Archive for May 21, 2009

Rifftrax derezzes TRON

May 21, 2009

Label this under the “somewhat related to arcade games” category but Rifftrax – which is helmed by three former cast members of the hysterically funny show Mystery Science Theater 3000 – has released a rifftrak for the beloved movie which features plenty of concepts gleaned from arcade games, TRON. What is Rifftrax? This link explains all but essentially it is a downloadable commentary that is released for a DVD movie where the commentators riff on the film – similar to MST3k but without the shadows and the hosting segments.

As a fan of  TRON, MST3k and Rifftrax I have wanted to see them do TRON for a while now and they finally have – sort of. Unfortunately none of the former MST3k guys are on the track for this one, instead they got Johnathan Coulton, Paul and Storm. I’m not sure who they are but they seem to do a decent job at riffing the movie if the sample below is any indication.

Next up they need to take on another arcade-related movie known as Joysticks (if this movie had been more popular I would maintain that it is the real reason that the game industry crashed but then again it’s mere existence may have caused it too) . I have never seen it myself but from what little I have seen on youtube it looks pretty terrible and thus ripe for riffing.

[Rifftrax.com]

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Funspot announces the 11th annual Classic Video game tournament

May 21, 2009

funspottourneyWe all know that Funspot is one of the coolest arcades on the planet and for the 11th time they are going to hold their big Classic Video Game Tournament. The tourney begins on May 28th and goes until the 31st. Admission is $30 which includes 175 game tokens and access to what is perhaps the largest collection of classic arcade gaming available to the public. A few mroe details from the press release:

For the 2009 tournament there will be a 15 game video game contest and the Manufacturer’s Challenge featuring 6 classic games from a single manufacturer. Last year, Taito was the manufacturer of choice. Which company will it be this year? To keep the competition as even as possible, the game selections will be announced on Thursday, May 28th, the first day of the 4-day event. There will not be a pinball event during the tournament this year.

New for 2009 will be the awarding of cash prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishes in the video game tournament. First place will be $500, second place $200 and third place $100. There will be a $200 prize for the1st place winner of the Manufacturer’s Challenge. In addition, cash prizes will be awarded to the winner of each daily Mystery Game Tournament; a popular segment which requires entrants to compete on only one game.

For more info, check out The American Classic Arcade Museum website

[Via Barcade.com]

Woman leaves child in car to play unspecified arcade games, gets arrested

May 21, 2009

Gamespy reports that the AP reports on a case where a babysitter left a one year old in the car to play video games at a gas station recently. Gamespy says it was an arcade game although the AP report doesn’t mention that but I don’t know what else she would play there and what game it so happened to be that enthralled the 56-year old woman to leave the child in the car. I guess I am a little surprised since it’s been ages since I saw an arcade game at a local gas station – I remember a 7-11 always having two in the corner for years and years but one day I went in there and they had an ATM machine instead. Where this news story is coming out of Georgia, I do wonder if they have gambling games in gas stations or not. Either way, as much as I love arcade gaming, if you are responsible for watching a child, take care of that first and then play – it is possible to do both without being negligent.

Speaking of which I have seen something like that happen at my arcade before although it was on the LAN we have there when we had a couple of WOW players who would bring their kids in and then zone out completely and left us to watch them. That didn’t last very long though as I let them have a piece of my mind about it but sadly I imagine from what they told me they acted virtually the same whether they were home or elsewhere if WoW was in front of them. Anyways, here’s the link to the story below.

[Gamespy: Woman Abandons child in car to play Arcade game]

The 1st Sydney Pinball Festival

May 21, 2009

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Despite the fact that there is only one pinball manufacturer around these days, interest in pinball itself doesn’t seem to be waning, if the number of pinball expos popping up around the world is any indication. The most recent festival that celebrates the game took place in Sydney Austrailia and Just One More Game got a chance to visit the show and they have posted their review. It looks like it was a lot of fun as there were plenty of pins to play, stacked back-to-back and side-to-side in quite a large room. Stern’s latest offerings were there to be seen, which includes 24 and NBA pinball. It sounds like people really enjoyed the NBA pin so that’s good for Stern since the game has appeal in international markets.

On top of that, one enthusiast at the expo was showing off their own home-made pinball machine, Coconut Island. The use of an LCD monitor is pretty interesting (and IMHO it’s about time someone tried that) but it’s hard to see the playfield very well from the pic. It’s taken the designer 2 years to make it – I am curious to know if he plans on making more than one.

For the full run down, check it out at Just One More Game.

Elevator Action Death Parade gets an official site

May 21, 2009

Taito’s new update of one of their classic properties, Elevator Action: Death Parade isn’t due to hit Japanese arcades until November of this year but they now have a website set up for the game that will certainly be a place for occasional bits of info to come along on the light-gun rendition of this classic. We still have no idea if Taito will release this game in other markets – they previously have released games like Chase HQ2 through different channels in the US and Europe but beyond that we don’t see many Taito games made for markets outside of Japan these days. I imagine that EADP would work out pretty well in the US/European market assuming that people leave the elevator doors in front of the screen alone (which is one of the more interesting features that this game has). In case you have missed out on EADP, here’s a video of the game in action from AOU2009:

[Elevator Action Death Parade Official Site]

New arcade releases this week: Nirin and Dance Dance Revolution X

May 21, 2009

My local distributor tells me that two new games are now shipping out to various distributors and thus will be showing up at different locations around the country within the next few weeks.

First off, Nirin by Namco. I got a chance to play this at ASI and it was cool – the graphics are really good and the cabinet is very attractive. It’s a little bit more technical than a motorcycle racer like Super Bikes. As a small operator I really don’t care for the price which is around $10k per unit (it varies by distributor) but at least it’s arcade exclusive and even if it was released to console they can never compete with the feel of the game with it’s controller. We will also have to wait and see now what Namco will do for arcades throughout the rest of the year, so far Razing Storm and Nirin are the only two titles that we know about for sure that Namco is bringing to the US for the moment, hopefully they will give us more than two games this year.

Here’s a video that Namco Bandai has posted of the game in case you have missed it and here’s a page announcing the release of the game:

Next up, the latest game in the long line of the DDR series which is also celebrating 10 years of DDR gaming, Konami’s DDR:X is also now available. They’ve added an SD card feature so players can create their own dance steps and upload them to the game, shock arrows and a huge list of songs. At ASI I was told DDRX would sell for a little less than $10k (as always, distributor prices vary) which is a nice change from having DDR games come around for $13k-$14k.

UPDATE: I fixed the video, sorry about that. Also Betson let Bemanistyle know that DDR:X will begin shipping in June – for some reason my local distributor had said that DDRX was shipping already and they usually are accurate about that so I apologize for the confusion. either way Nirin is defenitely shipping out to distributors and next week H2Overdrive will be shipping according to my information (which I am checking up on with Raw Thrills).

One more update: It looks like my distributor wasn’t the only one who thought that this was shipping this week, BMI Gaming also has listed the game as “Now Shipping”

New Dave and Busters opening in Indiana

May 21, 2009

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Thdaveandbuste last time we talked about Dave and Busters, earnings were down a little bit for them and we hadn’t heard much about their plans to deal with the economy as it is. This time, we have news of a new D&B to open in Indianapolis Indiana. It’s not much in the way of news but it’s something and every new arcade that opens is a good thing in my view. I have also noticed that Indiana has been in the news a little bit when it comes to arcade-related things as we had a new large FEC open there earlier this year.

[Via Indystar.com]