Newsbytes: The E.T. Arcade/Pinball Games; Marble Madness II; Music Diver; Ghostbusters VR & More

arcadehero June 11, 2022 1
Newsbytes: The E.T. Arcade/Pinball Games; Marble Madness II; Music Diver; Ghostbusters VR & More

Welcome to Newsbytes, a semi-regular post that curates news from around the world of arcades & pinball for your weekend reading & viewing pleasure. It’s been almost a month since the last one as the shorter bits of such news haven’t been available in abundance, and I’ve also been spending a ton of time on shooting & editing videos (I think I’ve re-recorded the audio for the game design video 4 times now but it’s finally set. Now focusing on the video side of that. Although if you want to read about getting into the industry, there’s a new book out from my friend Rob Howard that tackles the subject).

E.T. The Arcade & Pinball Game

Speaking of editing video, here’s my latest, which I did to publish today. The reason I did so is because today is the 40th anniversary of when E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial hit theaters, so it seemed fitting to share now. While no one really talks about that movie these days (I haven’t seen it in 20-25 years or more), growing up in the 80s it was unavoidable. Thanks to ex-Atarian Dennis Harper, I uncovered a little bit of info on both the arcade & pinball versions of the game to share with you:

If anyone is interested in seeing the games I’ve bought from Mr. Harper, click here. Not sure when they’ll get here though as I’m still trying to figure out shipping (mainly getting them palletized).

Marble Madness II Now Playable In MAME

As with any discovered prototype, there are lengthy discussions about it to be found on forums, which I won’t get into here; If you’re interested in the discussion behind this one then have fun reading through 20 pages about it on AtariAge.

If you’d like to read about how MM2 came around meanwhile, then I’d recommend this article over at Ars Technica which gets into great detail on the history of the game as well as what we know about this new ROM popping up. Unfortunately, the version leaked lacks the trackball code, since at one point Atari Games decided to remove that and go with joysticks instead (thankfully, they did remove the very silly Marble Man character).

Since we’re speaking of old games, here’s some recently found footage of an extremely rare Nintendo EM arcade game called Sky Hawk. It’s not exactly a video game but it also is…it used 16mm film and changed what happened on the screen depending on your action. Crude but effective! H/T to GoNintendo

Sega Begins Shipping Allstars Basketball

Mentioned on the blog a little while ago, Sega’s foray into video arcade basketball is now available with Allstars Basketball. Arcade basketball machines always do well (guaranteed winner in any arcade as far as I’ve ever seen) but I have to imagine that these versions with screens are doing even better, since there’s more to enjoy than just making baskets. This one in particular features more to do in multiplayer linked mode than I’ve ever seen and it can link up to 16 machines, so that’s a plus.

Taito Unveils Music Diver & A New Version of GunArena

Taito has a new rhythm game in the works, although it’s one that I wouldn’t expect to see here in the states apart from Round1USA. That said, the first reaction I heard about it came from a rhythm game fan who also works at R1 and he really hopes that it doesn’t come over here, since it involves hitting the screen with padded sticks.

The video shows the model lightly tapping the screen but it seems doubtful that players who often stomp on dance pads like they were trying to send a spider to the deepest pits of hell would be so nice to a game that makes you hit the screen with sticks. That said, the current generation of video basketball games seem to have figured out how to protect the screen from hard impacts, so perhaps Taito has engineered this in a way to avoid such damage.

The game is currently on the slate to launch this December; Game Watch has more details and there’s an official website for it here.

On GunArena (launched as OnPoint here in the States due to how the name sounds in English :O ),  Taito has made a new version of that which I really doubt will find it’s way overseas. It appears to be specially made for bars and maybe the rare gun ranges that they have in Japan.

The gun is wireless instead of connecting to a control panel like the original. It still fires airsoft pellets but contains a limited number of those in a magazine. The large rectangular device on the bottom front is the sensor that is supposed to freeze the trigger if pointed at someone else or if your hand got in the way but still, I can’t imagine many operators jumping on this one if it was available here.

About Street Fighter VI

The upcoming Street Fighter VI does look rad, but like with SFV, I just can’t get too excited about it. I did have someone on the dev side of the business in Japan contact me asking if I would be interested in an arcade version of the game; the two questions I asked back at them of how much would it cost and would the AC version have any exclusive content were answered in the way I expected – way, way too much to make sense and a hard ‘no’ on the latter. To that my answer was: “No thanks”.

I know a few in the FGC get mad at me for bringing this up but 99% of the FGC guys don’t support the arcade version of a fighter once they can play it at home. This has been proven over and over and over again and any operator who has “been there” can back me up on it. Arcades don’t stay open by losing money and that’s exactly what would happen here (the exception being community fighting hubs like Arcade UFO, but those are the exception to the rule), as the minimum cost on SFVIAC would be $10,000, if not higher. I can think of far more effective things to do with that kind of money on a game.

Fortunately there are other, far more affordable fighting games on their way and while they don’t have the same kind of name that SF does, I imagine they’ll be doing well. That’s one reason I’m likely grabbing Samurai Shodown V Perfect – not only will it be affordable, it will have content that isn’t present in the console version. That really makes it a no-brainer in my book but it looks like Street Fighter, like Mortal Kombat, will truly never be in that position for my arcade again.

Since we’re talking Street Fighter though, I did recently put up a video about CRTs VS. LCDs. For those interested, here’s Arcooda’s new 20″ 4:3 LCD running SF2. It looks quite good and with my SSF2X on it’s last legs (tube has a non-working green gun), this is pretty tempting to replace it with.

Ghostbusters VR Academy Coming Later This Year To Hologate

While I don’t know all of the numbers on installed VR arenas out there, Hologate appears to be in the lead at present with over 400 locations to feature one of their systems. Now they’re bringing more content to it with the Ghostbusters VR Academy.

Per the press release, “academy members in training will strap on their proton packs and work together as a team in high-risk ghost encounter scenarios – all under the safeguard of academy grounds.” Granted, on-the-job training without safeguards and the humor stemming from that was always at the core of GB, but I suppose you can’t always get that from your GB video games.

Read more about it here; I do expect that we’ll see this show up at IAAPA 2022.

The Last Aladdin’s Castle Has Become An At The Pier Arcade

Aladdin’s Castle is a name that many of you are likely familiar with, if you frequented arcades in the 80’s and 90’s. Unfortunately, the brand became kind of like Blockbuster Video – whittling down slowly until there was just one location left in Quincy, IL.

It had been known as the last AC for a long time but that has now changed as they have been turned into a location for At The Pier Arcade. Admittedly I had not heard of this chain before, but they seem to be expanding, currently featuring 36 locations from California to New York and even a few in Puerto Rico. Steven L. sent this my way – it isn’t clear when the change took place, likely being after Namco USA were sold off, but either way, Press F for Aladdin’s Castle.

Pac-Man Battle Royale Chompionship DX Pics

Thanks to Alex N. for sending me some photos of the D&B timed exclusive of the new Pac-Man Battle Royale Chompionship. He does state that it uses a monitor around 75-80″ and even got the top score on the machine (I also notice a little Namco Easter Egg on the default leaderboard names – “Taizo” refers to Taizo Hori, hero of Dig Dug). Have you come across this yet and what do you think about it?


Pat Lawlor & Jersey Jack Pinball Soon Revealing Next Game – This Monday/Tuesday perhaps? Rumor says Toy Story but only JJP knows

Homepin Is Also Going To Launch Their Spinal Tap Pinball “Soon” – Games are in production right now so this month for sure

Excitement For The Upcoming Release Of Touhou Perfect Sakura Fantastica Is Quite High In Japan

Indie Arcade Wave Talks With Owner Of Quazar’s Arcade

As Cool As This Cabinet Is, I’ve Heard That This Gundam Arcade Game Has Not Been Performing Well In Japan

Update #27 Launched For Step ManiaX

Retro Ralph Looks At The Worst Beat ‘Em Ups

Bay Tek Has Filed Trademarks For “QB Throwdown” and “Big Ticket Drop” – I wonder if QB Throwdown could be something to eventually replace Connect4 Hoops with

Betson Sells 1000th unattended VR Machine – I’m curious how many total machines have sold if you were to combine sales from all distributors, but since we rarely get sales numbers, this is still interesting.

More Titles Coming From Arcade1up

Sega Recently Uploaded A New Trailer About ATV Slam

Reprints For Artcade Are Coming In October

Pinball News Visits The New Dutch Pinball Factory

Playing Blazing Chrome AC With Just Grenades

[Non-arcade] Think Arcades Are Expensive To Enjoy? At Least They Aren’t Diablo Immortal (or Star Citizen)

[Non-arcade] Frogger Is Coming Back…But Just For Consoles

[Non-arcade] So Is Atari’s Gravitar

[Non-arcade] Yu Suzuki Has An Interesting New Project In The Works – Not for real arcades though

[Non-arcade] The 100k Forgery Scandal That’s Rocking The PC Gaming World

[Non-arcade]The Amico Running Out Of Fumes To Run On – If they can manage to release some units at this point, it’s hard to say if it would go anywhere after that, much like the Atari VCS.


One Comment »

  1. James June 13, 2022 at 12:47 am - Reply

    Loved the old E/M film. Reminds me of a game I used to play which had a huge AA gun which dwarfed me as a child, and it had two aeroplanes projected onto a “backcloth” just like Nintendo’s “Shoot Away” clay game works. Only one ever moved, so the second was always easy to hit! This was back in the day at the UK “theme park” Tucktonia, now sadly flats 🙁 –

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