If you aren’t happy with the driving experience that a run o’ the mill arcade driver gives you then there are companies which address that, with crazy setups like we see by Cruden. They had one of these at IAAPA, which I only watched from the sidelines, but it was quite impressive. Little did I realize that these setups are used by both professional drivers and engineers for virtual training but where it was being shown at IAAPA, obviously the company had a desire to move the simulator into the amusement sector. Now they have accomplished just that, with at least at one location in the UK known as the Weston–Super–Mare Grand Pier installing two units to play. The units are known as the Hexatech 3CTR interactive race simulator and this is the first installation of such machines for use by the public. The article that Kevin sent us doesn’t mention what the price will be to play one of these (if you are in the area it’s probably best to save up, just in case). It is also mentioned that to keep things fresh, there are a variety of options on the table for the pier to add extras to the simulators, from “fitting car bodywork or mounting actual vehicles to a motion platform”; as well as upgrades to the software for different kinds of cars and tracks.
Posted tagged ‘UK’
It’s been a while since we had an arcade location review, as well as a guest post but Arcade Heroes reader (and frequent tipster) Kieran May sent us his review of an FEC in the UK known as Planet Fun. He gets into what they offer as well as the customer service aspect and whether that will make or break your experience there. It brings up an excellent subject all location owners should worry about – whether their staff on hand is making the customer feel welcome to be there (which equals repeat visits) or if they feel like they should spend their hard-earned money elsewhere. Hit the post break below for the review.
There is a new racing game set to enter the arcade market this year and this one is coming from Sega Amusements Europe and Codemasters. It’s one console gamers may already be familiar with, GRID (or as it’s called on consoles Race Driver GRID). Thanks to a tipster who only calls himself Bill, we have your first detailed look at the game (we also contacted Sega first to ensure that it would be OK to go ahead with this as we had ran a post on this some weeks ago and were asked to remove it) as it was seen on location test at the Trocadero in London, UK. As you can see from the pictures, they are reusing the Sega Racing Classic cabinet, but have greatly improved the lighting to draw more attention to it. Here is what we know about it so far:
GRID features event based Racing – You chose and event and then chose a car from a selection of 4 per event.
Multiplayer – Quickrace
Single Player – Quickrace
Single Player – Championship: 3 Tiered competition, come 1st, 2nd or 3rd to move to the next tier. (Come first to unlock a special event in the next tier)
Many licensed cars to chose from including: Dodge Viper, Saleen S7, Aston Martin DB9, Bugatti Veyron, Pagani Zonda, Jaguar XKR
Real world environments including – Washington, San Francisco, Milan, Nurburgring, Donington
Full damage – Great fun in Multiplayer, damage is only visual and does not affect the handling of the cars
Reset button – puts you back on the track facing the right direction almost immediately so you get straight back into the race after a smash
I have not personally played GRID on consoles or PC so I’m not sure if it’s the kind of game that can just be dropped as-is into arcades or if they will be needing to change it a bit. I imagine that there will need to be some changes made and hopefully they are also enough to make the game stand above it’s console cousin. The addition of the arcade cabinet is already a plus but we’ll have to wait a little longer to find out more. Fortunately, we will have more exclusive information on GRID in the near future as it nears a release, with many more details(beyond the Stinger update below)
UPDATE: As soon as I posted this I checked the e-mail and Kevin Williams of the Stinger Report also sent me some additional information on the game(including a little hardware talk), along with pictures. Here’s Kevin’s deeper look at GRID
Manufacturer: SEGA Amusement Europe
SEGA Amusement Europe (SAE) held a special LocTest for their in-house developed racing title – ‘GRID’; marking the first time consumer game publisher Codemasters has dabbled in the amusement scene – approached by SAE to license the game for coin-op. A location in London played host to two cabinets shown in a 70 per cent completed state. The prototype cabinets displayed were a version of the same system used to house ‘SEGA Classic Racing’ (now painted black).
The arcade version of the of the original ‘Race Driver: Grid’ – a consumer street racing game launched in 2008, based on the Codemasters ‘TOCA Touring Car Championship’ series started in 1997. The arcade version featured a scaled down version of the original PC game running on a new PC architecture created exclusively to run the Ego game engine (this was not the SEGA Europa-R architecture).
The popular racing game in its arcade clothes includes both a ‘Championship mode’ and a ‘Quick Race mode’ – with the conventional game cockpit layout including ‘Recovery’ button, Up – Down gear shifter and force feed-back steering.
The prototype colourful neon-light ‘blinged’ cabinets were networked for two player racing, and included a ‘Race leader’ light for the audience. The final cabinets are being developed by SAE, and will support six-player simultaneous racing competition (but with no online or tournament support). The game following in the mould of the last SAE release (‘SEGA Rally 3’ in 2008) – though sources suggested that a special deluxe configuration is being considered for release.
The game is expected to be released in fall of this year, though it seems unlikely that a Japanese release will be considered. However sources revealed that SEGA USA will be testing a US specific content version of the game (following the same track as seen with the SAE developed ‘Ford Racing’). SEGA US/UK hoping to make the squeeze on a crowded amusement driving scene, competing with – Namco’s still to be launched ‘Dead Heat Street Racing’, Taito’s ‘D1 GP: Arcade’, Konami’s ‘GTi-Club’ and to be launched ‘Road Fighter’, Global VR’s ‘NASCAR Team Racing’ and ‘TWISTED’ and InjoyMotion ‘Street Racing Stars’.
UPDATE #2 : AH reader RJAY sent us a video he took of the game from the location test.
Arcade Heroes contributor Kevin Williams was at a recent arcade event held by UK Distributors Electrocoin and United Distributing Company and brought along his camera. So what was at the event? Keep on reading by hitting the link below…
If you live in the UK, you’re good at texting and you want to win some prizes, then the Textminator tournament is for you. PMT Sales has reported that the tournament is now live and that the game can be found at the Hollywood Bowl in Leeds along with five other machines in the country. 50 machines are scheduled to go out to different locations in the UK over the next 30 days so finding one shouldn’t prove to be too difficult. At the moment the monthly prize is a Playstation 3 and players will also have a chance at £10,000. PMT Sales states:”Initial reaction has been fantastic with kids realizing quite quickly that their texting skills could be used to for their further education.” More info on the tournament can be found here.
One great thing about theme parks around the world is that they are still homes to significant arcades. Sega Europe announced today that they are partnering with the Alton Towers Resort (located in Staffordshire, England), where Sega gets “exclusive video game rights at the resort” for the next three years. In addition to the supply of arcade games, the resort will also feature a Sonic The Hedgehog themed roller coaster called Sonic Spinball. I’m not sure if that is the same ride found at the Sega Republic in Dubai or not, but that at least makes two occasions where they have produced a Sonic-themed roller coaster. While, there is no word on what games will be provided to the resort yet, I am sure that it will be a substantial investment on Sega’s part.
Hit the post break below for more info.
It looks like Raw Thrills/Betson is really beginning to make a push into the Japanese arcade market. First we heard of them testing H2Overdrive in the region, then Chicago Coin/Betson’s PUTT: Champion Golf was seen over there and now we have news of Terminator Salvation currently being tested at the “Shop Yokohama Nishiguchi Raundowan”. What would be even more interesting is to find out how well these games are selling as well as earning on location and whether they have full Japanese translations or not. Speaking of that, if any arcade developer out there ever wishes to break into the Brazilian coin-op market, I would happily do the Portuguese translation of any game for a reasonable fee. I’m just saying. 😉
UPDATE: Thanks to arcades4ever in the comments, we now know that it’s testing at the Hollywood Bowl Bowling Alley in the UK as well. As always, if anyone ever has a chance to snap some pics from a location test, send them to us so we can share with everyone (we’ll give you credit too). 😉