This week has been a little busier than the “usual” for arcade news lately – no idea if that is indicative of anything, but I’m not complaining. Here are your Newsbytes for the weekend:
Save The Arcades Updates
It’s no mystery that every arcade out there is in trouble in one way or another – some more than others. How long a location can survive closure depends on how much capital reserves they had before this all hit, how much their landlord is willing to work with them and if there is any assistance that they have been able to get from the SBA or other sources.
Where some areas have been hit much harder than others, many locations have still been unable to open, being stuck in this limbo since March. That’s a long time to go without making money to cover expenses that haven’t stopped. To help, I wanted to give a signal boost to campaigns that have been set up to help some of these struggling locations – please, if you know of any others, let me know in the comments. These are all from different Gofundme campaigns; some have surpassed their goals, some have not. If you have the means, help them out (and of course, be sure to read up on each to determine how you’ll spend your cash):
New Episode Of Playing Fields
Here is a fantastic, albeit brief look into why arcades are worth preserving for future generations – and not just the software, but the environments. The first episode of this mini-documentary series dealt with eSports, but this one shines a light on the part of the industry that really gave birth to gaming as we know it. While focused on Japan, various aspects of this apply to arcades in other parts of the world. Check it out, it’s only 8 1/2 minutes long:
Sega Prepping Astro City Mini For Launch
It’s not exactly an Arcade 1up, but Sega & arcade fans seem legitimately excited for this desktop version of a Sega Astro City cabinet loaded with 36 Sega titles. To be honest, I’ve been baffled for a long time that Sega Amusements hasn’t gone after the “low hanging fruit” of such a compilation of their joystick classics like Bandai Namco has with their Pac-Man multigames. Even with this, I still think that many locations and home users would jump at the chance to get an official Sega multi-game (but in a properly sized cabinet. Hit up Segabits for more details on the Mini.
Strania EX Footage
Earlier this week I wrote a post about the location test for the latest version of G.Rev’s Strania EX. The test began in Japan yesterday, and the location (World Game Circus) has already posted a video showing a direct capture from the Exa-exclusive “Hell” mode. The capture is only in 720p, but the game it capable of doing 4k. Check it out; They also have captures of other Exa games like Infinos EXA if you are interested:
Speaking of Exa games getting a test, the horizontal STG Vritra Hexa has begun testing at the Mikado Arcade in Tokyo. They are getting player feedback from that, after which I imagine additional tweaks to the software will be made and then it will roll out for sale.
Professor Pac-Man Appears At Galloping Ghost Arcade
Thanks to former Midway artist Paul E. Niemeyer for posting this to the Arcade Heroes FB group. If you wanted to speak with Paul (who worked on Mortal Kombat, among other things), then the Galloping Ghost Arcade was the place to be. Paul worked on the obscure Professor Pac-Man trivia game that Midway made in 1983, sketching up some versions of Pac-Man as a teacher. Now, there’s a statue made from those sketches out there! Pretty cool if you ask me:
Mega Man LBE VR
Capcom revealed a teaser trailer for their next Location-Based Entertainment (LBE) VR title, and they are using their iconic character, Rockman/Mega Man, as a basis for the theme. This doesn’t show gameplay, but by what I can tell, it follows the familiar VR game pattern of the player being placed into a central space, then enemies will attack them from all sides (not sure if this style has a specific name to it – probably “Foxhole Shooter” would suffice)
Retro Raccoons Gets Certified
Retro Raccoons is an indie-made arcade game that was poised to launch this past March/April – then of course everything switched to Nightmare mode. It looks like they are soon ready to ship however, as the tweet below shows that they’ve cleared an important certification for the game – ETL. Now Incredible Technologies just needs to add the game to their website…
Great news – the Retro Raccoons cabinet has received it’s safety certification, ensuring our Drinkcade meets the standards for Commercial & Residential locations. #indiegame #indiegames #arcade pic.twitter.com/QSKzC75zYI
— Retro Raccoons (@retroraccoons) July 7, 2020
More Speed Driver 5
While doing some house cleaning on my hard drive the other day, I came across some footage of Speed Driver 5 that I shot at IAAPA 2019, but forgot to post. I have this and one other…I’ll probably upload the next one this coming week. I have no idea if there are any US locations out there that grabbed this game before the pandemic hit, but as far as I know, European locations that wanted Maximum Tune 5 but missed
Galaxy Guns Update
Here’s a quick development update on the upcoming STG title for the Neo Geo MVS & AES, Galaxy Guns. Just something to kill half a minute if you’re interested:
In addition to doing some digital housekeeping this week, I also did some real clean-up at home, and came across some fairly pristine flyers that I picked up years ago when I first opened my arcade. It’s kind of fun to come across these time capsules of a sort, from a simpler time where arcade devs still bothered to make such things as a way to promote games among operators. I still have my Chase HQ2 game, although I wonder if the time is approaching for me to sell that and get something else in it’s place.
That’s all I’ve managed to gather this time…it isn’t much, but it’s something. Now to start listing some arcade parts and games for sale on the interwebz. Have a good – and safe – weekend!