Welcome to Newsbytes, a collection of news from around the arcade & pinball world. Stay tuned next week for Amusement Expo 2022 – while I don’t expect a deluge of new-new games appearing there, it’s still a tradeshow and should have some fun things to see. I’ll be posting a preview post and video of that this next week.
Japanese Arcade Updates
(Thanks to Ted, Blake & MrJBRPG for sending these my way)
We haven’t heard as much as we normally do from arcade developers in Japan over the past two years now, but despite a lot of the bad news (some accurate, much of it hyperbolic), some companies have continued working on new games. I do need to emphasize that the games mentioned here are primarily designed for the Japanese market and not the Western one, thus the only chances of seeing these titles in North America is through imports. While Round1USA is currently the most active importer of such games, they don’t import every release, so it’s not a guarantee.
Let’s start with Sega, since much of the doom & gloom focus has been on them. They released a trailer and website for a new version of a popular card video game that is called Eiketsu Taisen. This is part of the Sengoku Taisen series and Ted had mentioned that it’s a crossover of “sangokushi/sengoku taisen,” although I am not very familiar with the series apart from knowing that once Sega did test a version of Sengoku Taisen in Chicago. As a card game, it’s far more involved than what we’ve seen here in games that use cards, almost like it’s an RTS but characters/units will be in the game based upon where their cards are placed on the physical cabinet playfield. Here’s a trailer that also hits at the difficulties of the market, between all of the entertainment competition out there and the pandemic, probably made to remind players how arcade gaming differs from mobile/PC:
While Sega just has this new game to speak of, Konami has a few. First off is a new game that they are testing out called Chase Chase Jokers. This one is pretty interesting and refreshing – borrowing the aesthetic and vibrancy of games like Nintendo’s Splatoon, it’s a competitive maze runner game. Handling up to six players at once (3v3), players navigate mazes, grabbing keys along the way to the main key.
Granted, when most arcaders think of Konami, they think of Bemani and not quirky games like CCJ above. Here’s one that is described as a similar to Dance Evolution Arcade, but simpler – perhaps a blend between Dance Evolution and Dance Rush. That said, it also seems similar in how it works to Taito’s Tetote x Connect (mentioned below), but with Konami’s design touch applied to it. It uses 3 screens stacked together to appear as one and uses sensors to detect the movements of your entire body.
To top Konami off, I don’t think I’ve mentioned the next version of DDR, Dance Dance Revolution GrandPrix, which has a website, and they will also just released a new version of their trivia arcade game series, called QuizKnock STADIUM.
We also have some Taito news to top things off with. First, since we’re talking rhythm games, Taito’s TetoteXConnect has reached American shores thanks to Round1USA. I haven’t heard what gamers think of it for good or bad yet though. Second is a surprise – it had been looking like the last game that would grace Taito’s NESiCAxLIVe platform would be the basic puzzle game Levels Vs., but a new fighter was announced for the platform in EN-EINS PERFEKTWELT Anastasis. It’s a sequel to another 2D fighter that isn’t super well known outside of Japan, and one I don’t know enough about to comment on further. The teaser here also doesn’t tell us much:
Oh and about Japanese arcades being all dead and done? The new opening of a GiGO store in Tokyo begs to differ. 😉
Deeproot Pinball Assets Going Up For Sale At Auction
I don’t believe that the tale of Deeproot Pinball is over yet, as we’ve got some interesting revelations coming to light as the assets from the company go up for auction this coming Monday. There’s a long thread on Pinside about DRP and what’s been going on, but there have been some interesting discoveries in the auction listings. First off, it’s clear that they had a ton of money that was spent on equipment and plenty of frivolous things, but interestingly enough, they had been buying up a lot of game parts.
Among the discoveries from the posted pictures include various alpha designs of their projects. While Retro Atomic Zombie Adventureland (RAZA) was the closest one to being completed, quite a few other titles were in development and the sheer amount of parts and playfields shows that they were actually working to get these produced (but probably not in the way originally promised). Lot 84 shows Food Truck, a design that Barry Oursler had developed, along with some other game (I would not be surprised if this lot goes for a bit of money). Lot 320 shows two other designs: The Who and Merlin’s Arcade; Some photos in Lot 47 show a concept called Fire & Brimstone, which I believe was going to be based on the Bible; Lot 58 some Magic Girl playfields; Lot 86 and Lot 100 feature mostly complete RAZA machines; Lot 89 has some very incomplete machines and same with Lot 90 (with an interesting whitewood game on the right in L90); and Lot 338 has some early designs that Dennis Nordman was working on (Yukon Yeti I believe it was going to be called). There are also some classic pinball machines in the lots, such as with Lot 133.
It stinks that all of this talent was brought together and it was ultimately wasted, but perhaps some of these concepts will live on depending upon who grabs them.
Jumanji & Allstars Basketball As Seen At EAG 2022
Sega posted several videos from EAG this week, which included their new videmption arcade game, Jumanji. This will also be at AEI in case you’ll be attending; If not, I’ll be grabbing a video of it along with anything else new that I find:
Street Fighter 6 and House of the Dead Remake Coming To Consoles
I highlight these due to their arcade pasts, although I’m not aware of any plans for these titles to find their way back to coin-op. I have been asked if I would be interested in buying a Street Fighter 6 Arcade if there was an official way to get it, but not at the price I’d have to pay for it. Thanks to my experience with Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition and losing quite a bit of money on that, it’s just not going to be in the cards unless we got guaranteed exclusive content. The chances of that happening are nil however, since SF fans wouldn’t allow for such a thing. Would a new Street Fighter with exclusive content be a huge boon to arcades? Absolutely. I’ve still not seen a reaction to a game like I did to SSFIVAE for that month and a half I had it as an exclusive. But, this is how it is with these old popular franchises now :
At least on House of the Dead, I have to imagine that Sega could put a version of this into an arcade cabinet. It would make sense and could perhaps 1up the Switch version by doing 4K. While not every remake is a guaranteed winner, I have to imagine that remakes of 90s light-gun games would do well on the market. Give me a CarnEvil remake and I’m there (well, unless it costs $40k, then no thanks 😛 )
The Ultimate KOF’96 Cosplay
Needs no more introduction than that, although if someone has a link to a longer video, I’ll be happy to change it out:
Reviewing Asteroids And Asteroids Recharged
Since it’s Atari’s 50th anniversary this year I’ve been doing more video stuff related to that, although with things like the HOTD Remake, I’ll be expanding it beyond Atari. Still, if you’re interested in the new Recharged games, I did check them out recently and here’s a review of the original and latest version, although I did forget to mention that the original Asteroids used 5 buttons to play and no joystick:
How To Fail At VR
H/T To Kevin Williams for sharing this one. This is certainly the worst VR failure I’ve ever seen, showing incompetence in both engineering & QA. It’s true that the failure happens because the machine hits a movable safety bar, but that never should be capable of happening with a competently designed simulator.
When you have a motion simulator, it must take into consideration where the bulk of that movement is happening to prevent injury as best as possible. The way this has typically been done is through a enclosure structure (a fixed box that will surround the motion unit with fencing of some kind) and motion stop sensors. The Sega R360, as one example, had sensors that would stop the unit if the rider stuck their arm out of the unit. Without these basics in place, this is the kind of thing that can happen:
Even if that safety bar was moved away, that wouldn’t prevent say a little kid from running along and getting smacked or crushed by the machine when it’s spinning around or likewise injuring someone standing near it who thinks that they are far enough away. This also certainly gets at why going for the lowest price is not always worth it.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cowabunga Collection Headed To Consoles Later This Year – Yes it includes the Konami arcade titles
The Void VR Under New Management, Plots Comeback – Guess we’ll see if new management works this time
How Much Does It Really Cost To Book The Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser? – It’s not any better than you’ve heard
That’s all for this episode, stay tuned for the Amusement Expo 2022 preview!