Archive for October 2008

Outcome from the Big Buck Hunter Pro World Championship

October 31, 2008

I meant to get to this a couple of days ago but unfortunately I’ve been a little tied up and there is a lot of news to post all of the sudden. But that’s all right, a lot of news is better than little or no news.

As you know, the Big Buck Hunter 2008 World Championship took place back on Oct. 18th and it sounds like it was a blast to witness. It was a double elimination tournament and in the end it came down to two players, Dan Mundschau and Jerad Berg. As the press release states, it was a very close (and thus exciting) match, catch the full rundown on the event after the break (along with extra pictures).


Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2008

It’s Halloween and so naturally it’s time to look for frigtening stuff. Arcades themselves have released a few games with a Halloween related theme to it (Splatterhouse, Chiller, House of the Dead, Carnevil, etc.) and here is a picture from a “pachinko graveyard” in Japan. I’m not sure if it’s real or not but it’s cool – I dare anyone to spend a night there. 😛

So what is your favorite Halloween/scary themed arcade game?

What is your favorite arcade game for Halloween?

[Pachinko graveyard via] [Discuss on the Forum]

Interesting new augmented reality arcade game on location test in Japan

October 28, 2008

Are you up for another unique game? I would be too but like usual this is only in Japan for now although it is a Sega title so perhaps there is a tiny possibility of it being seen elsewhere. The name of the game isn’t clear – the translator says it’s “Metallic-bath-and-low-preservation” which is Japanese for who-knows-what, but despite that the game involves using Lego-like blocks that the player takes and stacks together in front of the monitor and I think that some orange characters on the monitor will then climb up the stack you create to probably reach the top, while avoiding demons. If that is the case then the concept is sort of like the Atari 2600 title Save Mary but with the unique twist in how it is controlled.The only thing I’d be concerned about as an operator are people stealing the blocks so they’d need to be cheap and easy to replace.

This is the sort of thing I have talked about in the past – why limit games to the standard fare of racers and light-gun games when so much more can be done using arcades? Even when it’s gimmicky, it’s still refreshing to see them try new ideas of interactive entertainment.

[Via AM.Net Blog] [Discuss on the Forum]

Video footage of Sky Bandits

October 28, 2008

Graffiti Entertainment, the developers behind the new Sky Bandits game for GlobalVR’s Vortek V3 system has released some videos of the new game in action. I’m not sure how other games compare on the same platform but this doesn’t look bad considering the age of the system. My distributor tells me that it can also run on Tsunami motion cabinets, which is an interesting prospect (too bad I still can’t get the joystick to mine working properly, even after replacing it). Here is a video of Sky Bandits, you can also check GVR’s site for extra info.

(Thanks to Kevin for the tip)

[SkyBandits @ Graffiti Ent. \ @ GlobalVR] [Discuss on the Forum]

Space Invaders art exhibits portray the story of a world invasion

October 27, 2008

Video games have almost always been a great place to find inspiration for creating art and in particular classic titles from what many call the 8-bit era. Quite a few classic arcade titles feature iconic characters that show up in art today, and in this case, it’s Space Invaders related. I have heard of someone going around the world putting up SI stuff and I am not sure if this is the same person or not but according to the map of exhibits, they have been all over the place, invading a number of venues on pretty much every continent except for South America. With this one it seems that Taito is content on not saying anything (unlike that WTC/SI thing a short while ago since this isn’t controversial)

[Urban Invasion Detected] [Discuss on the Forums]

The risk of doing business and dealing with sudden problems (arcade related)

October 25, 2008

One thing that is on the mind of most everyone in many countries is the state of the economy. It’s been quite a roller coaster in the States where I am; I know the other day the UK announced that it’s officially in a recession. Fortunately arcades historically do well in recessions – things were pretty bad at the end of the 70’s in the US yet that is considered the ‘Golden Age’ of arcades. People still need entertainment so we just need to provide them that for a good price.

In my case, running my arcade has been an adventure – the location I am at hasn’t done as well as I had hoped (I should have gone inside the mall instead of outside so I could capture more foot traffic) but things have done well enough for us to get by and that’s with a complete focus on video. I fully believe that an arcade with nothing but video can thrive, as long as it has the right game selection and it gets the word out.

But that might change with my location, which is where I pull the ‘risk’ part from in my title. When I took this location, I knew that the mall was going to begin reconstruction – adding new stores, bringing in bigger business, etc. I was assured that where my location was would not be touched until 2009, after my agreement had ended. Unfortunately, that appears to not be the case as yesterday while checking out PC games at a retailer in the mall, I overheard that a clothing store retailer called Ross is making their way into the mall and a lot of us little guys have an uncertain future ahead. I’ve heard a lot of rumors and I can’t get a hold of the mall management until Monday but according to a map of the renovation, my location is set to become a walkway/entrance to the mall. Strangely, most of the other tenants seem to know what is going on and the one behind us says they have until next Saturday to get out but we have heard nothing official so far.

So I’m not sure what will happen at this point, if I will have a place within the mall to move to or if I’ll have to find a new place elsewhere (which I’ve begun doing, just in case). This can be a blessing and a curse – a curse because I have a number of regulars who I might loose in the process a blessing because it’s chance to find a higher traffic location and perhaps with better internet access than what we have. I just didn’t expect to have to deal with this until next May when my contract was up and it just doesn’t seem like a good time to have to move around. Whatever happens I’ll make the most of it.

UPDATE: I talked with the mall today and I can rest easy for now – at least until January. The construction of the new store won’t affect me until then and they are going to see if I can move to a new location within the mall. That depends on certain factors of course but at least I’ll have mroe time to weigh my options.

[Discuss on the Forum]

Namco sets up a Razing Storm website

October 23, 2008

Among the new game revelations last month was Namco’s light-gun shooter called Razing Storm and in Japan it is going on location test and it has a website set up to describe the game in Japanese. It looks like the information provided is the same as what we saw in flyer scans from last month but with clearer images it’s easier to see what’s going on.

From what I can tell this appears to be a sequel of sorts (at least spiritually) to Namco’s Crisis Zone, which had it’s own small ties to the Time Crisis series. There are destructible environments (but on a much larger scale than CZ), terrorists and the foot pedal puts you behind a bullet proof shield. One notable difference is that you can see the gun you currently have selected on screen, which is something more reminiscent of first-person shooters and not light-gun titles. Razing Storm also uses a dts digital surround sound system to should provide a neat audio experience to compliment the great graphics. The only question now is how much is this going to cost operators (which trickles down to players at the coin slot) and will it be available outside of Japan? On top of that, how much will replacement guns go for? I’ve seen a few Crisis Zone cabs be decommissioned once the gun failed since a replacement costs around $800 (and I thought that paying $50-60 for a game console controller this generation sucked) so hopefully they’ll be way below that.

Personally I was quite a fan of Crisis Zone, I once got to a point where I could complete the entire game in under 13 minutes without getting hit once so I am curious to see how Razing Storm plays in comparison, but we’ll have to wait until at least March (when the game is released in Japan) to know more.

[Razing Storm Japanese Site] [Discuss on the Forum]

A little more on Castlevania: The Arcade Game

October 23, 2008

It will be nice when they develop transporters – then when some new game comes out in Japan I can just head over and give it a hands-on look. Of course so can everyone else at that point but that’s OK. Here is a lucky user that got some hands-on time with Konami’s new arcade installment of CastleVania, the one with the motion whip controllers that make you think of Wiimotes for obvious reasons, and it becomes even more obvious as you read about how the game plays.

From the description they give about the game it sounds a lot like Samurai Warriors Katana for the Wii where there is both slashing and shooting to be had. There is even waggling action where you have to shake Death’s stare off of you.  Enemies that are close you whip to death and those that are far away you shoot by pointing the controller at the screen to aim and then press a button on it to shoot. The game on test was set to a high level difficulty and it didn’t skimp on the monsters which I think is a good thing.

So far all the hands-on reports have been quite positive for CastleVania arcade which is more than could be said of Silent Hill. We still can’t wait to see this thing in motion but even in grainy cell phone camera stills it looks like graphically it holds up well.

[CastleVania Arcade hands on @ Siliconera] [Discuss on the Forum]

Video Review: House of the Dead 4 by Sega

October 23, 2008

It’s been a little while but I found the time to do another game review, this time for Sega’s House of the Dead 4. I have been having a number of problems with the cabinet I have – from the guns to the monitors but when it doesn’t have problems it’s a great game. There are a lot more zombies in this than in the other HOTD games so the machine gun is a nice addition. I’m sorry if it’s hard to hear what I say in the video at certain points, I tried to talk loud but I guess the game volume was too high. 🙂

[Discuss on the Forum]

Boy gets hand caught inside coin door outlet, almost loses hand

October 21, 2008

 In the time that I have worked in an arcade (not just my own but also another local arcade I managed a couple of years back) I have seen a few injuries where people get cut on metal edges sometimes found with certain games. But I have never heard of something like this before. A 5-year old boy in Bahrain made a visit to an arcade there with his parents and after losing a coin in the game and the eject button not giving him his coin back, he put his hand into the coin outlet and got his hand stuck in there for more than two hours. The parents tried for a half an hour to get his hand out and after no success, they called the fire department to come and free the boy’s hand. His hand came out quite bruised and with a severe cut on his finger and the doctors had to operate for several hours to save the finger and rest of his hand. They are not sure how his hand will do but this it is this sort of thing you always worry about when running a business. The article doesn’t say whether the arcade had any attendants present and it’s for stuff like this that I think it’s important for at least one person to keep an eye out in case some one hurts themselves.

[Via Gulf Daily Net] [Discuss on the Forum]