Posted tagged ‘Guitar Hero’

ASI 2009: Some thoughts before the videos

March 14, 2009

Well I’m back from Vegas and I’m ready to show off videos of what I saw there! The only problem is that so far my internet connection has not been co-operating with me and I’ve been getting errors when I try and upload videos, whether it’s for a site like this or Youtube. I will keep trying but I will probably have to find a different connection to use to get all of this stuff online.

As for the show itself, I had a lot of fun, it was great talking to some of you I have met before as well as talk to some who I hadn’t. I do think that the show was better this year than it was last time around – perhaps it’s because there were more games there and the games overall are improved so it wasn’t hard to top ’08. It also was nice for the pizza expo to be taking place right next to the show, I just wish I had known that I could visit it on the first day we were there.

NOTE: It is looking like I will not be able to get any videos posted until tomorrow (Sunday March 15th) afternoon. Sorry about the delay, I would love to get everything up already!

NAMCO

Namco’s booth was right in front of the show entrance and they were eagerly showing off their two new titles, Razing Storm and Nirin. They had two RS cabs and two linked Nirin cabs on hand.  Both games are impressive – they look great and they were both fun. They also were quite loud, up to the point where I felt like I was leaving a concert after walking away. I think that I missed getting a video on Nirin which is too bad as it’s a great looking game and the monitor was much larger than I thought it would be – I think they may have changed it from previous versions. Nirin also uses System ES1 for the hardware, which I would like to find out more about. Razing Storm is a worthy successor to games like Crisis Zone and Time Crisis. The guns were larger than I expected but comfortable and the graphics were naturally awesome (although I don’t care for DLP monitors personally, I think they make stuff look slightly fuzzy) and they blend perfectly with the physics that the game uses. There were constantly crowds checking out Razing Storm although I was able to jump on to this and play several times. Namco also had MaxiTune 3 there and they showed off some new redemption product and a new crane where you would cut a thread to win a prize.

RAW THRILLS/BETSON

Over to the right of Namco was Raw Thrills, with a large booth showcasing their two big games, H2Overdrive and Guitar Hero. Both games attracted an awful lot of attention and it helped that they had so many GH cabinets on hand. Unfortunately there were only two H2Overdrive cabinets there so on occasion it was tough to get a spot but I was able to play for a bit and I came away impressed. While this game looked great in the pics and videos that were online, it’s much better in person if you can believe that. The version at the show was not final, they still had to add a few things to finish it up but it was fully playable and I was able to level a boat up to level 18 or so. The sound on this was also cranked up quite a bit and it will probably carry a price point of around $7500. Guitar Hero was pretty cool as expected, I had never played the game before the show (yes that’s lame, but I have played Rock Band which is essentially the same thing) and came away happy with the experience. It looks good and where it doesn’t give players a “fail” if they royally screw up, it will probably appeal to players afraid of such a thing. I also saw DDR:X at their booth although I didn’t play it, the game itself looking like it would be fun to play but I didn’t give it a whirl. The most surprising thing about DDR:X was the price tag – it’s actually below $10k (it is somewhere in the upper $9000 range) which is a nice change for a DDR title. There also was a new game there by Chicago Coin called Putt Challenge which combines putting a real golf ball with a video game. This sort of thing could go well with people who have a bit of money and like those putt practicing games in the office, but this is much better.

BTW- I did find out something about American Idol – it appears as though the game was canceled due to some issues, I think with licensing. That would explain why it’s been hard to find – it was never actually released!

STERN

24 was proudly on display at the booth and I got a video of it, even though I wasn’t terribly good at the game. Stern also had a tournament running on Batman, with some players earning some pretty crazy scores.

SEGA

Further up from the Betson booth was Sega – with a much larger and thus better presence this year than last. They had R-Tuned Racing and Harley Davidson there to compliment titles like Rambo, Sega Rally 3 and Bass Fishing Challenge. They also had Brick People there and a new video redemption game called When Pigs Fly, which was an amusing little game where you shoot a pig up into the sky to hit a UFO along with other targets for a ticket payout.  R-Tuned Racing is certainly the best looking Lindbergh game I have seen yet and the game itself is fun although I wasn’t really sure about the unlimited boost feature – that makes it feel a little cheap when racing. Still, drifting was easy and against another player it can be fun, it’s just too bad they didn’t have more R-Tuned cabinets there to show off. They also had the deluxe Harley Davidson game there to enjoy and it has been such a long time since I played the original HD game that I can’t tell you how they compare but I thought it was cool that they had a number of 70’s rock songs to choose from each round and the motorcycle controller is really cool to use thanks to the feedback they built into the bike. I would have prefered to see an LCD monitor instead of a DLP but that’s my personal preference (as I mentioned above) and it still looks just fine. They probably used DLP to get deeper color from the game and it is quite colorful as you will see later when I can manage to get the video online.I did ask about Ringedge games coming to the States but at the moment I don’t have anything to pass along.

GLOBAL VR

A little ways to the left of Sega was Global VR, showcasing their newest title Justice League. Like TwistedSupreme and HeavyElectricity mentioned in their ATEI coverage, this game looks better in person than in still screenshots and it’s a fun game to boot thanks to the several levels and characters you can pick from. It also has a few secrets throughout the levels although I wasn’t lucky enough to uncover any. As TS and HE mentioned the game could use a greater variety of enemies and I think it would be cool to have more file0169obstacles to face in the levels I played but who knows if we’ll see an update in the future to fix these minor problems.  I love brawlers so it’s great to see this in arcades again and at the price point they are selling this at, I imagine that a lot of operators will be tempted to pick it up. They also were demonstrating a conversion kit of the game in a Dynamo cabinet and it looked great even on that – kits will go for around $2400 so it should be even more tempting to buy. Beyond that, they had deluxe versions of titles like NASCAR and Need For Speed there, along with a Blazing Angels cabinet to round out the mix.

PENTAVISION

These guys were at the show demonstrating their bemani-killer DJ Max Technicka. I only got to play through one song but I was impressed – it’s a fun game with a ton of features including online stuff and the cabinet is quite attractive.They did say that we can expect to see more from Pentavision in the US in the future, so I look forward to seeing what they will bring to us and honestly I think that this is a great start.

ICE

While the main focus of the ICE booth was redemption product, they also had the Game Gate VU (the new cabinet that allows you to legally install an Xbox 360 on location) and a ball throwing video game there (the name escapes me right now). The Game Gate is pretty cool but I can’t say that I care for the price tag – asking $6000-$7000 seems to be a bit steep for this even though it’s using licensed games but we’ll have to wait and see how people take to it.  The ball throwing game was fun, I have seen these before and with all of the mini-games it has a bit of replay value. It did have an occasional problem with recognizing a ball hit but otherwise it seemed to work fine.

Coastal Amusements

I got a chance to play the new Sea Wolf (and I got some video of it in action) and the new version is definently a much better game, thanks to the extra depth they gave to it. They also added some voice to it and they had a really good price on it at the show for less than $4000. More coming with the video later.

I think that this pretty much finishes it for now, as I said I will be getting a number of videos posted soon, but I need my connection to co-operate with me first. I’ve also got some more pictures to upload but they are on a camera that isn’t with me at the moment but I will try and get that taken care of tomorrow or Sunday. So stay tuned for more!

[Discuss on the Forum]

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Guitar Hero Arcade now available

February 14, 2009

gharcadeFor those who have been eagerly awaiting the release of Raw Thrills’/Konami’s Guitar Hero Arcade, the wait is finally over as models are shipping out to distributors across the country. My own local distributor received some yesterday and those were going to be heading out to locations that had already purchased the game so maybe if you’re lucky you might find a location where this is at this weekend, or at least by next weekend.

It should be interesting to see how this does for arcades, I know that it has tested quite well and as long as locations that grab one take advantage of the popularity of the game and hold tournaments for it, it should remain a high earning game for a while. Of course if it does really well as expected, I then wonder if we’ll see another explosion of music games for the coin-op industry in the US.

Guitar Hero Arcade is now in the “Already Released” column on our Arcade Game Release List for 2009.

[Raw Thrills] [Discuss on the Forums]

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

[Discuss on the Forum]

IAAPA: Guitar Hero, American Idol, Justice League, more

November 19, 2008

stinger11

OK, we have finally got some stuff from IAAPA thanks to Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report and it looks like it’s been a great show so far. Here are a bunch of pics for Guitar Hero and a few more from American Idol. We’re still waiting on finding out some extra details on the games but at least we have a better look now. Click to enlarge them:

konamirt gh1 gh2 gh3 gh4 ah1 ai1

UPDATE: Bemanistyle has more details on GH Arcade. They say it’s very similar to GHIII but the controllers are built to the standards of Konami’s Guitar Freaks (i.e. much better quality than the home version). They also have a pic of Andamiro’s Pump It Up NX Absolute!.

Seeing how Raw Thrills/Play Mechanix has held several online tournaments this year with Big Buck Hunter giving away many thousands of dollars, we can expect to see some really big GH competitions in arcades next year. With the Coin-Up system arcade operators can also hold their own tournaments, usually cash pot style so there will be plenty of tourneys to go around with GH.

While GlobalVR did not have Justice League at their booth, they did release a video of the game in action (which also shows the cabinet). They are not quite ready to release the game yet (thus meaning that this is not the final build) and are still holding onto details but at least we have a teaser video which shows a little bit of gameplay. The game uses cel-shaded gvrgraphics and is apparently two players (I had thought that it might be a 4 player game at one point). You can watch below by clicking on the link for GVR’s website. Otherwise at the GVR booth they had NFS: Carbon, NASCAR and Paradise Lost from what we have seen so far. We tried to upload the Justice League trailer but the codec isn’t supported by WordPress’s video player. Go figure.

[Click here to watch the Justice League Trailer]

Since we’re also on the subject of American Idol in this post, it appears that there are a couple of devices at the show which will compete with AI’s video recording feature. First is a game called Dancing Heads, where you can “Be a star, no talent required”. It looks like a photo booth that will take your picture and integrate it into some sort of music video and dispense a DVD of the video for you to use afterwards. The second game which does sort of the same thing (this appears to be the new trend in photo booth technology) lets you select a song and then it records you bopping to the beat where you then get a DVD showing you and your friends dancing around to the song. I can’t make out a specific name for this one although it has giant boxing gloves on top of it, if that counts for anything.

dh1 dsc01035

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IAAPA: Guitar Hero and American Idol seen, some details

November 18, 2008

The information is starting to come out of IAAPA and first are the anticipated Guitar Hero and American Idol arcade games, we have been discussing for a little while now. This info comes to us via bemanistyle.com, which is allowing us to run with the info (thanks!)

gharc

First off, Guitar Hero. As was ‘rumored’ the cabinet has a 32″ monitor, a lot of LED lights and several speakers. It also has buttons for each player, Guitar Hero 3 related side art. The guitar controllers are specially made for this version of the game and at present the game cannot use your home controllers (although Raw Thrills would like to do that – perhaps in the future?). The cabinet also has a foot rest in case you get tired and it will use the Coin-Up tournament system, not unlike what is found with Big Buck Hunter/Safari Online. Also there are stickers for Raw Thrills, Activision and Konami on the cabinet so everything that was rumored the other day is completely true. Awesome. BTW- The game IS a two player game, they just hadn’t set the guitar up in the picture.

aiarc

Then there is American Idol which is pretty interesting (we revealed that American Idol was headed to arcades a little while ago). The game cabinet is more of a enclosed booth that will allow players to record their performance which can be put onto DVD or sent to them via e-mail. As it shows in the picture, the cabinet says “Star in a Music Video” and the cabinet has a touch screen on the outside.  There aren’t any other details on this yet but expect more soon!

[Pics and info via BemaniStyle.com] [Discuss on the Forum]

IAAPA news: Guitar Hero to be at the show (UPDATED)

November 17, 2008

guitar-hero-logo1

Here is a very interesting rumor to start off with some IAAPA coverage: Guitar Hero will be at IAAPA and there will be a twist in who is involved in the game. According to the source at bemanistyle.com, the game has been developed by Raw Thrills but it will be published by Konami. Konami of course makes Guitar Freaks so if they are in fact involved with the new GH Arcade, that will not just be a big surprise, it also makes me wonder if the gameplay will mimick any certain aspects of Guitar Freaks. Here’s a little more according to bemanistyles anonymous source:

our source has stated the cabinet is going to feature 8-10 speakers, more than 500 LED lights and a 32″ monitor. The cabinet is also reportedly slated to take advantage of Internet connections to provide online cash tournaments sometime starting in 2009.

The online thing would deal with none other than the Play Mechanix/Raw Thrills Coin-Up network and offering cash prizes could easily draw many GH fans to any arcade with an online enabled cabinet to play.

Just keep in mind that it’s still a rumor  – I have contacted some sources about this to see if there is anything else to it but so far I have not heard anything back (which isn’t terribly surprising as it’s Sunday night) but we’ll keep you posted as soon as we find out more.

Tiny update: While I tried to get some confirmation on this, all I could find out is that Konami is going to be at the Betson booth, which is why they are not on the IAAPA map. Raw Thrills also shares the Betson booth so the union on Guitar Hero would be pretty easy to handle. That and our friend Editor in the comments below confirms it so now we just are waiting for the pics and video.

Another update: I have received confirmation that American Idol and Guitar Hero are there at IAAPA. That’s not much considering it’s starting tomorrow but at least it’s no rumor. We’ll have all the info we can get on it when it becomes available.

[Thanks to Bemanistyle] [Discuss on the Forum]

Rumour: Raw Thrills bringing Guitar Hero to the arcades

October 3, 2008

We’ve seen numerous knock-offs over the last few years, but could we finally be seeing Guitar Hero brought to our arcades by none other than Raw Thrills? According to reports it looks that way. Guitar Hero has been a phenomenal success on the consoles, selling millions of copies over multiple SKU’s over the last 3 years and I’ve always thought it would make a fantastic arcade game. I know we’ve had Konami’s Guitar Freaks for quite a while now but I feel with Guitar Heroes fanbase it could be a massive success. 

However, gamers will argue why would they pay to play a game they can have in thier own home? Well I think the opportunity to rock out in public and the possibility of a over the top cabinet, with lights and a decent audio rig, is surely too much of a temptation to the franchises hardcore followers. Also this game is ideal for battle of the band style tournaments. Hopefully we will get some solid confirmation on this story soon, as it’s apparently going to be realised in Spring 2009.

[via Highway Games]    [Discuss on the Forum]