Welcome to Newsbytes, a curated collection of news from the world of arcades & pinball, run on the weekends. As a note, I am working on a new Location Watch post and continue to work on the Games of 2021 video, among other things.
Lyman F. Sheats Passes Away At 55
I hate to start with sad news, but as the header says, Lyman Sheats unexpectedly passed away at 55 the other day. From what I was told, he wasn’t ill, but found unresponsive; I don’t know any more than that as to the cause.
Lyman was a giant in pinball, first as a professional player who had competed in and won many tournaments over the years. He was also a professional programmer, whose work included many pinball machines that you’ve likely heard about or played – Medieval Madness, Monster Bash, Attack From Mars, Tales From the Crypt, AC/DC, TRON Legacy, Spider-man, The Walking Dead, and many more. I’ve heard many in the community say that he was the best pinball programmer in the world and one of the best players.
Pretty much every pinball site has a post to discuss this; Here’s Stern Pinball’s statement; Pinballnews.com has a detailed history of him that you can read here; Also check out this post on This Week In Pinball. I unfortunately don’t recall ever meeting him at a tradeshow, but his work certainly stands as a testament to his talent, skill, and love of pinball. RIP.
Maximum Tune 5DX+ Unboxing
I posted this the other day, but in case you missed it, here’s my latest unboxing. I have another one coming up soon – I’m getting a SpaceWarp 66 from Touch Magix. It was paid for last month, just waiting on word for shipping. Also, I’m working on getting the Games of 2021 video finished up. Hopefully that comes along this week.
Park Avenue 2022 Preview
Usually about this time of year we’d be talking about EAG, a tradeshow that takes place in London to showcase more arcade products. Since EAG was pushed back to March, a couple of distributors in the UK are holding their own event to promote games that they have in stock and ready to ship. Here’s UDC’s preview of the Park Avenue 2022 event; I believe that Electrocoin is also involved as they are located on the same street (please correct me if I’m wrong on that):
NeoXperience Launches New Content For Their Neo-One MXR Platform
Formerly known as Scale-1 Portal, this French company has rebranded their tech while continuing to support it with more games. I saw them at IAAPA a few times, where they presented a projection mapped room and used 3D glasses instead of expensive bulky VR headsets to create a convincing effect. It appears that the newest version of the platform ditches the glasses & 3D in favor of the more traditional approach, which is also easier to maintain for FECs that install one. Both of these new games involve ball tossing and support multiple players:
Chiller & Micro Mages Now Available For PlayChoice-10 Systems
If you’re a collector of arcade machines then you likely are familiar with Nintendo’s PlayChoice-10 systems. If not, they were a brilliant marketing item for Nintendo back in the 80’s – they were a modified NES and could handle up to 10 games at once. While the library of available games was small compared to the NES’ home library, it did make conversions relatively easy. This has also meant that new games could be made for the system later on.
As of now, the site PC-10.com is selling a couple of new additions to the library, modified to work with the PC system – the NES version of Chiller and the first “homebrew” game to find its way to the PC-10, Micro Mages. I’m surprised that they are offering Chiller since the reviews for that were all dismal. Micro Mages on the other hand is well-liked by every account that I’ve heard, although I have not had the pleasure of playing it.
Mission: Impossible Arcade DX Cabinets Can Link Together For 2v2 Play
H/T To Jdevy for pointing out this info in the manual:
Arcade Platform Comparison Chart
We haven’t seen one of these charts in a while, but this one comparing three distribution platforms was sent my way by exA-Arcadia. It compares the exA-Arcadia, Sega’s All.net P-ras Multi, and Taito’s NESiCAxLive 2 to each other on a few certain aspects. While all of these systems are relatively rare to find in the States (Nesica, as far as I know, is only found in Round1USA locations; Haven’t heard of anywhere to carry Sega APM3 outside of Japan), this can help clear up some misunderstanding between them. Apparently there has been some debate in that regard out there in the digital wilds. I recall when Taito was looking at launching Nesica1 in the States (circa 2012 or so), but they couldn’t figure out how to make it work with the revenue share model, so it didn’t go anywhere except for Round1. I was surprised to see how few titles are available on NL2 though, I’m surprised that they aren’t digging into their expansive catalog to at least throw some classics on there; The same could be said for Sega, who did have quite a few joystick games back in the 80s. (1/24/22 – UPDATED the image)
Enjoying Arcades In 1983
It’s always nice to see footage like this pop up. While it’s not the same as experiencing it first hand, it gets you kind of close. H/T to Jaz Rignall on Twitter
The Sea Cave Arcade In New Orleans Just Can’t Catch A Break
LAI Games Launches Arcadecast, A Podcast About Arcades. Here’s Episode 1
The Ted Dabney Experience Podcast Interviews Atari Artist Evelyn Sato – She created a lot of art for the arcade division, including some of the flyers and cabinet art, among other great pieces
Speedy’s One Stop Repair Moves Locations – In case you need something fixed, SOS is now at a new address
Unreleased Neo Geo MVS Prototype Game Block Paradise Going Up For Sale Soon
Atari’s Plan To Reinvent Itself Again – I’ve lost count of how many times Atari has said to be “back” over the past couple of decades, but the current CEO seems much better than the last several. Guess we’ll see.
Just a pair of homemade countertop arcade machines seen in Japan:
Japanese Promo For Taito’s Remote Cranes
The Obscure Sequel To Mappy, Hopping Mappy, Is Now Available On PS4 & Switch
Feel Good Story: Teen Donates Arcade Prizes To Charity
[Non-arcade] What Were To Top Grossing Steam Games of 2021?
[Non-Arcade] Tomb Raider Comes To The GBA – Impressive as the system had no dedicated 3D hardware
Of course I don’t need to link to the biggest gaming news of the week, with Microsoft buying up ActiVision, although I do wonder if that could eventually lead to finding an ActiVision game in arcades again. This is because of Raw Thrills/Play Mechanix’s relationship with Microsoft and their IP. I’ve seen some speculating about a return of Guitar Hero to arcades, although thanks to ASCAP, I doubt that’ll ever be allowed to happen again. Still, could something like Call of Duty finally get arcade treatment ala Halo did? I don’t see why not. Although since I’m an old “Xennial,” the ActiVision game I’d most like to see get the coin-op treatment is the classic River Raid. 😛
With that, lets end with something…strange. H/T Arcade International:
Loved that clip of the arcades… very much my youth, that. 😉 Shame video cameras weren’t so cheap back then, let alone us all having mobile devices with cameras… a lot of this sort of material just never got captured.
Quite sad about Lyman… the way he played was certainly unique from the videos I saw of him online.
Still finding the blog very interesting and a good read. 😉