A couple of weeks ago the annual DEAL (Dubai Entertainment Amusement & Leisure Show) show took place, where at least one new game was unveiled for the international market, Sega’s new K.O. Drive. We had a post all about that in case you missed it, but what else was there you might be wondering? As always, we’ve got the goods to share with you, since our love for arcades here is more than lip-service. Here’s the run-down, pictures as indicated provided by The Stinger Report, videos found on Youtube.
Visual Sports – Arena Pro XT – nice visual sports simulator
Perhaps the biggest news from the show was the aforementioned fact that Sega had a new game on hand, K.O. Drive. Well that wasn’t the only product they had to show off. They had several titles we have seen before and perhaps you have stumbled across them out there – Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Arcade, GRID, Let’s Go Island 3D, and Bejeweled as examples. But there was another unexpected item there – a deluxe cabinet of Virtua Tennis 4
If you are behind on what is going on here, Sega released a standard version of their console game Virtua Tennis 4 to arcades a short time ago in a cabinet that has been called an “iPod cabinet”. This breaks from that to offer a big screen but this design borrows heavily from Namco’s Pac-Man Battle Royale Deluxe, as you can compare below (PMBR was also at the show).
If Namco wasn’t feeling flattered enough by that, an unidentified Chinese company went a step further in borrowing the design for their own Smash Fun. As best I can tell, this has to do with smashing food, which isn’t a bad concept on the surface but depends a great deal on how they actually went about it. I almost wonder if it borrows a little from Fruit Ninja as well but without a video all I can do is guess. UPDATE: I found this game on Coinopexpress.com. It’s surprisingly cheap (for an arcade game of this size. It’s about half the price of a typical 42″ game) and it has to do with cakes.
Before wandering off too far from Namco, they had Deadstorm Pirates 4D+ there. Not sure if they just gave it a name change or if they have added more effects to it as last we saw it, they were calling it Deadstorm Pirates 3D. When I saw this at IAAPA I was impressed by the smooth 3D the game had, even though you had to use glasses. If they have added extra effects (motion, wind, bubbles, etc.) I’m sure it is a nice bonus.
Last year Taito released a cutesy racing game in Japan called Kickthrough Racers. It was a follow-up to another unique racing game they had made called Hopping Road. In this game you racer with scooters and you have a foot lever you pump as a sort of gas pedal. Taito took the step of adding this game to their English arcade site which gave us a hint that it was likely destined for an outside-of-Asia release but we haven’t seen it show up anywhere – until DEAL 2012. Four units were setup as you can see below and by this showing we can safely assume that Europe will also be getting the game but no clue on whether the game will head out to the Western Hemisphere or not for now.
Also seen at the show, the Western version of Taito’s Sonic Blast Heroes, redubbed Real Puncher 2.
Speaking of boxing type games, ICE’s Real Steel was on hand too, situated next to a new videmption game by Team Play called Pirate’s Booty.
Dancing concepts for kids are not common but not unheard of. Andamiro has Pump It Up Jump! and now UNIS has this title called Boogie Down. Here is a webpage for it at their website.
I’m not sure why it wasn’t at the UNIS booth but another UNIS game by the name of Mighty Moto (which the closest thing I can compare it to is the motorcycle racing levels in Mario Kart Wii) was hanging out with some of the Raw Thrills and Taito games.
More and more Chinese companies are making appearances at these international trade shows and while they have not quite brought along something that has become their Space Invaders(on part of that is no one is going to touch a clone and there are still plenty of those; you also have many games designed in a way that don’t work well outside of certain regions), they have been coming up with various concepts. I think it will take a major manufacturer to work some sort of deal out with them to make it that far and the game will have to really stand out, much like what Japanese companies did back in the 70s in licensing their games for manufacture and distribution overseas. That has sort of happened to a degree with Wahlap’s Power Truck, which made another appearance here but with four units together. It’s notable that another racer that made waves at IAAPA was not on hand, Storm Racer. I think at the end of the day Power Truck stands out more then SR does, although SR wasn’t a bad game by any means.The main issue with Power Truck at the end of the day however, and it’s the only negative I had with the game was the price tag of ~$12,000 per cabinet. When you can usually pick up a pair of standard racing games at that price, it makes it difficult to compete.
Here are two games by a company by the name of Huataibaishun Animation. The one on the right we have seen before but at booths of different companies so I never know what the deal is on that one. Still, it’s a helicopter 3D shmup that is either Air Strike or a modification of it that also uses a yoke controller. I don’t know of helicopters that use yokes but still, its a way to be different. The other game is a light-gun shooter that uses 3D glasses and some cool mounted guns called Yiji 4D. Even though the company behind the glorious Vulcan-M is now defunct, that game did have an effect of adding a little more realism to some light-gun games, such as the addition of the moving bullet feed at the side of the gun.
We haven’t heard from Tecway in a while, a Taiwanese based company but they were here with their Arkanoid-like game Pong Pong Table (which I have played at IAAPA and it was interesting. Been a long while since a game like that has come along and I liked the slider controller, although it needed calibration) and a clone of Andamiro’s Winner’s Ringer/Tower of Hanoi game. I can’t make out what the name is from the picture so let’s call it Winner’s Wannabe 2, just for kicks.
Another company called Zhongshan Amusement Company had this on hand, Live Boxer. The cabinet is pretty much the same as Taito’s Sonic Blast Heroes/Real Puncher 2 but the game is some sort of anime boxing style thing.
There were three videos made by HawTian that are filmed in NarrowVision(tm) where they wander around the show floor. I will only post one of them though since for the most part it’s just a look at the booths and not really the games. This does show some of what I have talked about above.
This video starts off in the arcade area then goes back to brisk booth scanning. Around 1:30 is a Chinese company that has some knock-offs of more popular Japanese games; then UNIS with Boogie Down. Jumping ahead to 3:45, they get back to the Simuline booth and after circling around there I caught something at 4:45 – Taito’s KickThrough Racers. Some other games we have seen before are seen very quickly after that – Real Steel, Pac-Man Battle Royale Deluxe; Namco’s DeadStorm Pirates 4D is at 5:54. Jump ahead to 7:29 where they get to the Sega booth and Sonic & Sega All-Stars racing Arcade is there followed by Operation GHOST; right after OG, you can catch a brief glimpse of the Virtua Tennis 4 Deluxe control panel but they don’t stop on the screen. Unfortunately they do not move around to show K.O Drive either so we will have to keep waiting to see that in action. After that it’s back to booth skimming until 8:50 where we get InJoy Motion where they had their latest games on hand.
That wraps it up for what I have been able to find. Next week we have another trade show to look forward to in regards to the GTI Expo although it is usually one of the more challenging shows for us since we often get inconsistent pictures of what is there and while there are often surprises to look over, details can be very difficult to come by. Not that I don’t enjoy a little speculation now and then over what I am looking at, I always prefer to have the best information possible. I know that would be remedied if I could make it there, the show is in Taipei, Taiwan but the budget for world travel in these regards is still a ways off for me. All in good time I suppose!