Archive for March 13, 2010

Amusement Expo 2010 wrap-up (part 1)

March 13, 2010

Since this probably won’t be the very last post I make in regards to the Amusement Expo that happened this week (we’ve got a podcast coming next week which will talk about it and Kevin Williams has some extra photos of things I missed), I’ll call it wrap-up part 1 until I get to those other things.

My overall feelings about the show: this is the best March show I have been to so far, since I first went to ASI 2008. That first ASI was slightly disappointing and I left a day early because of that but this time it was quite satisfying and fun. The combined shows was a great idea and I look forward to them expanding in the future.

The content to be found at the show overall was great. Some things we have seen or heard about already  but even then there were a few little surprises tucked in. I’d like to thank everyone involved in the show and the different people who went out of there way to get me all of the information I could want about the games. There are a lot of people I could name but I

Thanks to Phil Arrington for his hard work in getting that live broadcast on Vokle put together, while it was frustrating how the connection and/or the power on his laptop kept going out(he was more frustrated about that than anyone else), it was a lot of fun and next time we’ll make sure we get it down so everyone can enjoy it.

Here is a look at the Stern Pinball booth. They had a couple of Big Buck Hunter Pins in operation and there was a tournament running on Shrek as well. If anyone wants video of BBH my local distributor has one so I can run over there anytime and record that in action, it’s actually a lot of fun. I wasn’t sure what to expect with it being based upon a video game but they did a good job.

Here is a cool thing I just happened to come across, a redemption game based upon the classic board game Operation. Unfortunately my camera battery was in the final stages of dying so I couldn’t get any video but it was a cool idea that was implemented well.

As I stated earlier, we’ll have a little bit more for you next week but this and the other AE posts take care of pretty much everything.

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Amusement Expo 2010: Namco booth wrap-up

March 13, 2010

As I wasn’t able to finish uploading these video last night, I saved them for today along with this post. Namco had a strong presence at Amusement Expo and that was obviously dominated by the new Pac-Man Battle Royale (which you can see here if you haven’t already). But there was more at the booth than Pac-Man, which I’ll get into here.

As you can see with the video below, they had some recent games there which are already available for arcades to pick up, such as Nirin and Razing Storm. But Nirin has new software, which modified how the game works by shortening tracks and changing a few other things such as boosting and handling so the game is easier for your average player. Also with Razing Storm, while they didn’t update the software, they have a new 42″ cabinet that the game can come in at a much lower price than the deluxe edition. Another update was to Tank! Tank! Tank! – this actually wasn’t released to the US last December as originally planned as they have been tweaking the game for release and the improvements made to the game are all positive. One interesting feature is for the team-up-against-monsters mode. The game will switch off the enemies you battle on a monthly basis, i.e. one month the first level features spiders and the next it features bees and the month after that it flips back to spiders. The second level had the three-headed dragon and now it will flip between that and a huge octopus monster which can morph you tank into a small ink-spurting octo-tank. In addition to that there are new pic overlays that fit the tastes of the American market, and more importantly, new weapons such as the flamethrower. Apologies for not capturing these new features on film – I had fully charged my camera before the show but once I got there it suddenly dropped bars and it finally died while I was filming the Namco booth. (my apologies to anyone at the show where I wasn’t able to get video of your product, such as Incredible Technologies and PM studios).

First here is the overview of the booth where my camera died while filming Go Go Grand Prix. This is a very cool game that will be a great attraction for large locations.

Here is the ending of Deadstorm Pirates. I was walking by this while the girls playing were battling the end boss but I didn’t realize that until one of the Namco reps said they were on a special stage so I grabbed the footage. This game will be released in May and it featured the latest software build at the show, which not only included all of the levels but improved graphics as well.

Also a word on Dead Heat Street Racing. I talked with one of the developers about the game and I was able to get a pretty good idea about what the game will be like without seeing it. As I had mentioned on my Twitter, the game is going to be sort of like MaxiTune 3 in the US, with certain US city streets replicated for racing(Chicago was mentioned specifically). The game will let the player keep track of their stats on the machine along with a ghost racer that you can race later on. An interesting feature with the ghosting is that the game will record ghosts from everyone that plays the machine and then throw those into the game at random as the drones you race against. The game uses a modified version of the PC-based ES1 hardware, featuring a more powerful graphics card than the other Es1 games like Nirin and Tank! Tank! Tank! We’ll most likely be seeing more of this game in September, which is about the same time Pac-Man Battle Royale will be released.

Thanks to the guys at Namco for giving me the detailed rundown on all of these projects!

Amusement Expo 2010: Friction Game Studios, Pipeline Games, Lights Out Boxing, & the ICE booth

March 13, 2010

Also at the show for it’s first official showing was the indie developed arcade shooter, Friction. I actually played through the whole game and when I had left the show I still had the highest score by far (I’ll have to ask what it was as I forgot the exact number). This game is a lot of fun and when it starts it rarely let’s up. There are a ton of things to destroy and that’s part of the fun, just shooting everything that is breakable. One thing that was in the build that wasn’t in any videos we had previously seen was blood and the game sports a red label now. In addition to being fun, the game looks really nice in person and I hope that the video can reflect that on some level. No word on a release yet, but there was some strong interest in the game from what I saw, which is especially nice considering that this is Friction’s first event.

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We just recently heard about the formation of a new coin-op game company called Pipeline Games Inc. and they had a decent sized booth at the show with some very interesting products. First is the physical game, The Grip Strength. As you’ll see below, the game is brief and simple and it can work for either ticket redemption or video only depending upon the location. The player selects the appropriate options (except for Phil here who accidentally picks a female :P) and then spends ten seconds pulling the grip to see how strong they are (or aren’t). After you do both hands, the game give you an average and prints out the results on a paper ticket. Also there was This game SUCKS which is an interesting mini-crane that is great for small locations and a few other physical redemption games.

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One surprise at the show was a little cocktail cabinet called Lights Out Boxing which was found in an unlikely place – a bill validator booth that was next to the GlobalVR booth. I wasn’t able to find out exactly who it is that made this and Kevin Williams wasn’t sure either the last time I asked him. As you can see it’s also some sort of indie effort as they housed a flash game into the cabinet and wired it up for coin-op play. One problem with it – the Windows cursor was visible in the middle of the screen the whole time. A game like this that is more fluid graphically would be pretty cool, it reminds me of certain boxing games from the past, such as Boxing on the Atari 2600 by Activision.

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The ICE booth was pretty big and with it at the front of the show, they made their presence known. They had a few new Panic Musuem cabinets there including a completely redesigned (and nicer looking) theater cab and the new 47″ deluxe cabinets. They also had some redesigned Dog Tags machines (although they weren’t as popular this time as they were at IAAPA), Robin Hood video redemption and a few Rok N’ Bloks cabinets which have been rebranded as Tippin’ Bloks.

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I have two videos left to upload, both involving Namco’s booth with Deadstorm Pirates, Go Go Grand Prix, new Nirin software and the standard Razing Storm, but I will probably get a post made about those tomorrow along with some new information on Dead Heat Street Racing.

Amusement Expo 2010: Raw Thrills/Betson, TrioTech booth

March 13, 2010

Here are several different booths for one post, hope you enjoy.

First is the Raw Thrills’/Betson booth. Many were distracted at this booth not so much by the game but by the scantily clad pole dancing booth babes at the adjacent Apple Industries booth.  I had to avoid filming that so the video isn’t flagged (and we need to stay focused here 😉 ). At the booth they had Terminator Salvation, H2Overdrive, Big Buck Hunter Open Season, and the new Wheel of Fortune video redemption game. Terminator was running what was likely to be the release software, which now sports cut scenes, voice acting and updated graphics from the IAAPA build. There was a surprise with H2Overdrive there – they now have 32″ H2Overdrive cabs that are intended for smaller locations and budgets. In addition to the smaller screen it also lacks some of the LED attract lights on the back but it’s still a nice cabinet. These will likely run $700-$800 below the deluxe versions. Also for a new product was Wheel of Fortune. While it’s a video redemption title, think of Deal or No Deal (which also has a street version that dispense different kinds of tickets for locations that can’t take redemption tickets) in where they are going with this. The game has a spinner controller for spinning the big wheel and an HD touch screen for selecting letters.

Here is something I missed from IAAPA by TrioTech – the new Stomper DLX. It’s a modified version of their UFO Stomper that can fit into more venues that it’s predecessor could. The system works out in the same way by detecting the players foot movements and it includes a variety of mini-games they can play. I’m not sure what the price is on this one but it certainly is in a lower realm than UFO Stomper was.

Amusement Expo 2010: GlobalVR and Andamiro booths

March 13, 2010

To save on space on the front page (slightly) here are videos for two different companies: GlobalVR and Andamiro.

First off GlobalVR was showing off two new products, one of which we heard about as early as IAAPA when it came out that GVR was working on an update to their NASCAR racing title. That update was at the show with the name NASCAR Team Racing and it includes some cool new features – online play that will allow players to race against people from around the country; team play which includes team boosts; fantasy tracks, updated graphics, music and a few other things. Players can save their stats to the machine by using *any* card with a magnetic stripe, which is a feature that I think is pretty cool (I should have tried my Subway card). The game will be released in April with the online starting June 15th.  They also had an interesting redemption product there called Kaboom (not to be confused with the classic Atari 2600 title by Activision) where you demolish buildings for tickets, by Adrenaline Amusements. Also they had Twisted there with updated software, which should be available soon and it adds new tracks to the mix which are quite colorful and fun to race on.

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Next is Andamiro. When you first came to the booth you noticed two things – Winner’s Cube and the Pump It Up games. There were quite a few fans there to play both PIU games, giving everyone a good demonstration of how the games play. Better details on these games can be found at Bemanistyle.com

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Stay tuned for more videos, I’m not even halfway done yet.

Amusement Expo 2010: Sega booth

March 13, 2010

Prior to Amusement Expo 2010, one manufacturer we were hearing a lot about was Sega as they threw a few press releases out there regarding some new products they would be showing off at the expo. I misread one press release and believed that Let’s Go Island would have a cabinet there but I was mistaken and they had the same preview cabinet seen at EAG – so no luck there. But they had plenty of other games to check out, none of them “new” in the sense that we hadn’t seen the game itself before. I was quite surprised to see a new Ghost Squad cabinet that makes use of a large LCD screen as opposed to a projector. Also the presence of the Game Gate VU was a bit larger this time and was popular. You can see it all in the video below

Direct link for 720p video