We present you our best wishes for 2009! Although 2008 was the year of our 5th birthday, it wasn't a good one: many arcades closed down and only a few new products made it to Belgium. But this bad period should not darken the expectations for this new year. Indeed, you will discover new titles from Sega, Konami, Namco and Global VR in our annual ATEI report. Moreover, operators are changing their mind and now directly contact manufacturers to gather information about new games. This suggests new titles will reach us this year. On our side, we are working on a complete rebuilding of the website and we thank all people whom supported us in 2008!
Raw Thrills has just announced its last release: a racing game taking place in the world of Nickelodeon cartoons, a famous American channel entirely dedicated to the children. In this game, the young children will enjoy to play with their favorite characters like Spongebob, Timmy Turner, Avatar Aang, Invader Zim, Jimmy Neutron and Danny Phantom, plus one secret racer. Players will race on 6 differents tracks inspired by theses cartoons. Weapons and bonus will be available and players must negotiate jumps and traps without brakes! Distributed by Bandai Namco Games, Nicktoons Nitro Racing features a 27" monitor and can be linked up to 6 units.
The third edition of Asianim, the Belgian convention dedicated to the Japanese culture, will take place in Liège during November 1st and 2nd weekend from 10:00 to 18. Beside the traditional stands of sale of mangas and projections of animes, the visitors could also enjoy: martial arts demonstrations of martial arts, tea ceremonies, meetings, dedications, initiations to Japanese, Go and Mahjong games, cosplay contest,... Video games fans will be happy too since 4 stands will be reserved to them: the first one will be hold by the DDR Belgium which will be present for the third consecutive year with of course GDR but also ParaParadise, Donkey Konga and Guitar Hero. Our friends of Player store from Fléron will be also present with arcade and consoles (X-box 360, Wii and PS3). For most nostalgic players, the Asbl Passerelle Japon will propose consoles old school consoles (Nintendo, Sega, NeoGeo and PC Engine) and finally, a Lan DS and PSP stand will be at the disposal of games coming with their own console. Ticket 1 day will cost 7 € and the ticket weekend 12 €. You will be able to also attend AciD FlavoR concert on Sunday for 10 € moreover. Find all the infos on Asianim's website.
We had already talk about animated adaptations of arcade games like Mushiking and Love and Berry. Now, it's the turn of Dinosaur King to be under the spotlights. Indeed, the second season of this anime is broadcasted since January in Japan, and the first season (49 episodes) can be watched since the end of August on France 3, wednesday and saturdays morning. Named Kodai oja kyôryû King: D-Kids Adventure, this anime produced by Sunrise has been unfortunately altered by the american company 4Kids Entertainment already in charge of censured editions of Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! A DS version will be soon available but it's especially the cards sets distributed by Upper Deck Europe which will hold our attention: are they the cards used in the Dinosaur King arcade game? Notice also the Japanese release of Quiz Magic Academy, an anime from studioAIC adapted from Konami's game which is a great success in the Japanese arcade.
This weekend, the Player video game shop in Fléron organizes a tournament on 2D (arcade games) and 3D (consoles) fighting games. You'll compete on Street Fighter III - 3rd Strike and The King of Fighters XI arcade games and Dragon Ball Z - Burst Limit, Dead or Alive 4 and Tekken 5 - Dark Resurrection consumer titles. Matches will be composed of two winning rounds and each victory will grant you points. At the end of the tournament, the player who earned the most points will be designed as "King of Player" and will win the grand prize which is a consumer video game of its choice. Video games will be also given for each victory on one of the games. Please note that some characters usage is fobidden like Akuma in Street Fighter III and bosses in The King of Fighters XI. The tourney will be held this Sunday, July 27th. Entry price is 4 €. Attention, You must register before Saturday! Spectators are of course welcome! You'll find more information on the shop's website.
It keeps getting worse... After the transformation of the Family Games Gallery in Bruxelles into a Japanese restaurant and the metamorphosis of Family Games Centers into casinos (gambling machines replaced video games), the Luna Neuve definitively closes its door tomorrow. Opened in 1978 by Mr. Frans Herbiest, a former butcher, this big arcade located in the heart of the Louvain-la-Neuve student city have meet several generations of games and players during its lifespan. Following the decreasing interest of the audiance for arcade games, half of the hall was converted to a 50PCs internet café in 2001 by the manager of the time, Mr. Patrick Vandenplas. The operation space progressively decreased as years passed by to reach a final surface of 330 m². Th business was took over in 2007 by Mr. Bernard Leroy (former managing director of Namusco) who renewed the arcade part. Unfortunately, the location attendance was not high enough to grant its survival. The Luna Neuve always offered the latest arcade games and pinballs (Stern's Indiana Jones was installed one week ago). Low games price (same as in the 90's) and deluxe cabinets (two OutRun 2 SP and The House of the Dead 4 among others) failed to attract players (do they still exist?). From now on, people will have to go to the Coast to play the newest titles. However, a second life is possible since the space is to let. If you're interested, send an e-mail to email@example.com and save the last big arcade left in the heart of the country!
A new arcade will open on Saturday June 14th, 18 o'clock in La Courneuve (north of Paris). Specialized in fighting games, La Mythik (its name) is operated by a small group of passioned people. The line-up showcased in the numerous Japanese arcade cabinets is rather impressive and will please fighting games fans, see for yourself: The King of Fighters '98 - Ultimate Match, '95, '96, '97, '99, 2000, 2001, 2002 and XI, Street Fighter III - 3rd Strike, Street Fighter Zero 3, Super Street Fighter II X - Grand Master Challenge, Hokuto no Ken, Capcom vs SNK 2, SvC Chaos, Garou - Mark of the Wolves, Fatal Fury Special, Fatal Fury Real Bout 2, The Last Blade 2, Marvel Super Heroes, The Rumble Fish 2, Breakers Revenge, Karnov's Revenge, Art of Fighting 2, Samurai Spirits IV and Double Dragon. A puzzle corner is also planned (for enjoying waiting girlfriends?) with Magical Drop III, Puzzle de Pon, Pon 'n Bounce, Panic Bomber, Joy Joy Kid and the Twinkle Star Sprites shoot'em up. Prices are reasonable with new titles at 1 € per play while most games are proposed at 50 cents per credit and older titles are priced at 50 cents for 2 credits. The arcade will be open every days of the week and is already seen as the future meeting point for high-skilled players. So it's the place to train yourself for the next Tougeki... La Mythik is located at the corner of Edgar Quinet and Politzer streets in La Courneuve (former Ronaldland). You'll find more info on the official website. It sounds like an audacious project but in France exists a quite developed scene of die-hard fighters fans (activity known as "pro-fighting") and we wish them a lot of success!
Last weekend, Ben Kuchera goes with his little daughter to the Newport Aquarium (northern Kentucky, USA) where a frog exhibition is taking place. In this zone named "The Frog Bog", you can discover 20 different frog species from everywhere on the planet. Various activities are proposed to children including a tube course, frog music making and frog themed games. This is where lies the surprise since Ben came across a Frogger-dressed Dance Dance Revolution arcade cabinet! Yes, this is a Frogger game you play using a dance platform! Despite the machine's artisanal aspect, gameplay is responsive, sound is loud and it's freeplay! Try it if you're in the area! You'll learn more about it by reading Ben Kuchera's article on Ars Technica.
We're hearing about it for 5 years now. But this time, it's real! Sega Rally 3 will be out in Europe next month! The rumor reborned in february when JimmyB, a NTSC-uk reader, found an arcade game titled "Super Challenge" at Birmingham's Bowlplex. He was quite surpised to discover that it was in fact a location test of Sega Rally Revo's arcade version. A racing game developped by english studio Sega Racing Studio that was released last year on PC and consoles. The closure of this development studio in the beginning of april threw a doubt on a possible arcade release. Fortunately, if Sega Racing Studio coded the original game, Sega's amusement division was in charge of the conversion. Sega Rally 3 will be available in may. According to JimmyB, the game is very fun and the force feedback is very strong.
Tomorrow, the 10th edition of Collector Fantasies will open in the Nekkerhal, Mechelen (Belgium). This fair is the place to be for 50's, 60's and 70's collectibles lovers (Jukeboxes, pinballs, bingos, arcade games, vinyls, CDs, posters, clothes, ...). The Belgian Pinball Championship will be held there for the second year in a row. This tournament will spread over the whole weekend on six different tables and will brightly end on Sunday afternoon with the grand final. This year, our colleagues from GameRoom will be part of the 120 exhibitors with a booth showcasing many arcade games and pinballs. So you'll be able to play (free) Pac-Man, Galaga, Space Invaders, Qix, Killer Instinct but above all authentic Dance Dance Revolution Extreme. For pinball fans, Revenge from Mars, Star Wars Episode I and WWF Royal Rumble will be there too. Nekkerhal's doors will open on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th january from 9:30 to 18 o'clock. Entry price is 6 €. Enjoy
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