Hello valiant readers, and welcome to another edition of Newsbytes. If you’re new to the site, Newsbytes are posted every Saturday and feature a variety of quick news items from the wonderful world of arcades. Let’s get to it:
Samurai Spirits Confirmed For Japanese Arcade Release
When SNK announced the reboot of their Samurai Shodown/Spirits series last year, they mentioned that it would be coming out on every major gaming platform, as well as in arcades. Details were sparse beyond that, and some confusion came up when a recent trailer made no mention of arcades at all. Fortunately that has been laid to rest this week, as SNK has confirmed that the game will be made available through Taito’s digital distribution network, NESiCAxLIVe 2.
According to Taito’s page with the announcement, the arcade version will allow for cross site play, but it doesn’t mention if there are any other differences. I imagine it will be the same as the console models. While the console versions launch on the 26th of June, the AC version is only saying “Summer” at the moment.
What does that mean for a Western release? Well, Round1USA did test NESiCAxLIVe 2 at a few locations in January, although after the test ended, we’ve not heard anything else about that. It could mean that more development time is needed to get things right for what the market needs here, or it could be that the test was a flop and they didn’t see a reason to move forward. If the network does become available through Round 1, then at least that means that we’ll see the game in arcades for the States, but then that would be an R1USA exclusive – a limited release. We’ll wait…and see.
Oh, and since we’re on the subject of games we probably won’t see here, Sega has announced that Puyo Puyo eSports Arcade is launching in Japan on April 18th.
Star Trek: Dark Remnant Comes To Dave & Busters
Building upon the VR motion platform that was launched with the Jurassic World VR Expedition, all Dave & Busters now have an exclusive Star Trek experience by the name of Star Trek Dark Remnant. Taking place in what is known among Trekkies as the “Kelvin Timeline” (the universe of Star Trek as presented in the most recent JJ Abrams films and not the TV shows or older movies), up to four players work together to protect the starship Enterprise from the Klingons. You can read more about it here; it was created by VRStudios, which was also responsible for the 2nd game that D&B had offered on their VR platform, Dragonfrost.
This also marks the second exclusive Star Trek game the chain can boast about, the other being the coin+card pusher that they funded a few years ago.
AAMA Awards At Amusement Expo
I wondered if I should save this for one more Amusement Expo post, although we already got the new-new video products out of the way about the event. One other item of interest are the AAMA Awards, where the American Amusement Machine Association presented a few awards to companies in our industry to recognize excellence in those particular categories. I arrived at the Expo right as they were finishing up those awards, so I didn’t snap any pics or video of that ceremony, although later in the day they did host a President’s Reception where they recognized Xtreme Action Park as FEC of the Year. The Facebook post below mentions and links to the winners – congrats!
ICE Uploads Three Videos
If you like professionally-made, factory produced arcade equipment videos, then ICE is back with three new videos about their games. In addition to Super Kixx Pro below, you can also catch Whack-A-Clown and Tons of Tickets by clicking on the hyperlinks. One other item of note about Super Kixx Pro is that the game has begun testing in Japan today at a Round One location in Kanagawa; it will be testing there (under the Bandai Namco Technica name) through the 17th.
Project Armor Becomes Strike Blazinger
We’ve been talking about many different indie arcade games lately, so it’s nice to get an update on one of them that we haven’t heard about in a while. In this instance we have a game that had gone through a couple of name changes already; it started as Strike Harbinger, then changed to Project Armor and now it’s Strike Blazinger. You can see some new footage of the game at the beginning of Chris Tang’s GDC 2019 presentation about the Tetris World Championship. It’s kind of small, but we can see that they’ve packed quite a bit of action into the game while maintaining a smooth & fast frame rate. We’ll continue keeping an eye on this one for when it does launch, either this year or next.
The BitGeek Podcast Shines a Light On Cosmotrons
Speaking of indie games, the BitGeek podcast gave some love to another game we’ve often spoke about on here by the name of Cosmotrons. If you want to learn more about how this game came into being, along with other fun and fascinating tidbits, then check it out:
Pinball Pianola – The Piano Pinball Machine
There have been a lot of weird pinball related items I’ve seen over the years and this might be the strangest & most unique of them all. Designed as “interactive art,” it’s capable of making a wide variety of sounds thanks to the user controlled soundboard on the left, and the real piano strings in the back that serve as targets. Some of those sounds are nice, while others are more of the headache-inducing variety. I guess part of the fun is figuring it all out. One nice touch are the lines of music which serve as pinball shot guides on the playfield surface. You can read more about this project here.
Thieves Steal Arcade Games From A Collection, Attempt To Sell Them Back To The Victim
Here’s an oddity – back in the day, I recall there being a show on TV called America’s Dumbest Criminals. If it were still around, this pair would certainly make the cut. Well, I should say allegedly, as they have not been convicted yet.
As the allegations go, Perry Don Ingle and his alleged accomplice Candi Bailey, broke into the classic game room collection of one John Loftis, made off with a few of his cabinets, then contacted him soon afterwards wanting to sell them back to him. Mr. Loftis played along, then contacted the police, where a sting operation was able to apprehend the alleged crooks and bring the games back home. While we’re all happy to hear that the games were found and returned to their rightful owner, one can’t help but pull off a major facepalm at the stupidity of the crooks here.
That’s all I’ve got for now; have a great weekend and be sure to go out to an arcade and play!