Archive for February 2010

Report from Street Fighter IV tournament @ Arcade UFO

February 27, 2010

At Arcade Heroes, we often say that there’s nothing like standing with another player and competing side by side, and arcade gaming is still the best way to do this. Technology has brought us the wonders of online gaming and voice chat, but the feeling of being able to shake your opponent’s hand at the end of a hard-fought match is something that you can’t replace. As a result, it’s great when we see other people pushing the merits of arcade competition – in this case, Jason Witmer of Accent Online. He attended last Saturday’s two-on-two Street Fighter IV tournament with a friend, and took the time to write up the experience for Accent.

The piece focuses primarily on the author’s experience of the tournament, but it covers the general themes of competitive gaming well. He mentions the anxiety prior to a match, the diversity of the competitors, the unique atmosphere of tournament play, and general sportsmanship and supportiveness of the community surrounding the game. While I’ve never competitively played Street Fighter, these are familiar to me as they are experiences which cut across all kinds of competition, be they sports, martial arts, table top games or arcade games. As a result, it’s an excellent read for anyone who is interested in competitive arcade play at any level.

[Via Accent Online] [Arcade UFO] [Discuss on the forums]

Ground Kontrol announces the 2nd annual Pinbrawl Tournament

February 27, 2010

Last year an arcade in Portland known as Ground Kontrol hosted a large pinball tournament called Pinbrawl and by all accounts, it was a big success. So with one successful tournament of this caliber under their belts, they are preparing for a second Pinbrawl, which has been announced for April 18th. The grand prize that pinball wizards will be competing for: a full-sized Williams’ “Johnny Mnemonic” pinball machine. For only $20 admission as a competitor (for spectators it’s free) that’s a great deal – if you happen to beat out the possible 127 others who will show up. More juicy details can be found in the press release after the break.

[Ground Kontrol] [Discuss on the forums]


Titan 4 Games licenses Silhouette for their first gesture-based coin-op game

February 27, 2010


Remember Titan 4 Games? If not, I don’t blame you – we first reported that they were working on gesture-based (think Project Natal) coin-op games last October but since then we have heard nothing but silence. The website isn’t helpful either – I tried contacting them via the e-mail they have there and they never responded. So it was nice to finally hear something new about their developments today, as a press release went out detailing what the first game will be to use the technology which has been developed by Softkinetic. Titan 4 Games will release Silhouette as their first coin-op title, with it as “the first of many 3D camera games from Titan, and is a natural step in the company’s strategy.”

Now the question is, when will we see it? How much will it cost? Will they be offering games that will remain arcade exclusive (Silhouette is mentioned as being on track for an in-home release down the line, for PC and probably Project Natal)? Will they be showing off anything at an upcoming amusement trade show? I am enticed by the use of this technology in arcades, especially by getting it out there before Microsoft does with their Natal platform at the end of this year, I just hope that the information will be made available soon.

Here is Silhouette as shown at an nVidia conference. I’ll leave witty or snide remarks about how you’ll look in public doing this for the comments section. 😉

[Discuss on the forums]

SNK Opens a virtual NEOGEO museum

February 27, 2010


If you were ever curious as to how the NeoGeo MVS ans AES hardware came to be and what impact they had on the video game industry, then SNK Playmore has a new site which details just that. You can read through an article that was published in Arcadia Magazine detailing the history of the hardware, browse through all of the title names (a setup like has would be more useful however), look at published ads and buy those NEOGEO T-Shirts we talked about not long ago. Imagine if they decided to do a special version of KOFXIII for the MVS, I am sure that would turn some heads. 🙂

[NEOGEO Museum] [Discuss on the forums]

Viral marketing for TRON Legacy continues to give some love to arcades

February 26, 2010

I’ve always been a big fan of Tron so when it comes to developments of what is going on with the new TRON Legacy movie that comes out in December, I’m intently keeping tabs on what’s going on as Disney runs a pretty cool viral marketing campaign for it. We saw it begin with Flynn’s Arcade at Comic-Con last year and now they have run a nationwide scavenger hunt leading up for showings of the first official trailer for the film. One of the hunts took place  in my city but I don’t know where it was at or what was involved exactly before it was already claimed. Fortunately a guy in Dallas filmed his search, where it involved a girl wearing a Flynn Lives T-shirt playing a Twilight Zone pinball machine so it’s possible that they had people doing scavenger hunts at places where you can find arcade machines all over the country yesterday. You can see that below.

Also arcade-related is this viral website for Encom International. If you check out the “Past” page, it has an alternate timeline where Encom developed the original Tron arcade game and Space Paranoids was the best selling arcade game of 1981. If you look over the page, it looks like Encom became the Microsoft of the Tron universe. I would love it if Disney (or I should say “Encom” 🙂 ) would release those Comic-Con Space Paranoids cabinets to arcades this year, I would pick one up for my own arcade in a heartbeat and from our poll last August, plenty of you would love to play it.

Pac-Man returns to arcades with Pac-Man Battle Royale at Amusement Expo 2010

February 25, 2010

Ever since Namco first announced Pac-Man CE for Xbox Live Arcade, I thought that the game in particular would be a perfect fit in arcades, which I have mentioned before in posts and to people at shows. So this news that Namco will be showing off a new Pac-Man game at the upcoming Amusement Expo 2010 next month in Las Vegas has me quite excited. The faint screen shot of the game looks like Pac-Man C.E. but with a very notable difference – the game supports 4 players! I am all for more 4 players-on-one-cabinet games as we haven’t seen many of those in recent times (the new Gaia Attack 4 and Jigsaw World Arena as exceptions).

Keep in mind it’s only a sneak peek so they might not even have a full cabinet at the show but if you needed any reason to go to the Expo next month, here’s a good one! I certainly plan on being there, where I will capture any video that I can of this game in action.

UPDATE: As per the comments below, there should be 2 cabinets to play at Amusement Expo.

UPDATE #2: Click here for the first hands-on look at the game from Amusement Expo 2010!

[Discuss on the forums]

SNK Playmore announces King of Fighters XIII along with a preview event date

February 25, 2010

The King of Fighters series is something that you expect to see a new version of in arcades about every year or so, like Golden Tee. It may not be the most popular fighter series out there but it does have a loyal fanbase (something I have been surprised at with my own KOF98 which a few weeks was my top earning game even though it’s only on one token). So fans should be pleased to hear that SNK Playmore has announced KOF XIII for arcades. At the moment the only hint about the game is that it will continue the 2D trend and it will run on the Type X2 hardware. Rumor has it the game will be released in April – hopefully they give it more time in arcades than they did XII which came out on consoles two months later (this is the biggest problem I have with most fighters right now, they aren’t giving them enough exclusive time in arcades)  We’ll find out more when SNK holds a public press event on March 25th, until then did you care about KOF XII at all? I haven’t heard many good things about it after it came out on consoles but I also haven’t had a chance to play it yet. So let’s do a poll!

[Via SNK Playmore]

Dead Storm Pirates gets a trailer

February 24, 2010

When it came to games at IAAPA, Dead Storm Pirates is one of those games I probably should have spent a little more time playing. Even though the game was essentially a beta it was still a lot of fun and it looked great too. Namco America has posted a new trailer of the game in action, showing off the game itself as opposed to the cabinet(which you can see here in case you have missed it). One thing that stands out to me with this game is the framerate as it’s quite smooth while throwing a lot of stuff at you on the screen and the sound will blow you away when you get into the cabinet.The game uses System 357, which is PS3 based hardware that has also been used in other arcades such as Tekken 6 and Razing Storm.

Dead Storm Pirates will be released at some point this year (Q2 2010?) worldwide.

[Discuss on the forums]

New update for Pump In Up, PIU Fiesta

February 24, 2010

If you are a fan of the Pump It Up series of dancing games then you certainly have something to look forward to. In addition to the release of Pump It Up Pro 2 next month, Andamiro is also releasing a new update for regular Pump It Up machines called Fiesta. The new update will feature 260 songs and also 2 new modes of play. The interface for the game has been improved to help bring in newer players and the game offers custom step building that can be uploaded with a USB drive. The update will be made available shortly after the AMOA/AAMA show next month and it will be at the show as well, where we’ll have to get some video or pictures of both new PIU games in action.

Also of a note, Andamiro has a new USA President after James Ko left, Satinder Bhutani who was formerly the sales VP there. Congrats on the promotion Satinder! (via Coinoptoday)

[Via] [Andamiro website] [Discuss on the forums]

"3D Group" ramping up the stereoscopic 3D game scene with a flood of new titles

February 23, 2010

A few days ago we talked about a new arcade title out of China that Disney was involved with called Disney 3D Ping Pong.  Since then we have heard of other games in Asia that are jumping on the stereoscopic 3D bandwagon – we knew of Metal Gear Arcade already and there was Star Predator. Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report told me of more developments happening in this area and it looks like they were revealed today.  I came across some interesting news on Coinopexpress today which involves the same company who developed Disney 3D Ping Pong called 3D Group. Today the company revealed eight new video arcade products, all of which employ a 3D stereoscopic TV as well as touch screen play. The games are fitted for ticket play and there are several genres that the series covers which you’ll see below. There is no price on these yet but Coinopexpress does state that all of these games are available for sale.

The list of games includes: Balonga – a dance style controller but you fight monsters instead of just hit dance steps. (coinopexpress link)

Chicken War -some sort of space game involving chickens.

Star Cube / Galaxy Puzzle – a puzzle game that sounds like a Rubik’s cube, but it employs the touch screen to move it around. I’d really like to see how that works out in practice with the 3D pop effect. (coinopexpress link)

Go Fishing/ Shark – this one is a 4 player game where players try to catch fish. It’s probably like Butterfly Garden which UNIS was showing off at IAAPA. (coinopexpress link)

Hit The Rats – whack-a-mole style game with the touch screen (uh oh).

Pachinko – As the name says, it’s video pachinko.

Space Zuma – it’s the popular Zuma puzzle game, set in space and with a 3D screen. (coinopexpress link)

Tricky Rabbits – some sort of game involving rabbits and treasure, the description isn’t entirely clear. (coinopexpress link)

So there you have it. 3D Group is really throwing down the proverbial 3D gauntlet but we’ll have to wait and see how well the trend catches on with other manufacturers in the industry. I’m in a wait and see mood about it – it’s hard to shake the feeling that the whole pop-out 3D thing is a gimmick as it has been in the past but technology in this area has improved quite a bit and sales of 3D movies like Avatar are nothing to sneeze at. The arcade sector does stand as a great place to introduce such technology to the masses as home consoles are really not in that position right now and even if they were, they would need the customer base to go out and buy 3D TVs which is a big ‘if’ for them to bank on. Of course it can be a big if for arcades to but where a couple of companies are trying it out, I am sure that everyone is going to take a hard look at how games like this perform. If the effect is cool and doesn’t require glasses (as some 3D TVs are supposed to do, I’ve never seen that effect in person) then it could be a great way to bring people into the arcade.

[Discuss on the forums]