Like each year near the same time, belgian distributor Namusco open us its doors. This was once again the opportunity to discover the latest european releases. During these two days of 16th and 17th of february, visitors followed each others around the glass of friendship and a well-furnished buffet. Even if no Namco product were present, there were nevertheless a dozen new games of different kinds.
Incontestably, The House of the Dead 4 in Deluxe version (with its digital screen) was the most popular video game among the public. After the gun, the shotgun and the assault rifle, its UZI's turn to be used in Sega's annual gun shooting game. About this, the designer of the european cabinet, Gamini Bandara, had come in person to present the game. Five years after the second episode, here's at last Virtua Tennis 3, aside improved graphics, new players line-up corresponding to the current world ranking, a challenge mode and an IC card reader, this new version remains in the line of the preceding ones. Virtua Striker 4 was also updated with this "Version 2006", particularly regarding teams' formations. Two SNK Playmore titles (now distributed by Sega) running on Atomiswave were also there: we mean the very good The King of Fighters XI more accessible than the previous episodes and Metal Slug 6, still very fun but a bit disappointing on the graphics side. One will note the absence of the Fist of the North Star game (unfortunately, Kenshiro wasn't free) but it will arrive soon at Namusco. The Ford Racing Full Blown racer was also missing because it's still at a prototype state but it should also arrive in the near future (keep an eye on the news).
And the others...
In the center of the showroom stood the innovating "O dynamic games" from JVH gaming. Shaped as a round table covered with luminous squares, this game consists in pressing the right squares at the right time while following the rules of various game modes (columns, snake, pong, ...). Some of these can be played solo, others requires team play (up to 10 players). Very fun and athletic since some situations requires you to run around the table! Were also showcased: Photo Play and Web Sector touch screen cabinets whose 2006 update kit is available as well as some classy betting games from Pascual Games: Golden Roulette, Multi International Toote (horse racing) and the dice game Texas Dice. There were also several TFT screens featured bingos: the Magic Screen and the more compact Magic Circus. On pinballs' side, you could try three new titles from Stern: Harley-Davidson 3rd edition, Grand Prix and World Poker Tour. And last but not least, let's mention the 8 in 1 vending machine from Sammy: the Prize Party.
This edition of Namusco's open days allows us to note two tendencies: regarding video games, this year is marked by the avalanche of successful licences' sequels and on the other side, video screen technology is increasingly present in the games of luck. Even if as a whole all the games were good, the only really original title that one could discover was "O dynamic games".
Text: Sophie & Nomax. / Pictures: Nomax.
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