBS Online.

[Discuss on the Forums]

Back from AMOA '08 – some thoughts, impressions and a fire (and my little part in all this) UPDATED

September 12, 2008

I’m back from AMOA 2008 and it was fun. I got to see many new games that are coming to the States, talk with great people and come away with video and impressions of what’s coming our way. I also got to see more of Las Vegas than last time, it’s only the third time I’ve been there and it was nice to see many things that I’ve heard people talk about like the Bellagio fountain show and more. I also dropped by Sega’s Gameworks and color me green with envy – just one of their Afterburner Climax Super Deluxe games is worth about everything I have in my arcade and they have two of them. 😉 They have a lot of great games there, including OutRun 2 SPX, HOTD4 Special (yes the one with 100″ screens), Jurassic Park Special (I never knew that this existed), Too Spicy, Lethal Enforcers 3 and lots more. I also was able to pick up a Tsunami TSUMO cab that’s in OK condition, that should arrive at my arcade next week and hopefully it will give me a boost in people coming in. I also might switch my Marvel VS. Capcom from 1 to 2 and upgrade my Drift games to use a keypad AND upgrade my Safari to online. More on that later.

So let’s get to it! First let me say that arcades are not dead. I say that all the time but I think that video developers came along with a strong showing to further prove that we’re making progress with arcades once again. Secondly, let me explain the part about the fire. Yes there was a fire at the GlobalVR and Trio-Tech booths yesterday. Fortunately no one was hurt and the damage was minimal. My little part – I was playing Need For Speed Carbon along with some other fellows at that moment and I think that everyone playing all the games at the GVR booth AND the Trio-Tech booth at the same time tripped something that started the fire. I’m not entirely sure of how it was hooked up and what happened exactly but the moment our games powered off the fire started. As you can see in the image to the right, it attracted the attention of quite a few people.

Beyond that though here’s a run-down of what I saw and don’t worry, I’ll get to posting videos of them all along with more specifics from each company as time permits. The first booth I came across was Raw Thrills’ and they had Nicktoons Nitro, Big Buck Hunter Pro Online, Big Buck Safari Online, Tokyo Drift and Super Bikes. Next to them was Sega with a much larger booth than they had at ASI and there they had Rambo (in deluxe and standard), Primeval Hunt, a new game called Sega Clay Challenge that uses the Atomiswave board (and we thought that the Atomiswave was dead), Sega Rally 3 in both configurations, a new version of Shoot This! Win This! and the Mini-Rider 2. Stern Pinball was behind them and while that rumor I mentioned a couple of posts ago about a Transformers pinball wasn’t true, they did have something there that surprised me quite a bit – a Spiderman Redemption game. I don’t know if Stern has ever done redemption before (you can hook ticket dispensers up to pinball games though) so this was unexpected. They also had Family Guy, Shrek, Batman and Indiana Jones there.

Moving further into the hall you next come to GlobalVR’s booth where they had four Need For Speed Carbon games linked (two deluxe, two standard, no conversions), four NASCAR deluxe games linked (with the new upgrade), a Blazing Angels, a GlobalVR Classics cab and Paradise Lost inside of a new cabinet design that was previously used with Aliens. TrioTech was next to them but I didn’t see anything new there. South of TrioTech was Andamiro and they had a strong showing with their Pump It Up Pro titles but the biggest surprise of all was they had two Arcana Heart 2 cabinets there! I had no idea that this was coming to the States but it is and soon, I’ll have more details shortly.

Incredible Technologies had a large booth with all of their current IPs on display, including Golden Tee 2009, the new Power Putt, Silver Strike Bowling, and Toss Pro: Bags. All of the games are using their new small footprint cabinet design, which does not include a monitor in the package which reduces the price for the cabinet but you’ll need to come up with an HDTV to mount on the wall or somewhere else. Namco was further south but had a small booth with only two videos, the PacMan/Galaga bartop and Rockin’ Bowl-A-Rama. I didn’t get a chance to talk with them and find out about MT3 DX or if they plan on bringing Nirin over.

And of course I was among the first people to check out Friction by Friction Game Studios. Many thanks to Juan and Jim for showing that to me and being courteous (and patient with all my questions). Having seen the game in person now I’m colored impressed. I certainly looks better live than in screencaps or the compressed video below. The power-up system hadn’t been implemented in the build I saw (which is why you see them seemingly gain power-up weapons at random) but the sound and physics are all there and they showed me a few interesting things with that (including how to make enemies fly towards the screen, which can be fun). There are a lot of things to break as well as to cause to explode and the levels were nice and long. There is also a bit of randomization as to how and what enemies will appear on your screen, determined by who you shoot first which can change the game everytime you play. Hopefully they were able to get what they needed at the show to bring this game to arcades soon so stay tuned for more. It was also flattering to hear that word about Friction was already making the rounds at the show as some people had read about it from the site, so I’m glad to hear how often people in the industry check out the site.

Unfortunately one game I did miss was Get Outta My Face! which was supposed to be at the show but I forgot to contact the author on where I could find him so I didn’t get to see it. If he was there then he wasn’t in a booth but I hope that he was able to show the game to the distributors.

UPDATED: I found out the unfortunate news that someone apparently died of a heart attack at the show on Friday. I don’t know who it was but it’s definently sad news to come over the show.

If you link to this particular post from elsewhere, just head to the main page for the several other AMOA posts that include more details and videos of most of the games I have mentioned above.

[Discuss on the Forums]

Back from AMOA ’08 – some thoughts, impressions and a fire (and my little part in all this) UPDATED

September 12, 2008

I’m back from AMOA 2008 and it was fun. I got to see many new games that are coming to the States, talk with great people and come away with video and impressions of what’s coming our way. I also got to see more of Las Vegas than last time, it’s only the third time I’ve been there and it was nice to see many things that I’ve heard people talk about like the Bellagio fountain show and more. I also dropped by Sega’s Gameworks and color me green with envy – just one of their Afterburner Climax Super Deluxe games is worth about everything I have in my arcade and they have two of them. 😉 They have a lot of great games there, including OutRun 2 SPX, HOTD4 Special (yes the one with 100″ screens), Jurassic Park Special (I never knew that this existed), Too Spicy, Lethal Enforcers 3 and lots more. I also was able to pick up a Tsunami TSUMO cab that’s in OK condition, that should arrive at my arcade next week and hopefully it will give me a boost in people coming in. I also might switch my Marvel VS. Capcom from 1 to 2 and upgrade my Drift games to use a keypad AND upgrade my Safari to online. More on that later.

So let’s get to it! First let me say that arcades are not dead. I say that all the time but I think that video developers came along with a strong showing to further prove that we’re making progress with arcades once again. Secondly, let me explain the part about the fire. Yes there was a fire at the GlobalVR and Trio-Tech booths yesterday. Fortunately no one was hurt and the damage was minimal. My little part – I was playing Need For Speed Carbon along with some other fellows at that moment and I think that everyone playing all the games at the GVR booth AND the Trio-Tech booth at the same time tripped something that started the fire. I’m not entirely sure of how it was hooked up and what happened exactly but the moment our games powered off the fire started. As you can see in the image to the right, it attracted the attention of quite a few people.

Beyond that though here’s a run-down of what I saw and don’t worry, I’ll get to posting videos of them all along with more specifics from each company as time permits. The first booth I came across was Raw Thrills’ and they had Nicktoons Nitro, Big Buck Hunter Pro Online, Big Buck Safari Online, Tokyo Drift and Super Bikes. Next to them was Sega with a much larger booth than they had at ASI and there they had Rambo (in deluxe and standard), Primeval Hunt, a new game called Sega Clay Challenge that uses the Atomiswave board (and we thought that the Atomiswave was dead), Sega Rally 3 in both configurations, a new version of Shoot This! Win This! and the Mini-Rider 2. Stern Pinball was behind them and while that rumor I mentioned a couple of posts ago about a Transformers pinball wasn’t true, they did have something there that surprised me quite a bit – a Spiderman Redemption game. I don’t know if Stern has ever done redemption before (you can hook ticket dispensers up to pinball games though) so this was unexpected. They also had Family Guy, Shrek, Batman and Indiana Jones there.

Moving further into the hall you next come to GlobalVR’s booth where they had four Need For Speed Carbon games linked (two deluxe, two standard, no conversions), four NASCAR deluxe games linked (with the new upgrade), a Blazing Angels, a GlobalVR Classics cab and Paradise Lost inside of a new cabinet design that was previously used with Aliens. TrioTech was next to them but I didn’t see anything new there. South of TrioTech was Andamiro and they had a strong showing with their Pump It Up Pro titles but the biggest surprise of all was they had two Arcana Heart 2 cabinets there! I had no idea that this was coming to the States but it is and soon, I’ll have more details shortly.

Incredible Technologies had a large booth with all of their current IPs on display, including Golden Tee 2009, the new Power Putt, Silver Strike Bowling, and Toss Pro: Bags. All of the games are using their new small footprint cabinet design, which does not include a monitor in the package which reduces the price for the cabinet but you’ll need to come up with an HDTV to mount on the wall or somewhere else. Namco was further south but had a small booth with only two videos, the PacMan/Galaga bartop and Rockin’ Bowl-A-Rama. I didn’t get a chance to talk with them and find out about MT3 DX or if they plan on bringing Nirin over.

And of course I was among the first people to check out Friction by Friction Game Studios. Many thanks to Juan and Jim for showing that to me and being courteous (and patient with all my questions). Having seen the game in person now I’m colored impressed. I certainly looks better live than in screencaps or the compressed video below. The power-up system hadn’t been implemented in the build I saw (which is why you see them seemingly gain power-up weapons at random) but the sound and physics are all there and they showed me a few interesting things with that (including how to make enemies fly towards the screen, which can be fun). There are a lot of things to break as well as to cause to explode and the levels were nice and long. There is also a bit of randomization as to how and what enemies will appear on your screen, determined by who you shoot first which can change the game everytime you play. Hopefully they were able to get what they needed at the show to bring this game to arcades soon so stay tuned for more. It was also flattering to hear that word about Friction was already making the rounds at the show as some people had read about it from the site, so I’m glad to hear how often people in the industry check out the site.

Unfortunately one game I did miss was Get Outta My Face! which was supposed to be at the show but I forgot to contact the author on where I could find him so I didn’t get to see it. If he was there then he wasn’t in a booth but I hope that he was able to show the game to the distributors.

UPDATED: I found out the unfortunate news that someone apparently died of a heart attack at the show on Friday. I don’t know who it was but it’s definently sad news to come over the show.

If you link to this particular post from elsewhere, just head to the main page for the several other AMOA posts that include more details and videos of most of the games I have mentioned above.

[Discuss on the Forums]