Archive for the ‘Global VR’ category

EAG 2010: Show report

January 30, 2010

It’s funny how some memories stick, isn’t it? I had only been to the ExCel Centre in London once before dropping in at the EAG show on Wednesday, for the consumer gaming event GameStars Live in 2004. Somehow though, five and a half years from that event, I was able to perfectly remember the layout of the Custom House DLR station that serves the venue, as well as the vast hallway leading into the main exhibition hall. As it turns out, familiarity would be the key theme which ran through the day.

Wandering around the new show, it seemed very much like the ATEI show I attended last year. Of course, there was no accompanying media registration panic this time, and not having to deal with two areas split across the upper level of Earl’s Court was nice. Getting in was a simple process (though this may have something to do with my late entry), and the staff on hand were nice and helpful. The organisational aspect of the show, given that it was running for the first year, was fine and left me free to use my short time  at the show well.

The striking thing about EAG 2010 is that the exhibitors were, by and large, fairly conservative in their offerings. The standard genres were well-represented: shooting, driving and music games all maintained their popularity, and redemption games were everywhere as usual. However, the commotion caused by fighting games at ATEI in the past (Tekken 6 in 2008, and Street Fighter IV in 2009) was absent, and manufacturers seemed to focus on widening the market for their tried and true hits. Even where unusual ideas were present, such as Giant Tetris, Go Go Grand Prix, and The BishiBashi, an element of familiarity was retained in order to reduce risks – perhaps an effect of the economic situation, which has only grown worse since last year.

All that having been said, the financial pressure ensured that the exhibitors at EAG were fielding a strong line-up of games for 2010, with the best of the last couple of years on show as well as the games which will be taking companies forward. And, having compiled a 1700-word monster report on the show, you’ll need to hit the post break for the detailed EAG rundown!


A better look at the cabinets for Twisted

August 20, 2009


GlobalVR has sent us some shots for each cabinet design for their upcoming racer, Twisted. They have also sent along a small press release detailing the game although I don’t see anything new there at the moment (click on the post break for that). The standard cabinet (32″) uses the same cabinet as what GVR used with NASCAR and NFS: Carbon; the Deluxe (42″) shares some similarities with both the Blazing Angels and NASCAR deluxe cabinets and the mini-motion is just like that but it has a motion-base under the seat but it otherwise takes up the same space as the deluxe model.  For a better view of each cabinet click on the images in this post and I will update this post with a price once I can find that out. Twisted will be released in September and should be making an appearance at AMOA 2009.

Twisted_32Std_CabPic_Lft2 Twisted_42Mot_CabPic_Rt

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Justice League: Heroes United now available

February 20, 2009

jl42_cabpic_graytmold_lftAccording to my local distributor, GlobalVR’s Justice League arcade title should now be available at a variety of distributors across the country and that means that it won’t be long before it will start making appearances at different locations. I was also told that they should have one on their show floor today so when I stop by later this afternoon I am going to check it out. Once again, this marks the first brawler we have seen in arcades since Sega released Asian Dynamite a couple of years ago for the Naomi hardware and it will be interesting to witness how players take to seeing the genre again. JL has already received a round of criticism from people seeing the screenshots on the net but according to TwistedSupreme and HeavyElectricty who played the game at ATEI, it looks much better in person on the HD screen than in the screenshots. As far as brawlers themselves go, they really work best in arcades anyways so if we see more here in the near future then I won’t be one to complain.

Justice League: Heroes United is now listed as “Already Released” on our arcade release list for 2009. Also, in case you missed previous coverage of the game, we have video of it in action here by AH owner and writer TwistedSupreme and some more comments on it by AH writer HeavyElectricty here.

As a side note, this now makes 8 games we have listed as released for the US for the year of 2009. No that’s not amazing when compared to console releases but it’s a good trend for arcades to be hitting when we only have a handful of companies out there making games. It’s certainly far overdue for the naysayers out there to stop propigating the whole “arcades are totally dead” myth (which has always been ridiculous from the start as it doesn’t help the business of arcade operators like myself for people to go around chanting that on their news blogs, forums, etc. since there are still thousands of us around and it’s hard enough to get people in the door without them with a notion in their heads that there can’t be anything new at our locations).


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New screens of Justice League: Heroes United (Updated with pricing info)

January 21, 2009


We have received a couple of new screenshots of GlobalVR’s new Justice League: Heroes United arcade brawler title, which you can see in full view by clicking on the thumbnails below.

jl_screen_01 jl_screen_02

In addition to those we have a little info on the location testing of the game. So far the verdict on the game : “People love playing it”. If anyone out there has had a chance to get their hands on the game we’d certainly like to hear your thoughts on it and perhaps we’ll hear HeavyElectricity’s thoughts on the game next week (thanks for the correction HV)  when he visits ATEI. As I said before, I’m very curious to see how this plays, I always loved games like Die Hard Arcade and Dynamite Deka so I’d like to see how this compares and where it stands out. Also, I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but it is a yellow label game so I don’t know of any arcades that won’t carry those.

UPDATE: – A couple of distributor sites are now listing a price for JL. BMI Gaming is listing the standard version of the game at $3975 and the deluxe at $7975 , with the prices going up to $4275 and $8275 after a sale they are having; BHM Vending is listing the standard version of the game at $4600, deluxe at $9000. Prices always vary between distributors but it’s good to see the standard version of the game below the $5000 mark.

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Video footage of Sky Bandits

October 28, 2008

Graffiti Entertainment, the developers behind the new Sky Bandits game for GlobalVR’s Vortek V3 system has released some videos of the new game in action. I’m not sure how other games compare on the same platform but this doesn’t look bad considering the age of the system. My distributor tells me that it can also run on Tsunami motion cabinets, which is an interesting prospect (too bad I still can’t get the joystick to mine working properly, even after replacing it). Here is a video of Sky Bandits, you can also check GVR’s site for extra info.

(Thanks to Kevin for the tip)

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GlobalVR @ AMOA 2008 – Need For Speed Carbon, NASCAR & talking with John Ray

September 13, 2008

Sorry about the delay in completing my AMOA coverage – I just wasn’t at a proper computer to do so most of yesterday. But now getting back into it here is some information I got from GlobalVR at their booth. When you first approached it the most obvious thing on display was Need For Speed Carbon, thanks to the large banner and the bright color scheme (yellow). They had two deluxe and two standard cabinets there and later on they will have a motion cabinet for NFS Carbon as well. As you know, this was first released as a kit but surprisingly there were no converted NFS cabs to be seen. One thing I did not know prior to the show was what exactly came with a kit but they had fliers there to show you what you get, which also includes a plastic marquee shell that can make the top look like the standard dedicated version of the game along with a new backplate for the chairs and artwork for the sides (as you can see in the flier pictured to the right here, just click on the thumbnail to expand). Some other details I uncovered about the game include that the graphics card is from the nVidia 9600 series and you can use previous NFS cards on this one as it has a card reader device. I was able to play the game for a few minutes (before the fire started, which again probably had to do with the fact that they had to share the booth with TrioTech which has a number of big games which probably pull an awful lot of amps) and I was impressed with what I played – the graphics are slick and the sound is just downright amazing. I still haven’t played the console version of the game but I have a feeling that the arcade version once again is better. I did not get a chance to play the Drift track so I can’t say how that works but the idea of a NOS pedal is pretty cool. The presentation that the cabinet itself produces with lights is also eye-catching and there were people playing this game all the time.

I also was able to see the NASCAR update, which adds the Atlanta Motor Speedway, the Watkins Glen Road Course and of course the updated rosters and Car of Tomorrow.  In case you’re like me and have no idea what the whole Car of Tomorrow thing is about, click here to find out more. (Everytime I hear that term I think back to an old 60’s short ad film called Design For Dreaming where they use that term a lot, it’s a really bizarre film and the only way to watch it is with MST3k). I did get some video from the Atlanta Motor Speedway track, it looks really good although I didn’t get a chance to play it (I did record it though as you can see below). I’m not sure, but they might have updated the song list which is one of my favorite things about the game – right now I still have one of the songs stuck in my head.

In addition to that they also had a Blazing Angels, a GlobalVR Classics Collection and Paradise Lost inside a new cabinet that was designed for Aliens: Extermination. I also had some great conversations with some of the GVR staff, including the marketing director Caryn Mical and John Ray, who spent much of his career working for Atari (both Atari and Atari Games respectively). He worked on games such as KLAX, Pit Fighter, Guardians of the Hood and the entire Rush series. I know he played a major role in creating Rush 2049, one of my favorite racers of all time. We had a great conversation about the arcade industry, past and present as well as some technical details with the games as that is his specialty. I asked about Justice League too – it looks like they are waiting to reveal it still because (to paraphrase a little) “Warner is very happy with the game but we are not just yet – we want it to be perfect”. But I believe that we will find out more in the next few months – I did try to unearth some extra details about how the game actually works but we’ll have to wait. I did find out that the game is NOT based on any of the current titles on game consoles which are using the Justice League title and it’s completely original and exclusive to arcades.

And here are the videos:


Need For Speed Carbon Arcade

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Back from AMOA '08 – some thoughts, impressions and a fire (and my little part in all this) UPDATED

September 12, 2008

I’m back from AMOA 2008 and it was fun. I got to see many new games that are coming to the States, talk with great people and come away with video and impressions of what’s coming our way. I also got to see more of Las Vegas than last time, it’s only the third time I’ve been there and it was nice to see many things that I’ve heard people talk about like the Bellagio fountain show and more. I also dropped by Sega’s Gameworks and color me green with envy – just one of their Afterburner Climax Super Deluxe games is worth about everything I have in my arcade and they have two of them. 😉 They have a lot of great games there, including OutRun 2 SPX, HOTD4 Special (yes the one with 100″ screens), Jurassic Park Special (I never knew that this existed), Too Spicy, Lethal Enforcers 3 and lots more. I also was able to pick up a Tsunami TSUMO cab that’s in OK condition, that should arrive at my arcade next week and hopefully it will give me a boost in people coming in. I also might switch my Marvel VS. Capcom from 1 to 2 and upgrade my Drift games to use a keypad AND upgrade my Safari to online. More on that later.

So let’s get to it! First let me say that arcades are not dead. I say that all the time but I think that video developers came along with a strong showing to further prove that we’re making progress with arcades once again. Secondly, let me explain the part about the fire. Yes there was a fire at the GlobalVR and Trio-Tech booths yesterday. Fortunately no one was hurt and the damage was minimal. My little part – I was playing Need For Speed Carbon along with some other fellows at that moment and I think that everyone playing all the games at the GVR booth AND the Trio-Tech booth at the same time tripped something that started the fire. I’m not entirely sure of how it was hooked up and what happened exactly but the moment our games powered off the fire started. As you can see in the image to the right, it attracted the attention of quite a few people.

Beyond that though here’s a run-down of what I saw and don’t worry, I’ll get to posting videos of them all along with more specifics from each company as time permits. The first booth I came across was Raw Thrills’ and they had Nicktoons Nitro, Big Buck Hunter Pro Online, Big Buck Safari Online, Tokyo Drift and Super Bikes. Next to them was Sega with a much larger booth than they had at ASI and there they had Rambo (in deluxe and standard), Primeval Hunt, a new game called Sega Clay Challenge that uses the Atomiswave board (and we thought that the Atomiswave was dead), Sega Rally 3 in both configurations, a new version of Shoot This! Win This! and the Mini-Rider 2. Stern Pinball was behind them and while that rumor I mentioned a couple of posts ago about a Transformers pinball wasn’t true, they did have something there that surprised me quite a bit – a Spiderman Redemption game. I don’t know if Stern has ever done redemption before (you can hook ticket dispensers up to pinball games though) so this was unexpected. They also had Family Guy, Shrek, Batman and Indiana Jones there.

Moving further into the hall you next come to GlobalVR’s booth where they had four Need For Speed Carbon games linked (two deluxe, two standard, no conversions), four NASCAR deluxe games linked (with the new upgrade), a Blazing Angels, a GlobalVR Classics cab and Paradise Lost inside of a new cabinet design that was previously used with Aliens. TrioTech was next to them but I didn’t see anything new there. South of TrioTech was Andamiro and they had a strong showing with their Pump It Up Pro titles but the biggest surprise of all was they had two Arcana Heart 2 cabinets there! I had no idea that this was coming to the States but it is and soon, I’ll have more details shortly.

Incredible Technologies had a large booth with all of their current IPs on display, including Golden Tee 2009, the new Power Putt, Silver Strike Bowling, and Toss Pro: Bags. All of the games are using their new small footprint cabinet design, which does not include a monitor in the package which reduces the price for the cabinet but you’ll need to come up with an HDTV to mount on the wall or somewhere else. Namco was further south but had a small booth with only two videos, the PacMan/Galaga bartop and Rockin’ Bowl-A-Rama. I didn’t get a chance to talk with them and find out about MT3 DX or if they plan on bringing Nirin over.

And of course I was among the first people to check out Friction by Friction Game Studios. Many thanks to Juan and Jim for showing that to me and being courteous (and patient with all my questions). Having seen the game in person now I’m colored impressed. I certainly looks better live than in screencaps or the compressed video below. The power-up system hadn’t been implemented in the build I saw (which is why you see them seemingly gain power-up weapons at random) but the sound and physics are all there and they showed me a few interesting things with that (including how to make enemies fly towards the screen, which can be fun). There are a lot of things to break as well as to cause to explode and the levels were nice and long. There is also a bit of randomization as to how and what enemies will appear on your screen, determined by who you shoot first which can change the game everytime you play. Hopefully they were able to get what they needed at the show to bring this game to arcades soon so stay tuned for more. It was also flattering to hear that word about Friction was already making the rounds at the show as some people had read about it from the site, so I’m glad to hear how often people in the industry check out the site.

Unfortunately one game I did miss was Get Outta My Face! which was supposed to be at the show but I forgot to contact the author on where I could find him so I didn’t get to see it. If he was there then he wasn’t in a booth but I hope that he was able to show the game to the distributors.

UPDATED: I found out the unfortunate news that someone apparently died of a heart attack at the show on Friday. I don’t know who it was but it’s definently sad news to come over the show.

If you link to this particular post from elsewhere, just head to the main page for the several other AMOA posts that include more details and videos of most of the games I have mentioned above.

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