IAAPA 2017: Rabbids, PONG, & Sega

arcadehero November 16, 2017 9
IAAPA 2017: Rabbids, PONG, & Sega

Another day of IAAPA has passed and not just my feet are feeling it but so is my brain. I’ve never shot so much video at an event but it keeps me busy. I’m just trying to make sure that I get it all.

Due to videos being a time consuming process I have not had much time to edit & render that stuff yet so what I will continue to do here is share impressions of what I came across yesterday & today.

The Rabbids Takeover

One unexpected turn of events has been the prevalence of Ubisoft and their “Rabbids” characters within the arcade industry. I don’t know if they have a specific division now that deals with amusement/arcade content but it certainly seems that way.

Today, the company held a press conference with Canadian manufacturer Triotech as they announced the latter company would be entering the “Virtual Reality market segment” with Ubisoft providing content to them for use in their amusement applications. The announcement included Virtual Rabbids The Big Maze as well as Assassin’s Creed. Before anyone asks, I did not see anything about the Star Trek Bridge Crew mentioned in the materials as that is another thing Ubisoft has done recently.

The attraction uses 10 sq. meters of space and is “fully modular”, using ASTERION VR hardware. Interestingly enough, this modular design appears to be setup in a similar way to the We Play VR modular design that is found over at the Bandai Namco Amusements booth.

Since we’re mentioning Triotech here, they also had a new experience for their XD Dark Ride called Fear The Walking Dead Survival, replete with a zombie theme and zombie actors outside the booth.

Virtual Rabbids The Big Ride

Getting back to Rabbids, before the show we had heard about a few different Rabbids themed games. The main one is Virtual Rabbids The Big Ride by LAI Games. As mentioned on the blog before, this is a 4D/5D experience that incorporates motion, wind & VR into the same package. It’s a big piece too, easily attracting attention to itself.

There are two seats, each user having to pay for the side they want to use. After sitting down, you grab a face mask that goes over your eyes & ears. Place the headset on and adjust the straps, then point the cursor in the center at the ride experience you want to do. There are three to choose from, each being about 3 minutes in length. I’ve not had much experience with the Rabbids home games but I can see how they are appealing to kids with a goofy charm. Kind of like the Minions from Despicable Me.

While it’s not interactive like a game, the user can look around of course – adults usually just looking forward while kids tend to be more curious and look around. The best part of the design has to be the motion. It is normal to find motion simulators where the motion itself is off from what you are seeing on the screen (either by a little or by a lot). I tried two of the three rides and found the motion to be perfect.

Rabbids Hollywood

This game has been on test for a little while now but it flew under our radar until a couple of days before the show. As a big 120″ projection screen arcade shooter, this brings a 4-player gun experience to FECs starring the Rabbids. It is being handled by Adrenaline Amusements, who has not been shy in the past when it comes to bringing big games to market and they certainly went big with this game.

Here, the Rabbids are starring in a movie, meaning each level is themed. The software at the show only had the Western theme to it, with Sci-Fi & Zombies also mentioned. You just shoot at the Rabbids that pop up on the screen, maintaining your health as best as possible. There is no reload, just hold the trigger and it will fire. A power-up appears that does a rapid-fire function for a moment, which is fun to use. The gun also has force feedback, nothing too intense and the levels are long.

Rabbids Ticket Fiesta

Also by Adrenaline Amusements, this game gets more into the party game roots of the Rabbids than these other titles. You participate in one of three multiplayer mini-games, using a motion-sensing plunger to control your character. It’s certainly a distinct controller. One I played you use it as a steering wheel to guide your turkey as you play a king-of-the-hill/demolition derby style game of knocking each other off the platform into the cacti below; another I watched involves holding your plunger sideways and pushing it down at the last second possible to set off your fireworks backpack. This is all done for winning tickets and it is fun when played with multiple people. If you play alone, the computer fills in the other three spots for you.

All of these games are headed for production in early 2018; since I’m mentioning Adrenaline they also have a bigger version of Crazy Tower but it doesn’t say “Mega” on it. It’s just Crazy Tower and bigger.

Atari PONG

We’ve discussed the Electro-Mechanical Atari licensed PONG table a few times before and now I finally had a chance to see and play one in person. This is thanks to UNIS as they take up distribution for the product around the world. The version seen at the show is just for home (which is why the size is where it’s at) with promises of an “air hockey sized” commercial version sometime in 2018. There is a single-player mode that I tried although it was surprisingly tough.

Daytona Championship USA & Operation GHOST

UPDATE: The Sega rep I talked to wanted to mention that they consider this the “definitive version” of Daytona Championship USA thanks to the improvements mentioned below. I played the game at a venue local to the Convention Center (Andretti’s Go-Kart track; I walked by their quad set of Daytona’s and one had a credit on it but it wasn’t running the same software version, had a 2-speed shifter and for some reason, the sound was almost turned off). I could compare it with that and noticed that the steering is certainly better in the show version. I also learned of a subtle feature – if someone like a child accidentally selects manual shifting but doesn’t use the shifter, the game will automatically detect that shifting hasn’t been used after so long (times depend on the track) then change it to Automatic. That’s a useful adaptation of the auto-gas feature that racers have had since the 90s. Having played with both the Up/Down & the new 4-speed shifters, it’s easy to “feel” how superior the new one is (apart from the fact that Daytona USA uses such a shifter).

Original Post: First seen at IAAPA 2016, the resurrection of Daytona USA is back this year with new graphics, tuned handling, and the coveted 4-speed stick shifter. I played Lakeside Castle and enjoyed it, noticing the improvements to the software but also finding that it really is nicer with the “proper” stick shifter in place. Sega has eight of these on their booth and has been running a tournament while also setting up a seminar to educate operators on how to make use of the many game features.

 Sega also has introduced an upright version of their Target Bravo: Operation GHOST at the show. Seems to play the same as the environmental version that is also here, just on a smaller screen. This is the best version of the software that is out there but the game is showing its age graphically; it is really too bad they didn’t give it an HD re-texture.

UPDATE: Here’s video of TBOG:

Original post: Pic of the new cabinet design:

Target Bravo upright by SegaSega did not introduce any brand new video-only experiences at the show; I had heard that the new shooter would be there but that changed. We’ll see if that instead comes to the London amusement show in January.

There’s much more to talk about but that’s all the time I have for writing at the moment – back to the show!


  1. Michael November 16, 2017 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    What kind of shooter is it SEGA is coming with?
    I bought TWD last year, and it is a super earner.

  2. Dustin Wilcox November 16, 2017 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Sega Amusements needs to get their head in the game if they want to even begin to compete with Raw Thrills’ 2018 domination. And as much as I hate to say it, Namco does, too. Hopefully this VR thing isn’t the only game they have in the pipeline…

    • Jdevy November 16, 2017 at 4:24 pm - Reply

      Namco has a prototype of their Jumpin’ Jackpot reboot, Jumbo Jumpin’, in the booth. I just hope they make stuff like Star Wars Battle Pod or Dark Escape again. Considering Mario Kart Arcade GP DX ending it’s update system early, I’d not be surprised if Bandai Namco Japan is developing a sequel. I’d love it if they got the team that is involved in making the legit Mario Kart games for Nintendo to be involved in that project.

      SEGA is rumored to be working on a Transformers Human Alliance 2. If they are true with that, they had a bit too much tunnel vision thinking Transformers 5 would do gangbusters. Thinking of things for them to up them to speed with Raw Thrills’s success, I think they should try to test the waters for a Streets of Rage reboot. The Sonic Mania team is capable for that, as some members of the team like beat em ups, but I’m not sure how they’ll execute that.

      I’d recommend them to get the The Walking Dead concept and get a license like Stranger Things in it. That Netflix show is building a following that’s like TWD in terms of popularity, and has potential to end up being a Walking Dead like shooter. Speaking of shooters, I think it’s too soon to think of them making House of the Dead 5, considering Daytona Championship being mixed in reception and the arcade SEGA team being extremely budgeted (as evident in Daytona).

  3. Hysteria November 16, 2017 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    so by this point I can kiss the dreams of House of the Dead 5 goodbye? Seems all Sega is keen on doing anymore for the shooters is to re-release their current lineup for years to come.

    • arcadehero November 17, 2017 at 4:03 pm - Reply

      While “never say never”, there is no indication I got of a new HOTD being in the works. I’m sure there will be another one some day but no idea when that is. We do know that OutRun 3 is happening and it has been longer between OutRuns than HOTDs, if that is any consolation.

      The Walking Dead has been doing well on the market but at the same time it can still be beat by Jurassic Park. There just isn’t much of an appetite for zombie shooters like their used to be; (In part, oversaturation of the zombie shooting game on consoles) you can also consider that games like Dark Escape and Time Crisis 5 haven’t been showing up much in the charts either.

      • Jerenze November 19, 2017 at 12:21 am - Reply

        “you can also consider that games like Dark Escape and Time Crisis 5 haven’t been showing up much in the charts either.”

        For me, the latter is true. I’m very surprised that TC5 didn’t sell well (except US and Europe I think?) despite the good reception of the game. Only a few arcades in the Philippines do have the game and no one is interested to buy anymore (might be because of the pricing or the overall play value), but I don’t know if the situation is actually worser in neighboring countries. Bandai Namco should have released the Standard edition though because it’s more affordable than the ones we currently have right now.

      • arcades4ever November 22, 2017 at 2:25 am - Reply

        Really?! Time crisis 5 hasn’t been selling as well? I can see why dark escape hasn’t done well in the charts due to the impossible difficulty where no matter how much you know and how you prepare the game still beats you and swallows your money too fast. It cost me over £20 and I still didn’t beat the game. I think however time crisis 5 is the best game in the series but maybe too hard for casual players possibly. I still return to time crisis 5 from time to time compared to most arcade games.
        As for the walking dead I find the game ends too quick and is very unfair because I’ve noticed the further you progress then the more damage you take but at the beguiling you take little damage. I’ve also notice the first aid boxes in the game where if you shoot then you’d think your life would be topped up but it does nothing which I don’t think is fair. So it’s basically saying if you want to continue you need to pay again unless you take no damage at all whatsoever.

        • arcadehero November 22, 2017 at 11:20 am -

          I’m not privy to the exact numbers but the game is not hitting the charts and I know of few operators that have one. It is a shame – I agree that’s it’s a great game and deserves attention. I would like to get one so that I finally have a TC in my collection.

          On TWD, that’s the formula a lot of games these days have used, especially on Raw Thrills’ end. It’s impossible to 1cc the game :/

  4. Tom Stack November 27, 2017 at 7:47 pm - Reply

    What is the reasoning that Sega is now touting a 3rd major software update for Operation ghost, seems like the sales would not be that high if operators are aware of the two previous versions.

    Have they said if this will be available as a standalone software update to places that still have cabs with a previous version.

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