Archive for September 18, 2008

Dance Dance Revolution X USA location test report

September 18, 2008

A few days ago I posted a location test report from one of our readers, Phil Arrington who got a chance to check out two Konami games on test in California. We already did UBeat and now it’s time for the latest DDR, DDR:X. While Phil wasn’t as thrilled by DDRX as he was by UBeat, it sounds like the game will do well where it shows up. There’s a new cabinet design that also includes an LCD screen, new graphics, characters, music, pads (they seem most similar to ITG), shock arrows, and a new announcer. It sounds like the announcer is quite annoying and whether the fans will take to it remains to be seen (also whether they will keep the announcer since the game is still in development).

For the full rundown, check out Phil’s post on the forums.

Arcade Hunters check out Tokyo Game Action

September 18, 2008

The guys from PressStartComic.com have made many arcade-related videos over the past little while and I realyl like their latest idea – “Arcade Hunters” where they go around and tour arcades. It’s a great way to help some arcades get attention and in the first episode they visit an arcade that we have discussed here before – Tokyo Game Action. I would post the videos to the blog here but the particular video site they use is not yet supported by WordPress. So here are direct links from part 1 to 6. Enjoy!

Arcade Hunters – Tokyo Game Action: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

[Discuss on the Forum]

The AM show (JAMMA) Mega Preview Post : Elevator Action, Razing Storm, KOFXII, Harley Davidson, CastleVania & more

September 18, 2008

There is another arcade event about to take place next week and this time it’s in Japan. Known as the AM Show, also called the JAMMA show, it brings with it a lot of information on games we’ve been hearing about for a while along with new games. It should be interesting to see what comes along over the next week but at the moment here is what we have for you as a preview of what to expect.

BTW – For interest of space, I’m just using thumbnails on this post. Click on them to expand and images taken from various sources I’ll credit at the end.

New games:

Holy frak, Taito is bringing Elevator Action back. Labeled as “Elevator Action: Death Parade” we currently have a picture of the cabinet and nothing else. Of course the cabinet has to have something which looks like an elevator door covering the screen so no clue what the game looks like but it’s not longer a joystick game but a light-gun title. The cabinet has a Too Spicy feel to it, I wonder if the game will mimick that or not.  Notice that it also has a surround sound system on it, much like those Konami cabinets are using (ex. Silent Hill, CastleVania). If this plays elevator music at certain points then this is going to be one of the coolest cabinets ever.

Taito also was showing off a new mini-game party title (I’m surprised that there aren’t more of these after the Wii came out) called Senor: The Nippon (?) and Hoppingurodo, which apparently has something to do with simulating jumping on pogo sticks.

Konami will not be at the show but they are still exhibiting games on location tests so I am sure that people will be talking about these games and they have what I think is a new fighter but the cabinet pictured shows a control scheme that is unfamiliar so it’s hard to say exactly what Brave Heroes is going to be. The game has something to do with the War of the Three Kingdoms – perhaps it’s a Dynasty Warriors style fighter (which I have always thought would make a perfect arcade title, which would have been done with the War of the Grail).

Namco has also shown off a new light-gun not based on Time Crisis (it appears) called Razing Storm. From the flyer the graphics look pretty good and it looks like it uses a bit of destructive environment geometry as well. The game is powered by System 357 (which I believe is the PlayStation 3 based hardware) and it uses a 62″ screen along with a cabinet design that sort of reminds me of Rambo.  Whether this will make it to the States or not is beyond me, I was pretty disappointed with Namco’s lack of games at AMOA but maybe as they see others gearing up they will too.

Now for some more info on games we knew about already – hit the jump or this will take up too much space on the main page 🙂 But we’ve got a look at Sega’s Harley Davidson, KOFXII, a new look at the CastleVania Arcade cabinet, first screens of Hummer Extreme and more.

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The Immersive Cocoon and thoughts on other technologies arcades can use

September 18, 2008

The Stinger Report pointed us to a very interesting article about the future of computers and how we will interact with them via the Immersive Cocoon – think a possible prototype to Star Trek’s Holodeck that uses motion sensors to track your movement and how you interact with the presentation. Of course I feel obliged to point out how arcades have been the incubators of such an idea, first with the cockpit cabinets, then simulator machines and most recently with two games that use dome screens in combination with a mech game for the ultimate mech game simulators (such as the BattleTech Arcade title and Namco’s GUNDAM Pod game); and of course there has been plenty of motion capturing from games that detect your movements (Police Trainer 911 or Para Para Paradise) to entire chambers that do the same thing for a fighter. Obviously the arcade industry has been a part of the frontlines in innovating this technology so we know that eventually these technologies will find their way into other industries as well.

Of course this Cocoon chamber is being aimed at home use at one point in time but naturally costs will probably prohibit such a thing for a long time and I could see arcades using this technology at one point in time (again, once it hits a certain price point – it has to be affordable for operators too). And cost is probably the primary road block when it comes to introducing new technologies to any field, especially to the public. Here are some of my thoughts about other technologies that could be used in arcades, from motion tracking to holograms to ray-tracing:

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