Archive for September 10, 2009

Another 10th anniversary to remember – the NAOMI

September 10, 2009

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While I missed yesterday’s celebrations around the net for the 10th anniversary of Sega’s Dreamcast console, Kevin Williams sends us a reminder of another 10th Sega-related and Dreamcast-related anniversary – the Sega NAOMI. I personally haven’t had the chance to own a NAOMI machine for myself (yet) but it’s impact on the arcade industry is a noticeable one. Kevin writes in the latest Stinger Report:

“…2009 also marks a number of anniversaries linked to popular racing, one of the most popular being SEGA’s ‘Daytona USA’ which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.

Meanwhile SEGA also sees their NAOMI Universal Cabinet cabinets – running third party titles – celebrating its own 10th anniversary (and still in use). This decade of success shows that while the SEGA R&D worked hard on the low-cost RingWide, the thirst for the old NAOMI architecture remained no matter how hard SEGA tried to quench it.

The NAOMI (New Arcade Operation Machine Idea) architecture was a major move by SEGA towards what we now see as the combined video amusement and console strategy. First demonstrated at the 1998 AM-Show, the system was presented as the successor to the Model 3, with a slew of titles in development, the amusement-variant of the Dreamcast console system. The platform would see over 60 amusement titles launched – and still counting.

The platform is still in 2009 a viable platform for a host of amusement studios, and at this years’ AM-Show we will see at least two third-party titles using the NAOMI. While the consumer games media celebrates the Dreamcast’s anniversary, the NAOMI will be overlooked, while the console only managed over 10.6 million sales the NAOMI would go on to beat this, many unsold Dreamcast going on to be cannibalized to become amusement platforms.

Finally, in a personal observation, KWP (owner of the Stinger Report) has a very strong soft spot for the NAOMI – and a possible ‘what if’ that it represented. At the time of the NAOMI launch SEGA showed the VMU (Visual Memory Unit) – and promised that this would be used as a smart storage device, and mini game system – not just for the Dreamcast – but also for the NAOMI. Though in reality only two prototype AM releases would be developed incorporating a connection for the mini LCD storage device, the idea still holds strong, and in its failed development the seeds of the ALL.Net were born.” – Kevin

I would post a poll asking about what your favorite NAOMI based game is but as we all know, there are an awful lot of games on that list so instead, just tell us in the comments section!

[Discuss on the Forums]

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KOF goes all shmup-y with KOF Sky Stage

September 10, 2009

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stinger

KOF fan purists – brace yourselves. Or you might want to skip this post entirely but then again the damage is already done if you even noticed this.

For everyone else – talk about an unexpected twist in the King of Fighters series, although this is not the first time that SNK has toyed with taking the game in a different direction than what it has always been. SNK Playmore has unveiled a new KOF game that will be shown off at JAMMA next week called KOF Sky Stage. But this is not KOFXIII – it’s a whole new game that takes the franchise into the awesome land of shmups, bullet hell shmups in particular. We don’t know if it will give you 20-40 different characters to choose from (that’s unlikely) but for now we do know what it looks like and that it will be running on the Taito TypeX hardware. Stay tuned for more on this one.

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[KOF Sky Stage official site] [Discuss on the forums]

Aurcade.com gets a revamp

September 10, 2009

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(Thanks to Doc @ Galloping Ghost for the tip)

One of the websites that you can use to help find an arcade near you (in the US only, currently), Aurcade.com recently revamped it’s website and with that they have made it easier to look up different games and locations, along with fans chatting about different arcade games. They currently have over 6000 games in their database and they are adding more, almost like KLOV minus the specific details. The nice thing you can do with it however is if you are looking for a particular game, the site will show you where that game is located, in the event that one of the locations on the site lists the game already.

Check out the new Aurcade site here.

Sega to release Tetris: The Grandmaster 4 The Masters of Round

September 10, 2009

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In the past I have lamented about the fact that we don’t really see puzzle games made for arcades anymore, despite the fact that such titles are a perfect fit for the arcade gaming model. Fortunately for those of us who enjoy puzzle games at the arcade, Sega is going to release the latest title in the Tetris The Grand Master series and they will be showing the game at JAMMA next week. There aren’t really any details on what makes this new Tetris stand out from it’s predecessors but I know of many arcades in the US which have imported TGM titles due to the nature of this series so I think we might see more of that going on (unless Sega chooses to release the game officially in other markets).

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BTW, these are the full sized images of the game that have been provided at the moment, hopefully some larger ones will hit the net soon.

UPDATE: In case you are linking to this post from elsewhere and have missed news on the front page, Sega is also releasing a second Tetris arcade game that is a little bit different, especially when it comes to size.

[Via Sega Japan] [Discuss on the forums]

Namco reveals more info on Tank!Tank!Tank! & a new pirate themed light-gun game

September 10, 2009

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With JAMMA fast approaching comes more information on various new arcade titles from the different game companies and today we have a little more information on some new tank02Namco titles. First off Tank!Tank!Tank! (which will be released sometime after IAAPA this year in the US) is getting a release in Japan next month. We also finally have a screenshot from the game now and as you can see, one of the game modes reminds me a lot of Earth Defense Force 2017 (but keep in mind that the tanks in T!T!T! will control more like how Tokyo Wars worked and not like how vehicles controlled in EDF) where you battle gigantic spiders and robots although the style does differ.

Of course don’t write T!T!T! off in case you didn’t like EDF, I have heard some rave reviews on the game so far and we’ll keep an eye on what people think about it in case it shows up at AMOA and IAAPA. The game includes force feedback in both the seat and the controller and it sounds like it will increase in intensity depending upon the types of weapons that the player uses. Tank! Tank! Tank! uses Namco’s ES1 hardware, which is the same hardware used in their motorcycle title, Nirin.

On top of that Namco will be showing off a new light-gun title next week that the translator is labelling “Deddosutomupairetsu” – which is something with pirates at the piratenamcoend. The cabinet is enclosed where two players can sit down and play and the game includes a “rudder-type controller” which I think is translator speak for a pedal. Game Watch also mentions something about some special kind of force feedback in the game that changes sensitivity depending on when and from where the player will be attacked, at least that’s what it sounds like. For right now we only have a thumbnail view of what this new pirate shooter looks like, by next week we should see more.

[Via Game Watch AM-Net and Namco] [Discuss on the forums]