New record for the Made In Asia show: 34 624 visitors across 3 days (Friday 8, Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 of March 2013 at Brussels Expo). This year, there was a hall dedicated to Asian culture and European comics (Hall 5), a concert hall (Patio) and a video game space (Hall 8). Of course, this is where you could find us. Beside Arcade Belgium, this hall offered a big Just Dance 4 stage where people danced on Gangnam Style every 10 minutes, a PlayerOne stand with Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 home consoles featuring the latest releases, a retro video game shop, a Skylander Giants booth, a large eSports Arena space with a LAN of PCs where League of Legends and Counter Strike Global Offensive tournaments were organized (Counter Strike Global Offensive tourney was won by the Brussels Guardians). There was also a Pix'n Love stand, DDR Belgium booth with a big screen Project Diva custom machine and their famous DanceDanceRevolution Extreme arcade cabinet as well as the big BE-Games stand with many consoles of all eras.
This year, arcade machines were lined up as a L shape. To stay in the Made in Asia theme, we offered a 100% Japanese line-up. And what better Japan ambassador than Gundam? We linked up 4 Gundam vs. Gundam Next cabinets where players fighted in teams of 2 versus 2. This game was successful even if not everybody understood the scoring system. In fact, each team has an energy gauge of 6000 points. Gundams worth 1000, 2000 and 3000 points. If you destroy an enemy Gundam, that Gundam value is substracted from the enemy team's energy gauge. The first team which energy gauge reaches zero loses the match. Gundam fans especially loved the introduction sequences and background music coming straight from the animated series.
Due to unexpected technical troubles, Cobra - The Arcade was running on Friday only. On Saturday, we replaced the two Cobra cabinets by The House of the Dead 2 and 3. The House of the Dead 2 and Zombie Revenge were featured in their uncensored versions. For their European releases, zombie blood colour was turned green in order to comply with German regulation on video games. But everyone knows that zombies have red blood, they're not extraterrestrial! Be assured that the space pirate has not said his last word! Cobra will return once the technical problems will have been addressed.
For Made in Asia 5, we planned to bring a dedicated Initial D 4 twin machine. Unfortunately, a schedule conflict prevented us to do so. Never mind, our Crazy Taxi cabinets served us well one more time. Last year, Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 appealed to many players. The challenge was to find a game as popular with the general public... We found it in the name of OutRun 2 SP - Special Tours! With its highly recognizable upbeat music, its flamboyant cars, its varied scenery and easy drift technique, this racing game has been a great success since the machines were already busy before the show opened its doors. Unlike the first OutRun episode, Sega was granted the Ferrari license for this second game, which allowed the player to choose from faithfully reproduced official vehicles.
Shoot'em ups were not forgotten with atypical titles like KOF Sky Stage where King of Fighters characters fight each others in the sky. The game is fun in cooperative mode but puzzling in versus mode. KOF fans will have to wait for the year to be offered a real fighting game. The other featured shoot'em up was Mamoru-kun wa Norowarete Shimatta! by G.rev where the action takes place on the ground which is uncommon for a STG. This game is super cute and exotic despite being unknown among the masses, hence its presence at the show. Another kawaii game: Spica Adventure. New arcade platform games are very rare. Spica Adventure has a cartoon look, an immersive universe and a superb gameplay. Its only bad point is the lack of multiplayer support. We would love to see Taito releases more games like this!
Each year, we showcase a different Tetris variation. After Sega Tetris at MIA 3 and Tetris The Grand Master 3 - Terror Instinct at MIA 4, it was the turn of Tetris Kiwamemichi by Success to be featured. The other puzzle game was Puyo Puyo Fever which is the last episode of the series to hit arcades and the first one developed by the Sonic Team.
As fighting games go, there was the beautiful Shin Koihime † Musou featuring pretty female fighters in the universe of Romance of the Three Kingdoms and the older but still popular Sengoku Basara X from Arc System Works. This year, free tournaments were Tag oriented with Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Cross Generation of Heroes and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Unlimited.
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Cross Generation of Heroes tournament
Chosen by visitors via a Facebook poll, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Cross Generation of Heroes was our Saturday tournament. To avoid a too long competition as last year Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition tournament, Registration was limited to 32 entrants. Each fight was composed of two winning matches. The tournament was broadcast live on a 40" LCD screen for spectators to enjoy the show.
Winners were: 3rd: Keurtis, 2nd: EldeRgoD and 1st: Omar of the Player team. They win Pix'n Love books, video game packs comprising Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC titles, as well as T-shirts and gadgets. Prizes were offered by Ubisoft, Sega, Atari and PlayerOne. Congratulations!!!
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Unlimited tournament
At Made in Asia 4, we promised a Tekken tournament for the next edition. We were happy to witness that players who asked for Tekken last year didn't miss the rendez-vous! At that time, Tekken 6 Bloodline Rebellion on System 357 was to be used for the tournament (hence the inflatable Tekken 6 thing on our stand). But, towards the end of 2012, we had the chance to acquire a System 369 with Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Unlimited installed. However, TTT2U supports 720p video output only (unlike Tekken 6 BR which has 480p support). We had to replace the CRT screen of a Naomi cabinet for an HD monitor with all the work it implies. Fortunately, the result was worth it. The matches were played in two winning rounds except the semi-finals and the finals that waere played in 5 winning rounds. Note that Wolfen was the only girl taking part to the tournament. She lost during the second round to Mishi Master in a tight battle that earned her public applause.
Results: the 3rd place goes to Dim, Mishi Master is second and NeoNinja wins the tournament. The four best players win Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Xbox 360 games given by BE-Games. In addition, the 3 ranked players win video game packs, T-shirts and gadgets offered by Atari, PlayerOne, Sega and Ubisoft. This tournament led to the creation of the Tekken Belgian Community by NeoNinja. An organization to follow!
We would like to take this opportunity to answer some frequently asked questions at the show.
Q: What emulators do you use?
A: None. All our games run on their native original arcade hardware. It consisted this time of Namco's System 246, System 256 and System 369, Sega's Chihiro and NAOMI, Taito's Type X and Type X², Neo Standard and Revolution Arcade.
Q: How much do you sell your arcade cabinets?
A: Our machines are not for sale. If you're looking for an arcade cabinet, we advise you to check our "Arcade Market" forum. You'll probably find what you're looking for.
Q: Players from the Player shop often take part to the tournaments, but they're part of the organising team. Is it not cheating?
A: Of the Player shop team, only Dragen help us to run the stand while Esash occasionally provide some equipment. They're not advantaged in any way for the tournaments.
This Made in Asia 5 was the best edition until now. Very wide aisles, a great atmosphere and a very friendly public! Don't miss the next show that will be held on March 14-16, 2014!
Text / pictures: Sophie & Nomax.
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