Here’s a few more videos from my trip to IAAPA. I have been trying to upload the Universal Space booth video but Youtube has not been co-operative with that particular video today so I’ll try it again tomorrow night. In the mean time, here are some efforts by a couple of Chinese companies and a Japanese company.
First, Tecway Developments/Belrare. We’ve covered this company in the past although I sort of forgot about them and didn’t expect to see them at the show. They has a couple of interesting games at the booth as you’ll see below, the snowboarding game, Magic DJ and Happy Balance Ball. Magic DJ as you’ll notice is a clone of PM Studio’s DJ Max Technika. The big difference between the two – Magic DJ has two screens instead of one. I also didn’t see any mention of online modes, which DJ Max prides itself on. Because the volume on this game was up quite high it caused crackling on the mic in my camera.
Happy Balance Ball is a Super Monkey Ball clone but you stand on a movable base to get your ball moving. At first I thought it was a clone of Taito’s Hopping Road but upon closer inspection I saw what it really was. One amusing thing you’ll see in this video is the “homage” of sorts to Street Fighter IV.
InJoy was also at the show, I first heard about this company back at ASI 2008 but I hadn’t heard much about what they’ve been up to lately. They had a good booth with several games, Street Racing Stars, Top Gunner, PowerBoat GT and Dido Kart. Out of those Dido Kart was my favorite, it is a good Mario Kart clone that features Chinese kid characters and racing tracks in China. The sound was a bit bland for it and at $17,000 a cab it’s more for big FECs but it is a cool little game. Street Racing Stars is looking to cash in on games like Need For Speed: Underground. This is one game that overdoes the bloom effect and the racing was OK – until you crash through a barrier and it doesn’t reset you on the track – you have to back up and try again. I really didn’t care for this one. Top Gunner looked OK, like a slow paced turret shooter but I didn’t try it out so take that for what it’s worth. Power Boat looks great, the graphics have been updated considerably since that proto video we showed from the game ages ago and it had the most involved motion base out of all the games I saw (except for the simulators but I will put those into a different class)
Kung Fu Ball by Subsino. I found this one interesting because I’m a sucker for tabletop/cocktail games. It’s actually an updated, head-2-head version of Pong and Breakout, with cutesy 2D graphics. In single player mode it becomes like Breakout, in head-2-head mode, it’s like Pong. The speed of the ball is determined by how late the player hits it, if you time it just right you can send a fireball flying towards your opponent. Only two barriers/hands can be up at once though so you have to be quick on the controls. It has a few different levels and several difficulty settings that the player can choose, it’s fun to play and it’s all housed in a sweet deluxe cocktail cabinet. The only question is, would operators pay $5000 for one?
More videos tomorrow!