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
Lately, pinball novelties were always blockbusters adaptations (Pirates of the Caribbean, Spider-Man, which a limited "black" edition is out). Stern tries something else with this new pinball based on the famous TV show "The Wheel of Fortune". This one was created to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the american version of the TV game and promises to be a great success: the game is shown on TV 5 nights a week. American fans will find with pleasure original voices of Pat Sajak (host of the TV show) and Charlie O'Donnell (show's announcer). Very coloured artworks featuring Pat Sajak and hostess Vanna White will take along the player in the show atmosphere... The gameplay is similar to the TV game: the players begins by "spinning" the wheel to collect points and/or prizes in the Prize Bank, then, he must hit the 3 contestants heads to collect consonants and vowels in order to solve the puzzle on the dot matrix display. Once the puzzle solved, the player wins points/prizes in the Prize Bank.
Released last month in Japan under the name "Dynamite Deka EX" (EX stands for "Exchange"), this 3D beat'em all series' third episode (following Die Hard Arcade and Dynamite Cop) reaches us! This time, the action takes place in Asia. You choose between Bruno, Caroline or Jennifer as your character and infiltrate great terrorist Wolf Kongo's base to defeat him once for all. Gameplay hasn't changed: 3 buttons; punch, kick and jump to make many different combos and a devastating special blow when pressing all buttons at the same time. There are still "Quick Timed Events" where you have to quickly replicate the commands shown on the screen. The biggest change aside graphics is that enemies sometimes drop cases containing clothes, once wore, your character acquire new blows and a totally different fighting style (this adds deepness to the gameplay). There are 3 special outfits for each character (American Native, kung-fu master, Ritualist, Jester, ...). On the weapons side, in addition to a broad range of firearms and blades, you can still use everything you find in the scenery to get rid of your opponents (return of the shish kebab?). We're pleased to see they kept the series offbeat tone! As said before, you have to infiltrate the enemy's base, it's up to you to choose the best approach at game start: drop from the sky, hidden in a train, or coming from the sea. Asian Dynamite is available for purchase from your local Sega distributor both in full Naomi Universal cabinet and standard Naomi cartridge formats. This is the ideal way to recycle an existing cabinet especially since beat'em all are scarce nowadays.
As usual, London's Preview trade show will be the place to be to discover what's coming next year. Preview 2008 will be held on Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th October in Novotel London West. Of course, the biggest manufacturers and distributors will be there, here's what you'll be able to see this year: Let's start with Bandai Namco's stand where you'll can try for the first time the "super deluxe" versions of Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 3 and The Fast and the Furious Drift. In fact, it's composed of four linked standard units on a specially designed platform surrounded by a giant header specially lightened to attract potential players. Tekken 6 should also be present on the booth aside a two players skill vending machine, a ticket redemption game and two different photo booths. Products shown at ATEI 2007 will be showcased once more. At Sega's, you'll find Sega Race TV, Virtua Fighter 5, Asian Dynamite, Primeval Hunt, Let's Go Jungle! Special, 2 Spicy, Virtua Tennis 3 and Shoot This Win This. While Cosmic Video will present latest Global VR titles (NASCAR Racing, America's Army, Alien Extermination and Paradise Lost). Last but not least, you'll find Chase HQ 2 on Electrocoin's booth. There will surely be other interesting machines showcased there and if you want to avoid queues at the entrance, you should register today because preregistration closes tomorrow.
Let's Go Jungle! Special, Sega's latest big attraction, is coming to Europe in January 2008! This game is hosted in the same giant cabinet as The House of the Dead 4 Special: a big box of 3,6 on 3 meters and a height of 2,72m including two 2,5m screens and a 360° rotating seat immersing players in the game's environment. Here, you have to battle hordes of insects and other mutant beasts in a exciting ride throughout jungle in a jeep, on a boat and while riding an elephant. The seat is equipped with two vibrating UZIs, 5 speakers and air blasters. The choice of Let's Go Jungle! as the second title to be converted to the "Theatre Attraction" format is logical as this refreshing shooting game meets a good success worldwide. Find more information on the game's page.
Last years, more and more gamerooms saw daylight. Indeed, a lot of young adults dedicate a room of their house to their video games passion with this electronic version of our childhood's "playroom". Today's trend is to open these rooms to the general public. This week, Jof from Anderlecht opens his gameroom's doors. All gamers are cordially invited to come have a drink while playing this Sunday, September 9th at 2 o'clock. You'll find there: consoles (Dreamcast, PC Engine, NES), pinballs (Fish Tales, The Flinstones, Last Action Hero, Popeye), pachislots (Dracula X, O Gamera, Yoshimune) and of course arcade games including a Neo-Geo MVS, Fist of the North Star and Out Run. The gameroom is located at 284 Rue de Nerpede in Anderlecht (Belgium). Prior coming, you have to confirm your presence as well as the number of persons coming with you by e-mail.
Global VR offers the occasion to "wannabe" GI to discover in arcade the "wonderful" U.S. Army world. In America's Army (AA for close friends), the player makes his firt steps as a new recruit of Uncle Sam's grand army... Before arcade market, U.S. army has already invaded (sic) PC, console and cellular phones markets. All kind of merchandising has also been launched (see official website)... According to Global VR, it's a new communication channel with young americans. Training exercices are 100% official and were created with cooperation of units of the U.S. army : exrcices are always released with target (of course it's not question of taking part here in an unspecified war, it's only training), the game get the green label "non-violent target shooter". To convince young amercian that the army it's good, authentic army videos and other information have been added to the game. Depending on the results, the drill sergeant will evaluate his pupil's skills: teamwork, accuracy, speed and judgment... Those are indeed qualities of a real soldier to join U.S. army leaderboard (notice that torture is'nt quoted). The game has 8 levels (sniper course, shotgun training, mover target, ...) and the "dynamic" difficulty system will make the game easy for new recruits and more difficult for experienced players. AA can be played up to 2 players.
Atlus announced on Tuesday that all 150 machines named Udemashii (Arm Spirit) in operation in Japan will be recalled. The cause: 3 players broke their arms while playing this arm wrestling simulator: a Japanese and South-Korean and French tourists. Throughout the 10 levels the game counts, you battle (among others) a Chihuahua, a french maid, a drunken martial arts Master to finish with a professional wrestler. Ayano Sakiyama, spokeswoman of Atlus is surprised: "The machine isn't that strong, much less so than a muscular man. Even women should be able to beat it". "We think that maybe some players get overexcited and twist their arms in an unnatural way." she said. Machines will be checked for any signs of malfunction as a precaution. Atlus should re-brand the game as "Arm Breaker", at least, potential players will be warned. This event brings to mind a similar story happened in the 90's. The game was Taito's Sonic Blast Man. The company was accused by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to have failed to report about 70 players injury cases. Taito had to pay a $ 50 000 fine and the game disappeared from Taito America's catalog. Reaction was faster this time.
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