Archive for January 2009

Nanotech Entertainment to release Xtreme Rally Racing at ATEI and IGX

January 25, 2009

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stinger11

(click on the images to enlarge)

Nanotech Entertainment has revealed a new coin-op arcade racing title that they are releasing at ATEI and the “alternate show” IGX and it is AFAIK, their second video game to the arcade market if you count their virtual pinball unit called MultiPin but their first “arcade” style game. Called Xtreme Rally Racing, they are definently taking shot at Sega Rally 3 (even their flyer says “Absolutely the best racing game in the world” where Sega used the word “Probably…”), and they have a few options in the game to help it stand out on it’s own.

Perhaps the most interesting feature they mention in the press release is what they call the “Xtreme Off-Road feature” where you can “Race Head-to-Head against other players and the gview2computer to checkpoints while driving anywhere on the map with no present course”. While they did recreate some real courses, the addition of the going anywhere element should prove to be fun, especially where you don’t see that very often in arcade titles.

Xtreme Rally Racing also provides head-to-head online racing so you can compete with anyone in the world via the internet. That is another feature we haven’t seen much of in arcade racers although it has been done before with games like a tournament edition of SF Rush 2049 where it proved to be successful.

From the shots on the flyer the game looks very impressive with highly detailed cars, HD resolutions and even HDR lighting.If it holds at a steady and high frame rate, it should be a sight to behold at arcades.

One last thing before we get to the press release – with this we can effectively put Nanotech into the realm of an arcade developer in the US – before this was held by only three companies (as far as their parent companies residing in the US and not Japan) so with a fourth, it does show an expansion in the market. More game companies = more games for arcades and for players.

We will have more information on this game as well as on others over the next few days with out ATEI coverage so stay tuned. It is strange however that the press release does not mention a booth to see it at or any distribution info.

For more info, hit the post break below. You can also visit Nanotech’s website or discuss this on our forums. We have also added the game to our Master Release Game List for 2009.

UPDATE: It looks like Xtreme Rally Racing may be based upon a game called Xpand Rally Xtreme. How much the games differ in terms of both gameplay and graphics remains to be seen (although from the still shots on the flyer, it looks like the graphics haven’t changed much – we’ll have to see if they’ve bumped up the framerate) but so you have an idea of what Xtreme Rally Racing may look and play like, we’ve embedded the video after the break.

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A look back at the H2Overdrive that wasn't

January 24, 2009

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(This image is the PS2 game that never was, NOT a beta of the upcoming arcade title)

stinger11  

As you might know, H2Overdrive was a name for a cancelled PS2 title that was set to appear back in 2001 but for whatever reason it never came to be. It should be noted that while the new H2Overdrive by Raw Thrills’ is not based upon this cancelled game, the PS2 version was looking at Hydro Thunder for its inspiration. And this also didn’t have anything to do with the never-released sequel to Hydro Thunder by Midway.

[H2Overdrive PS2 game @ IGN] [Discuss on the Forum]

A look back at the H2Overdrive that wasn’t

January 24, 2009

h2o_3_640w

(This image is the PS2 game that never was, NOT a beta of the upcoming arcade title)

stinger11  

As you might know, H2Overdrive was a name for a cancelled PS2 title that was set to appear back in 2001 but for whatever reason it never came to be. It should be noted that while the new H2Overdrive by Raw Thrills’ is not based upon this cancelled game, the PS2 version was looking at Hydro Thunder for its inspiration. And this also didn’t have anything to do with the never-released sequel to Hydro Thunder by Midway.

[H2Overdrive PS2 game @ IGN] [Discuss on the Forum]

Videos and more screens of H2Overdrive hit the net

January 24, 2009

1uph2o

(Image via 1up.com) (Thanks to everyone that sent this in!)

The floodgates have opened up on Raw Thrills’ new game H2Overdrive and the news continues to be good about the Hydro Thunder’s spiritual successor. Gamevideos.com has some videos on this now (I’ve been wondering when arcade companies would use resources like that or Gametrailers to really promote their games) and it looks awesome. Also, 1up.com has a preview of the game overall with more screens worth gawking at and a bit of info on how the game has come together along with the game itself and how it employs a leveling up system and a keypad so you can save your progress, etc. It seems like they have taken some of the better elements from the Tokyo Drift series and incorporated it into the Hydro Thunder formula to make one heck of a game.

I am quite happy to see an arcade title get this level of attention, as we all know it doesn’t happen often anymore that a coin-op arcade game generates this much excitement so hopefully this trend will continue into the future. You might recall that for Raw Thrills’ part that they have invested quite a bit of capital into new game development and I think that what we have seen over the past few months is just the tip of the iceberg.

BTW- It also has been revealed that this is the game that Specular Interactive has been working on for Raw Thrills. We mentioned them quite a while back when it was revealed that they were working on something for Raw Thrills’ but all we could do was guess at what it was and we obviously weren’t even close. Here’s hoping that they keep it up after H2Overdrive though!

Little update: I just remembered that there is another boat racing game that is supposed to come to arcades sometime this year called Power Boat by InJoy, which we saw last year at IAAPA. Looks like boat racing is back in style.

[1up.com H2Overdrive preview] [H2Overdrive on GameVideos.com]

Seta Corp and Jaleco Ltd. close shop in Japan

January 23, 2009

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Right on the heels of some positive economic news for the amusement industry in India, comes some negative amusement related news from Japan. Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report has the rundown on Seta Corp. and Jaleco Ltd. closing up, both of which have had their hand in the amusement/arcade sector with a number of games released in the past, although arcade gaming has not been their primary focus for some time now. Hit the post break for the story.

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Amusement industry bucking the slowdown trend…in India

January 23, 2009

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As we know, many different parts of the the world are experiencing an economic slowdown and when this happens, it’s natural for many kinsd of industries to be hit hard. We’ve been hearing of layoffs and closures of many businesses, even in the game world (in fact we have some news on a couple of amusement related businesses in Japan closing which I’ll post later). But historically, entertainment, especially out-of-home entertainment is known to do all right or good during recessions as people look for an escape. Such is the case in India right now, where there is a slowdown occurring in that country too but the amusement industry there is bucking the trend and continuing to grow at a rate of 10% -15%. One interesting note made in the article we’re gleaning this information from is that the sector began to market aggressively and that is definitely paying off.

It does make me wonder about how the amusement industry as a whole is doing in the US and Europe right now – from my small business perspective, things at my arcade have remained steady after December was one of our best months yet and I haven’t been able to really market at all since November as my hands are tied with the forced move which can occur any day now. While I have had a few regulars stop coming frequently due to economic circumstances in their personal lives, I have also gained new customers who come just about every day. Either way, I don’t see my arcade as being a casualty of the recession anytime soon, and when I pick up BlazBlue and Guitar Hero along with the new location, I think that we will continue to grow. I hope that the same can be said for other arcades around the country as well as this year unfolds.

[Via The Economic Times] [Discuss on the Forum]

New boat racing game by Raw Thrills' and the Hydro Thunder team to be at ATEI (UPDATED w/ SCREENS & CONTROL INFO)

January 22, 2009

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(Click on any image to enlarge it)

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Raw Thrills’ has revealed to us a brand new racing game that will be shown at ATEI next week that is tentatively called “H2Overdrive” (which is not based upon the PS2 game of the same name). In news that should be music to the ears of Hydro Thunder fans, Raw Thrills’ has brought together the original team that created Hydro Thunder to give us this new game, which will feature many of the things players loved about that game (such as the huge drops and many shortcuts) but add some new aspects to it as well (which they couldn’t say much about at this time).

The cabinet to be shown features a 42″  LCD HD screen, pulsing LED lights and the game itself looks “amazing”. We’ll have more on this when ATEI rolls around in a few days!

UPDATE: We just received the first screenshots of H2Overdrive from Raw Thrills’. Many thanks to them for sending us these pics. Now just imagine the game running at 60 fps on a 42″ screen and we have a good idea of what it will look like in person 😉

boat1 boat3 boat4

UPDATE #2: I asked Andrew Eloff at Raw Thrills’ about the throttle control on H2Overdrive and he has confirmed that the new game does indeed use the Hydro Throttle like what was used in the original game but it has been “upgraded to be more reliable PLUS with cool new features!”. He also tells us that “The whole cabinet is a radical departure from the original Hydro…This cabinet is brand new from the ground up.”

More reason to rejoice!

As a side note, we have added H2Overdrive to our Master Release List for 2009.

UPDATE #3 (6/4/09) – I have done an interview with Steve Ranck of Specular Interactive where we discuss the game along with a ton of new details on what will make this game stand out not only from Hydro Thunder but from other arcade titles as well. Check it out here.

[Raw Thrills’] [Discuss on the Forum]

New boat racing game by Raw Thrills’ and the Hydro Thunder team to be at ATEI (UPDATED w/ SCREENS & CONTROL INFO)

January 22, 2009

boat2

(Click on any image to enlarge it)

ateilogo

Raw Thrills’ has revealed to us a brand new racing game that will be shown at ATEI next week that is tentatively called “H2Overdrive” (which is not based upon the PS2 game of the same name). In news that should be music to the ears of Hydro Thunder fans, Raw Thrills’ has brought together the original team that created Hydro Thunder to give us this new game, which will feature many of the things players loved about that game (such as the huge drops and many shortcuts) but add some new aspects to it as well (which they couldn’t say much about at this time).

The cabinet to be shown features a 42″  LCD HD screen, pulsing LED lights and the game itself looks “amazing”. We’ll have more on this when ATEI rolls around in a few days!

UPDATE: We just received the first screenshots of H2Overdrive from Raw Thrills’. Many thanks to them for sending us these pics. Now just imagine the game running at 60 fps on a 42″ screen and we have a good idea of what it will look like in person 😉

boat1 boat3 boat4

UPDATE #2: I asked Andrew Eloff at Raw Thrills’ about the throttle control on H2Overdrive and he has confirmed that the new game does indeed use the Hydro Throttle like what was used in the original game but it has been “upgraded to be more reliable PLUS with cool new features!”. He also tells us that “The whole cabinet is a radical departure from the original Hydro…This cabinet is brand new from the ground up.”

More reason to rejoice!

As a side note, we have added H2Overdrive to our Master Release List for 2009.

UPDATE #3 (6/4/09) – I have done an interview with Steve Ranck of Specular Interactive where we discuss the game along with a ton of new details on what will make this game stand out not only from Hydro Thunder but from other arcade titles as well. Check it out here.

[Raw Thrills’] [Discuss on the Forum]

The SuperAuctions arcade calendar from now until June 2009

January 22, 2009

sauctionsIf you are an arcade collector or wish to start on that collection of yours, then one great place to go is to a SuperAuction, which are held at various locations all over the US throughout the year. If you are curious to know if one will be coming to your area anytime from now until June of this year, you can check out the SuperAuctions Amusement calendar page. There they detail upcoming events, listing times, places and even the kinds of games you can expect to find there. From arcade to redemption to pinball titles, it seems like they always have something worth grabbing at these auctions.In fact there is on happening next week where they are selling over 500 items in Tennessee, which is too far for me but should definently prove worthwhile to those who can make it.

(thanks ti Eric Wang for pointing this out)

[SuperAuctions Amusement Calendar] [Discuss on the Forums]

Konami Europe embraces Electrocoin for distribution in Europe, Mid-East, Russia

January 22, 2009

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As part of Konami’s comeback strategy, they have partnered up with distributor Electrocoin to handle their distribution and after sales needs in Europe, the Mid-East and Russia. In the press release they mention the names of a few games which Electrocoin will be distributing for them, including Guitar Hero Arcade, DDR: X and GTI Club Supermini Festa. There’s not much information beyond that (you can read the press release after the jump) but in case this affect any of you out there and you’ll be at ATEI next week, you can also find out more by visiting the Konami booth at the show.

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