Welcome to Newsbytes, a quick collection of news items from around the wonderful world of arcades. I’m your host, Arcadehero, curator & commentator on the content. 😉 Today is also my first day out of isolation after I came down with The Virus. Fortunately, no one else in my home got it, no one at work got it, We’ve got quite a bit for today, so strap-in, and let’s go!
Play Mechanix Rolls Out New Challenges & Leaderboards for Big Buck Reloaded
If you’ve been wondering what companies like Play Mechanix have been up to lately, then this piece of news should answer that. Given that Big Buck Reloaded is connected to the internet and is able to receive updates on the fly, this has allowed the company to issue new tournaments and content. They just issued a tough new challenge to all players called the Zombie Deer Bow Hunting Challenge, and on February 1st, they will be launching new leaderboards, titled the Adventure Leaderboards and Hunter Hero Leaderboards, respectively. The Adventure boards track the best adventure scores for each of the game’s ten animals with both the gun & bow, while the Hunter Hero (hey, I wonder what might have inspired that name? 😉 ) boards showcase the top three gun and bow scores for all 150 hunting sites in the game. Who is up for the challenge?
For home users (yes, there is a noncommercial version of the game made just for residential users, just like Golden Tee), they will also be launching a new Classic Mode on the 1st.
The “NBA Jam of Baseball” That Wasn’t – Power-up Baseball
While sports games have long played an important role in arcades, in recent years we’ve had very little aside from golf to point at for the genre. The 90’s was the last time where a variety of sports had their day in the sun, with hits like NBA Jam and the like filling an important role for arcades at the time. Baseball used to be one sport that received a bit of attention, but outside of Japan, it just hasn’t done well when translated into an arcade piece.
That seems to have been the case for Midway’s Power-up Baseball, an MLB-licensed game that came with plenty of NBA Jam flare to it. The game did make it as far as location tests, but it obviously failed to repeat the same success that NBA Jam and Mortal Kombat had garnered, so it was shelved (in retrospect, it’s too bad they didn’t think of testing it in Japan – it probably would have done well over there). The full story behind it is really a fascinating and worthwhile read, getting into the role that Incredible Technologies played in its development and more.
Taito Gives Their Densha De Go!! LocTest A Signal Boost
Normally when a game goes on test in the United States, no one from the company says a word about it, keeping things “under wraps” so they can see how the game does on its own. That’s not always the case in Japan though, which might be why Taito used their official Twitter account to promote the location test for their Densha De Go!! game at Dave & Busters that we talked about a few days ago. I wonder if that and our coverage will have any effect on it…:
Ever wanted to drive a train in Tokyo, but can't make the trip? Then DENSHA DE GO! to @daveandbusters in Dallas, Texas to play in English!
— Taito Corporation (@TaitoCorp) January 29, 2021
BTW…if you look carefully, you’ll notice one other prototype game on test…this one from Sega 😉
January Update For Step ManiaX
It’s all in the video:
This isn’t the first time I’ve seen some old games turned into furniture and it certainly won’t be the last. I imagine that some manufacturers could get some extra mileage out of old, unused pieces of arcade cabinets out there, although they’d probably have to get a license for some of the things (or reskin it with company branding).
Sega’s InitialD Zero; Marvelous’ WACCA Available In The UK
I know many UK players have looked at the US with envy as we have different chains that regularly import big franchises from Japan, but once in a while, you do get coveted imports from smaller companies over there. Here’s the tweet for InitialD Zero; Tweet for WACCA.
Konami & Sega Continue Making Corporate Restructuring Changes
The negative ripple effect that the pandemic is having on business continues to change how every company works, which includes some of your favorite companies out there. Sega has been in the headlines a bit lately, and they continue to make adjustments; Konami also had to clarify some things after news of such internal shuffling ruffled some feathers. It also should be noted that JAEPO 2021 was canceled, so we’ll have to wait to find out about any new arcade titles from Japanese devs for a while (most likely we’ll be hearing more from exA-Arcadia soon on their end; I also did ask a contact at Sega about that article there, but no comment for now)
Fortunately, amusement divisions still exist out there among the various developers. A lot of people like jumping to the conclusion that arcades will get the axe first (odd that people have such reactions when they claim that arcades have already been dead anyway, right?), but unless a company specifically says so, then it isn’t so. I know sites like Buzzfeed & Twitter have trained people into forming opinions based solely upon headlines, but the more you can move away from that, the less stress you’ll have 😉 </PSA.
Let’s Discuss: Arcade Ports
As promised, I did do a video talking about arcade ports, but I guess we went off on a tangent more than once, and it became rather lengthy. To be fair though, some of that came from questions asked and not everyone was apparently interested in discussing ports, so that’s why.
From Indie Arcade Wave is a new interview with the creator of the indie arcade game, Deathball. Check it out!
Andamiro To Soon Launch New Spongebob Redemption Game
It’s no secret that Andamiro USA really loves Spongebob, so if you’re into redemption gaming, then you may find their new Spongebob Pirates of Bikini Bottom ball pusher game out there soon. While I did see it listed on their website yesterday, it’s disappeared as of today, although one of our site advertisers here, PrimeTime Amusements, does have a listing for it. There’s also this video:
Brian F. Colin Autographed Artwork
If you’ve ever wanted the autograph of a legendary game designer, then the Galloping Ghost Arcade is the place to be. I’m not sure how often Brian gives them a visit, but it seems to be frequent:
When people ask "what's on the floor?" of an arcade, I'm not sure this is what they're thinking of… pic.twitter.com/QJmAVuIIhF
— Brian F Colin (@BrianFColin) January 29, 2021
That’s all for now – what a busy Newsbytes that was! Have a great weekend everyone.