As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread, prepared route operators are stocking their machines with trending items. Although The Great Toilet Paper Panic of 2020 has to be one of the biggest facepalms of all time…
H/T to Oga Shi for sharing this, not sure the original source, but this tweet still exploded all over social media, as hoarding/buyouts of TP have been affecting not just the US, but started (as far as I know) in Japan. It’s ridiculous, but panicking rarely is based on logic:
— oga (@oga_gicho) March 6, 2020
Along those lines, I was doing some reading this week and came across this interesting article that talks about how copper permanently deactivates a variety of germs & viruses, including the family of coronaviruses out there. This stood out to me as at my location, I have been a Luddite and am still using tokens instead of a card system, but I’ve always used copper-plated zinc tokens. While they’re the cheapest you can get, they’ve worked fine for me for the past 11 years, and now they can kill the virus at the center of the current hoopla. Just something I found amusing…and figured I might as well advertise it for my arcade. Is there anyone else out there who is still using copper/zinc tokens, or am I a lone wolf?
LAI To Release A “Mini” Model For Virtual Rabbids
H/T To Kevin Williams for the image below. Should be the same software, but now in a more compact and presumably, more affordable model than the other two. I don’t believe I’ve seen the compact model anywhere, as most locations have sprung for the Standard, but this is still a good option for locations that don’t have the space for the bigger models. I’ll be on the look out for this and any other details at Amusement Expo:
Raw Thrills Ready To Show Off King Kong of Skull Island
Speaking of VR rides, I did receive a very detailed document on Raw Thrills’ King Kong of Skull Island, which will make it’s official debut at Amusement Expo 2020 in just a few days. I won’t spoil all of the details now, but it is a little different than I had assumed – in my preview post, I’d mused that it has mounted guns, but it does not. It uses a system like the Microsoft Kinect, i.e., gesture sensing (which is also used in TrioTech’s Storm ride). For their part, Raw Thrills is using a modified HP REVERB headset, using tougher “straps and wiring” to withstand the rigors of an unattended ride. That also makes it a 4K game. I’ll do a separate post about it with more details, but here’s another logo tease until that posts:
Shaun Holley Taking A Break From The Ten Pence Podcast
If you enjoy podcasts, particularly ones about arcades, then the Ten Pence Podcast is one you should be listening to. Due to the trouble sometimes that it life, one of the hosts for TPP, Shaun Holley, is going to be taking a break from the podcast – possibly a permanent one (but maybe not). 🙁 He made the announcement at the end of TPP#147. I certainly wish Shaun the best, he interviewed me for a podcast once and he is a great guy to talk to. I totally understand how time consuming and difficult it can be to do everything required for podcasting, so as fun as they can be, it’s the kind of thing that has to take a back seat to more important things in life.
Insert Coin Documentary
The continued worry about the Wuhan Pneumonia has cancelled an event (SXSW 2020) that was going to see the debut of a new documentary about the history of Midway. I think we’ve shared this trailer before, which includes interviews with a variety of ex-Midway staff, including Eugene Jarvis, George Petro, and many others. I haven’t seen an announcement for when/where the world premiere will take place, but I imagine it will be decided upon once things calm down. Follow them on Twitter here.
Steam Pilots Coming To Exa-Arcadia
Arcade Belgium has a post on their forum detailing an up-and-coming STG in-development by Motoaki Furukawa, a former musician at Konami (click for his extensive game music resumé, which includes some arcade titles). Called Steam Pilots, the game was crowdfunded for a release on PC, but Mr. Furukawa has expressed interest in bringing the game to the arcades via the Exa. Here’s a trailer, where you can tell how his sound experience is really coming into play. This looks and is intended to be a “spritual successor” of a sort to Konami’s Twinbee, and it looks like it nails it. That’s where the extensive use of old school sound effects also come into play, which is a nice touch. As to when it might come to arcades, it will probably be a while:
House of the Gundead Preview At USGamer
With Gungeon: House of the Gundead appearing in public for the first time at PAX East 2020 last week, one gaming outlet had a chance to check the game out and provide some feedback. While the best way to know how it plays is to see for yourself, this does give us a pretty good idea of how it works. One thing I was surprised to learn is that it uses the Aimtrak gun system, which has only been used for MAME applications prior to this (as far as I know). To get around the typical issues of input lag, it uses a “subtle auto aim” in the software to improve precision; the article adds: “Even without crosshairs, I had little trouble knowing where I was aiming.” The only beef I have with said article is the assertion that light-gun games, apart from Big Buck Hunter, are dead, when I can count about 20 gun games that operators can buy right now to add to their business. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I did reach out to Phil Golobish for some info and he stated about PAX: “PAX was wild. We had a line all weekend and positive comments from nearly every player. It was very validating.” He didn’t have more details to provide on the game at the moment, but did state that an announcement would be coming “very soon.”
Hologate Fires Back At Beat Saber With Groove Guardians
Could the rhythm genre by the solution to providing VR with it’s “killer app?” Seems that way so far, since Beat Saber is still the only game I can mention that people automatically associate with the tech. Hologate has come up with their own take on the style of game, which will be exclusive to their platform (whereas Beat Saber can be had on a number of home VR solutions):
Woman Sues Chuck E. Cheeses Location After Getting Hair Stuck In Ticket Eater
I’ll just leave that linked there without further commentary.
That’s all we’ve got for now – have a good and safe weekend out there and stay tuned for more arcade news next week! Want to talk Arcade news? Visit the Arcade Heroes Discord server.
I think the author is referring to true lightgun games, not positional, permanently affixed gun games. But maybe you are referring to those as well!
The Gundead gameplay sounds interesting, though I am really wanting to see more gameplay footage.
I think it’s a bit silly for people to be splitting hairs over free guns and mounted guns as to what constitutes a light-gun game. Gameplay is pretty similar between the two, the main difference is that you rarely have to reload in mounted gun games, and they do tend to focus less on precision. But you’re still firing guns, either way, how levels and enemies end up is pretty similar. To lay it out on the games I’m talking about, that shows that the writer didn’t bother to do a little research (and now that I write it all down, there are more gun games available than I had realized).
Free gun (as you said, “true” light gun games) titles available right now:
House of the Dead Scarlet Dawn
Time Crisis 5
Wild West Shootout
Tomb Raider Arcade
Target Bravo: Operation GHOST
Luigi’s Mansion Arcade
Big Buck Reloaded (releasing this week/next)
OnPoint (releasing within the next couple of weeks)
And of course, House of the Gundead, sometime this year.
Mounted Gun (“false” light-gun games, for some reason)
Mission: Impossible Arcade (releasing this week/next)
Halo: Fireteam Raven
Transformers: Shadows Rising
Jurassic Park Arcade
Let’s Go Island: Dream Edition
Monster Eye 2
The Walking Dead
Space Invaders Frenzy
Space Invaders Counter Attack
Hero of Steel
That ends up being 31 games instead of 19, so I need to correct that. While the “false” ones outnumber the “true” ones, the fact of the matter is that gun games are not dead in the arcade business. Many of these games make a lot of money for locations where you find them (I own a few mentioned and Jurassic Park Arcade has been one of my top 3 earners for the 5 years that I’ve had it – it *still* makes good money). So the assertion of the USGames writer that the only light-gun game out there is Big Buck Hunter, is just plain wrong. It’s not a *big* deal, just a thing I noticed, because it downplays ignores the games that are out there (including new versions of both Time Crisis and HOTD that the writer mentions as being things of the past!), which is to make it seem like nothing it going on in the genre.
Now if the assertion was made solely about game consoles, sure. There aren’t many games (maybe none? This is one place I don’t know for sure) that use a light-gun accessory for the PS4/Switch/XB1. That sucks for fans of the genre, but if you go to any modern arcade, you can find plenty to keep you entertained. 🙂
Haha, point taken. I had thought that positional gun games became more popular because the potentiometers used to control them were easier to maintain and less prone to breakage than optical guns (essentially being big, complex joysticks), but maybe as an active operator you will have a more informed opinion on that 🙂
At any rate, I’m still wanting to see more Gungeon footage!
Yeah, definitely looking forward to seeing more about the game. Hopefully we’ll have something soon!
On the games, the mounted ones are more popular, although I think it has more to do with they tend to earn more than optical guns these days. Ops do like them for ease of maintenance (I just replaced a potentiometer in a gun today, but not something I have to do very often) – and you can’t drop and bust a mounted gun on the floor. Nothing grates my teeth more than hear an Aliens or Ghost Squad gun dropped hard on the floor. :X