When I went to ASI I was hoping to see something new from American Alpha, the US wing of the Taiwan-based company, IGS. IGS has a particular flare for releasing games with 2D graphics and has some cool games that I would love to see officially released in the US such as Oriental Legend 2 and Pirate Revenge. Unfortunately American Alpha only focuses on video redemption games and only seems to import games that would do well as a redemption game and not as a stand-alone video title so if you want those aforementioned games in the US and I imagine elsewhere outside of Asia, you’ll have to rely on importing them. What also baffles me is that they have an English site for Oriental Legend 2 – why bother with that unless you were going to release it in the UK, US or Canada? (If you can’t tell, I’d love to get my hands on this game, it looks like an excellent beat ’em up). According to the main IGS site, they will be at an event called GTI2008 and in addition to showing off OL2, they will be demonstrating some other games including a new racing simulator called Speed Driver 2 and Go Go Ball SD. Speed Driver 2 is actually a 3D game (somewhat rare amongst their other games) although it reminds me of InitialD4 or D1GP for some reason. I have seen something like Go Go Ball SD before where you actually throw balls at the screen and they basically serve as the controller. They say that GoGo Ball SD with have a ticket pay-out feature so perhaps it will make it to the US.
In other news, if you live in Latin America, it looks like you won’t have to worry about importing IGS games for much longer. IGS has announced that they will begin releasing their arcade games in Latin America, which according to the press release includes the countries of Columbia, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, and Panama. It’s unclear if that will include other countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador, Guatemala, etc. but it looks like they are looking for countries that don’t have strict regulation on the operation of arcade machines (from what I know of Brazil they don’t have such regulations but then again I never looked into what it would take to operate and arcade there but arcades did seem somewhat abundant in the cities there that I visited/lived in).
We’ll have to see if IGS releases some of their more hardcore games in these countries or not but we should know soon as they say that they will begin releasing games in Q2 2008, which happens to end next month.