Posted tagged ‘H2Overdrive’

A long detailed look at H2Overdrive on 1up.com

June 13, 2009
h2overdrive16

One of the new shots from H2Overdrive via Noe's blog

While it has not been released yet (although I believe that it will be in the next week or so), H2Overdrive is already creating fans and one of them had the lucky chance to visit Specular Interactive’s studios in Southern California where he got a chance to see the latest version of the game and sit down with the staff for some interviews. The game has changed considerably since it was seen at ASI, which was discussed at in my recent interview with Steve Ranck of Specular but here you can really see in great detail how the game differs. They have even changed some of the things on the cabinet, including the addition of an LED speedometer. This game is going to be quite deep and also to dispel some rumors, this is NOT currently being ported over to Xbox Live. For the time being (especially for us operators) this is arcade exclusive.

The site is at 1up.com and while the user, Noe. V. is not a staffer at 1up but he is responsible for uploading the many clips of H2Overdrive that you can find there including the latest trailer that we discussed a few days ago. With this in-depth interview, two video interviews and new screenshots, this should certainly be enough to hold you over until the game starts landing in arcades in the next week or two.

[Noe V.’s Blog with tons of H2Overdrive goodness] [Discuss on the Forum]

H2Overdrive gets a full trailer (UPDATED)

June 10, 2009

h2trailerjpg

H2Overdrive is soon going to be available – my local distributor says that they should be in shortly and I am trying to find out the exact date we can start expecting to see the game hit the streets. In anticipation of the release, Raw Thrills has released a new trailer to showcase some of the games features, although it does not mention some of the cool features that are in the game that we found out about from that interview I did with Steve Ranck a short time ago, like achievements and ranks. Unfortunately due to the limitations of embedding here on WordPress I am unable to attach the trailer to this post, but you can find it at Gamevideos by clicking here. I noticed that several mainstream gaming blogs have picked up on this trailer so it’s definetly attracting a bit of attention from gamers.

UPDATE:

As I expected would happen quickly, the trailer is now up on youtube

[Specular Interactive] [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?

(more…)

Followups – Some H2Overdrive news and media coverage on the Funspot tourney

June 2, 2009

A couple of brief updates on a couple of stories that we have covered in the past little while.

First off, that Funspot World Championship event that I mentioned a few days ago has received some media coverage and with that you can find some video that accompanies the story that I cannot embed here. Via NECN. Thanks to The Stinger Report for that link

Second, H2Overdrive should begin shipping to arcades this month and with this big release, check back this week for an interview I have done with Steve Ranck of Specular Interactive. Hopefully that should whet your appetites for this upcoming release and for a teaser you can check my video preview of H2Overdrive that I did at ASI where I have added a couple of annotations that reveal a couple of new details on additions to the game that have been put in there since ASI.

Videos from ASI 2009: H2Overdrive, DDRX, R-Tuned, Harley Davidson & more

March 16, 2009

Here are some videos I took at ASI 2009 last week – it’s not everything I took so expect more within a few days or so, including Justice League, DJ Max Technika, the new Sea Wolf and more.

I definently suggest going to the direct links so you can watch it in youtube HD where it looks a bit better. 🙂 

H2Overdrive:

Here’s the link to see it in HD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfJkhEFffpk

Dance Dance Revolution X:

(Thanks for the shout out BTW, I wasn’t expecting that! 🙂 )

Link so you can see it in HD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9E7ujyvyus

Razing Storm

Link to see it in HD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsbblO_bEmI

Sega Amusements booth (Harley Davidson, R-Tuned, Sega Challenge Bass Fishing, Brick People, more)

Link to see it in HD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Equam05hH10

Betson/Raw Thrills Booth (H2Overdrive, Guitar Hero, DDRX, more)

Link for HD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUiqxv7NGzM

[Discuss on the Forum]

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]

Some more details on H2Overdrive (including a release date)

February 16, 2009

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We saw Raw Thrills’ and Specuilar Interactive’s new H2Overdrive at ATEI a few weeks ago (and we even captured some video of the game in action) but it’s hard not to want to see more of the game. Fortunately, the game’s developer Specular has updated their website to include more information on the game itself, along with more screenshots to drool over.

As far as details goes, the game will include 7 tracks, 9 boats (each with different hull designs you can upgrade to

One of the levels

One of the levels

of course), up to 8-players when linked and more. There are two kinds of attacks you can use against other players called “MegaHull” and “HullCrusher” although how they work exactly I am not sure.  They also say that the game will be available in May of this year so mark your calendars and if you want an arcade near you to pick it up, start bugging them now (which we should all do for every game we want them to get 😉 ).

More to see over at Specular Interactive.

[Discuss on the Forums]

Videos and more screens of H2Overdrive hit the net

January 24, 2009

1uph2o

(Image via 1up.com) (Thanks to everyone that sent this in!)

The floodgates have opened up on Raw Thrills’ new game H2Overdrive and the news continues to be good about the Hydro Thunder’s spiritual successor. Gamevideos.com has some videos on this now (I’ve been wondering when arcade companies would use resources like that or Gametrailers to really promote their games) and it looks awesome. Also, 1up.com has a preview of the game overall with more screens worth gawking at and a bit of info on how the game has come together along with the game itself and how it employs a leveling up system and a keypad so you can save your progress, etc. It seems like they have taken some of the better elements from the Tokyo Drift series and incorporated it into the Hydro Thunder formula to make one heck of a game.

I am quite happy to see an arcade title get this level of attention, as we all know it doesn’t happen often anymore that a coin-op arcade game generates this much excitement so hopefully this trend will continue into the future. You might recall that for Raw Thrills’ part that they have invested quite a bit of capital into new game development and I think that what we have seen over the past few months is just the tip of the iceberg.

BTW- It also has been revealed that this is the game that Specular Interactive has been working on for Raw Thrills. We mentioned them quite a while back when it was revealed that they were working on something for Raw Thrills’ but all we could do was guess at what it was and we obviously weren’t even close. Here’s hoping that they keep it up after H2Overdrive though!

Little update: I just remembered that there is another boat racing game that is supposed to come to arcades sometime this year called Power Boat by InJoy, which we saw last year at IAAPA. Looks like boat racing is back in style.

[1up.com H2Overdrive preview] [H2Overdrive on GameVideos.com]

New boat racing game by Raw Thrills' and the Hydro Thunder team to be at ATEI (UPDATED w/ SCREENS & CONTROL INFO)

January 22, 2009

boat2

(Click on any image to enlarge it)

ateilogo

Raw Thrills’ has revealed to us a brand new racing game that will be shown at ATEI next week that is tentatively called “H2Overdrive” (which is not based upon the PS2 game of the same name). In news that should be music to the ears of Hydro Thunder fans, Raw Thrills’ has brought together the original team that created Hydro Thunder to give us this new game, which will feature many of the things players loved about that game (such as the huge drops and many shortcuts) but add some new aspects to it as well (which they couldn’t say much about at this time).

The cabinet to be shown features a 42″  LCD HD screen, pulsing LED lights and the game itself looks “amazing”. We’ll have more on this when ATEI rolls around in a few days!

UPDATE: We just received the first screenshots of H2Overdrive from Raw Thrills’. Many thanks to them for sending us these pics. Now just imagine the game running at 60 fps on a 42″ screen and we have a good idea of what it will look like in person 😉

boat1 boat3 boat4

UPDATE #2: I asked Andrew Eloff at Raw Thrills’ about the throttle control on H2Overdrive and he has confirmed that the new game does indeed use the Hydro Throttle like what was used in the original game but it has been “upgraded to be more reliable PLUS with cool new features!”. He also tells us that “The whole cabinet is a radical departure from the original Hydro…This cabinet is brand new from the ground up.”

More reason to rejoice!

As a side note, we have added H2Overdrive to our Master Release List for 2009.

UPDATE #3 (6/4/09) – I have done an interview with Steve Ranck of Specular Interactive where we discuss the game along with a ton of new details on what will make this game stand out not only from Hydro Thunder but from other arcade titles as well. Check it out here.

[Raw Thrills’] [Discuss on the Forum]

New boat racing game by Raw Thrills’ and the Hydro Thunder team to be at ATEI (UPDATED w/ SCREENS & CONTROL INFO)

January 22, 2009

boat2

(Click on any image to enlarge it)

ateilogo

Raw Thrills’ has revealed to us a brand new racing game that will be shown at ATEI next week that is tentatively called “H2Overdrive” (which is not based upon the PS2 game of the same name). In news that should be music to the ears of Hydro Thunder fans, Raw Thrills’ has brought together the original team that created Hydro Thunder to give us this new game, which will feature many of the things players loved about that game (such as the huge drops and many shortcuts) but add some new aspects to it as well (which they couldn’t say much about at this time).

The cabinet to be shown features a 42″  LCD HD screen, pulsing LED lights and the game itself looks “amazing”. We’ll have more on this when ATEI rolls around in a few days!

UPDATE: We just received the first screenshots of H2Overdrive from Raw Thrills’. Many thanks to them for sending us these pics. Now just imagine the game running at 60 fps on a 42″ screen and we have a good idea of what it will look like in person 😉

boat1 boat3 boat4

UPDATE #2: I asked Andrew Eloff at Raw Thrills’ about the throttle control on H2Overdrive and he has confirmed that the new game does indeed use the Hydro Throttle like what was used in the original game but it has been “upgraded to be more reliable PLUS with cool new features!”. He also tells us that “The whole cabinet is a radical departure from the original Hydro…This cabinet is brand new from the ground up.”

More reason to rejoice!

As a side note, we have added H2Overdrive to our Master Release List for 2009.

UPDATE #3 (6/4/09) – I have done an interview with Steve Ranck of Specular Interactive where we discuss the game along with a ton of new details on what will make this game stand out not only from Hydro Thunder but from other arcade titles as well. Check it out here.

[Raw Thrills’] [Discuss on the Forum]