(Thanks to Kevin Williams for the tip)
There is more news building up to the IAAPA 2013 trade show that takes place in Orlando, FL this month on the week of the 18th. Yesterday I received the newest copy of Replay Magazine that has some ads which unveil some of what is there, including the final cabinets for Sega’s Transformers (there are going to be two), the Plants Vs. Zombies cabinet and Jetpack Joyride will be coming to arcades through Adrenaline Amusements. I’ll share more details on those soon. What isn’t in the issue is what Namco has planned.
Today at Coin-OpCommunity.co.uk shared a press release from Bandai Namco Europe that laid out the plans the company has for the IAAPA event. One thing that isn’t a surprise is the inclusion of their motorcycle racing game, Dead Heat Riders. We first saw that one at Amusement Expo ’13 back in March and there were some false reports of it being released during the year. Also two of my educated guesses were proven to be true – the game formerly known as Sonic Storm and rechristened as Mach Storm will be there. Also this will be the official debut of Mario Kart Arcade GP DX in North America. MKGPDX was released in Japan this Summer and we presumed that it would make it overseas since Mario Kart Arcade 1 and 2 had a release here. What is unknown is whether the US version will include any of the online features that the Japanese version enjoys.
UPDATE: Thanks to a comment in another post, here is the first footage I have seen of Namco’s Mach Storm, which based upon our previous coverage is based upon the Ace Combat games but with some changes for the specialized arcade cabinet (which is similar to the famous Gundam pods found in Japan). After this we’ll want to see a Starblade upgrade:
The biggest surprise is the announcement of the return of Alpine Racer. Alpine Racer was a skiing game first released back in 1995. There were two sequels to that – well one psuedo-sequel that involved snowboarding called Alpine Surfer (1996) and then a direct sequel called Alpine Racer 2 (1997). For the newest entry, here is what the press release says about it:
Alpine Racer the hugely popular ski simulator is back!!! A huge 50” screen with a similar sports player setup as the original, tremendous gameplay, combine to make this game the debut not too miss, be sure not to miss the surprise of the year!
Here’s some original Alpine Racer. The last time I came across any of the AR games was AR2. But it has been a while.
I reached out to Namco for further comment but they prefer to hold further surprises for IAAPA so we will just have to wait. It’s actually two weeks and one day from today that the trade show gets underway. So not much more of a wait.
Sonic Storm will certainly turn some heads in a couple of weeks.
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Also there is a small mention in there of another game under-development but there are zero details about it from the release other than the name. Again from the release:
A big hitting range of new titles have been confirmed ahead of this month’s show in Orlando, Florida, including Mach Storm, Batman, Alpine Racer, Mario Kart Arcade, Aliens and the eagerly awaited Dead Heat Riders.
I have been hearing rumors that Raw Thrills has been working on a “sci-fi gun game” but without any further info it was better to just sit on them for the time being. Given this blurb in the PR, this sounds like a new Aliens would fit the bill. Notice they put Batman in there – as this is Bandai Namco Europe, they distribute some Raw Thrills product there which explains why it is on that list. So by connecting the dots of what I know, my assumption is that Aliens is in development by Play Mechanix (who developed Aliens: Extermination for GlobalVR back in 2006), published by Raw Thrills and then carried by various distributors which is where there will be some overlap with Namco on this one.
That is all we know about it for right now so the rest will have to be further assumptions. If they follow history it could be a mounted gun game (apart from Aliens: Extermination, Alien 3: The Gun was also a mounted gun title); if it was free guns then that would be an interesting departure. The question there would be Pulse Rifles or Smart Gun? Also, given PMs progress from Aliens in 2006 they have done Terminator Salvation and then Big Buck HD – if this new game has graphics on par with BBHD it would be something but they certainly could improve on that too, which would be a great sight given that home consoles are all coming out this month pumping what will be considered next-gen graphics. Arcades need to stay up with that at the very least, although staying ahead is the preference. 😉
So mariokart is deffinatly coming to the west huh? Either namco’s stupid banapass system has been a sucess which I find very unlikley or namco obviously knew they’d be cutting their noses off to spite their faces. Wonder if maybe there’s still hope for wmmt 4?
I think mariokart will prove very popular when it’s released. It’ll be good to see alpine racer series again after so many years, last time I play the game was 2 years ago in Blackpool. Who knows maybe even rapid river may get a sequal (a game also by namco)
I don’t know about WMMT given what we have heard today – I think having that compete with Mario Kart, Alpine Racer and Dead Heat Riders it becomes a tall order.
I guess so but it would be a nice surprise for wmmt 4 to appear at the show. I just thought maybe with mariokart dx coming out west that maybe the latter maybe coming out too
We can’t discount surprises, I just don’t know if anything has changed drastically enough for them to budge. Same reason Sega doesn’t bother with InitialD out West anymore (IMO as to why ID and WMMT are ignored is that the market is saturated with racers and casual ones sell much better all around than the technical ones. Hence Dead Heat. But technical ones are usually $2-3000 more than their casual cousins making it harder to sell as that means a pair costs you $20,000) If anything we would see WMMT5 but we also have to remember that in addition to the company promoting several racers to begin with, that any WMMT is going to be very costly in terms of both initial cost and down the road parts/service – probably the most expensive out of any of the upcoming options. Again they could change their mind on the price but logically, if they were going to promote a single racer it makes the most sense to do Mario Kart as that will sell itself.
Oh yeah you make a good point. I guess since a game like mariokart that is popular the world over it wouldn’t take much for it to sell loads of cabinets and without having to stock up on cards for each unit (if any) compared to the maxi tune series which does need them to fully appreciate the game more. I guess since sega stopped at about the third initial D title (I’ve seen no more other than the fifth game imported at trocadero) then I suppose namco is doing the same thing and using it’s dead heat series as it’s substitute counterpart. It’s a shame really 🙁
It seems that with the technical racers the fanbase is strong but the costs that the operator has to face with initial and maintenance costs are eliminating the sales on that end (which from the manufacturer stand-point is ultimately more imnportant since that is what keeps them afloat). I do wonder if anyone picked up the Speed Driver 3 or 4 units from IGS. Seems like that offers a less expensive alternative and the games were solid from what I played.