We are only a week away from Halloween, the holiday for candy lovers everywhere. I’m not sure what most arcades out there do to celebrate – I have heard of sites holding cosplay competitions before or just give away candy. As my venue is in a mall, they hold a big Trick-or-Treat event every year, which is always fun. Today’s weekend collection of news is brought to you by, Pumping You Up:
Big Buck World Championships In Full Swing – The big Buck World Championships kicked off yesterday and for the Ladies Tournament, congrats are in order once again to Sara Erlandson who nabbed her 4th title. That is quite the accomplishment with a nice payoff…if you want to see more fireworks from the biggest arcade tournament in the world, be sure to check out the Twitch.TV feed of the event here.
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Skycurser Beta Coming Soon Plus Potential for New Developments – I have mentioned the brand new new shoot ’em up game Skycurser on the blog previously and after the game has been in development for two years, I am going to have the privilege this week of getting my hands on the game. That will mean another unboxing video of course, which will be a little different since this will be a kit and not a full cabinet. It is a shame that kits have become such a rarity in this industry – most major manufacturers simply do not feel that it is worth their time or development to provide such kits and a stable, common platform for independent developers to use is really just found in Japan. Here is the kit I will have, along with a quick showing of the latest build of the game (2 levels; subsequent levels will be added through the USB upgrade):
With Skycurser, they previously announced that they would be providing a JAMMA based kit, allowing this to be placed into thousands of cabinets from the 80s or 90s that followed the JAMMA standard. Also in keeping it old school, they announced this past week that the platform they have developed has a name to it, the Airframe board (always sounds cooler to have a named platform as opposed to “PC-in-a-cabinet”). Shoot ’em up fans were notably excited about this development and Dave_K who is well known in those circles confirmed the versatility of the Airframe platform – it was not designed just for Skycurser but it will support other Game Maker Studio (GMS) titles on it to expand the available number of arcade shooters out there, assuming that developers hear about this and want to create a true arcade version of their game. It would also be interesting to see if this would be able to work with the new Shoot ‘Em Up Kit that has been created by Tall Studios. Either way, the possibility that Airframe could be the West’s NESiCAxLIVe platform is quite enticing as this would fulfill a need that I think has long been asked for – not by the big corporate arcade chains that keep pushing costs and game sizes up but for the rest of us “mom-and-pop” arcades that are out there. If you’ve been following the site here for long, you’ll also notice the distinct up-tick in new bar/arcades popping up all over the place – they will discover that fresh content does a lot of good to their business but very few developments have been what you might call affordable. Anyways, off my soap box for now, here is the confirming pair of tweets:
@ArcadeFever Of course! That's why we went to the trouble of building a new platform. We want as many new games in the arcade as possible.
— SKYCURSER dev team (@skycurser) October 24, 2015
CLARIFICATION: I received this update from the Skycurser team to clarify the above: “AIRFRAME can theoretically run any game compiled for x86 Linux or HTML5. While it’s true we are using Game Maker: Studio for SKYCURSER, someone could just as well use Unity or PyGame.“
Aliens Armageddon Unboxing – Continuing my arcade “unboxings”, which I have been tracking since 2011, here is the latest one in video form, for an Aliens Armageddon machine. It did mean having to trade in the Terminator Salvation unit which was long my #1 game but games don’t stay in that spot forever. It was easier to put together than Terminator was, despite being in a bigger cabinet. They improved how the control panel and monitor halves bolt together, with Terminator we spent a lot of time trying to align those two sides up properly which was a pain. All in all, it only took about 30 minutes to put together, a pretty easy job. Then again, putting together most modern arcade games isn’t that difficult, it is easier than putting a bicycle together most of the time. Only issue tends to be the size of a lot of these games now.
Taito Announces Groove Coaster 3 Link Fever – Taito isn’t the powerhouse in arcades that they used to be but they are still around, particularly in Japan, producing arcade titles for the market there. It seems that their rhythm game Groove Coaster continues to do well as they have announced a 4th installment of the series for arcades with this trailer below:
Skull Girls 2nd Encore Announced For NESiCAxLIVe – A new version of the 2D fighting game Skull Girls is making its way to arcades in Japan this next week thanks to Taito’s NESiCA network. Given the discussion of Airframe above, perhaps this game could finally make its way to US arcades through that platform? [Skull Girls 2nd Encore Website]
Speaking of the Japanese arcade market, they also just barely got the “True Mastermind” update for Time crisis 5, link at Famitsu. Ok NAmco, now just give us a standard version with two 42″ screens and we’ll be set.
Name That Game #62: Continuing with our horror/terror themes, here are your answers from last week:
#2 – Wild Fang by Tecmo
#3 – Ghox by Toaplan
For this week: