The arcade market of China never ceases to amaze and today you will get a look at some arcade cabinets that should fulfill that amazing requirement – for good or for bad. The company in question this time is listed as “Guangzhou Huataibaishun Animation Technology Co., Ltd” but I will just call them GHATCL for short. Neither one rolls off the tongue so we’ll just have to truck through it. Here is the website where they list the items below, among some others. As an intro to the company, here is a video via Youku, a video sharing site not well known in the West. It shows a lot of the cabinets you see below in NarrowVision:
From what I can tell, it appears that the main thing they do is design unique hardware cabinets for other people’s existing games. I can’t imagine that Sega authorized them to go ahead and make the Let’s Go Island/Jungle cabinets you will see, but lets use those for our Strange portion of their products:
Admittedly, chainguns do look cooler that the boxes that Let’s Go Jungle/Island used in their official versions but at the same time it looks like these could get in the way of seeing the screen for some users. And if that doesn’t work for you, here is another Let’s Go Island cabinet variation, now with more GHOST Squad gun action!
If you look closely at this one, you will notice that the controls follow the same scheme as Taito’s Half-Life 2 Survivor and Cyber Diver arcade games. The sticker on the bottom says the game is “Miraculous Soldier” but on the GHATCL website they call it “Tongtian Indiana Jones” for some reason. I have no idea what FPS game this is based on; the video here also shows a completely different cabinet design. I’m not sure why they decided to put the seat back so far from the screen and the video doesn’t seem to do it many favors since the user is clearly confused about how it works.
Not only does this use an unauthorized version of the Puss In Boots Fruit Ninja game and a Kinect or Kinect-like sensor, it is a prize merchandizer too. That’s…quite the combination you have there. I actually have wondered if similar blended concepts could work out West where prize redemption is a hot ticket for many venues.
Along the same lines, I have to say that given the popularity of racing games in the West, I am surprised that this exact idea hasn’t been tried. They call it Need For Speen so there you go, not related to EA’s NFS series at all! Make it a medical themed game with that Surgery Simulator and you totally have Need for Spleen take the world by storm.
Music fans are also catered to as well. With Music House you get a little more privacy with your game as well as a…I’m not sure what that is. An altar of some kind? Musical sacrifice aside, you have to admire the artistic details they bothered to put into this one.
Also among the music game selection they offer, this cabinet called PoP Music looks like Rock Band but with a more elaborate drum set. Again for some reason the cabinet shown in the picture and shown in their video have some big differences, I’m not sure why they do that. The picture version looks to have a full stage type setup even with smoke.
While the software might be a variation of BloodyTaizerhuang, I do like the cabinet on this one. It has little details like the shovel on the back and the lit-up wheels in the purple/blue are animated. Those guns appear to not follow the convention of bright colored plastic shells you tend to find in any gun game out West these days but from the pic these look more like what arcade developers used to try out in the 70s/80s with the occasional light-gun game. They were unique pieces that were often metal models of real guns. Granted these might be cheaply painted pieces of junk that breakdown after a few uses too. But at least they don’t look like something you would find on every other game.
Speaking of Bloody Taizerhuang, there seems to be some affection for virtually recreating the events of 1937, here’s another one of those games which their website lists as a “1937 anti-Japanese propaganda film in Shanghai”. Given the tense political climate between China and countries like Japan at the moment, I doubt this game would be received with any kindness if it were to find its way into Japan and it certainly has zero audience anywhere else.
In this instance I have no idea what the game is – this might be an original creation although judging by everything else on the website it seems unlikely. Perhaps it’s a modified version of Sega’s forgotten Clay Challenge game that was released on Atomiswave back in ’09. What is kind of cool about this one however is the use of two completely different light-guns. So while I can fault them on the software stuff, I have to tip my hat to them trying out some different hardware ideas. The rifle on the left is quite the piece, you would be hard pressed to find something like it in any modern US light-gun game.
I’m not sure that this will cause Big Buck Hunter to sweat any bullets anytime soon (or ever) but there are some cabinet details at least which are kind of cool in how they blend with the theme. This uses a pair of rifles like the game right above. No idea what software this might be using as it doesn’t look exactly like Big Buck Safari or HD.
You never know what you will get when “4D” is a part of a game title as that is defined by the manufacturer but here is GHATCL’s answer to 4D booth games called 4D Ruins
Now for one of the more impressive cabinet designs this company has developed. It is true that triple screen setups on racing games isn’t a new idea – Atari/Namco was rocking that way back in 1984. But I have not seen this used with a motorcycle racing game before. The software behind it is using Crazy Motor, which is certainly not GHATCL’s game as I have played this at a few trade shows before. However this blend of TX-1 with a little bit of Operation GHOST and Super Bikes is something I would take a spin on, just for the hardware experience. Sure it would be better if they tried to use a curved display but I’m sure that would cause the cost to skyrocket. It does take up a bit of space and Coinopexpress is selling these for about $12,000. The video and the picture show some variations in the design but you get the idea.
I think that pretty much covers it. It is too bad that a lot of the effort they put into making some cabinet designs with an interesting or unique twist are wasted on the fact that they don’t have the ambition to develop their own unique software for it.