The first official day of IAAPA 2017 is over and with that, I have had a chance to play some of the latest games that are headed to the amusement industry. For American developer Raw Thrills, this is the biggest batch of new releases that they have ever done for a trade show, the titles below also being joined by the Mario Party Challenge World prototype that was discussed in another post on the website. Here are details on the rest of the games for you to enjoy; I will get videos up online as I can but editing always takes a bit of time…
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
For me, this was the game I was most interested in playing. I was a fan of TMNT growing up (both of the 80s/90s cartoons and even the live action films), I own Konami’s first TMNT arcade game and I’m a fan of brawler games in general. As we’ve discussed before, it has been a *long* time since the arcade industry saw a major manufacturer take this genre on so I think that since this game was unveiled, there are many expectations to live up to.
I’d like to note again that this game is slated for launch this coming Spring so there can (and usually are) changes that will take place. But the core game is there and it is playable. I did not encounter any bugs or anything that felt like it was missing…except for maybe a few more things to interact with on level 2. The final game will have 4 levels to play.
From what I have played and watched, it fulfills those expectations. The game is a beat ’em up just like you would want it to be. Yes that does mean more button mashing than stratagem but that’s part of the charm. The turtles will also do different attacks such as throws and there are items to grab and use such as smoke bombs, shurikens, trash cans, one that makes you spin around in a kind of tornado attack, etc. There are plenty of enemies to duke it out with, there is interaction with your environment, multiple attacks including the ability to throw enemies into the screen, special “Turtle Power” attacks which behave as quick cut scenes, big boss battles, combo tracking, items to use and more. Admittedly it is weird to play a TMNT game that doesn’t have the voices for the characters that I grew up with but that’s ‘old man – get off my lawn as I remember it’ syndrome there.
Beat ’em up fans can also take heart that the Raw Thrills development team stated that they played a number of classic beat’ em ups as they designed this to “get the feel right”. Apart from playing the original TMNT Konami titles, they specifically mentioned “Final, Fight, Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, Double Dragon” while also implying that they played through several others. Here’s some better footage of the game that I was able to capture before the show opened (and everything becomes jet rumble noisy when that happens):
One game we’ve been talking about the blog for months now but I’ve not had the pleasure of playing until now was Injustice Arcade. I need to re-iterate again that this was not made for hardcore fighting fans – it was made for DC Comics fans, card collectors and button mashers. It hits all of those elements quite well and by all test reports, the game is earning extremely well.
Unfortunately, the machines are not vending the actual cards at the show, instead vending blank white cards. It can be played without any cards though, you just have to leave it to random character picks.
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Timing is what comes into play with the battles, knowing when to strike and when to defend. When your special attack has built up enough, you have to tap the big Special Attack button repeatedly to pull off the most powerful version of the attack. I did watch one guy not read what was on the screen and just tap his attack buttons – perhaps a voice over telling you to do so would also help in addition to the giant animation and text 😛 (♪People are people so why should it be…they all just read the prompts so awfullly.♪)
I liked what I played, again, not expecting this to be Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat (or the console version of Injustice). I can certainly understand where a hardcore fighting fan would be unhappy with it but they probably are not playing the mobile version of Injustice either. I wouldn’t mind seeing the camera angle adjusted a little more to a straight side view instead of the slight over-the-shoulder but it isn’t extreme enough to cause an issue during play. These are already installed at Dave & Busters while other locations should start getting units they’ve ordered sometime this Winter.
X Games Snow Boarder
The spiritual successor to Raw Thrills’ Winter X Games Snocross and Super Alpine Racer was on hand, having flown under my radar up until last week. If you’ve played Super Alpine Racer then this will be familiar, with the adjustment on the controls of balancing on a snowboard instead of swivel skis.
Graphically this seems similar to Cruis’n Blast – smooth, vibrant colors and plenty going on during a race but it does seem to lack some of the same lighting effects & overall polish so I would still give Cruis’n the edge. It is better looking than either of the games it is succeeding however.
I found it easy to control, the hand rails feeling quite solid and adaptable to what the player needs. I managed to get 1st place on my first race but I watched some others who weren’t quite so skilled. But, they stayed through the end of the race and seemed to enjoy it. One thing I did miss though was the wind effect – the game has it but the way it is angled for my height (about 5’4″) it was blowing over my head from how I stood on the controller board. I didn’t find anything else to be an issue. The side rails were solid or you could hold onto the front. It does seem like it would be nice to have more than 3 levels though – that was also an issue with Super Alpine Racer in not really having much to come back to apart from a score.
Overall, Raw Thrills has aimed to impress with their IAAPA offerings and I think they nailed it. The booth was super busy every time I stopped by.
I’ll have more impressions about games from other companies here soon!