Raw Thrills's new racer is out! Launched at ASI 2007 show in Las Vegas, The Fast and the Furious Drift, that's the name, is an upgrade to the popular Fast and the Furious released in 2004. Still so fun, this brand new version offers 12 new cars and 7 additional tracks taking place in and around Tokyo (for a grand total of 19 courses!). The goal is still to earn money while racing in order to upgrade and tune your car (which is kept in the machine thanks to a PIN code). New feature: the player can purchase spare parts faster by adding credits. Thus like in real life, richest people will have the best cars. The cabinet features a 27" monitor and is available as sitdown and upright versions. Up to 8 machines can be linked-up for furious multiplayer races. The Fast and the Furious Drift will hit Europe in the next few weeks. You can already place an order at your local Namco distributor. For more information, check the game's page.
Good news for Ryo Hazuki fans! Yu Suzuki has recently declared to the japanese magazine Amusement Journal that he's working on a fighting game featuring Shenmue characters. Even if we don't know much about it now, we can already announce the presence of the following fighters: Ryo & Iwao Hazuki, Lan-Di, Fukuhara, Chai, Guizhang Chen, Tom, Ren, Wong and Dou Niu on the boys side. Girls will be represented too with Shenhua Ling, Nozomi Harasaki, Megumi and her cat, Joy, Xiuying Hong, Fang Mei and Yuan. As in the original game, everyone will have his own fighting technique. This game which definitive title has not yet been unveiled will run on Lindbergh Red system. It will use a modified version of the Virtua Fighter 5 engine but will be played with 4 buttons: punch, kick, throw and guard. Yu Suzuki announces they took the Shenmue II character models as a base but that they highly increased the polygons number and texture size to make the most beautiful fighting game ever seen. Fights will take place in locations familiar to players of the first two episodes. Game's development is not far away from ending and the first location tests will occur this summer. This is an april fool!
Mushiking and Love and Berry are, as a reminder, two kiddy arcade games from Sega using collectible cards . If it's for kids, there's some merchandising too... After various products, Sega found another way to take advantage of its licences: cartoons! Indeed from 2005 to 2006, japanese kids followed the adventures of Popo and his insect friends in "King of Beetle Mushiking - Legend of the Forest People", created by a dreamteam led by Shigeyasu Yamauchi (Blood+, Digimon: The Movie, Dragon Ball Z and Saint Seiya movies). The series being very successful, it's naturally that "Mushiking: The Road to the Greatest Champion" animated movie was released in japanese theaters on march 21st with its girly variation "Oshare Majo Love and Berry: Shiawase no Mahou" directed by Tomomi Mochizuki (Maison Ikkoku, Ranma ½, Zettai Shonen) telling a magical girl story. Maybe these animes will come to Europe soon...
Manic Panic Ghosts is available in Europe from today on. This title, seen in our ATEI 2007 coverage, is designed to appeal all audiences. Indeed the unique gameplay suits everybody: hit (not too hard) the 50" touch screen with a magic wand to succeed in a series of mini games in order to get rid of a hord of ghosts all cuter than the others. Yesterday, another game was released: the compact version of OutRun 2 SP SDX consisting of 2 cars (4 players) instead of 4. Contact your Sega distributor for more information or to reserve your machine.
Yes! Virtua Fighter 5 has been released in Japan 8 months ago when in Europe we can at last play the... card game! Indeed, French magazine Consoles + offers a self-made 54 cards game featuring characters from the famous Sega fighting game (this gift can be seen as an official product since it's been validated by the blue hedgehog company). So, Kings look like Kage, Akira, Jeffry and Lau while Queens are Pai, Sarah, Vanessa and Eileen. The magazine even explains how to play Texas Hold'em. Note that if you play poker, remind to remove the jokers from the game before starting to play. You can found this in Consoles + nr 181 (already?!), that's the march 2007 edition. Thus if you don't got it yet; run to your press shop because the april number will replace it on the shelves very soon! Price is 8 €. In short, while waiting for an hypothetical european version of Virtua Fighter 5, we can spend our time at the poker table. Unfortunately, we might all be ruined before the game is out... Akira, you bluff!
Since two weeks, the Namusco company is the new manager of the Luna Neuve arcade. No more computer components sales and welcome to new games! Indeed, arcade corner's surface was doubled. From now on, you can race against your friend on OutRun2 SP's deluxe cabinets, ride Fast & Furious Super Bikes, shoot zombies in The House of the Dead 4 and hit the ball in Virtua Tennis 3. Moreover, up to 4 players can play OutRun 2 and 2 players can compete in Tokyo Cop and Smashing Drive thanks to the extra machines. Find the complete gamelist on the location's page. In addition to the arcade part, Luna Neuve offers a LAN consisting of 27 internet connected PCs allowing you to enjoy World of Warcraft, Guild Wars and some other games. About this, Counter-Strike and Warcraft III tournaments will be organized soon. The arcade, located in the heart of Louvain-la-Neuve, is open monday to friday from 9.30 to 23 o'clock and on weekends and public holidays from 13.30 to 22 o'clock. Keep an eye on this place!
Stunfest's 2007 edition named "Battles of Roazhon" will be held on the weekend of 28 and 29 april at the "Espace des Deux Rives" in Rennes (France). It's an annual gathering of video game fans organised by the french association 3 Hit Combo. Even if the event's mainly centered on fighting games tournaments, there are many other things to check out there such as arcade games, consoles, cosplay, dancing stages, a 50 computers LAN, racing games and a Nintendo League stand. Although most tourneys are done on home versions, some arcade games competitions will occur on saturday. Played games will be Capcom VS SNK 2 - Millionaire Fighting 2001, Dance Dance Revolution (style and score), Garou - Mark of the Wolves and Super Street Fighter II X - Grand Master Challenge (2 vs 2 teamplay). For the finals: one stage, one Versus City and one big screen. Many arcade cabinets will be laid out in the hall allowing you to play some fighting games, shoot'em up and other beat'em all. Entrance is free, only the tournaments are charged. You can already register by sending an e-mail including your last name, first name, nickname, location, chosen tournament(s), team name (only required for team tourneys) and e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Entry fee varies from 4 to 7 € and can make you win up to 200 € if you're good enough. The arcade corner is sponsorised by Arcaland and Neo-Arcadia. 3 Hit Combo put a trailer online which is more like a true short (18 minutes long). It's very funny (if you understand french) and we advise you to watch it. The "Espace des Deux Rives" is located at number 4 of the "allée Georges Palante" in Rennes (France). Tournaments begin on saturday 28th april at 14 o'clock. Don't be late!
Good news for players living around Liège; a new video games shop named "Player" opened its doors in Fléron in last november. There you can try out the latest XBox 360 and Playstation 3 titles (on big screen) using the consoles on display and surf the web or play a network game with your friends thanks to the 8 available PCs. Michaël, Johnny, Vincent and Marco serve you on monday from 10 to 19h, from tuesday to saturday from 10 to 21h and on sunday from 13 to 21h. Player is also specialized in second hand. But the most interesting fact is the presence of 2 Naomi cabinets fitted with Street Fighter III - 3rd Strike and The King Of Fighters XI, these are exclusiveness in Belgium since the closing of the Family Games Gallery in Brussels. There's also a double Astro City allowing 4 players simultaneous gameplay in Dungeons & Dragons - Shadow over Mystara! A great move that will hopefully give ideas to others. This shop is held by fanatics who are very kind. No doubt this place will become a privileged meeting point for arcade games lovers. Check out the dedicated page to discover the address. You can also find it on our new locations map. Thanks to Budo-ka for the info.
After the ATEI 2007 which you can read our report in the articles section, trade shows keep getting organized throughout Europe. Even if being less international, these events are nonetheless the opportinity to observe the latest trends on our old continent. This month is especially busy. Let's start with the AmEx 2007 that will take place on tuesday 6 and wednesday 7 march at the Lynch Green Isle Hotel in Dublin (Ireland). Spring edition of Italy's big ENADA show, the ENADA Primavera will occur from thursday 22 to sunday 25 march in Rimini. In Spain, it's the Feria Andaluza del Recreativo 2007 that will attract professionals from wednesday 28 to friday 30 march in Malaga. Last but not least, we'll end this month in Greece with Gamenet Expo's second edition, from friday 30 march to monday 2nd april et the EKEP Exhibition Center near Athens.
From today on, you can order spare parts for your Sega machines (wheels, joysticks, guns, panels, ...) directly from the manufacturer's new division: Sega Total Solutions (STS). This new department becomes the exclusive distributor for Sega spares (so general suppliers like Suzo stop selling them). On the other hand, nothing changes for the official distributors so you can still ask at Namusco when you're in need of replacement parts. You can reach Sega Total Solutions by phone at +44 (0) 208 391 8060 or by visiting their website: www.segatotalsolutions.com.
Another news; Sega Sammy Holdings announced a 23% fall in their profits for the april to december 2006 period, falling from 63,49 to 49,38 billions yens (a bit more than 312 470 000 €). The company recorded a 3,9% fall in sales but precisely states this figures apply to Sammy's pachinko department only. Sega amusement and home products sales are very good. So it seems that acquiring Sega proved to be a smart move for Sammy.
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