It’s time for another Newsbytes, where the pieces of news are quick, but all related to arcades.
Dancerush Stardom Lands At Dave & Busters in San Diego
I saw a lot of chatter on Twitter about this, but was not able to get any additional information from Dave & Busters themselves after reaching out to them, so here’s the tweet that Toby passed along about it. Since the company isn’t confirming anything about it, I would venture to guess that this is just a test for now, not an indication that every location is about to get one.
(image below does have a profanity, as an alert)
— Toby (@7Ten) July 15, 2019
DDR A20 Releasing On The 24th; Coming To All Cabinets?
Konami has announced that the 20th anniversary celebration software of Dance Dance Revolution, A20, will launch on the 24th (next Wednesday). I don’t believe there will be any difference as to how this is handled in distribution out West (nothing official, anyone interested has to get in on the special group-buys). That said, according to a claim on Aminoapps.com, A20 will also be available as a kit that is capable of working with previous DDR cabinets from DDR X (2008) on up; this includes any of the Betson-made cabinets with e-Amuse readers. This is the only source for this info though (I hadn’t heard of this , so we’ll have to wait and see.
Since we’re on the subject of rhythm games, check out this direct capture footage of a new title that launched in Japan this week by the name of WACCA. It’s kind of like seeing Sega’s MaiMai and Atari’s Tempest (well, more a bonus round from Tempest 2000) merging together:
California Extreme 2019 Reveals Speakers & Panel List
I won’t be headed to CAX this year unfortunately, but seeing stuff like this makes it really tempting to cancel the other plans (tempting, although I can’t). The organization behind the show has unveiled the speakers and panel list, which includes the guys behind Killer Queen Arcade and Cosmotrons discussing indie games & design; Steve Ritchie of pinball creation fame; Owen Rubin of Atari and Major Havoc fame and more.
Here’s a pic from one of the panels I attended last year, the CEO of Exa-Arcadia, Eric Chung and his discussion of the Japanese arcade market and why he was developing the Exa platform. I attended a few other panels and they were all fantastic. It’s just hard to peel yourself away from all of the gaming goodness that goes on there 😛
The Last Starfighter Turns 35
I should have mentioned this last Saturday, but didn’t realize that the anniversary had hit. On July 13th 1984, Universal released the cult classic film, The Last Starfighter to movie theaters. There were big hopes for it at the time, but it was ultimately a flop, which was one reason that caused Atari to cancel a couple of the related TLS games they had been working on (an arcade version which would have cost around $10,000 and a computer version).
There has been talk about a sequel and even a TV series based on TLS over the years, but it’s one of those concepts that’s been stuck in development hell (but, I imagine it will still happen one day; it’s not like there is much left that Hollywood hasn’t rebooted already and the dearth of creativity has led them to reboot the reboots a few times). Given how many reboots are handled, I can’t say that I would need to see this get such treatment; the original still holds up fine for me, as do most originals. Sure, I’d go for a remaster that replaces the original CGI with new age stuff, but there’s no need to replace the acting/story with something that wants to try and do it differently. I also have to throw out there that Gunstar is the coolest name for a space fighter craft ever devised (sorry Star Wars and Babylon 5). Here’s the one scene that sticks with most video game & arcade fans; what part of this movie is your favorite?
VR Pac-Man Challenge In Action
This one was mentioned previously on the blog, and now you can see the Oculus Quest powered Pac-Man Challenge in action. This is an official creation of Bandai Namco’s, but is currently only available at the Mazaria venue in Japan. It looks cool, although it does highlight one reason why I keep telling people that VR is not the replacement for arcade machines – you can’t exactly stuff this into a small corner of a restaurant or gas station (and it requires attendants) 😉
Happy Moon Landing Day! Let’s Talk About Moon-Themed Arcade Games
Today is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, so a few people are bringing up related arcade titles. Let’s do a quick dive into it (click here for epic space moon landing background music as you read :P) as we cover just a few of the moon-themed arcade games out there.
The one that primarily springs to mind is Atari’s first vector game, Lunar Lander. It gets the top spot since that game is precisely about landing on the moon, and was the first video game to do so. Granted, none of the Apollo astronauts had to navigate between sheer cliffs and jagged peaks, but this was one game that really captured both the difficulty and the excitement of the landings. I’m sure it would have done much better had it been released while the Apollo missions were still happening though; As a tough game, it didn’t do to well and Asteroids would pull the rug out from under it a short time afterwards. If you really want to get into the history of Lunar Lander(not just the Atari game, but lunar landing games in general), click here.
As video games weren’t really a thing during the Apollo days, there were a few electromechanical games that were created to capitalize on the Moon Fever: Chicago Coin’s Apollo Moon Shot, Moon Shot pinball (’69) and Apollo 14 (’70); as well as Sega’s Lunar Rescue (’73) are some I can find with a quick search. Lunar Lander caused a few companies to respond with their own go-to-the-moon games, such as Taito’s Lunar Rescue and Nichibutsu’s Moon Shuttle (not about landing, but getting to the moon). And of course who can forget Irem’s fantastic Moon Patrol, which used the lunar rovers for inspiration?
There hasn’t been much else to point to in the area of moon games (where that’s the major theme) since the Golden Age, although we could make an exception for the indie made game Rashlander (2018); that game is coming to Steam next week in case you’ve not had the fortune of coming across it in the arcade. Which moon-themed arcade game is your favorite?
All right, that’s all I could find for this weekend. If you’re hitting up the beach, perhaps you can create your own Skee-ball sand castle!