Posted tagged ‘IAAPA 2009’

IAAPA Pics by Kevin Williams

November 27, 2009

Now for our second-to-last post about IAAPA 2009 – the last one will be the attempt at a podcast that we did at the show although we were unable to finish it up for reasons I’ll explain later.

Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report (also a frequent contributor to Arcade Heroes) was at IAAPA and took a number of pictures, including a couple of games that I either missed or didn’t find the time to focus on. Check them out after the break, click on the pics for the full-view


IAAPA 2009 videos – Dead Storm Pirates, UNIS booth (w. Cooking Mama & H2Overdrive motion), Big Buck Hunter Open Season, Textminator

November 23, 2009

I have finally resolved the problem with Youtube not accepting the videos for Dead storm Pirates and the UNIS booth – convert them to AVI files. Unfortunately they become blocky and lose detail so I will be trying to find another way to get the better quality versions online soon. In the meantime…

Dead Storm Pirates (Namco) – I was surprised to see this game at IAAPA – we hadn’t heard anything about it possibly coming over to the US although it seemed like the style of gameplay would be a nice fit over here. The software was 60% complete so there were only a couple of levels to play but it was a lot of fun. There’s also more to it than being Let’s Go Jungle with a pirate theme, Namco is taking the time to help the game stand out on it’s own. The emphasis on shooting the targets at the same time is greater and if you both can keep your sights together long enough, the shots become more powerful. Another exciting part of the game I saw is when you man the cannons to blast another ship out of the water – hopefully there will be a few more scenes like that in the final release. Also the rudder wheel feature is pretty cool, with the game presenting you with so many seconds to turn the thing for a pass or fail event. In several wheel events the game goes into “bullet time”, slowing down just enough so you can attempt to turn. DSP is running on Namco’s System 357 hardware, which is PS3 based and is the same hardware used on Tekken 6 and Razing Storm. As such the game looks spectacular but unfortunately due to the uploading issues I have had with getting this on Youtube you won’t notice those details as nicely.

Universal Space booth – We broke the news about UNIS bringing Cooking Mama to arcades and I have noticed that a number of blogs have picked up on that news but unfortunately only one source gave us any credit for that (so we tip our hat to them GameSetWatch). Such is the nature of the blogging biz I suppose. Either way, one detail that needs to be emphasized about the game is that it is available in the US right now – and I already saw it’s appeal to younger kids. When I was posting the IAAPA pics at my arcade, a girl who was about 8 or 9 years old saw the picture of Cooking Mama and asked if we would get it saying she would play it all the time (right after my brother was saying that no one would play it).

Overall I was happy with the UNIS booth because there was a number of different and new ideas there that other companies don’t have.

One of those was Butterfly Garden – which is an interesting return to the tabletop game with four players. You control a net and you attempt to capture as many butterflies as possible. It’s another cutesy game that is something different. They had a couple of virtual bowling games which were fun and I was also impressed with Panda Family, a party game by IGS that uses a face avatar feature. There are a number of mini-games to pick from and movement is controlled by large buttons. The cabinet is really nice and this is one I wouldn’t mind getting for my arcade.

Of interest to Panic Park fans they also had a game called Ultimate. The control scheme works exactly like Panic Park does where you play tug-of-war on the controls in each mini-game. I was very impressed by the price on this one – only $4600 for a game with a 46″ screen. I couldn’t get a good feel for how the mini-games played in it however as you really need two people to get the full effect.

H2Overdrive fans will be pleased/surprised that UNIS had a new version of H2Overdrive at their booth. This version uses a motion base and it was a collaborative effort by UNIS, Tsunami Visual and Bandai Namco games. The motion version should be available in the US in 2010, with the game also going to Asian markets.

Apologies for the bad video and sound quality in this one, it’s another one I had to convert from MOV to AVI.

Big Buck Hunter Pro: Open Season – I got a chance to check this out but where I am more familiar with Big Buck Safari than I am Hunter, I couldn’t notice the differences in the update off the top of my head. I do know that there is more focus with online play via the Coin-Up network, like they do with Safari. I also found the mini bonus games to be a little more entertaining than what is in Safari (they even have an Asteroids bnous round, not sure if that is new or not)

Textminator – Strangely enough this game is attracting all sort of attention on various tech blogs all of the sudden, even though it has been out for a while. This was the first time I had a chance to play it myself and while I am not a texting person by any means, it was a decent game. Words fall from the top and you have to text out what it says before the word hits the bottom. One thing that could hurt the appeal to this is how many cell phones are converting over to full keyboards, making the old way of texting out-of-date but still, this is something unique and the cabinet catches your eye as well. The pads are interesting – it’s like using a payphone pad but it seems like they should hold up to the normal pounding found in your average arcade.

Yes, I still have a few more videos to go!

More IAAPA 2009 videos – Tetris Giant, Hummer, Twisted (+ NASCAR 2 news) & more

November 22, 2009

Here’s some more content from the IAAPA 2009 show.

Tetris Giant – We first heard about this interesting new Tetris game a few months ago and while it seemed like the perfect game for Western audiences, I was still a little surprised to see it at Sega’s booth. Where the blocks are pretty large the game can go by quickly but when you play against someone else it can be a lot of fun. Otherwise, it’s Tetris with huge joysticks. These are actually interesting as they make use of force feedback. I am not crazy about the price at all however – $10k for a Tetris game, even if it is huge is too much. At least you can project the image onto the wall for a 150″ image, which could be very useful in certain venues. It’s also good to see a puzzle game make it’s way back to arcades so hopefully this won’t keep it’s price tag for very long.

Hummer – After Sega’s Hummer Deluxe came and went I had expected it to end there but some time later they decided to rework the game slightly for a standard format. It’s actually an all right game and it was constantly being played at show. They only had two standard units setup next to two standard Sega Rally 3’s. Graphically the game looks pretty nice, once again proving what they can pull off Lindbergh platform and the boost feature in the game was nice as it focuses on targeting other Hummer’s to smash into them. You collect your boost depending upon things like nice landings and objects smashed so it does feel like Excite Truck in that regard. I admit that I am not as excited about racers as I am other titles at IAAPA(I know how important racers are to any arcade because they earn well, I can’t ignore that but at the same time I believe that it’s important to demand more titles that give us something different and earn well on their own) but this is a pretty good effort for the off-road racing genre that is worth checking out, if not for the racing than just for the destruction factor alone.

Twisted- GlobalVR was at the show after all, even though they hadn’t been listed on an interactive map system for the show (unless I was looking in the wrong place). They didn’t have any new games we hadn’t heard off but they did have their newest release, Twisted: Nitro Stunt Racing dominating the booth in it’s three configurations. The idea behind this one is to gain enough speed to pull off big jumps or to master loops, depending upon the track you race. As such you have unlimited boost at your fingertips, which is a little surprising but I found that overusing it generally results in a crash (not of the software, just your car). One thing I would have liked to have seen is a scoring/ranking system for the jumps, like it was an Olympic event or something (or even like with Sega’s Hummer, which rewards you with boost points for a good landing) – that would make the jumps feel more satisfying. As we’ve seen before the game looks really nice, whether it’s on the 32″ or 42″ screen. Like with Hummer there are so many racers out there to choose from right now that I’m not sure what advice to offer for someone looking to make a pick between all of them but this is a solid effort. The motion version is pretty cool, the base doesn’t go all over the place when you’re racing and I didn’t feel nauseous during gameplay so that’s a plus.

There was some news regarding GVR’s next effort- a major upgrade to NASCAR which they are calling NASCAR 2. In fact GVR is looking for some operators who own the game to test out the new software which adds several new things to the game including a feature similar to the old Wavenet. If you need to know who to contact, drop us an e-mail and we can put you in touch with the right person but you do need to actually own some NASCAR cabinets. 😉

And Speaking of NASCAR, there was an interesting redemption NASCAR based game at the Baytek booth where four players can race against each other around a small track using remote controlled cars.

Don’t worry, I have several more videos to put up, so stay tuned!


IAAPA 2009 videos – Sega Racing Classic, Terminator Salvation, Tank! Tank! Tank!

November 21, 2009

Youtube just didn’t want to upload my videos this afternoon but after some persistence, I am finally getting them put up there. In total I have 20 videos to put up so I won’t be finishing it tonight but rest assured that as long as Youtube doesn’t suck tomorrow then I should get them all up by then. I apologize for some of the cracking in a few videos, that’s not something I noticed until I had already filmed most of these and some of it was due to the loud ambient noise.

First off, Sega Racing Classic. What I like: The cabinet and the sound. If you still are fine playing the original Daytona in arcades then this shouldn’t disappoint. What I don’t like: I heard that this is just running modified Daytona code under emulation and while the higher resolution is nice, the game still looks very aged. I’m in the boat that a majority of 3D games don’t age well and next to some sleek racer it’s going to show. It also stinks that they couldn’t add more tracks to the game. Anything else: Price. Sega wasn’t revealing what the price is other than to say it would not be priced at the same level as a normal racer. After some thought I can see why they are taking this route as opposed to giving us a brand new Daytona – look at how incredibly well these re-releases do on services like XBLA. Also older games like Pac-Man/Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga are sold new by Namco and you could put this into the same category. Still, I think that a new Daytona (or Sega Racing Classic 2 as it will have to be) would do really well, judging by the response that SRC first received. Overall: Unless they are $2000 a cab (I won’t keep my hopes up) I would pass on this for my arcade. But I do not have a Daytona sitting in my location already; there also are a lot of choices for racers and I can’t say that I’m wanting to just get all the racers I could, so take that for what it’s worth.

Terminator Salvation. What I like: There was little to nitpick about this one, I liked everything about it. Graphically it fits right into the post-apocalyptic theme with just enough shine to look nice but not too much to hurt your retinas. There are a lot of robots to shoot and the game keeps the pace moving along steadily. The clip reloading feature is a nice touch that you get the hang of quickly and the force feedback is balanced well. The levels take a little bit of time to get through, which is also good in my book because there a couple of light-gun games I can think of where it seems like the levels blow by too fast. The cabinet has many details to it and the Terminator topper is just plain awesome. It plays just as well in single player as it does with two players although competing for your rank and score at the end of a mission can be fun. What I didn’t like: Not much really, the only thing I can think of is the secondary weapon button which launches your grenades. As your hand is over the clip most of the time, the grenade button can seem far away when you need it fast but where you have a 60 bullet clip, it’s usually not an issue(I suppose you could say that it’s part of the challenge balance).  Anything else: Where this is not the final build of the game they are bound to change a few things. It would be nice if there was another weapon power-up or two to add but honestly this game is on the right track to be a big hit as it’s a ton of fun and you don’t have to care about the movie at all to enjoy this. Overall: I would get this for my arcade in a heartbeat. I played it multiple times and enjoyed it every time. People will gravitate towards it based on the license alone and beyond that it’s a solid game with replay value.

Tank! Tank! Tank! What I like: I could say that I like this simply because it’s not a racer but there’s much more to it than that. It was designed as a party battle game and it is simply fun, no matter which play mode you choose. A free-for-all or team battle is slightly more fun than the “quest” but I do wonder how it would hold up with just two units as opposed to four. The avatar feature can be hilarious if you play around with it; the force feedback is excellent and quite accurate as well. It’s being billed as having motion (there is even a motion shut off button) but it feels more like in-depth feedback since the motion base doesn’t move side to side (and I’m glad it doesn’t. These motion games where you are a car on a flat street and they tilt you sideways just don’t get it). Everything can be destroyed in the levels and as your enemies fall they will drop a number of power-ups to use. The only one I didn’t like after a while was the squirt gun as it’s more of a stun weapon to be used in team play than a frontal assault cannon. At the end of the day I suppose I’m more into the highly destructive stock than in the more strategic weapons.  What I didn’t like: Other than the squirt gun thing I can only think of something from a small operator perspective and that’s the price. Now I understand that this isn’t going to be a $5000 game or anything (especially since you get two units in one and you have the motion) and it’s actually a little cheaper than some of Namco’s other dual game offerings which in the past have come close to $20,000.  Anything else: I forgot to ask this question but I hope that this one stays arcade exclusive for a long, long time (or forever, like Tokyo Wars).    Overall: I would get this for my arcade in a heartbeat as well. I also played this several times and I think I hogged my unit once or twice so I could stay on longer. Players will enjoy the sheer destruction that you can wreak throughout the game and with co-op and competitive modes it has covered the important bases.

That is all I am able to get to tonight but as promised, I will start uploading more videos tomorrow as soon as I can.

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