Archive for November 22, 2009

IAAPA 2009 videos – Tecway Developments, InJoy, Kung Fu Ball

November 22, 2009

Here’s a few more videos from my trip to IAAPA. I have been trying to upload the Universal Space booth video but Youtube has not been co-operative with that particular video today so I’ll try it again tomorrow night. In the mean time, here are some efforts by a couple of Chinese companies and a Japanese company.

First, Tecway Developments/Belrare. We’ve covered this company in the past although I sort of forgot about them and didn’t expect to see them at the show. They has a couple of interesting games at the booth as you’ll see below, the snowboarding game, Magic DJ and Happy Balance Ball. Magic DJ as you’ll notice is a clone of PM Studio’s DJ Max Technika. The big difference between the two – Magic DJ has two screens instead of one. I also didn’t see any mention of online modes, which DJ Max prides itself on. Because the volume on this game was up quite high it caused crackling on the mic in my camera.

Happy Balance Ball is a Super Monkey Ball clone but you stand on a movable base to get your ball moving. At first I thought it was a clone of Taito’s Hopping Road but upon closer inspection I saw what it really was. One amusing thing you’ll see in this video is the “homage” of sorts to Street Fighter IV.

InJoy was also at the show, I first heard about this company back at ASI 2008 but I hadn’t heard much about what they’ve been up to lately. They had a good booth with several games, Street Racing Stars, Top Gunner, PowerBoat GT and Dido Kart. Out of those Dido Kart was my favorite, it is a good Mario Kart clone that features Chinese kid characters and racing tracks in China. The sound was a bit bland for it and at $17,000 a cab it’s more for big FECs but it is a cool little game. Street Racing Stars is looking to cash in on games like Need For Speed: Underground. This is one game that overdoes the bloom effect and the racing was OK – until you crash through a barrier and it doesn’t reset you on the track – you have to back up and try again. I really didn’t care for this one. Top Gunner looked OK, like a slow paced turret shooter but I didn’t try it out so take that for what it’s worth. Power Boat looks great, the graphics have been updated considerably since that proto video we showed from the game ages ago and it had the most involved motion base out of all the games I saw (except for the simulators but I will put those into a different class)

Kung Fu Ball. I found this one interesting because I’m a sucker for tabletop/cocktail games. It’s actually an updated, head-2-head version of Pong and Breakout, with cutesy 2D graphics. In single player mode it becomes like Breakout, in head-2-head mode, it’s like Pong. The speed of the ball is determined by how late the player hits it, if you time it just right you can send a fireball flying towards your opponent. Only two barriers/hands can be up at once though so you have to be quick on the controls. It has a few different levels and several difficulty settings that the player can choose, it’s fun to play and it’s all housed in a sweet deluxe cocktail cabinet. The only question is, would operators pay $5000 for one?

More videos tomorrow!

What do you want to see on the Game of the Decade poll?

November 22, 2009

If you have been reading AH for more than a year then you know that at the end of each year we like to run a poll, asking you what you think deserves to be called the Arcade Game of the Year. We will be doing that for 2009 in just a couple of weeks but reader Andrew reminded me of another poll we should be doing at the same time – a Game of the Decade poll. Since 2010 is just around the corner, it’s only logical to ask which title you think is deserving of the pick from 2000-2009. Since there are many choices to put on that list, I want to present a reasonable list of about 30 games to pick from, or shorter if necessary but instead of me picking them, I want your input. So we’ll just get this out of the way right now – which games do you think should be on the list? Comment below!

(I still am working on uploading IAAPA videos but I have already wasted two hours trying to upload Dead Storm Pirates and the UNIS booth video as Youtube apparently can’t handle MOV files larger than 300 MB.)

More IAAPA 2009 videos – Tetris Giant, Hummer, Twisted (+ NASCAR 2 news) & more

November 22, 2009

Here’s some more content from the IAAPA 2009 show.

Tetris Giant – We first heard about this interesting new Tetris game a few months ago and while it seemed like the perfect game for Western audiences, I was still a little surprised to see it at Sega’s booth. Where the blocks are pretty large the game can go by quickly but when you play against someone else it can be a lot of fun. Otherwise, it’s Tetris with huge joysticks. These are actually interesting as they make use of force feedback. I am not crazy about the price at all however – $10k for a Tetris game, even if it is huge is too much. At least you can project the image onto the wall for a 150″ image, which could be very useful in certain venues. It’s also good to see a puzzle game make it’s way back to arcades so hopefully this won’t keep it’s price tag for very long.

Hummer – After Sega’s Hummer Deluxe came and went I had expected it to end there but some time later they decided to rework the game slightly for a standard format. It’s actually an all right game and it was constantly being played at show. They only had two standard units setup next to two standard Sega Rally 3’s. Graphically the game looks pretty nice, once again proving what they can pull off Lindbergh platform and the boost feature in the game was nice as it focuses on targeting other Hummer’s to smash into them. You collect your boost depending upon things like nice landings and objects smashed so it does feel like Excite Truck in that regard. I admit that I am not as excited about racers as I am other titles at IAAPA(I know how important racers are to any arcade because they earn well, I can’t ignore that but at the same time I believe that it’s important to demand more titles that give us something different and earn well on their own) but this is a pretty good effort for the off-road racing genre that is worth checking out, if not for the racing than just for the destruction factor alone.

Twisted- GlobalVR was at the show after all, even though they hadn’t been listed on an interactive map system for the show (unless I was looking in the wrong place). They didn’t have any new games we hadn’t heard off but they did have their newest release, Twisted: Nitro Stunt Racing dominating the booth in it’s three configurations. The idea behind this one is to gain enough speed to pull off big jumps or to master loops, depending upon the track you race. As such you have unlimited boost at your fingertips, which is a little surprising but I found that overusing it generally results in a crash (not of the software, just your car). One thing I would have liked to have seen is a scoring/ranking system for the jumps, like it was an Olympic event or something (or even like with Sega’s Hummer, which rewards you with boost points for a good landing) – that would make the jumps feel more satisfying. As we’ve seen before the game looks really nice, whether it’s on the 32″ or 42″ screen. Like with Hummer there are so many racers out there to choose from right now that I’m not sure what advice to offer for someone looking to make a pick between all of them but this is a solid effort. The motion version is pretty cool, the base doesn’t go all over the place when you’re racing and I didn’t feel nauseous during gameplay so that’s a plus.

There was some news regarding GVR’s next effort- a major upgrade to NASCAR which they are calling NASCAR 2. In fact GVR is looking for some operators who own the game to test out the new software which adds several new things to the game including a feature similar to the old Wavenet. If you need to know who to contact, drop us an e-mail and we can put you in touch with the right person but you do need to actually own some NASCAR cabinets. 😉

And Speaking of NASCAR, there was an interesting redemption NASCAR based game at the Baytek booth where four players can race against each other around a small track using remote controlled cars.

Don’t worry, I have several more videos to put up, so stay tuned!

(more…)