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ATEI 2007 report

ATEI 2007

The ATEI (Amusement Trades Exhibition International) is the biggest european trade show dedicated to amusement and gaming business. This 63rd edition saw a space configuration change: the amusement part was sent to the first floor (taking the place of the Visitor Experience Show which was dropped), the ground level being reserved for gaming. The ICE (for casinos) which was usually kept in the second hall saw its superficy raised of 38% and overflowed in the main hall.
We were logically afraid that the arcade games would go under ground but it didn't happen and the only effect this decision had was some darker booths (you'll notice it on the pictures). The space dedicated to amusement was even a bit bigger than it was for the 2006 edition. As usual, we focused on video games because the show is so large that we would need a whole week to check all exhibitors. So follow the guide...

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Here we are one more time in front of the Earls Court Exhibition Center for the first day of the traditional ATEI trade show. This year again, there were many exhibitors.
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Distributor Deith Group showed the latest novelties: the skill game Pile Up by Smart Industries, the latest video games from Sega like Let's Go Jungle! and After Burner Climax.
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But also the latest Taito title: the Chase H.Q. 2 racing (pursuit) game. Made nearly 20 years after the original, this game keeps the concept while adding a two players mode and updated graphics.
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We could also see this game on Electrocoin's stand side by side Golden Tee Live 2007 and Silver Strike 2007 - Bowler's Club by Incredible Technologies. Latest trend to come from Japan: the virtual croupier. Here in Dealer's Angels Blackjack by Aruze. Here's one hard to seduce for James Bond...
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Dart ex-world champion, Eric Bristow came to promote the Wild Bull game. Released 3 years ago in Ukraïna but new here, here's Dance+ Pump It Up Simulator on IgroService's booth.
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TAB-Austria was generously offering its receipts in gold coins (which turned out to be made of chocolate). Bonus Ball Bingo seen on CMS Gaming's stand features virtual balls drawing.
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Elaut got a spacious stand allowing them to showcase numerous products. On the amusement side, you could notably find the EX1 Quattro crane and the Knock It Off rotary; while on gaming side were the Victory Sic-Bo dice game and the Classic Roulette.
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The most interesting to us has yet to come since the amusement part was located this year on the first floor.
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The youngers were not forgotten with nice rides such as this small train and this screen equiped jet-ski.
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Or this range of kiddie rides at SB Machines. Seen on Gamedeal's stand, Pig Racing is a "piggy" variation of the traditional horse racing game where the puck replaces the balls.
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At Harry Levy, here are the latest one player pushers using the company's typical design. Without being clumsier than the 8 players version, the Around the World pusher can accept 12 people.
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Return of a funfair classic as King of the Hammer by the Korean manufacturer Andamiro. In Universal Space's Froggy Battle, the player who sends the higgest amount of balls in the frog's mouth within the allowed time wins the match.
ATEI 2007 ATEI 2007
Some games never get old. ATEI 2007 saw the european release of the latestAndamiro's dancing stage: Pump it Up NX.
ATEI 2007 ATEI 2007
As an exclusivity, Konami introduced their latest Bemani in european versions; the brand new beatmania IIDX14 GOLD, Guitar Freaks V3...
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... and its companion Drum Mania V3, these can be linked together to form a band. A bit of simulation in this arcade world with Pro Evolution Soccer Arcade Championship 2007 featuring PS2 joypad ports.
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The last game on Konami's stand was Crazy Streets, the fourth episode in the Thrill Drive series.
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Faithful to the series' spirit, crashes are very realistic and the game's graphics engine evolved well.
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This year, Namco's spearhead was Mario Kart Arcade GP 2. A better handling and new bonus items made this title a lot more enjoyable than its predecessor. It was the most crazy racer of the show.
ATEI 2007 ATEI 2007
Tamagotchis are now part of the line-up (competing here against Bowser, Wario and Ms Pac-man). Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 offers coloured original tracks and an on-card saving feature (removed in the precedent opus' european release).
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Another novelty: the tank simulator Panzer Elite Action - Fields of glory was presented in a mobile cabinet made by IMOtion! For the more sporting players, there was Jumpin' Jackpot: the principle is the same as a skipping rope. Each time this virtual rope completes a turn, a title letter lights up. The goal is to light up them all.
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The Fast and the Furious Super Bikes appeared this time in its final version. A fun game that put moto racing back to the arcades, a big success of the year 2006.
ATEI 2007 ATEI 2007
Namco also kept last year's highlights such as the deluxe version of Time Crisis 4 and Big Buck Hunter Pro easily recognizable with its "pretty" stylized deer horns...
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But also the very good The Fast and the Furious from Raw Thrills. In addition to video games , Namco showcased many other products such as Family Bowl 2.
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Taito's representatives were more oftenly busy playing their games than standing behind their desk! Chase H.Q. 2 (in cockpit and upright versions) and King of Jurassic were the only two titles on the stand.
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Impossible to miss Sega who owned the biggest stand of the show among video games manufacturers.
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Sonic, Sega's famous mascot, took advantage of the company's moving to visit the ATEI.
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The massive OutRun 2 SP SDX never stopped to attract the crowd durting these three days (unless it was because of the 2 Schumacher's cousin).
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This 8,25m long Lindbergh version supports 8 players composed of 4 teams of 2 players playing alternatively. Most interesting innovations are: moving seats and a camera filming the race leader and displaying his face on a screen at the top of the cabinet (side by side with the ranking).
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Sega's other big attraction was The House of the Dead 4 Special, a "monster" of 3,60m on 5 and 2,72m of height! The room features 2 100" screens and a turning seat for 2 persons.
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Once inside, you have to fasten your seatbelt and lower the safety bar: shaking guaranteed! Everything conduces to a total immersion: enemies attack from all sides, the seat vibrates according to the on-screen action, air is pumped to your face when you get bitten, ... A must see!
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Another new youth offered to a 80's game: The flying shooter After Burner Climax. Presented here in Super Deluxe (3 points motion), Deluxe (2 points motion) and Standard (non-moving) versions.
ATEI 2007 ATEI 2007
Graphics are gorgeous and the sensations are there! The famous "Climax" mode allows you to exceed MACH 1 and shoot down enemy fighters more easily.
ATEI 2007 ATEI 2007
An original lightgun game: 2 Spicy revolutionizes the genre by offering players to compete instead of cooperate. Each one has his own screen and can move laterally as he wishes using two pedals. A good surprise!
ATEI 2007 ATEI 2007
In its jeep shaped cabinet, the shooter Let's Go Jungle! - Lost on the Island of Spice focuses on adventure: lost on a wild island, you're attacked by giant insects. Ideal to play with your boy/girlfriend.
ATEI 2007 ATEI 2007
In Manic Panic Ghosts, you'll fight "kawaii" ghosts in numerous mini-games testing your skills and speed while you hit the 50" screen with your magic wand.
ATEI 2007 ATEI 2007
Asian Dynamite, the european version of the successor to beat'em alls Die Hard Arcade and Dynamite Cop showed up but was not playable. The new feature allows you to wear several costumes giving different abilities to your character.
ATEI 2007 ATEI 2007
Football fanatics will love the update World Club Champion Football European Clubs 2005-2006 adding 8 new teams (that's 206 new players) totalling 21 teams and 388 player cards to collect.
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Stress is at climax, no surprise since several championships took place at ATEI and each winner won a cup.
ATEI 2007 ATEI 2007
Unveiled last year, Ford Racing - Full Blown was back, this time in a 52" DLP screen featured deluxe version. Remember this is a 100% european game.
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Named Ghost Squad Evolution, Ghost Squad's Lindbergh adaptation was playable as a 40% completed beta version. Unfortunately, a bug caused a big slowdown of the machine during the whole first day.
ATEI 2007 ATEI 2007
As last year, you could play Virtua Tennis 3 on Naomi and Lindbergh (16/9) cabinets.
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Released one year ago, this games remains the best on the graphics side. Evidence given with this very alike Juan Carlos Ferrero.
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On kiddy cards games side, the star was Love and Berry - Dress up and Dance! presented along Dinosaur King and Mushiking. Unlike the two others, L&B is aimed at girls. You still have to scan cards to dress your character and then press the button according to the music rhythm.
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Celebrating the english release of Love and Berry, Sega set up a little show: a podium featuring "real" Love and Berry performing choreographies on game's musical themes and presenting the associated merchandising.
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Being less popular than Dinosaur King in Europe, Mushiking was there once more with themed merchandising like this "superb" plush toy.
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Sega also brought his Atomiswave hunting game called Extreme Hunting 2. This title is available as an upgrade kit, Naomi upright and 50" screen deluxe. The show was the opportunity to discover Sega Amusement Europe's new division: Sega Total Solutions which mission is Sega spare parts distribution directly to consumers.
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Global VR crossed the Atlantic ocean to showcase their newest title. Here's their stand sticked to their european distributor's: Cosmic Video Amusement.
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Unlike what we could think, Far Cry Instincts - Paradise Lost is not an arcade FPS but more of a multiple scenes light gun game. Everything is made for the player to feel comfortable: he's sit and the chaingun is fixed to the cabinet so he doesn't tire his arms.
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Unlike most of the other shooters where you kill humans, this one has a good level of blood.
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The other Global VR's licensed shooter was Aliens Extermination. It exists in standard and deluxe versions (featuring a 42" 16/9 LCD screen and a subwoofer).
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This game stands out thanks to its weapon system: to reload, you must find ammo in the game. Otherwise your firing rate will be considerably slowed down (remaining ammo are displayed on the weapon). Aside the main trigger, the weapon has a button for grenades and a secondary trigger to activate the flame thrower.
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Other novelty: the deluxe edition of Need for Speed Underground. Changes include a 52" 16/9 monitor, an IC card reader and especially, a moving platform by Tsunami.
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The urban setting where races take place is very detailed and colorful. The standard version was still there as seen last year.
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Available for the VR Vortek V3, Desert Gunner renew the principle since you can now ride several vehicles. Ultrapin is a virtual pinball including several Bally and Williams tables: Attack from Mars, F-14 Tomcat, Medieval Madness, Sorcerer, Strike and Spares and Xenon.
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PGA Tour Golf Team Challenge offers new courses, new players and new game modes. Kick-It Pro is a skill game where you must shoot a ball to succeed. It's compound of some small games: Kick-It, CarniBall and Kick Bowling.
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Canadian manufacturer Triotech was here again with the new standard declination of Wasteland Racer 2071 which was only available in moving deluxe format until now. Futuristic racing game Ballistics, older but still as effective.
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The youngers now have their simulator with Jett Rider This company's speciality remains motion simulation expressed through Mad Wave Motion Theater and XD Theater.
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VdW International from Brussels rided the Da Vinci Code wave with their new DaVinci Mystery pusher. Magic Safe is a jackpot style skill game where you can win prizes.
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Bandai brought the latest collections of their main series (Hello Kitty, Dragon Ball, Saint Seiya and Pokemon). Here you can see the zodiacal signs adapted and corrected by Hello Kitty.
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Discapa and their Chupa Chups vending machines, but also SpongeBob SquarePants, Cars, Doraemon, Sonic X, Superman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,... Tomy also showcased their licences: Winnie the Pooh and other Disney movies, Marvel, The Simpsons,... but also their latest acquisitions: Hello Kitty and Nintendo.
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The traditional plush stands were still so numerous. Here exposing Shrek, Sonic, Mario and friends.
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Suiting all tastes! Funny, seen on Novelty Capsule's stand: the interactive carpet; these crab move towards you when you put your foot on the carpet.
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Last years titles were still there but they appeared on distributors's stands this time like Dancing Stage Super Nova and Cooper's 9 at PMT Sales.
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Based on a military training system, the Arcada shooting stand uses real weapons to offer an unprecedented realism. SB Machines invites kids to try out hunting in Grizzly.
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The new invention of german company Vollmer Sport merges snooker and bowling and is so logically called SnooBowl. World Golf Systems showcased TopPutt, the compact evolution of TopGolf. Each ball includes a microchip.
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In addition to automatic pool tables, Valley-Dynamo also manufactures kickers and arcade cabinets. No comment...
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The ground level was reserved to gaming machines. Let's end this report with a gallery of characters we came across in the show's alleys. We don't introduce Shrek anymore.
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At Sega, they brought out those nice white uniforms often seen at japanese trade shows. Marylin tries out Love and Berry. Luckily for her, Berry is there to provide useful advices.
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We would have seen them behind the steering wheel... Er no, it's a fake one!

Despite attracting less visitors, this edition was a success once again. Regarding video games, 2007 looks like a good year with great titles like After Burner Climax, The House of the Dead 4 Special, Mario Kart Arcade GP 2, 2 Spicy, Chase H.Q. 2, ... Special mention to Sega with their imposing 500sqm stand nearly exclusively dedicated to arcade games. Hopefully enough open arcades remain to welcome all these new games.


Text / pictures: Sophie & Nomax.
All rights reserved.

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