Another weekend, another Newsbytes. These posts are here to collect some quick news from around the arcade & pinball worlds, made for some light weekend reading, although they’re usually video-heavy, so they are probably more about watching 😛
Let’s start with an important announcement! I will be doing a Raw Thrills Showcase on YouTube this Monday, starting at 10:15 AM MST (9:15PST/12:15EST). I had previously said online that it would be 10:10, but turns out that YT only lets you premiere/schedule videos in 15 min increments. This will begin with a Showcase Premiere video that highlights Raw Thrills’ current line-up of titles (aside from Space Invaders Frenzy and X Games Snowboarder); Once that finishes at 10:35ish, I will start a live stream with Raw Thrills CEO Eugene Jarvis. I’m not aware of him having done an interview in the live stream format before, so it should be fun – I’ll keep an eye on the chat stream and for any pertinent questions that we can fit into the time, we’ll get those asked.
I did do an impromptu live stream this week to test the tech out, sitting down with Dustin Wilcox of Wilcox Arcade. As you can probably tell, this was a spur of the moment kind of thing with zero preparation – I just reached out to Dustin on Discord, he was available, so we went for it. I wouldn’t mind making this more of a regular thing (and providing more advance notice for everyone), so if you have suggestions for what subjects you’d like me to cover or people that you would like to see interviewed, then let me know!
Stern Pinball To Unveil Led Zeppelin Pinball
Looks like Stern won’t take Jersey Jack’s Guns N’ Roses challenge lying down, as the company teased their next game, Led Zeppelin on social media yesterday. I’m guessing some major website will run the scoop on Monday morning, followed by details provided to everyone on Stern’s social media shortly afterward. As the joke has been going for a while now, “How many ancient rock bands are left to make a pinball about?” well, it isn’t many without digging back into bands that have already received a pinball theme (like GnR or KISS).
Initial D: The Arcade Live Stream
Speaking of live streams, Sega Japan held an event this week to discuss the next iteration of their popular driving game, Initial D. From looking at fan reactions, it sounds like the game is becoming more like Maximum Tune in how it handles/plays/forgives the player, but where this is a series I haven’t really played, I can only take their word for it. Chances of this coming West though are still pretty low – Round1USA might import some, but given the economic circumstances, that’s no longer a given. First a new non-gameplay trailer, then the live stream; Note that these are both in Japanese:
ICE Releases Arcade Pro Promo Trailer
I’ve embedded this in the recent post about Jurassic Park Pro, but in case you miss that since you might have looked up the post already, here’s a promo trailer, replete with some 80’s style music. This explains what ICE is doing with their new home series of games, focusing on the Super Chexx, ICEBall, and NBA Hang Time titles; They have also produced some helpful installation videos:
New For Omni Arena – Dead Zone
The Omni Arena is one of the first (if not the first) Location-Based Entertainment VR systems that came along in our industry, providing the omni-directional treadmill as a means for more natural movement, while the user could stand in the same place. While I’m not sure how many installations are out there, there a few, and to bolster their software offerings, they have just released this new title called Dead Zone Zombies. Some quick details via the press release, then the game trailer.
Dead Zone offers two rounds each time, letting players cycle through 15 different weapons and face over a dozen zombie characters while roaming six distinct regions, providing lots of variety and reasons to play again and again.
Dead Zone will be added to Omni Arena’s weekly and monthly esports tournaments. The top teams on Dead Zone’s global leaderboard will win cash prizes from a $100,000 prize pool.
Cash prizes sound like a good way to get people out to try it, what do you think from the trailer?
New Arcade Books
If you are looking for an arcade-related read these holidays, then there are some new options you might want to check out:
Missile Commander by Tony Temple – A detailed book about the history of Atari’s Missile Command, with a forward from the game’s designer, Dave Theurer.
NEOGEO: A Visual History by Bitmap Books – A book about SNK’s iconic MVS platform and many of the games, heavy on the visuals.
I would have had a new almanac going, but the pandemic really put the brakes on it. Still working on that trivia game though…
Bandai Namco Amusements Launches Ms. Pac-Man Barstools
It appears that the legal problems with Ms. Pac-Man have finally been resolved, as Bandai Namco Amusements America (the arcade division here) announced a new Ms. Pac-Man barstool. You can get it in 19″ & 30″ sizes, although either one will set you back around $100(scroll to the bottom of that page to find these particular stools). While obviously intended for home game rooms, I think these would still be great in a public arcade.
Ghosts ‘N Goblins Resurrection & Capcom Arcade Stadium
No, this arcade classic isn’t headed back to coin-op, but since it has that ol’ arcade connection, might as well mention this in case you missed it. Capcom will also be bringing more arcade titles to the current generation of consoles, as seen in the next trailer down. Granted, while GnGR won’t be gracing arcades, you can still enjoy a Capcom-like platformer title with the recent arcade release of Super Battle Princess Madelyn (also, a location in Japan began live-streaming gameplay of SBPM one today).
Latest Casualty Of The Pandemic: Pixel Blast Arcade
I’m sorry to report that Pixel Blast Arcade, located in Lisle, IL, has permanently closed its doors. The location got started back in 2016 and they were able to weather the pandemic storm up to a point, but the latest restrictions in the state were too much. I really hope that as the vaccine slowly starts to make its way into the public that cases will finally start to abate, and we can finally “get back to normal” as was hoped back in March.
Another Atomiswave (Arcade) To Dreamcast Conversion: Sushi Bar
I remember seeing Sushi Bar pop-up on unreleased games lists over the years, never gave it a shot though. Sounds like people are enjoying it! I wonder if there would be any rights issues in getting it published on the exA, which could use some puzzle titles:
That’s all I could find for this weekend – stay safe and if you can, enjoy some arcades!