Archive for May 1, 2010

Warlords spiritually returns with FORCE

May 1, 2010

I am fortunate to own an Atari Warlords cocktail machine. It was long a “holy grail” of mine as I always enjoyed playing Warlords on the Atari 2600 as a kid and with the arcade version being superior, I really wanted to have one. It was the most expensive classic game I have ever bought but it was worth it. The people who give the game a shot at my arcade fall in love with it immediately, last week I had one kid declare “this is the best game ever!” in his excitement while playing Warlords with his friends. Would it be awesome to have a modern version of Warlords in arcades with flashier graphics? Absolutely as it’s the perfect multiplayer “party” game. Thanks to a student project in Taiwan they are doing just that with a game they are calling Force.

The game isn’t exactly like Warlords but it’s pretty close – it’s a four player table top game, where each player has a sphere to protect with a shield that they can move to deflect the oncoming ball. Each player has a rotary-like controller which is more of a disc than the knobs that Warlords used but the disc also serves as the button. As it’s a student project I do wonder if it could get a general release for arcades to pick up or not but in the stronger arcade environment of Japan I would say that it’s more of a likely prospect than we’ve seen with other student arcade projects. Those of you who understand Japanese Chinese will have to let us know if any of the text in the video below reveals what release plans they might have for this. EDIT: This is out of Taiwan, my apologies.

UPDATE: More details here from the developer including more video of the game being played

[Force @ Blue Works Gaming DNA]

Also the creator sent us an e-mail stating: “Team FORCE is a six students team at Yuan Ze University from Taiwan. 《FORCE》is our graduation project at The Department of Information Communication, and It will be in an exhibition during May 13-16, 2010 in SOGO復興館, TAIPEI, TAIWAN.”

[Youtube user blue1117]

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Gameworks liquidates remaining locations

May 1, 2010

Yesterday morning I saw a Reuters article that said that Sega Gameworks was closing all of it’s locations and not just the seven we had previously reported about. Thanks to Kevin Williams who contacted the author of the article directly, it turns out that Gameworks is in fact liquidating the fifteen locations and not just the seven as they had previously reported. Keep in mind, a couple of locations have already been bought out by different companies and will stay open, but under new management. That could possibly happen with the remaining locations as well but it will be a waiting game there.

What does this indicate about the industry at large? That’s hard to say really as while Gameworks has suffered through the same tough economic conditions we all have been going through, other chains have survived, such as Dave and Busters or Tilt. Other independent stores have opened while a few have closed. Where we have also seen a few of the Gameworks locations picked up ans essentially saved I think it comes down to how well were these GW locations being managed. This whole thing is a shame as Gameworks were often one place where you could expect to find some uncommon or rare games as well as unique entertainment experiences. The one in Vegas is the only place I’ve ever seen an Afterburner Climax Super Deluxe or a pair of 2Spicy cabinets. But the reality one must face when running a business is that it can fail, in fact it’s more likely to fail than to succeed, no matter what endeavor you undertake but that is no reason to not try it out anyways.

As for effects throughout the industry, there were only fifteen Gameworks locations in the US, compare that to the hundreds of other businesses across the country which feature coin-op that will remain open (check ArcadeFly.com and Aurcade.com for listings) so this is NOT an “the end is near” sort of thing.  There are still several companies producing new games (see our sidebar links) and just because Gameworks closes doesn’t mean that they will suddenly stop making games. It’s probably worth pointing out that in the console sector of gaming that Game Crazy will be liquidating all of their stores (and there are many more than fifteen of those around) but no one is claiming that it means that the video game industry is spinning down the tubes.

As for what Gameworks will do about the game cards, I believe that according to the law they need to give refunds when asked but I’m not sure where you would go to find out who to speak to about that.