Archive for the ‘Arcade Coverage’ category

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]

My interview with Steve Ranck of Specular Interactive on H2Overdrive and more

June 4, 2009

A few months back Arcade Heroes was privileged to reveal H2Overdrive to the world and now I have done an interview with the man whose company is behind the game’s development, Steve Ranck of Specular Interactive. We go into more, never-before-revealed details on Raw Thrills’/Specular Interactive upcoming boat racer and a few other arcade related things. So without further adieu, let’s get started and remember to click on the link at the bottom to read the full thing.

First, about Steve:

Steve Ranck is the President and founder of Specular Interactive, Inc.  He’s been developing games since age 12, and professionally since 1994.  Prior to Specular, Steve cofounded Swingin’ Ape Studios, Inc. which developed the critically acclaimed Metal Arms: Glitch in the System before the company was purchased by Blizzard Entertainment in 2005.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your company and history in the arcade sector.

Specular Interactive was formed in 2007 to develop great arcade games.  Most of our employees have worked together before at former companies, and a good number of us worked on the original Hydro Thunder arcade game back in 1997-1999.  Collectively, we have a lot of seasoned arcade developers here.  But at the same time, our team members have also worked on a number of console games and so we have a lot of experience with modern engine architecture and graphics hardware.  Our goal is to develop a series of high quality arcade games by combining our arcade design experience with modern graphics technology and hardware, and do it all at a price point that’s affordable for today’s Stingrayoperators.  Our first game which we feel delivers just that is H2Overdrive, a high-action, addictive power boat racing game.

Q: How did the idea for H2Overdrive come about?

In early 2007, Eugene Jarvis, developer of arcade megahits such as Defender, Robotron: 2084, and the Cruis’n series, was receiving feedback from arcade operators that wanted a boat racing game that would succeed Hydro Thunder.  Eugene’s company, Raw Thrills, had already developed a number of very successful arcade games before getting requests for a boat racing game.  Eugene called and proposed the idea of me forming a team to develop the game.  The idea of developing a high-action boat racing game on modern graphics hardware for the arcade sounded like an incredible opportunity.  I formed Specular Interactive shortly after and we began the ground-up development of H2Overdrive.

Q: How long has the game been in development and how large of a team has worked on it?

H2Overdrive’s been in development for 2 years, starting with a team of 3 and growing to 14 developers during the peak of development.

Q: There are several aspects that H2Overdrive shares with Hydro Thunder, what makes H2Overdrive not only different from HT, but better?

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Exercise-based arcade opens in Rockford, IL

February 10, 2009

Video games often come under fire from health police for being a sedentary activity, most recently in a UK television advert for a government backed health campaign which caused a bit of controversy. However, this is something that the Gymnastic Academy of Rockford hopes to combat by opening the new XRCADE. The arcade is full of games which require physical activity to play, such as dancing games and motorised climbing walls. It’s always nice to see attempts to relate fitness to kids on their own level!

[WREX: Workout arcade opens in Rockford] [Discuss on the Forum]

Sega’s ATEI game roster

January 20, 2009

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Sega has sent out a press release detailing their ATEI 09 line-up and in addition to a few games we already have seen info on previously such as HUMMER, Harley Davidson, R-Tuned Racing, Rambo, Sega Rally 3 and Block People, they also will be showing off a new game called  “Missfits”. While there is no information on the game in the release, we will be at the show hummeron Wednesday to find out more. Sega also discusses the Game Gate VU which we talked about a few days ago and how they will be picking up Raw Thrills’ kits for Europe. For the full release, including some info on their redemption product hit the break below.

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Sega's ATEI game roster

January 20, 2009

logo_sega.jpg

ateilogo

Sega has sent out a press release detailing their ATEI 09 line-up and in addition to a few games we already have seen info on previously such as HUMMER, Harley Davidson, R-Tuned Racing, Rambo, Sega Rally 3 and Block People, they also will be showing off a new game called  “Missfits”. While there is no information on the game in the release, we will be at the show hummeron Wednesday to find out more. Sega also discusses the Game Gate VU which we talked about a few days ago and how they will be picking up Raw Thrills’ kits for Europe. For the full release, including some info on their redemption product hit the break below.

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A tale of two cities

January 19, 2009

It’s another one of those days, as contrasting stories emerge about the health of arcade gaming. Badness abounds as New Orleans CityBusiness is reporting that the original Fun Arcade in New Orleans is closing down after 37 years, leaving no traditional arcades in the area. The owner, 69 year old Jack Boasberg, blames the rise of game consoles and proclaims that “The traditional arcades will go the same way that drive-ins went“. Interestingly, the site of the second Fun Arcade (which closed in 2003) now hosts a LAN centre. The owner, 27 year old Michael Wagner, highlights an important problem with the expectations of those who would visit arcades: “When they make a new machine and it costs the arcade $20,000, people expect to pay a quarter to play it [...]

Elsewhere in the USA, Dallas Morning News has interviewed Brian Ashcraft, regular Kotaku contributor and author of the book Arcade Mania: The Turbo-Charged World of Japan’s Game Centers. While the introduction to the interview is less than positive about the American arcade scene, Ashcraft provides some interesting insights into the differences between US arcade culture and Japanese arcade culture. It’s well worth a read for anyone looking to learn a little more about what is undoubtedly the arcade capital of the world.

[Home video games force arcades to pull the plug] [Dallas native chronicles Japan's vibrant arcade culture in book] [Discuss on the Forums]

Justice League to be unveiled at ATEI 09

January 17, 2009

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Global VR has announced that they will be showcasing their latest title, Justice League: Heroes United at the upcoming ATEI 2009 show. With the press release they also have included some pictures of the cabinet, jl26_cabpic_lftwhich comes in two flavors, standard and deluxe but pricing and availability are currently unavailable but should be revealed soon. We also should have some hands-on information about it straight from the show so if you’ve been wanting to know more, stay tuned. It certainly is good to see someone trying out a brawler for arcades again, the last one I know of was Asian Dynamite in ’05. For more info on the game, check out the press release after the break and discuss it on the forums.

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Article: Game Magazine Schizophrenia Over Arcades

January 2, 2009

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We’ve occasionally documented times and places when game magazines showcase arcade titles as it is a fairly rare occurance but with recent developments in the arcade sector, some publications have suddenly taken some notice to what is going on with the arcade sector. The problem is how selective they are being about it and Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report makes the point by taking a look at two UK gaming magazines and their recent arcade coverage.

Before I put up the article I’d just like to take the opportunity to ‘blow my own horn’ as they say and point out that HardCore Gamer Magazine has been the most friendly magazine I have seen in ages when it comes to arcades as they let me publish a review per issue, which is far more arcade coverage than the occasional obligatory look at something super-popular like Street Fighter IV as they have been doing that for more than two years now.

For Kevin’s full article, hit the jump below and feel free to discuss it on our forums.

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'Amusement' Magazine shows some love for arcades

December 19, 2008

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stinger11

If you have followed the arcade scene for a while, then it is no secret that most gaming magazines tend to ignore arcades entirely unless some big name like Street Fighter or Guitar Hero is attached to the game. It’s a shame really, but that’s one reason why we’re here. Still, it is important to give credit to those publications that do go above and beyond the  occasional obligatory mentioning of arcade gaming like I mentioned above and the most recent case for that goes to the new French magazine Amusement. While I do not have a copy handy to see what details it pours over in relation to arcades (not that I would understand most of it – my Portuguese only gets me so far with French), you can see some sample scans of the magazine on their main site and in it they show a few arcade related things, such as with the “Arcade: Press 2008 to continue” article found in their 2nd issue (pictured above). For more, hit the link below

[Amusement Magazine] [Discuss on the Forum]

‘Amusement’ Magazine shows some love for arcades

December 19, 2008

amusemag

stinger11

If you have followed the arcade scene for a while, then it is no secret that most gaming magazines tend to ignore arcades entirely unless some big name like Street Fighter or Guitar Hero is attached to the game. It’s a shame really, but that’s one reason why we’re here. Still, it is important to give credit to those publications that do go above and beyond the  occasional obligatory mentioning of arcade gaming like I mentioned above and the most recent case for that goes to the new French magazine Amusement. While I do not have a copy handy to see what details it pours over in relation to arcades (not that I would understand most of it – my Portuguese only gets me so far with French), you can see some sample scans of the magazine on their main site and in it they show a few arcade related things, such as with the “Arcade: Press 2008 to continue” article found in their 2nd issue (pictured above). For more, hit the link below

[Amusement Magazine] [Discuss on the Forum]


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