As mentioned on our social media channels, Happy New Year everyone! I hope you are having a great first weekend of the year. I doubt anyone was expecting much of anything for a newsbag this week, I did scour the news lines for a little something. Also, I will be doing a retrospective on games that are turning 40, 30 and 20 years old this year. I might have that done tonight or Monday.
Spellsinger And The Lost Child – on the last Name That Game, one title was placed there as a ‘challenge’, admittedly an unfair one, as the game was never released. We have covered prototypes various times in the past and this is one that would be an amazing find, albeit a very unlikely one. Developed by the company that recently made headlines with a major new update for their PC game Outcast(which is an excellent adventure/action game I spent a bit of time playing around 1999/2000), they had been heavily involved in Amiga game development and decided to tackle arcades as the Amiga market was coming to its demise. From the Spellsinger details page:
When we started Art & Magic in 1992, we wanted to develop the ultimate arcade game. We worked on both the game and the hardware in parallel. Our hardware was soon capable of pumping large quantities of sprites to build environments with an unprecedented sense of depth. We had developed ideas about a game that would exploit these features, Spellsinger was going to be that game.
We chose to develop an heroic-fantasy beat’em up, because we liked that kind of game and the universe was very trendy in the late 80’s and early 90’s (we were fans of Golden Axe). This would allow us to set our imagination free of pretty much any creative constraints.
They also have a page dedicated to the hardware development portion, which is what created a big challenge for them but they did manage to crank out one game on the platform, Ultimate Tennis. Unfortunately, Spellsinger required too much in the way of resources for their team to tackle at the time, the final straw for them was pitting the game next to Killer Instinct at an expo in Germany and they felt they were too far behind, closing their arcade development down permanently. It is too bad as the animation in this looks incredible, the clever use of parallax scrolling created a very unique 3D depth effect. Had they been able to release it in 1992 or even ’93 it would have remained cutting edge. As the final injury, they have lost most of the assets to the game over the years so recovery of what you see in this video below remains very small – but you never know, right? An HD rebuild of this would be pretty neat to see.
ColorDMD Pinball Displays Details Some Plans For 2015 – On Facebook, makers of the ColorDMD displays and software revealed what they plan on doing for 2015. I’ll just let their post do most of the talking:
In response to customer requests, we have added extended backlight and contrast control adjustments to allow more user control over image brightness and black levels. We will begin rolling these new features out to all existing ROMs.
We understand the desire for information, tentative as it may be, so we’ll try to provide a little more visibility. In 2015, we will continue to expand our support for STERN PINBALL, INC. games, including the SAM platform. Internally, we are looking to add support for core titles: TZ, AC/DC, MET, ST, and TRON. Some of these projects are underway, and others will begin early this year as other projects wrap up. It’s too early to predict release dates, but we are currently targeting release of our first SAM game in the Spring of this year.
They have done impressive work so far, most recently launching kits for Judge Dredd Pinball and The Lord of The Rings Pinball. We keep hearing that Stern will be doing an LCD but with every new game that doesn’t happen, if anything it would be nice to see them work with ColorDMD to go that route but we will have to see how 2015 unfolds to be sure.
New Character For Tekken 7 – Normally I don’t mention stuff like character updates for games that will likely not get a wide release in the West but I need filler today so here is the new Saudi character unveiled for Tekken 7 by Harada yesterday:
Name That Game #29 – Last week was the close of 2014 so I went a little beyond the usual by placing a prototype game on there. Don’t worry, I won’t do that this week 😉 On your answers for last week:
#1 – The Amazing Maze Game by Midway
#3 – Rock Tread by Jaleco
#4 – Spellsinger And The Lost Child by Art & Magic, as detailed above.
For this week:
Don’t forget to add Lucky Chloe to the list of newly announced T7 characters. She was announced a few weeks ago, and she caused quite a stir among the community lol!
Never played it but the top one is obviously road runner arcade. The other two I have no idea.
It’s a shame about Spellsinger. The background parallax is silky smooth. The character animations are not up to snuff, however. If they had twice the actual animation frames for movement and actions, then that would have been better. Also, by 1995, that style of character design already looks dated.
Game #3 is Red Alert by Irem
2. Super Speed Race Jr.
3. Red Alert