When an adult I think we always feel like time just flies by although for me, this year has at times felt like that while at others felt like it drug on. Either way we are entering into 2014, which will be a big year for new arcade releases as we saw with the IAAPA 2013 trade show. So what were the most popular stories published to the site this year, based on what you, the readers visited?
There is always a lot of interest that comes to the site for Namco’s technical driving series. Posts made on the site about the 4th still get a lot of hits, even though the game was not officially released out West. I have heard through the grapevine that at the moment the 5th is not slated for a Western release either. Namco has a pretty big window of releases through the beginning of next year and I am sure that will be their focus for a while. This post was almost beat by an article about Sega’s simulation games I published in the Summer
The Batman posts were a hot item on the blog this year, helped by the fact that we were the first to unveil information about the game. This post which was #9 overall, was the first revelation that the game was making its way to the arcade. At the time, it was called Batmobile but it was later changed to Batman.
There is one arcade/FEC entertainment chain that is not only making some buzz, they are going to expand their reach into the US in 2014 with their first location in Texas. In the 8th most popular 2013 post, AH correspondent Phil Arrington took a look at their newer Lakewood Mall location.
This was one of the briefer posts made this year but it still grabbed a lot of attention!
I remember being quite surprised by the tip that came in about this location test back in February. The game will finally be available on a wider scale this coming Feb. and its a stellar example of how arcades can be different from other sectors of gaming, when they want to be. This is now called Mach Storm and here is a brief video showing it being played at IAAPA 2013
I don’t think it was a big surprise that a re-fabrication of one of the most highly sought after pinball machines of all time made it to the popular news category. I’ve even had more than one person come into my arcade mentioning this specific story. Funny how a game that was originally a non-license has generated this much interest, since the conventional wisdom in pinball is that licenses are the only way to commercial success. That might have been true several years ago but I think that given the right design, something completely original in both design and theme could do well in today’s pinball environment.
It’s always a pleasant opportunity to interview someone that is behind one of the games we play. This interview gave us an in-depth look into the work behind the new Batman game, how it came to be, how it plays and some sweet prototype cabinet imagery.
Sometimes announcements about new locations create a tiny bit of interest and then there are times where its a huge story. I’m not sure if this is just up to the local region of customers and how socially connected they are or what. Either way, the opening of Flashback Games in Athens, GA was a hot item and I hope they have done well since!
With a name like Batman attached to it, its expected that this had a lot of interest attached to it. It also probably helped that we were the only ones with it at the time 😉 The game is out now and playable at various venues with one major difference from what is pictured above – the steering wheel was redesigned with a Batman-style handle.
And the #1 story on Arcade Heroes, among what was published this year was the announcement way back in February that Namco was bringing Mario Kart back to arcades for a 3rd time. The game was released in Japan this past Summer but it also has been confirmed for launch in the US in March 2014. While it will feature a different cabinet build than the Japanese version (the Japanese version uses an enhanced Wangan Maximum Tune 4 cabinet; the US version uses retooled Dead Heat 42″ cabinets), the software will be the same as far characters, tracks, graphics/sound, NamCam & online go. This will be Bandai Namco’s first big push out West with online functionality, which only saw partial use previously with titles like the Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Unlimited kits they had available.
While they may or may not have been published this year, these are stories which also saw some movement on the hit counter this year
Due to a link shared on a Reddit thread about restaurants, this post from 2007 surprisingly became the most viewed post of the year and it fell just short of topping our most popular post ever, the Hands-on impressions of Sega Rally 3.
2. Arcade Releases 2013 – This would have been #1 but it has an unfair advtange basically being pinned to the top of the page year round and being more of an information page than a post. But are people interested in seeing what’s coming out? Absolutely. The 2014 page will be up shortly.
3. 40 Years Of Arcade Games – Part 1 (1972-1989) – This and the sister post (Games between 1990-2012) were published last year but continue to be some of the strongest performers on the site. That makes me personally happy since it took me forever to research and write that all up so I’m glad people are getting some use out of it.
4. Sega’s Wonderful Simulation Games Over The Years – This was just 11 views shy of being post #10 up above. It’s similar in nature to the 40 Years of Games posts but with a focus just on Sega’s simulation games, which are always a fascinating read.
5. The Arcade Experience, A Book by Adam Pratt of Arcadeheroes.com – I haven’t been the best self-marketer on the book I wrote about arcades and self-published this year but for those that picked it up, Thank You very much. Self-published books generally don’t grab a lot of attention and see very low triple digit sales if you are lucky. I have an idea for a second and perhaps more polished arcade book although at the moment I actually want to get a sci-fi book written down where various ideas for a concept there have been bouncing around my head for the past few years. So it’s my goal to get that out of “outlining hell” that’s its been stuck in lately and done next year. Then we’ll see if the 2nd arcade book concept will be doable. 😉
I have not posted a ton of videos to the Youtube account this year but there have been a few to share. I am sure this list would have been different had I been at IAAPA 2013. I purchased a basic video editing program in the middle of the year that has allowed me to go a step beyond just posting raw video with the latest vids so the change in style is quite noticeable starting with this Arcade Games of 2011 montage. But I have learned that editing is a patient endeavor. I have more videos I am working on, including a review of Batman more game montage videos and something for Dariusburst where I explain how Chronicle Mode works (although that is being made more for the use of my arcade) but it depends on the free time I have to spend with it all.
5: In case you missed this story, click here. Bandai Namco developed a slightly different and overall better software build of Pac-Man Battle Royale and here is what it is like.
4: Disney’s Cars by Raw Thrills only got a very limited release but it was playable at Amusement Expo 2013 this past March.
3: The name was changed to Pac-Man Chomp Mania but the game was first seen at Amusement Expo 2013 as well
2: This is the first chance I got to film Namco’s Dark Escape 4D.
1: Here I am combining the Batman news into one. I posted three videos made by Specular Interactive for their Batman title, each of which have gathered many views. I only added the Arcade Heroes opener to them as they were seen for the first time in public in conjunction with the interview article above. The Attract Mode video has gained the most views, currently sitting above 17,000.
If you are curious, the most popular video I’ve ever posted about arcades was the first look at Pac-Man Battle Royale from March 2010.
Again my thanks to every one of you that reads the site, lurks, comments, sends in tips, contribute stories, advertise or in any other way support the site. Have a great and happy 2014!