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!
Archive for the ‘Arcade Location’ category
It’s always sad to see an arcade closing, but this one is particularly heartbreaking. Tokyo Game Action of Wichendon, MA has been forced to shut down with immediate effect, with a liquidation sale to be held in May in order to secure as much cash for the creditors as possible. The arcade opened in 2003, but has had problems operating for roughly two months due to constant flooding, causing a massive shortfall of income while bills have been mounting.
The worst part of all this is that it has happened to a genuinely nice team trying very hard to offer a great experience to players. The arcade was an archetype for modern amusement operations – it was community driven, willing to buy new games and experiment with different payment models, and offered a range of services beyond arcade games, such as a bowling alley and unique food service serving Japanese and American dishes.
Keep an eye on the Tokyo Game Action website for details of the liquidation sale, as maximum revenue is required to help keep a roof over the heads of the team (sadly, this is no exaggeration). We at Arcade Heroes wish you guys the best of luck in the future.
When it rains, it pours at least when it comes to new facility news. Here is another FEC opening up in the US, this time in Indianapolis, IN, to be called Xscape. Xscape is pretty big, they are boasting 75,000 sq. ft. of space and they have a great looking setup – a buffet, lazer tag arena, mini-golf, sports bar, rides which includes bumper cars, a go kart speedway and a couple of places where you can find redemption/arcade games. According to their website, they have about 60 games total including some new games like Rambo, Nicktoons Nitro, Primeval Hunt, Time Crisis, NASCAR Motion deluxe, Blazing Angels, DDR and more. They have a website setup already with a list of their games and other features and if you live in the area it looks like it’s a great place to check out as it opens tomorrow.
I find it interesting that in this downturn we are seeing some pretty big amusement locations opening up. While it is true that entertainment typically does better in downturns (the Golden Age of arcades occured during a downturn in the late 70′s that saw far higher unemployment rates and inflation in the US than we’re seeing at the moment but I do understand that there are always differences in each recession as to causes & effects), with the way people speak about arcades and amusement you would think that they wouldn’t stand a chance in today’s climate. Of course it remains to be seen how all these new places do over the next year or so but for now I think that it’s great to see all of these places popping up and as always, we wish every location that has started up recently or that will be opening up soon the best of luck and if you live near any of these places, be sure to stop by and give them your support.
(Photo: Alex Collins/Leader)
While it’s generally been accepted that there is a ‘worldwide economic slowdown’ (although personally I never am quick to believe that it’s always as bad as the news says it is since they have a vested interest in fearmongering for ratings) that isn’t slowing down the news we’re getting of new arcade locations opening up all over the place. This new location comes out of Burbank California where a new FEC called Kids Castle is opening up this Sunday. It looks like quite the amusement facility, with a theme throughout of castles, dragon’s, princesses, etc.; 15,000 sq. ft. of space, indoor amusement rides, a two-story soft playground, a restaurant and an arcade/redemption center. One thing I can relate to with the owner is his attitude about his business. From the Burbank Leader, here is what the owner had to say about the economy and his new business.
“I can care less about the economy,” Daglian said. “This is my dream.”
He could fail, but as long as the amusement center exists, he will be content, Daglian said.
Well he could fail even in a good economy – that’s the nature and risk of business (well, unless you have a lot of money and prestige to throw around in Washington D.C. these days then you can convince anyone that you’re too big to fail but I digress). As long as he has created a good business and he has a good plan to market his idea then he will likely be just fine. But forgetting all that, he is living his dream and that is something to be applauded. The Kids Castle is fourteen months in the making and we wish them good luck in their venture.
[Via Burbank Leader]
Also, Dave & Busters has announced their third quarter results and revenues are down 3.2% for them. However, according to the reporting article, the total revenues over a 39-week period showed an increase of 1.9%, which isn’t much but an increase is an increase. In that 39-week period it showed a slight decrease of the Food and Beverage category while Amusements and Other increased 4.7%.
We’re happy to report new of yet another new arcade facility opening it’s doors to the public, although this one is a little different as they don’t appear to have any coin-operated arcades (except for the LightSpace floor, a device we talked about a while back but that is on freeplay) and instead are focusing on ‘virtual reality’ and ‘simulation’ type games. That also includes a number of game consoles that are lined up along the walls that play from a variety of games they can switch out (which I imagine have to be attended constantly to avoid theft or the changing out of a game). It looks like a couple of those also have a motion seat for the player to get comfy in. I also think they have one of Trio-Tech’s 3D theaters although they do not mention it by name or show any pictures of the unit, they just say that it’s a 4 person virtual theater.
They also have some exerbikes with a game installed called Game Bike Pro. We’ve discussed something similar to these where an exercise bike is essentially the game controller. I hadn’t seen any amusment facilities pick them up until now so it will be interesting to see how they do outside of a gym.
Finally they have a game called Makoto – you stand in this area with up to two friends and there are these polls that have sensors which will light up and you’re supposed to hit it with a soft bat, competing for the high score. It’s an interesting game that I hadn’t seen before but in the brief appearance this game makes in the video below it looks like the sensors weren’t lighting up very fast.
With a refreshment area, golf simulator leagues, GLO Wii Bowling and a pretty cool environment at night they will easily reach their target market of college age kids. It would be cool if they got a couple of proper arcade machines in there too but for now it certainly looks like they have enough to keep people quite entertained.
BTW – VirtualKade is located in Murray Kentucky.
While arcades in the US with some of the most desired fighters in one place might be rare, they are out there. Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report stopped by an arcade in New York that has Street Fighter IV and Tekken 6 along with a number of other games. Called the Chinatown Fair (thanks for fubarduck in the comments for clearing that up), they have four SFIV cabinets on location, all of which appear to be homebrew cabinets although they don’t look bad. It looks like they did the same thing with Tekken 6 and we are also told that they have a BlazBlue cabinet there to boot. Click on the thumbnails below to get a full view
Finally! This is something I’ve been meaning to do for longer than i care to mention.
Hit the jump at the bottom of this post for my Funland picture overload!
Funland Trocadero is a big place, so big it’s hard to describe the layout of the place, but essentially there are 5 main floors (I think!). The first floor you come across, after travelling up the main escalator, has mostly new games which include the following; UFO Catchers, DDR, Afterburner Climax, Manic Panic Ghost, TSUmo, Sega Rally 3, Fast and the Furious Super Bikes, Battle Gear 4, Need for Speed Underground, Ford Racing, Primeval Hunt, Wartran Troopers, Rambo, Time Crisis 4, Let’s Go Jungle, House of the Dead 4, Panzer Elite, Lethal Enforcers 3, Big Buck Pro and multiple pushers.
A row of back to back fighters can be found on the floor below as well as a Tekken 6. Every time I’ve been to Funland there has always been a crowd of guys down here gauranteed. Also on this floor are some fruit machines as well as Mario Kart GP, Gaelco Football, Virtua Striker 4, a 2 car Outrun 2 Super Deluxe and another Time Crisis 4. Oh and also a game called Percussion Master, which i don’t think I’ve seen before.
If you head back up and follow the pathway around you walk past the bowling alley and a pool bar as well as a bunch of cranes, a Guitar Freaks and a Pump it Up. Head down half a dozen steps and you are in probably what is the biggest floor which is mainly made up of a lot of redemption pieces, pool tables, an 8 player Daytona, a 4 player WCCF, an 8 player Derby Owners Club, deluxe 4 player Outrun 2′s & Ford Racing’s and a twin Mario Kart GP 2. The rest of the games that make up this floor includes Beat Mania 3rd Mix, Virtua Fighter 4 Evo, Hyper Bishi Bashi Champ, another Pump It Up and an Airline Pilots.
(Sorry if this is just sounding like a long list of games, but it’s very rare that I’ll ever get so many pics and remember all the games there, so I figured it would a good idea to write them all down.)
Moving on swiftly then, and on to the floor below this. Apart from the bumper cars in the middle, this floor is packed full of new and old videos. Starting with the new there is an Alien Extermination, a Paradise Lost, Maximum Tune 3, Initial D 4, Blazing Angels, Virtua Tennis 3, Ghost Squad Evo and NASCAR to sink some coins into. For those looking for something a little more aged and perhaps different there are games like Point Blank, Virtua Striker 2, Virtua NBA, some more old skool fighters (sorry can’t remember what they were), Star Wars Racer, Star Wars Trilogy, House of the Dead, another 8 player Daytona, F355 Challenge and Land High Japan?!?
Just few steps down from here is the final piece of the maze that is Funland. This floor does not disappoint either, with a 4 car Outrun 2 Super Deluxe, Silent Hill Arcade, a range of Dancing games as well as some rarer pieces like Manx TT, MTV Drumscape, Muzan and Ninja Assault.
So that’s what is there, but how does it rate as an arcade? Well obviously it up there with the best in terms of variety of games and it’s very rare to see any of these machine out of order. I think my only complaint about Funland is that if you haven’t been there before it’s very easy to get lost in the multiple floors and the one way escalator system. But hey, I can’t think of a better place to get lost!
Hit the jump for my Funland picture overload!
We’ve received word from Konami that their newest and certainly unique bemani title uBeat is now testing at Tenpin Bowl, in Acton, West London. According to the release we received (that you can find after the post break), uBeat has been “hugely popular in overseas markets” so if you are in the area where this is testing, it’s your chance to go and see what the buzz is all about. They say that the game will not be there much longer but they do want people who play the game to let them know what they think (e-mail link after the jump as well).
I wonder how much longer the game will be out testing after this is complete – it would be great to see it released before the end of the year.
The guys from PressStartComic.com have made many arcade-related videos over the past little while and I realyl like their latest idea – “Arcade Hunters” where they go around and tour arcades. It’s a great way to help some arcades get attention and in the first episode they visit an arcade that we have discussed here before – Tokyo Game Action. I would post the videos to the blog here but the particular video site they use is not yet supported by WordPress. So here are direct links from part 1 to 6. Enjoy!
It’s not so easy for those of us outside of Japan to play Street Fighter 4, what with there not being that many of them about. But to make life easy for us EventHubs.com has started listing the locations of every SF4 out in the wild. Still no sign of one in Europe, hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to get our grubby little hands on one.