Good morning/evening where ever you are, and welcome to Newsbytes. This is a curation of news from around the arcade/pinball world, that usually contains quick information about these stories that aren’t full enough to do a complete post about. Although today might have some things that I could expand on, but just haven’t had the time to do so. This week I signed a contract to open up a second arcade location in Utah. As such, I’ve been very busy in converting the space from a clothing store into something that will fit for an arcade. There’s still a lot of work to do so it is ready for October 1st, but I do have some new games on the way including House of the Dead Scarlet Dawn, Daytona Championship USA and possibly a quad set of Namco’s Nirin. There are a lot of amazing deals out there right now, so I’m fortunate that last year did well enough to put me in the position I’m at right now to do this. The mall where I’m going is much nicer and busier than the present location, so I’m also hopeful that certain games will perform better in the situation.
Anyways, enough about that, onto the news:
National Video Game Day
Today is National Videogame Day – I guess – although I couldn’t find out why today of all days was picked as the time for such recognition. There is this odd official page for it, which sounds like it was written by someone who grazed the wiki page on the subject (their timeline is laughably lackluster and they say that the Atari 2600 launched with “games like Frogger,” which is completely wrong – there also isn’t much love for arcades there). Game designer Brian F. Colin shared this page in commemoration of the day; Bandai Namco shared this tweet. How do you celebrate video games?
Victory In Massachusetts: Arcades Can Re-Open
It only took a lawsuit and a bit of bad press to force a change in an arbitrary political decision, but arcades in the state of Massachusetts can finally operate again, just like casinos (which have many more machines and attract more people) can. Of course everyone knows that the real reason that casinos have been allowed to operate before arcades, and it has nothing to do with health. Hopefully such sense can be made in places like California and Oregon, but it will likely take some lawsuits there as well.
Scorbit Has Launched
I think this has been mentioned in the past, but some enterprising creators have come up with a way to connect pinball machines of any age to the internet, where scores can be tracked and shared through the app. This is to the benefit of players, collectors and operators, although it is limited just to pinball (such a thing would be nice with video games too, IMO). Find out more, including being able to buy the necessary hardware, here.
Shikhondo Red Purgatory Now Available; Aka & Blue Type-R Being Discontinued
We’ve got a little more exA-Arcadia news to discuss. First, the vertical scrolling shoot ’em up Shikhondo Red Purgatory is now available to purchase on the exA site. I’ll post the trailer to it below in case you aren’t familiar with it, but it’s another game that should please shoot ’em up players and further boosts the genre on the platform.
UPDATE: A tweet from a game store in Japan has shown off a “sample” of the game, where the cartridge is in a dark yellow. Not sure if that’s the color of the normal cart or something just for sample carts. Either way, now we’ve seen red, blue, red/blue, black, green and yellow exA cartridges. I wonder if Nippon Marathon will be hot pink or yellow…something quirky I imagine.
In related news, it was surprising to hear that the launch title for the exA, Aka & Blue Type-R is being discontinued. Some players were puzzled by this, but per exA CEO ShouTime, this is per Tanoshimasu’s request as they move on to new projects. Whether or not their next title will be something for arcades again remains to be seen, but if you are interested in owning Aka & Blue either as a location or a collector, you’ll want to jump on it ASAP (perhaps if you don’t have an exA yet but intend on getting one, just grabbing the cart for now). It is a little surprising that they’d request this, given that the game hasn’t been out for a year yet, but devs will do what devs will do. As this is a game that I have, I did record a full play-through of it back in May. It’s been doing all right, nothing has been doing “great” this summer, but it has brought some shmup players to my arcade who have been looking for something fresh in the genre:
Sega Releasing MaiMai Splash On The 17th
Speaking of releases, Sega has something too. That “washing machine arcade game” is known culturally among Japanese arcade oddities, but isn’t really found out West since Sega never released it via their International division. Called MaiMai, Sega has released various upgrades to it over the years, and this month will see the latest update to it called MaiMai Splash. It appears to add some new modes and features, and presumably more songs. For Translated details are found on Otaquest; The official Japanese announcement is here. For honest first impressions on the vibrant cabinet design, I’ll quote my 4-year old daughter when she saw me writing about it: “It’s really cute!”
A Love Letter To ’90s Racing: Hotshot Racing
Here’s one way to celebrate game history, by a game that takes elements of various Sega racing games of ages past and blends them into one. I haven’t played it myself yet, but it looks really good; It’d be interesting to see this get a test in arcades…
Buying An Arcade Machine
I’ll let the video do the talking; I do hope to have a full direct capture play-through of Aliens Armageddon up this week (I got a new capture device and did some testing with it today, although ran into a snag with my increasingly aged laptop). You can also find this video on BitChute if you so desire.
That’s all I’ve been able to find for now – stay safe out there and have a good weekend.