Archive for July 15, 2009

DDRX cabinets not all they are cracked up to be?

July 15, 2009

ddrx

Konami’s most recent arcade release, DDRX is available for purchase and can be found at a number of locations around the US and Europe but how has the game held up to both fan expectations and scrutiny? I was contacted by Eddie Lehecka of BeamniStyle.com and it appears that all is not well for DDRX as fans have found that the game is not living up to the hype created for it. Now they do not wish to see the game tank – these are dedicated fans of bemani gaming and in particular DDR and they would prefer to see the issues with the game addressed quickly so that support for the DDR name doesn’t wane with both hardcore and casual players in the market.

It’s not just the fact the game isn’t meeting expectations – there are some changes in the cabinet that are different than those advertised, such as the fact that the game uses USB ports as opposed to SD card slots, the floor sensors are very flawed, screen lag is a common complaint  and there are issues with the sound system on top of that as well. Of all the things that should not be a problem is the dance pad itself – if this doesn’t work correctly then the rest of the game will suffer no matter how well it has been programmed. But as Levar Burton is known to say, don’t take my word for – an extensive amount of fan backlash can be read at the links below, attesting to these problems.

Feedback from fans and general users regarding DDRX

A review of DDRX arcade written by a BemaniStyle.com staff member and 10 year DDR player

I have personally seen the game once at ASI but I did not get to take a detailed look at the cabinet itself. If you have seen it and played the game extensively, what are your thoughts on it?

[Discuss on the Forums]

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Virtusphere – a good improvement in VR technology

July 15, 2009

stinger

One of the many things that was a downside to player involvement in VR gaming was the fact that other applications generally kept the player in one spot and you would have to use a control of some sort to move around – which is not realistic. One company has found a way to get around that with their Virtusphere technology, which as they describe it acts as a hamster ball for humans but also behaves as a controller for players to walk around in any direction while they wear a VR headset. It’s a pretty cool jump in what can be done with VR although if you had something like this on a location you would probably have to make sure someone is there to make sure that the player gets in and out OK.

[Via GameRoom Magazine]

[Discuss on the Forums]

KOF 2002 Unlimited Match released in Japan

July 15, 2009

kof2k2um

stinger

In May we reported that King of Fighters 2002 was going to get it’s own upgrade similar to what SNK did for KOF98 last year and the day has already arrived where the game is available in Japan for arcades and the Playstation 2. The updated version naturally sports new graphics and sounds and while I am not sure if there are any major roster changes it has a substantial number of characters to choose from just like you had with the original game.  They also state in the press release that there are new skills and techniques to be found in this game so it will be offering a slightly different (and I imagine improved) game for fans of the original. This also uses the System Board Y2, which is a low-end piece of arcade hardware that was announced in Japan earlier this year. From the specs on the hardware it looks like the arcade version should be capable of looking slightly nicer than the PS2 version but chances are it won’t be a gigantic difference.

[SNK Press release – KOF2002UM released] [Discuss on the Forums]

With all versions of SFIV out, which is the most secure for tournaments?

July 15, 2009

stinger

While the headline is basically a rhetorical question since we all know the answer, the question is being raised with Capcom’s console division now that the PC and even Xbox 360 versions of the game have been hacked by users to change move sets and more. As Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report tells us concerning SFIV tournaments:

The concern now is that prize tournament events will never be 100% secure unless carried out in a special location allowing the onsite monitoring of the players to ensure no cheating; this moving the amusement SFIV more and more as the only true tournament infrastructure for the game.”

Personally if I were going to compete on SFIV I would want it to be as close to the arcade as possible anyways but this does raise a good question in case anyone is concerned about sf08the version being used to play. Speaking of SFIV tournaments, we also have some news on a recent SFIV tournament that was held in South Korea, all inside of an arena that they are becoming famous for. The arcade version is the de facto standard for their tournaments and it looks like this particular tournament was pretty big.

Of course I am not against doing tournaments using other versions of the game – personally I am going to hold tournaments using the PC version of the game at my arcade as unfortunately getting an arcade setup is just out of the question due to price. I wouldn’t allow for any hacks to be used of course and if I could hold tournaments on the arcade version I gladly would. I imagine any ‘official’ tournaments will continue to be held with the arcade version and that will probably grow in case they release a new version of the game to arcades soon.

[Discuss on the Forums]

New FEC opens in Jordan – Jingo's Jungle

July 15, 2009

jingos

stinger

We don’t get a lot of arcade news coming out of the Middle East – most of what we do get comes from Dubai. But now a new developer is opening an FEC in the country of Jordan called Jingo’s Jungle, a 6456 sq. meter facility that offers every sorts of entertainment you would expect to find at an FEC, including an arcade with 81 games.  One unique feature they also have is a face painting and barber shop for kids; they also have a ‘multi-activity center’ where there is someone who tells stories to kids, an RC race track, bumper cars, various rides and more. Jingo’s Jungle is the first family entertainment center to open in Jordan and they already have worked on spreading the word by participating in a Kid’s Expo there. Good luck to Jingo’s Jungle, I imagine that if it is successful, Jordan could see more centers like it appear and who knows, perhaps soon we’ll start hearing about many more facilities opening across the Middle East.

[Jingo’s Jungle website (English)] [Via Menafn.com] [Discuss on the forums]

New FEC opens in Jordan – Jingo’s Jungle

July 15, 2009

jingos

stinger

We don’t get a lot of arcade news coming out of the Middle East – most of what we do get comes from Dubai. But now a new developer is opening an FEC in the country of Jordan called Jingo’s Jungle, a 6456 sq. meter facility that offers every sorts of entertainment you would expect to find at an FEC, including an arcade with 81 games.  One unique feature they also have is a face painting and barber shop for kids; they also have a ‘multi-activity center’ where there is someone who tells stories to kids, an RC race track, bumper cars, various rides and more. Jingo’s Jungle is the first family entertainment center to open in Jordan and they already have worked on spreading the word by participating in a Kid’s Expo there. Good luck to Jingo’s Jungle, I imagine that if it is successful, Jordan could see more centers like it appear and who knows, perhaps soon we’ll start hearing about many more facilities opening across the Middle East.

[Jingo’s Jungle website (English)] [Via Menafn.com] [Discuss on the forums]

An interview with Galloping Ghost

July 15, 2009

gghost

AH contributor Aaron Auzins has done an interview with Galloping Ghost Productions (makers of the new arcade fighter Dark Presence), and has been kind enough to pass it along to us. It gets into a lot of detail about GGP as a company as well as the long development process behind their upcoming arcade fighter Dark Presence.  Since it is too large to fit the whole thing on the front page, just hit the post break to read the rest. AA will denote Aaron who is asking the questions and Doc is the head of GG who is answering them.

AA: First of all, can you tell us how Galloping Ghost originally formed?
What prompted the initial desire to produce games for the arcade
format?

Doc: I actually started Galloping Ghost back in 1994 when attempting to
make a game with many of the same features as Dark Presence, but the
technology just was not there to do all the things we wanted. The
video quality was not the greatest from the start, and most of the
software tools had to be written from scratch. We got that game
nearly complete after several years. It was fun to play, but visually
it was not up to standards, so it never was released. After a break,
we started everything over and headed back to the filming studio. We
spent close to 3 years filming all of Dark Presence and Conquering
Light. We are still a pretty small company and most of the staff has
to pull multiple duties, but that has really only made things run very
cohesively for such a large project.
(more…)