Archive for the ‘Stern’ category

UK Pinball Party, August 13th-15th

May 16, 2010

If you’re in the UK and you love pinball, it can be a bit of a pain to find machines. I can only think of one in my home town! So, Thor be praised, the lovely people of UK Pinball Party have organised a wonderful festival of pinball for August 13th-15th at the Barcelo Daventry Hotel. The event boasts over 100 machines from all eras of pinball, set to freeplay for your enjoyment. Besides the games, the event has a dinner event on the 14th with Dennis Nordman, designer of tables such as White Water, Indianapolis 500 and Pirates of the Caribbean. Rounding out the event will be machines for sale, arcade video games, raffles, jukeboxes and more.

Show entry is £5 for the Friday and £10 for the Saturday and Sunday, with extra fees for events and accommodation. Event pre-registration is open now at the UK Pinball Party website.

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Pics of “24” pinball now online

February 25, 2009

24play[Thanks to IcePagoda on the forums for the tip]

Stern’s latest pinball game, “24” is soon going to hit the streets and with it, Pinball News has got their hands on a prototype of the game and have snapped some shots of every angle imaginable of the machine, as you might expect from them. Up close the game looks better than I thought it would based upon the blurry shot we had of the playfield beforehand – I just wonder if Stern is ever going to plan on doing a little more with their games and go as far as adding a multi-color dot matrix display or something along those lines. Of course the consideration of changing something so sacred and established as that might be blasphemy in some circles so I suppose they must tread carefully.

Click on the image above to enlarge.

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Pics of "24" pinball now online

February 25, 2009

24play[Thanks to IcePagoda on the forums for the tip]

Stern’s latest pinball game, “24” is soon going to hit the streets and with it, Pinball News has got their hands on a prototype of the game and have snapped some shots of every angle imaginable of the machine, as you might expect from them. Up close the game looks better than I thought it would based upon the blurry shot we had of the playfield beforehand – I just wonder if Stern is ever going to plan on doing a little more with their games and go as far as adding a multi-color dot matrix display or something along those lines. Of course the consideration of changing something so sacred and established as that might be blasphemy in some circles so I suppose they must tread carefully.

Click on the image above to enlarge.

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Pinball and the Sea-side arcade are alive and well in Bournemouth

January 20, 2009

bournemouth-pier

For those of you who are into your pinball, you are probably more than aware of a great site called Pinball News. One of thier writers was fortunate enough to be able to go and check out the Bournemouth Pier arcade whilst away on work. Not only did this location have 3 pinball tables it was also very well maintained with technicians working on machines and keeping the place in good working order. I have to say this is nice to hear as so many arcades you visit always has a few machines out of action. There’s nothing more annoying than seeing a game you haven’t played for years, only to get closer to the game and realise it doesn’t work. Check out the full location review over at Pinball News.

Also recently added to the site is one of thier excellent in depth looks at the new CSI table from Stern.

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CSI Pinball in action

November 27, 2008

I got a chance to play and film Stern’s new CSI pinball game today and overall I like the game – I wasn’t sure what to expect since I had never really watched the show before but the game has some cool features like the centrifuge that I really enjoy. Unfortunately the volume was quite low on the machine that I played on so I didn’t get the ‘full’ experience but I could check out the features at least. While it wasn’t shown in the video below, I did get the skull multiball on another round I played and it was nice, although it would have been better if they threw more pinballs onto the playfield for one of the multiballs.

Here’s the video I shot, at first I had to do it with one hand, then a friend grabbed the camera so I could go from there. Not that it helped me much. 😛

UPDATED: Here’s a couple of extra CSI Pinball videos (thanks IcePagoda for the links)

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IAAPA Day 2: More Guitar Hero; CSI pinball; NX Absolute; Go Go Jockey; Battle Stations & more

November 20, 2008

stinger11

Once again thanks to Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report for getting us this information. I will be talking with Kevin directly later tonight to get some extra details on all the things we are seeing here so that we will fill in the rest of the gaps. Either way, I think it’s clear that for an industry many love to call “dead” there is quite a bit of new content to go around, a little bit more than we’ve seen in previous years. As always, click on the thumbnails for a full view of the picture.

POST UPDATED – New info below

First off, a little extra detail on two games we’ve seen get a lot of attention: Guitar Hero and American Idol. In another surprise for Konami’s part, their name is also on American Idol and not just GH (there had been a rumor to that effect but it hadn’t been confirmed). According to the GH flyer, it will have over 50 songs, 11 playable characters in 8 venues and “Enduro-Ax Industrial Strength Controllers”.  UPDATE: Apparently the build at the show is only 60-70% complete – the final songlist is not complete and the cabinet will be changed for the final release. Here are what the flyers for the games will look like, just poster size. Also pictured is sort of a close up of the guitars, it sounds like GH has been a major hit at the show. Kevin even got Guitar Hero 3 tattooed onto his arm (fake or not Kevin? :P)

ahflyer ghflyer ghplayers konamibooth ghtattoo kevingh

Stern was showing CSI pinball at the show and they also had their Spiderman redemption game there, which we first saw at AMOA. My local distributor tells me that they are expecting to receive a couple of CSI machines within the next few days so I’ll get to check it out soon.

csipin spidermanredmp

Incredible Technologies wasn’t showing any product we hadn’t heard of before there but they had their full line-up of games running on their new pedestal cabinet that looked nice.

itgames gtlive09

We mentioned Andamiro’s NX Absolute yesterday and today we have pictures of it. There were two versions of it there, a standard and deluxe. Not much else on this one though.

nxabsol1 nxabsol2 nxabsol3 nxabsol4

Next up, something from Tecway Developments. They are bringing Go Go Jockey to the US which is another game they showed off at the GTI Expo 2008 in Taiwan. This is a horse racing/riding game where you sit on a horse controller. I also believe that the next two pictures are from some redemption product in the Tecway area.

gogojockey tecstuff dsc01133

This next game is IGS’s answer to Sea Wolf called Battle Stations. It has what looks to be a periscope kind of controller and at least in the picture below it seems like the graphics are pretty nice. The game is polished and even includes boss battles at the end of each level, it also uses a different torpedo system than Sea Wolf does. While IGS generally releases some product to the US through their company American Alpha, this was found at the Smart Industries booth.

battlestations

We also got two new shots of Trans-Force in action. It reminds me of Galaxian 3 by Namco with the multiplayer space shooter theme. It can house up to six players, each with their own contoller that moves gun turrets around on a space ship. On top of it having great graphics, the game also uses a motion base to enhance the experience further. This is being made by a Russian company who specializes in simulators.

transforce1 transforce2

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New images from Stern's CSI Pinball

November 14, 2008

[Thanks to IcePagoda for the tip]

Pinball News has the first images of the new CSI pinball machine by Stern and after looking at them I have to pin1say that I am far more interested in this game now then I thought I would be, not being a fan of the TV show. The table has been designed by Pat Lawlor and includes a number of very interesting objects, from a skull that will lock pinballs in the eye sockets (used for one multiball mode); a spinning centrifuge (used for a second multiball mode); a microscope with colored LEDs which unlocks a third multiball mode; a bullet scoop and several ramps. Overall this looks really cool so we will just have to see how the software goes, I was disappointed with Batman’s software at first although Stern is good about getting updates out the door fast.   I haven’t pin2heard of an exact release date for this yet but it is very soon, from the looks of it I would image that it will be out before the end of the year.

UPDATE: Stern has sent out a press release stating that the game is available now. That was quick!

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New images from Stern’s CSI Pinball

November 14, 2008

[Thanks to IcePagoda for the tip]

Pinball News has the first images of the new CSI pinball machine by Stern and after looking at them I have to pin1say that I am far more interested in this game now then I thought I would be, not being a fan of the TV show. The table has been designed by Pat Lawlor and includes a number of very interesting objects, from a skull that will lock pinballs in the eye sockets (used for one multiball mode); a spinning centrifuge (used for a second multiball mode); a microscope with colored LEDs which unlocks a third multiball mode; a bullet scoop and several ramps. Overall this looks really cool so we will just have to see how the software goes, I was disappointed with Batman’s software at first although Stern is good about getting updates out the door fast.   I haven’t pin2heard of an exact release date for this yet but it is very soon, from the looks of it I would image that it will be out before the end of the year.

UPDATE: Stern has sent out a press release stating that the game is available now. That was quick!

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Stern releases CSI pinball image; also faces downsizing

November 2, 2008

We’ve known about the next game to come along in Stern’s line-up of pins for sometime now and finally we have a prototype image of the cabinet. While at first I personally wondered how relevant CSI is today (I don’t watch TV often and I’ve never seen an episode of CSI), I saw some ratings for TV shows in the US last week and I think CSI showed up three times in the top 20 so it obviously carries with it a bit of popularity. As expected with the prototype image, we do not know how the entire playfield layout is going to be but Pinball News also has a picture taken of one corner of the playfield during the game’s development.

In other Stern pinball related news, Pinball News reports that Stern is going to be laying off a few employees in the face of the economic turmoil that is bubbling out there. According to the site:

Accordingly, some of the well-known names at the company were told their positions would be disappearing. Game designers Dennis Nordman and John Borg, software designers Keith Johnson and Dwight Sullivan and Director of Technical Support Joe Blackwell were believed to be among those leaving the company.

Despite the lay-offs, Stern is remaining committed to sticking to it’s goal of releasing four titles a year, obviously with CSI being next and 24 coming soon.

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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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