Welcome to Newsbytes, a weekend collection of quick news from around the arcade/pinball world. Since major arcade news has been historically slow this year, we’re seeing more Newsbytes posts than usual, but at least there’s still something to talk about.
Exa Games On Test, In Action
I’ve come across a Japanese based YouTube channel that has been posting some footage of the Exa-Arcadia games that have been on test, so let’s share some of that with you. Just note that these are not direct captures, just pointing a camera at the screen as we usually have to do with arcade games. We’ve had debates online (Discord, other places) regarding location tests – I do wish that more American arcade devs would take their final phase testing public like they do in Japan, using that as a way to build promotional momentum for their games, but I doubt we’ll see that change any time soon.
Super Battle Princess Madelyn: Ghosts ‘N Goblins fans, you’ll want to be taking note of this one if you haven’t already – I updated the post about SBPM this week to include information about what is different about the arcade version, but here you can see it with your own eyes. I can’t think of any other arcade game other than Capcom’s GnG games to go for this particular style of play; I also have to say that from my observations on having an Exa for seven months, games with an ‘easy mode’ are also quite welcome:
Blazing Chrome AC: As a treat for Contra fans, another style of game that’s been absent for too long in our industry, here’s Blazing Chrome AC. This one draws a bit from the beloved Contra III: The Alien Wars, which never enjoyed an arcade release. As mentioned near the bottom of the post, this one is on it’s second location test now; this footage is from the first. Should be interesting to see how different the versions are, assuming this same account uploads some footage.
Fight of Gods: Arcade Edition: For the second 3D fighter in Exa’s line-up, I’m not sure which fighting game out there best fits with this one’s style. On the difficulty, it does seem to be similar to The Kung Fu Vs.Karate Champ, where the first CPU character is a bit tough, although not quite as aggressive as in KFvKC. That’s just judging by this video though (I don’t know if the player is adept at fighting games or not). Here’s Santa vs. Moses:
Shikhondo Red Purgatory: Last but not least is a vertical STG that is currently available to pre-order on the Exa website, but we hadn’t seen more than a trailer on this one until now. This footage is a direct capture of the game in vertical (TATE) mode – all STGs on Exa support both display modes.
First Glance At The Mario Kart Amusement Ride In Japan
Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan is still in development, but it’s nearing completion by what I know. One of the highly anticipated rides there will be a ride-take on the famous Mario Kart. This one is interactive – each rider has a steering wheel, and your hand movements are detected to be able to throw items like shells. I’m very curious to see how this one operates in practice. H/T to Kevin Williams for the images:
Homebrew Pinball: Aladdin
This Week In Pinball has a great spread on a homebrew pinball machine that looks like a professional job from top to bottom. Making your own video game is something cool, but you’re on a different level of awesome when you build your own pinball like this.
John Borg Talks Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pinball that is. While the game is out there to some degree, I found out this week through my distributor network that most Stern games are on hold for shipping until 2021. This is due to the pandemic effect of course. That means that if you’re looking for a newer game like TMNT, the only way you’ll find one is through a distributor that purchases & holds stock (which is pretty rare these days, although still somewhat common among pinball-centric distributors).
A Tale From The Japanese Home Arcade Scene
H/T to Oga Shi for this one. Home arcade rooms (often known as ‘man caves’) have long been a thing in places like the United States, but when it comes to regions like Japan, it seems to be fairly uncommon. In part this is due to available space in a home; For any area where such space is at a premium, it’s a tough, if not impossible, preposition.
That said, sometimes you can make it work, and due to the extended ‘stay-at-home’ quarantine measures, many have been finding ways to convert free space into arcades. This has included in Japan, as this story at Suumo.jp gets into (source is in Japanese). This particular tale gets into the expenses and difficulties of importing a game into Japan, which is also rare for us to hear about. He also has a noodle vending machine to complete the experience.
His Twitter account is also about his home arcade; Here’s a video
Another On Point Promo Video
UNIS is continuing to build the hype train for their latest video arcade release, On Point. While there’s nothing I can really add here that hasn’t been said already, I figured you would want to see it in case you had missed other trailers for the game:
Major Havoc To Receive An Ending
When Owen Rubin led the design on the Atari classic Major Havoc back in the early 80’s, he had originally intended on including “planet waves” every 4 waves, with the players eventually making their way to a large, game ‘ending’ wave at the planet Vaxx. Such plans don’t always work out, and due to time and rOM constraints, they scrapped those to focus on what the game would eventually ship with.
The problem was, that after Owen had left Atari, messages about “the homeworld is near” were not removed from the game, causing some players to search in vain for the mythical world.
Come 2021, fans of Major Havoc will be able to enjoy the game as originally intended with a ROM update that will bring an end of sorts to the game (waves will restart after you reach the end, but there is a message from Owen Rubin that wraps up the story of the game, such as it was). We look forward to seeing that be released…maybe that’s enough time for me to get my hands on a MH machine (which is probably unlikely 😛 – they are notoriously hard to come by, at least for a price I’m comfortable in paying for a game from that era)
Indie Arcade Game Galactic Battleground Comes To The Web
With many locations still closed or in an uncertain situation out there, it’s meant that fewer players have been about to go out and enjoy their favorite arcade machines. This has really hurt the indie arcade scene, where it can be an even bigger challenge to find your preferred independently made game. To help rectify this on their end, Slackerz Inc. has released a web version of Galactic Battleground that you can play here; just make sure to give it a couple of moments to load. I still prefer playing on a cabinet, but this is the next best thing.
If this game sounds new to you, then here’s a video I shot of it back at Amusement Expo 2019:
Batman Gets A ColorDMD
Batman & RobinBatman Forever (my bad on the mix up there) got colorized, so why not the other Batman games?
More Sega R360 History From Kurokawa 96
Last week it was mentioned that some information surrounding the development of the legendary Sega R360 was published on the web, and now some of that info is coming to video as well as print. Kurakawa’s YouTube channel is promising to bring us more Sega history goodies, so you’ll want to keep an eye on them if you are interested. They are also hoping to reach 1,000 subscribers so they can begin to stream content live; It looks like they’ll be sharing more Sega stuff as they build the channel:
Japanese Location Test Updates
Konami has announced a location test for Armored Princess Battle Conductor on the 15th & 16th of this month at the Leisureland Uchidabashi in Nagoya. Here is footage from an earlier test of the game in Japan; No idea if this will find it’s way to US shores via Round 1 or not:
Exa-Arcadia has announced a 2nd test for Blazing Chrome AC, coming to the World Game Circus from yesterday through the 13th
Same goes for Fight of Gods Arcade Edition, but over at Ko Hatsu, where they are testing the game out in CRT cabinets. CRT fans should feel some warm fuzzies over that one 😉
Strania EX is still testing at the Taito Hey, which ends on Tuesday.
Taito is testing the upcoming home remake version of Toaplan’s Tiger Heli in the arcade…don’t know if that will mean it might show up on Nesica later or not.
UNIS’ Ultra Moto VR is also getting some testing in Japan via Bandai Namco Technica, where it will be installed at a Namco arcade in Kanagawa until the 30th of this month.
Latest Japanese Game Releases
Along those same lines, I have updated the 2020 Game Releases page to reflect these two recent JP region releases:
- Dead or Alive 6 AC (Sega All.Net+ 3)
- Levels VS (Nesica 2)
Levels is a pretty basic looking puzzle game, while DOA6 is…DOA6. There are some changes to it, including online matchmaking, and roster differences.
Let’s end with a little meme fun, provided in part by my youngest: