Archive for March 24, 2009

IRRobot's MaruBot Football League

March 24, 2009

marubot1

stinger11

One development that I have always kept an eye out for in the coin-op arcade sector is the creation of new kinds of experiences that are extremely difficult to reproduce at home and aren’t intended solely for huge FECs. This would include the creation of player-controller robot games, the likes of which we have seen previously with games like Slambot and Robo-Basho.

A new company out of Korea has thrown their hat into the ring for the development of arcade machines involving robots and that company is called IR Robot or Intelligent Recreational Robot. Their first product is called MaruBot Football League, a game that they say has the potential to “…replace world-wide popular table marubot2[air] hockey game[s] in the future.” I don’t know about that yet but I do believe that the potential for robotic games like this in arcades is huge because it does give us an advantage over home games and it’s the kind of thing that could attract people to come out and play on it’s own.

MaruBot Football comes in two flavors, a 2 player and a 4 player cabinet that is quite attractive and the game is simple enough for anyone to come along and play. They do state on their website that they intend to distribute these games all over the world but I do not know if they are planning on direct selling or if they intend to setup deals with various distributors in different countries. There is no price on it yet either so we will have to wait and see how that turns out – I know with Slambot they had a version that was reasonably priced so perhaps this will be too.  IRRobot has even created a redemption game called Golden Dozer that uses similar robots in a different kind of game than MaruBot Football. To top it off they are working on a very cool concept that combines real robot tanks with a virtual playing field called Battle Tank Robot. While they say that this is the first of it’s kind, I have seen something like that before in a video that was on Tom’s Hardware a long time ago although I do not know if what I saw there was intended for commerical use – this would be and it would be ready to go for arcades so we will keep an eye on that as if it’s done right it could be very cool.

In the meantime, check out their website for more.

[IRRobot – MaruBot Football League] [Discuss on the Forum]

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IRRobot’s MaruBot Football League

March 24, 2009

marubot1

stinger11

One development that I have always kept an eye out for in the coin-op arcade sector is the creation of new kinds of experiences that are extremely difficult to reproduce at home and aren’t intended solely for huge FECs. This would include the creation of player-controller robot games, the likes of which we have seen previously with games like Slambot and Robo-Basho.

A new company out of Korea has thrown their hat into the ring for the development of arcade machines involving robots and that company is called IR Robot or Intelligent Recreational Robot. Their first product is called MaruBot Football League, a game that they say has the potential to “…replace world-wide popular table marubot2[air] hockey game[s] in the future.” I don’t know about that yet but I do believe that the potential for robotic games like this in arcades is huge because it does give us an advantage over home games and it’s the kind of thing that could attract people to come out and play on it’s own.

MaruBot Football comes in two flavors, a 2 player and a 4 player cabinet that is quite attractive and the game is simple enough for anyone to come along and play. They do state on their website that they intend to distribute these games all over the world but I do not know if they are planning on direct selling or if they intend to setup deals with various distributors in different countries. There is no price on it yet either so we will have to wait and see how that turns out – I know with Slambot they had a version that was reasonably priced so perhaps this will be too.  IRRobot has even created a redemption game called Golden Dozer that uses similar robots in a different kind of game than MaruBot Football. To top it off they are working on a very cool concept that combines real robot tanks with a virtual playing field called Battle Tank Robot. While they say that this is the first of it’s kind, I have seen something like that before in a video that was on Tom’s Hardware a long time ago although I do not know if what I saw there was intended for commerical use – this would be and it would be ready to go for arcades so we will keep an eye on that as if it’s done right it could be very cool.

In the meantime, check out their website for more.

[IRRobot – MaruBot Football League] [Discuss on the Forum]

Jeuxactu.com interviews KOFXII producer Maasaki Kukinko

March 24, 2009

kofinterview

stinger11

A lot of people are excited about SNK’s upcoming King Of Fighters XII. I am one of them although I do admit that my enthusiasm for the game has been dampered a little bit by the impending console release in the US on July 7th (the game is scheduled to be released in arcades in Japan in April) and it seems like they have decided to use the VS. format only for the game like SFIV which means that operators have to buy two units, thus increasing the cost of investment on the game (in the comments fubarduck says otherwise). Despite those problems (from my operator point of view), it  still looks like a great game so I look forward to playing it either way.

Anyways, there is an interview up on French gaming site Jeuxactu with the producer of KOFXII, Maasaki Kukinko. They talk about HD graphics and the decision to stick with 2D art for this one, how the gameplay compares to other KOF games (it appears that they are trying to make it feel more like KOF98) and more. Hit the link below for the translation.

[Maasaki Kukinko Interview – Jeuxactu] [Discuss on the Forum]

Taito's Space Invaders 30th Anniversary Celebration to end with a bang

March 24, 2009

stinger11

taitohappystation_buppan090302_42I received this a couple of days ago but as it was all in Japanese in a form that the online translator could not do anything with it (I have noticed many Japanese sites like to do that, where all the text is done in the forms of JPEGs or something similar), I had to resort to other means to figure out what on earth this Taito promotion site was talking about. Thankfully, Aaron Auzins of bemanistyle.com was able to translate what it was that was going on and so here is his rundown on what Taito is doing this Thursday in Japan.

“Even though it’s 2009, Taito is still looking to party like it’s 2008 with one, final event in recognition of its flagship Space Invaders’ 30th anniversary. For an event on Thursday, Taito will be rolling out special versions dubbed Space Invaders CX to six different Taito Happy Station locations in Japan, putting up exclusive goods and a chance to attend a special event later that evening.

Space Invaders has been showcased in arcades since 1978 and a special event in Akihabara’s UDX Gallery will be home to a special “retro free play” event from 14:00-18:00 on March 26. The game’s page shows a
number of cabinets with release dates ranging from 1986 onward, so, hopefully this represents titles that will be present at the event. From top to bottom, the page includes photos of Ninja Warriors (1987),
Darius (1986), Night Striker (1989), as well as two recent Taito games shown at AOU, Hopping Road and Senyoru Nippon.

However, attending the event is more than a matter of showing up at the door. Starting at 10:00, prospective attendees must attend events set up at six different Taito Station arcades.

In a cross promotion with GameCenter CX (GCCX), a popular television series in Japan now in its 11th season where comedian Shinya Arino plays video games under a time limit and goal, the event is being
billed as Space Invaders X (pronounced “cross”) GCCX and places Space Invaders CX machines at the locations. The show was popular enough to be made into a Nintendo DS video game entitled GameCenter CX: Arino’s
Challenge in 2007 – a title that was recently brought to the United States (sans references to the televisions show that would be unfamiliar to the region’s audience) under the title Retro Game Challenge – so Game Master Arino is no stranger to being featured in a video game. The CX version of the arcade machine seems nearly
identical to the original game, however, a caricature of Arino replaces the mystery point UFO.

The Station locations featuring the machine include Shinjuku, Shibuya, Akihabara, Ikebukuro, BIGBOX Takadanobaba (Tokyo) and Ueno, with each location hosting two sets of machines. When the event launches,
players can pick up a stamp card. Players get one chance per location to shoot down the flying Arino and if they are successful, they receive a stamp on their card.

It seems if you receive two or more stamps from the various locations, you can be admitted to the UDX Gallery event, where, if I’m translating this correctly, you can receive a business card from Mr. Arino himself. While this might sound silly to those outside of Japan, business card trading is very serious in the country and I
would be led to believe the business card would be from the GameCenter CX Company, the fictitious company Arino works for in the television series, making it a gaming collectible. Also, each of the six stamp
locations has a unique stuffed mascot character available, being based on Arino and some of the characters from the GCCX video game RPG, and original GCCX merchandise will also be available for purchase during
the event.

This sounds like a fantastic promotion and it also seems the stamp card craze is still running strong in Japan’s arcades. Konami is also running stamp card promotions in which AOU attendees and members of other events could receive stamps toward Bemani tumblers (coffee mugs). Hopefully the Space Invaders’ 30th anniversary finale goes out with a bang, leaving us wondering what could top such a grand event for the series’ 40th or even 50th anniversary.”

[Discuss on the Forum]

Taito’s Space Invaders 30th Anniversary Celebration to end with a bang

March 24, 2009

stinger11

taitohappystation_buppan090302_42I received this a couple of days ago but as it was all in Japanese in a form that the online translator could not do anything with it (I have noticed many Japanese sites like to do that, where all the text is done in the forms of JPEGs or something similar), I had to resort to other means to figure out what on earth this Taito promotion site was talking about. Thankfully, Aaron Auzins of bemanistyle.com was able to translate what it was that was going on and so here is his rundown on what Taito is doing this Thursday in Japan.

“Even though it’s 2009, Taito is still looking to party like it’s 2008 with one, final event in recognition of its flagship Space Invaders’ 30th anniversary. For an event on Thursday, Taito will be rolling out special versions dubbed Space Invaders CX to six different Taito Happy Station locations in Japan, putting up exclusive goods and a chance to attend a special event later that evening.

Space Invaders has been showcased in arcades since 1978 and a special event in Akihabara’s UDX Gallery will be home to a special “retro free play” event from 14:00-18:00 on March 26. The game’s page shows a
number of cabinets with release dates ranging from 1986 onward, so, hopefully this represents titles that will be present at the event. From top to bottom, the page includes photos of Ninja Warriors (1987),
Darius (1986), Night Striker (1989), as well as two recent Taito games shown at AOU, Hopping Road and Senyoru Nippon.

However, attending the event is more than a matter of showing up at the door. Starting at 10:00, prospective attendees must attend events set up at six different Taito Station arcades.

In a cross promotion with GameCenter CX (GCCX), a popular television series in Japan now in its 11th season where comedian Shinya Arino plays video games under a time limit and goal, the event is being
billed as Space Invaders X (pronounced “cross”) GCCX and places Space Invaders CX machines at the locations. The show was popular enough to be made into a Nintendo DS video game entitled GameCenter CX: Arino’s
Challenge in 2007 – a title that was recently brought to the United States (sans references to the televisions show that would be unfamiliar to the region’s audience) under the title Retro Game Challenge – so Game Master Arino is no stranger to being featured in a video game. The CX version of the arcade machine seems nearly
identical to the original game, however, a caricature of Arino replaces the mystery point UFO.

The Station locations featuring the machine include Shinjuku, Shibuya, Akihabara, Ikebukuro, BIGBOX Takadanobaba (Tokyo) and Ueno, with each location hosting two sets of machines. When the event launches,
players can pick up a stamp card. Players get one chance per location to shoot down the flying Arino and if they are successful, they receive a stamp on their card.

It seems if you receive two or more stamps from the various locations, you can be admitted to the UDX Gallery event, where, if I’m translating this correctly, you can receive a business card from Mr. Arino himself. While this might sound silly to those outside of Japan, business card trading is very serious in the country and I
would be led to believe the business card would be from the GameCenter CX Company, the fictitious company Arino works for in the television series, making it a gaming collectible. Also, each of the six stamp
locations has a unique stuffed mascot character available, being based on Arino and some of the characters from the GCCX video game RPG, and original GCCX merchandise will also be available for purchase during
the event.

This sounds like a fantastic promotion and it also seems the stamp card craze is still running strong in Japan’s arcades. Konami is also running stamp card promotions in which AOU attendees and members of other events could receive stamps toward Bemani tumblers (coffee mugs). Hopefully the Space Invaders’ 30th anniversary finale goes out with a bang, leaving us wondering what could top such a grand event for the series’ 40th or even 50th anniversary.”

[Discuss on the Forum]