Hello valiant readers, and welcome to this edition of Newsbytes. I haven’t really been able to keep the site up-to-date this week with posts, as this was crunch week to get my 2nd arcade location started…yesterday I moved games onto a 26′ truck and drove them about 40 miles north, but of course there were some issues with the truck that set us back a good 3-4 hours. Still, my heartfelt thanks to the family members and friends who came out to help – I have had to do a lot of stuff by myself up there, but moving games isn’t one of them.
Onto the news:
Golden Tee 2021 Now Available
September 28th marked launch day for Incredible Technologies and the latest iteration of their golfing masterpiece. If you have an existing Golden Tee 2020 cab, then there are a number of ways to update the machine, but if you’ve been wanting to get in on the action with a brand new cabinet, then you can go for that too.
Now they just really, really need to add Retro Raccoons to their games page, which just added a new zombie shooter mini-game to the mix.
Bandai Namco Stealth Releases Pac-Man’s Pixel Bash Cocktail Coin
Granted, this is just another model of a game that was launched a couple of years ago, but I’m sure it’s welcome for locations that like cocktail cabs. The game has only been mentioned via tweet so far; It’s not listed on the Bandai-Namco Amusement site yet, so that’s why I call it a “Stealth release.” They have had the non-coin cocktail available for some time, so this just completes the circuit.
Here’s hoping that a Maximum Tune 5 update and some other new video game (something mentioned by the company back in March as “coming to IAAPA – if IAAPA happens”) are still on the docket.
JJP #6 To Be Revealed On Monday
Jersey Jack Pinball has been slowly building up the hype for their next game, and I think they’ve been doing a good job at it this time around. They didn’t jump the gun too soon, and they’ve had the designer, Eric Meunier (previously did Pirates of the Caribbean), as the “model” promoting it. From this view of the playfield, you have some kind of major mechanism in the upper left; pop bumpers near the top right; a disc/spinner off-center along with a possible scoop target and plenty of other targets to bash.
The countdown to October 5th starts now!
"Under the world under glass."#JerseyJackPinball #Pinball #JJP6 #Countdown pic.twitter.com/8cA9fTfYbo
— Jersey Jack Pinball (@JJPinball) September 30, 2020
What do you think it is? Guns ‘N Roses, or is that just JJP doing a master head-fake?
UNIS To Showcase Elite Park Line Of Games
We’re fast approaching the 21st, where UNIS will be holding a special showcase event for their latest amusement products. One of those is their new “Elite Park” concept, which has been designed for FECs. These add enclosures to a group of their arcade cabinets (usually four), pushing them a little more towards being an attraction than just another game in a location. The games also involve a little more physical activity than usual, as the company wants to focus on exergaming. That said, the games themselves will be available without the ‘added dressing,’ so ops can get a single cab or just a pair if they wish.
We’ll see more about these games soon when the UNIS Showcase 2020 event takes place on Oct. 21st.
How Do Settings Affect How Games Earn?
Quite a bit, as this technician discovered for himself. Although I hate Twitter threads – if you want to write that much, just grab a free blog 😛 Anyways, many technicians have discovered that you can really change things up by adjusting little things here and there – whether those settings involved the volume/sound, difficulty, bonus, payouts, etc. I admit that I used to play around with that stuff a lot more in my younger days, and lately, I’ve been content to keep things at default. Although I should be increasing attract mode volumes on games stuffed waaaay in the back. It’s also interesting to note how lights do affect things; You can always find some games under-performing in certain areas if some of the lights are burned out (coin slots, start buttons, etc.) What do you think about this? Are there any game settings you’ve messed with and found some surprising results?
New Book Covers The History Of The Metal Slug Series
Have you ever wanted to know how the classic Metal Slug series came into being? Now you can learn, thanks to the book: Metal Slug: The Ultimate History by Bitmap Books. This has been officially licensed by SNK, and includes interviews with 11 of the team members who worked on it. Find out more and order here.
Brian Colin & Szabos Arcades Launches Official Rampage World Tour Topper
Last year, game designer Brian F. Colin created a new topper for his classic Midway game Rampage, and now he’s followed up with a sequel topper of a sort to the sequel game, Rampage: World Tour. I say “of a sort” as this is for Arcade 1up machines and not the arcade original at the moment. I did grab the former topper as I have an original Rampage, which you can see here. Perhaps they’ll make a version for the original arcades at some point, although I imagine that the market for modding Arcade 1ups is far hotter right now.
Now I wonder if Brian is working on any other designs for his other games – I won’t hold out much hope for Deathstalker, since that was an extremely limited release…although it won’t stop me from eventually cooking up my own 😉
JAEPO 2021 Cancelled
I haven’t had the time to keep up with the latest on how Covid-19 is affecting Japan, but while it looks like things are on the slow downswing, it’s still enough that it has caused JAIA to cancel their JAEPO 2021 tradeshow event. It sounds like they are looking into virtual meetings as those continue to become the norm.
Speaking of Japan, Namco will hold a location test for Mobile Suit Gundam: Bonds of the Battlefield II (sequel to the Gundam pods) at the end of this month. They’ve also launched a teaser site for the game, but it’s all in Japanese.
The pandemic is also continuing to affect certain locations; Namco’s VR Zone in Osaka will close their doors on Oct. 25th.
George Gomez Talks Buying New Machines
Lots of talk these days about buying new equipment, so this makes sense. This one is advice from an industry legend, so that counts for something 😉 :
Does Konami’s Evil Night Have A ‘Perfect’ Ending?
One of the things I miss seeing regularly in modern arcade games is the design of having multiple endings based upon how well you played the game – and secrets. I’m sure there are some secrets out there in a lot of newer games, but you rarely – if ever – hear about them. It’s a shame because I think that these are a major component of what is called “service to the player,” stuff that fleshes out a game and gives it replay value as well as a deeper fun factor.
One game that had plenty of secrets and different endings was Konami’s Evil Night from 1998. This video dives into how it is unknown whether or not the game has a “Perfect” grade ending. Given that we’re also in October, this is fitting:
That’s all I’ve got for now, have a good weekend!
Speaking about settings and earnings: It’s not about settings and earnings. It’s more about subtle details.
With the Neo Geo MVS I always check the setting for the level at the bottom of the screen.
But more interesting is pinball. There’s something like a broken window theory for pinball. When I walk up to an unknown pinball machine in an unknown location I always check the lighting first. Is every bulb of the GI working? Any dark inserts?
If none of that is true you can instantly insert any amount in credits because you know that the rest of the machine ist equally fine. A bulb’s not working? Buyer beware! Insert only one credit. The machine has hidden tumors of sure.
That brings us back to video games – especailly with a CRT. CRT has a nice picture? Rest of the machine is fine for sure. CRT is beat up? Buyer beware!
And there are similar rules for everything else that an arcade machine has.
That Pogo Jump game reminds me of the old Hopping Road arcade game that was released way back in 2009.