Welcome to Newsbytes, a post where I scour the interwebs for quick news items that are related to the wonderful world of arcades and pinball machines. If you’re new here, yes, arcades still exist, and there are more than just Chuck E. Cheeses and Dave & Busters out there. Let’s take a look at what’s going on in the industry for this Easter weekend
Super Mario Bros. Movie Thoughts
I’ll keep this brief – I saw the SMB movie with my kids this morning and I quite enjoyed it. Lots of laughs, plenty of Nintendo references in there (without getting too over-the-top in explaining them like Ready Player One did) and something that my kids all enjoyed. No it’s not Casablanca or The Lord Of The Rings on the story but it doesn’t have to be and I’m not sure why critics think that it needs to be – it’s an entertaining popcorn movie that looks great and it has a lot of heart. It runs rings around the dismal ’93 SMB movie (which I also saw in theaters as a kid, lol), and is among the best video game adaptation movies out there. Is it better than the Sonic movies? I’d put them on the same level, although I think I laughed more at this than I did in both SoH films. I also didn’t find Chris Pratt as Mario to be some bad pick, he did a great job. I do wish Luigi would have gotten a little more to do although he did get to redeem much of that at the end. I’d recommend you go see it if you haven’t already – just checked and it’s already racked up $147m worldwide with more than half of that from US domestic, so it’s safe to say that it’s a big hit.
As for the effect this will have on arcade games like Luigi’s Mansion Arcade or Mario Kart Arcade, I’ve already seen a kid in my Luigi’s doing Mario’s “wa-hoo!” from the movie as he played so I’m sure it’ll end up doing much better than usual.
April Fools Round-Up
We had some fun on April Fools day, as we usually do, once again thanks to JDevy for sending this mock-up pic for me to work with on Rocket League Arcade. Here are some other arcade-related jokes from that day:
Introducing the exA-Aircadia – exA received at least one request to buy one…
This one from GOG.com isn’t arcade-related but I had a good laugh – they said “first comment gets it all” then disabled comments for the tweet, hehe. Also for consoles: Chris Pratt & Jack Black’s Voices Are Available On Select SMB Games
New Trailer For Enter The Gungeon: House of the Gundead
I had almost missed this as my attention was so focused on Amusement Expo but here’s a new gameplay trailer for House of the Gundead. I did order one and will be posting a video of its unboxing once it arrives, although I’m still waiting to hear on when it will be shipping out – hopefully this month! Looking at the comments on the video though, I think I need to do a video response to some of the people who seem to think that Devolver & Griffin Aerotech have created this for ultra-rich home collectors when that’s not the case at all.
Token Taverns – Upcoming Documentary About Bar/Arcades
That’s right, bar/arcades are getting their due focus this year, as a new documentary about the bar/arcade trend called Token Taverns interviews many people well-known in the scene about this trend. Find the filmmakers to follow updates, here.
Ghostlord & The Quest For Dark Presence Seeks Funding
Along those lines, we have a Kickstarter for a documentary that gets into the almost 3 decade long development process behind Galloping Ghost’s arcade fighter, Dark Presence. We’ve mentioned this game on the blog before (way back in 2008 and a few other times), but it sounds like the game is pretty much ready to go. Here’s a trailer for the documentary but hit the link above to visit the Kickstarter.
Cosmotrons Now Under New Ownership
Speaking of indie arcade games, we haven’t heard anything about Cosmotrons since 2021 when the devs announced a kit for the game. Arcadeaholics has now sold the IP to “Leatherbeard Interactive,” who is looking to “expand the community” in the near future. It also looks like it might end up getting a home port, although in that post above, it does mention that existing owners of the arcade cabinet will be getting an email from them soon (not sure if that means a software update or what). What would you like to see come out of this?
If you’ve never heard of this one before, here’s an unboxing of the game I did back when I grabbed the game for my arcade. I’ve since sold it, although the game is still local – think of it as a modern Gravitar.
More Videos From AEI23
News is always a little sluggish in the aftermath of a tradeshow but I am just about done with videos from the event. I’ll likely be finished within this next week although I’ve been unable to do a voice over for a couple of them given how busy the arcade has been this weekend. Here are a few I’ve posted since the AEI round-up the other day:
PinBytes: This Is Spinal Tap & Diving Into Bond 60th
After a while with no news, we now have a trailer for Homepin’s upcoming This Is Spinal Tap, although a bit of the video focuses on the model instead of the game. I don’t think it’s quite as extensive as some in the community are saying it is though (I.e., there’s a bit of the game too, it’s not 98% her).
Here’s a deep dive in the LE version of 007 that Stern posted this week:
Wahlap Offers Quick Preview Of Their AAA 2023 Booth – An amusement tradeshow happening in China about a month from now
A Wild Bounty Hunter Appears – I filmed this at IAAPA years ago then never saw it again
[Console] Sony Cuts Production Of The PSVR2 By 20% – Already
That’s all I’ve got for this edition, we’ll see you around.