We’ve been waiting for a while and finally we have some pictures from the 2012 AAMA Gala that took place about a month ago. Of course in the future the best way to resolve this problem is for one of us AH writers to get out there, which I would like to do. Of course there are many different events I would love to make it to but things don’t always work out that way. As I have mentioned, I will be at IAAPA 2012 to capture footage of the latest games there so at least there won’t be any waiting there.This will probably rehash a few things I went over a few days back when I saw some coverage of the event in the most recent Replay Magazine but with any extra details I can muster.
For the Gala, there aren’t a huge number of pictures to look at but they do offer the best views we have seen of some new titles so far.These pictures came our way from the AAMA through Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report, our thanks to both of them! Click on any image to enlarge.
Cars (Raw Thrills)
Originally intended to be out in time for the release of the Cars 2 movie last year, the arcade version was pushed back similar to how we saw Terminator Salvation wait to hit the market so improvements could be made. It has been developed by the same company responsible for various Disney video game titles, Salt Lake City-based Avalanche Software. As seen here the game offers a 42″ display and cabinet lighting similar to Fast And Furious Super Cars. This was only shown as a single game for the show; most Raw Thrills racers allow for up to 8 units to link so I imagine that the final version of this will be similar. This is slated for a Western release this Winter and with Raw Thrills’ recent expansion into China, perhaps it will end up there as well although I could understand if licensing caused a delay in that regard.
Winter X Games SnoCross (Raw Thrills)
Also new to the scene is something that we could look at as a spiritual successor to Midway’s Arctic Thunder. This snowmobile racing game uses the Winter X Games license and comes in two versions, standard 32″ and deluxe 42″. The deluxe has a swivel seat like Super Bikes 2 and while it hasn’t been stated, I would venture to guess that there is a seat rumbler similar to what AT had. There are six racers, seven tracks to choose from and the game can handle up to 8 linked units. Perhaps the most unique feature about this one is the QR Code scoring system. When a score is obtained, the game presents a QR Code on the screen. Using a smartphone you can scan the code and post your score to just about any social media site out there (its not limited solely to Twitter/Facebook). The game itself actually does not connect to the internet – that is all done through the user’s phone. It’s not the very first game to use QR Codes in some manner (Transformers Pinball to access goodies and Big Buck HD to like the BBHD Facebook page or login to the game are a couple of examples of those that do) but
I’ve not heard of it being used for scoring like this, making it a nice feature that eases the way to post scores to social media sites many people use. (Thanks to Nomax and Editor for pointing out Sega games from the early 00’s that used them)
The Swarm (GlobalVR)
This is GlobalVR’s first game in a year and also their first to offer a stereo 3D experience. The design uses the mounted gun layout that GVR has been using since they introduced a new kind of Aliens Extermination cabinet a couple of years ago, where the operator can get their own TV to fit the budget they can handle. Some deeper details as provided to us last month by GVR can be found here.
X-Men Pinball (Stern)
Having recently traded a prize redemption game I had for a Konami X-Men 6 player cabinet, the appeal of having that and a pinball together is certainly worth considering.
Virtua Tennis 4 Deluxe (Sega)
In case you weren’t sure if Sega was serious about supporting the latest Virtua Tennis in arcades (which has been available as a standard 32″ model since early this year), then this should answer the question. The cupholders are a new addition, showing that they hope to get it into bars where I imagine it could do well. The standard version sells for under $6000 so I wonder where they are going to put this one on the price scale.
Sonic Quad Air (Sega)
This is just like Barron Games’ Quad Air (as it was made by them) but themed with Sonic the Hedgehog. In the background they also were showing off the Nintendo strategy of multi-colored games – those are Sega’s extremely popular KeyMaster prize merchandisers now in the various colors of the rainbow.
Which we saw last year at IAAPA 2012
Deadstorm Pirates Mini (Namco)
Same game, smaller package for the kids
Gold Standard Games (Formerly Shelti)
Here they had some games which are typically mechanical in nature, now fitted with LCD monitors for additional options and info. The Dartboard is called the Radikal, the air hockey table looks like it is called “The Table of Champions.”
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Ghost Squad (2004) used QR codes for scores but only to be used at Ghost Squad ranking website.
@Nomax, A number of the early ALL.Net games used QR codes in the early adoptions. SEGA was having problems with continuous connectivity of systems in the field and offered the QR website jump as an option.
I was always unhappy that SEGA ripped all the tournament ranking (and character mods) from the Western version – only to re-add them in a last minute attempt to address flagging plays.
With Raw Thrills move on social gaming (borrowed from what Incredible Technology achieved with GTG) we can at least see what operators have been missing. That said I still hear operators carping about having to have their machines ‘online’!
This has ired me for a while the game publishers not having online features or removing them. Sega with All.net I think they only had 1 game in the west Extreme Hunting 2.
Global VR pulled the plug on their dial up score uploads a few years ago, announced it was coming back in a broadband form for more interaction, closer to real time uploads as opposed to overnight dial in and possibly real time play for Nascar but I don’t think ever actually did.
Coin UP (Raw Thrills) seems to have moderately well with Golden Tee all the way back to their 2K versions as well as Silver Strike, Terminator supports leaderboards if of course you can convince your operator to do the leg work and actually get their unit online and for some older units you may have to update the software on it first. And apparently Specular (H2Overdrive) is going to add some degree of Coin UP features in their next as of yet unannounced title.
An odd note from Coinup.com shows that tippin blocks logo as if the game supports it but I cant find any other proof or documentation on it.
I just do not understand how these company’s don’t see internet support as the next big thing they should have started 3 -5 years ago. The ability to allow dlc or even free content refreshes for online machines is like icing on the cake, you can improve the game with updates, patches and content to keep it fresh.
Last comment goes back to our conversation about Derby Owners Club they bring a new version to the west screw the former big wig that wanted to sell all the cards put in All.Net support and you can always have a race with someone even at a different location,
This is interesting! Cars looks hype, I love the movie, so this could be fun. I wish Snocross could be developed by Specular, they are doing the midway thunder series justice, but still looks cool anyway. Very cool machines coming out!