GuitarFreaks XG2 and DrumMania XG2 - Groove to Live are available in Japan since yesterday. Released beside GuitarFreaks and DrumMania "standard" versions, these "XG" are a kind of deluxe ones with a completely new design. Konami adds some new features in the "XG2" cabinets: new screen, speakers and peripherals. The two games use Paseli e-payment system. Nineteen new songs were added to the 70 already present in the "XG".
Made in Asia show will take place in Brussels Expo from March 18 to 20. This is already the third edition of this show devoted to Japanese and Asian culture and it is growing year on year. Many events are held during the weekend: signings by Nobuhiro Watsuki (author of Rurouni Kenshin) and Hiroki Kanno (chara-designer of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood anime series) on Saturday and Sunday, live concerts by Pinky Doodle Poodle and Ryo Fujimura (on Saturday). During the whole weekend, visitors will enjoy the many other activities: the Japanese village and its traditional activities (go, ikebana, calligraphy, sumi-e, taiko, bonzai, furishuki, shogi, cooking, tea ceremony...), two dojos with martial arts demonstrations (Aikido, Kendo, Jodo, Naginata, Jodo, Thuy Phap, Kick-Boxing and Jujutsu), cartoon projections (Neon Genesis Evangelion : 2.2 You Can (Not) Advance, Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa, ...), exhibitions (Tokyo, dolls, ...),video games tournaments, ... Exhibitors will be grouped by type: the show floor will be divided in several zones with the Akihabara space (video games publishers and associations), Shinjuku district (manga shops, cartoons and Japanese goods), Ikebukuro alley (manga fanzines, associations and artists), Harajuku alley (the "fashion" alley with shops and young creators selling clothing, jewelry, Asian inspired goods and accessories) and the Shibuya crossroads (information about all activities). On Friday, doors will open from 19:00 to 21:00 (free entrance!), on Saturday from 10:00 to 21:00 and on Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00 (ticket price: €10 per day/€20 for the weekend). This year, Arcade Belgium will showcase free to play arcade games on its stand and will organize tournaments: Hyper Street Fighter II on Saturday and BlazBlue Continuum Shift on Sunday. You'll find more info about the tournaments on the forums. We have 2x 2 free tickets to offer, click here to try your luck.
Sega releases today the latest version of Initial D: Initial D Arcade Stage 6 AA (AA as "double ace"). A new game mode was added: "Tag Battle" which allows players to compete in teams of 2 against 2 through the national network (also available in some countries outside of Japan). Gold and silver "ACE" panels are dispersed on the course, team members must touch them to win points. The team that gets the highest score at the end wins the battle. The gold panels are placed in locations hardmly accessible, an effective strategy and a good team spirit between team members are essential for victory. This game mode is similar to the battles of Takumi/Takahashi duo in the original manga. Characters and cars of the last volumes of the manga have been added: a record mumber of 34 cars and three new models are available (FAIRLADY Z Version S, LANCER Evolution X GSR and NSX). Futhermore, ten new races are present. Initial D Arcade Stage 6 AA runs on RINGEDGE, supports up to 4 players, uses ALL.Net network and data can be saved on an IC card. The data saved on an Initial D Arcade Stage 5 card can be transferred.
Today, Yu Suzuki received the Pioneer Award at the Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony held during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. This prize This prize rewards the creators of innovative technologies and concepts that have paved the way for other developers. Yu Suzuki began his career at Sega in 1983. He created many arcade hits in the 80's: Hang-On and Space Harrier in 1985, Out Run (1986), After Burner (1987) and Power Drift (1988). In 1992, he inaugurated Sega's new 3D rendering hardware (Model 1) with Virtua Racing (1992) and its technological advances such as on-the-fly view change and resistance feeling in the steering wheel. In 1993, he produces Virtua Fighter that will serve as the basis for all 3D fighting games. Follow Virtua Fighter 2 in 1995 (Model 2) adding textures mapping to polygons and Virtua Fighter 3 (Model 3) in 1996 with its detailed graphics and onduling stages. Ferrari lover, he comes back in 1999 with F355 Challenge, an authentic simulation where action unfolds on three screens which requires the usage of 4 Naomi. He then switch to console games with the ambitious Dreamcast adventure game Shenmue (1999) which development cost $47,000,000. Shenmue II on Dreamcast and Virtua Fighter 4 in arcades (Naomi 2) are released in 2001. Then come Chihiro games Virtua Cop 3 and OutRun 2 in 2003. The following years are a dark period for Yu Suzuki: in 2006, his touchscreen arcade fighting game Psy-Phi (Lindbergh) is cancelled then in 2008, he releases the not so good Sega Race TV. Pioneer in many domains, Yu Suzuki really deserves this award. Current video games would surely be different without his works.
Konami abandons musical games to release today Love Plus Arcade: Colorful Clip. This "love simulation" game offers to the player in search of love the possibility to try to steal the heart of a young lady. The action takes place in a high school and three potential girls (Manaka Takane, Rinko Kobayakawa et Nene Anegasaki) could become the player's virtual girlfriend. The goal is to get the girl doing cute things and then take pictures of her. The lucky boyfriend receive printed photos of his darling at the end of the date. A medal version of Love Plus is also released today: Love Plus - Happy Daily Life. This version is more focused on mini-games and is compatible with the DS version released in 2009. Thus, the player can import his girlfriend from the DS and play with her... It seems many Konami male employees have become addicted to Love Plus! Many products are already available (figurines, key chains, CDs, pillows, ...).
Arcade version of Last Hope - Pink Bullets (by German developer NG:DEV.TEAM) is released today (pre-ordered cartridges were sent on Wednesday). Already out on Dreamcast in September 2009, this horizontal shoot'em up will offer a nice challenge to shooting fans. A video of the game is on YouTube. Pink Bullets brings many improvements to the original version of Last Hope (released on Neo-Geo in 2006, then on Dreamcast and Neo-Geo CD in 2007): player's weapon is more powerful, bullets are more visible thanks to their pink colour, difficulty is lowered a bit, scoring system is more elaborated (point multipliers for chains and when absorbing bullets with the pod), there are new graphical effects for explosions, new enemies and new vocal effects. And last but not least, the soundtrack is remixed. Last Hope - Pink Bullets is available now in MVS cartridge format (main board needed). You can purchase it at NG:DEV.DIRECT (only 25 copies available) at the price of €399 (all tax included). The package includes the original sountrack CD and a poster. Last Hope - Pink Bullets is a good shoot'em up in the tradition of R-Type and Last Resort, 2D graphics are very nice, the music is superb and the difficulty is steep. The only criticism one can make is the lack of multi-player. Please note that NG:DEV.DIRECT sells new cartridges of Fast Striker 1.5, NG:DEV.TEAM's other shjoot'em up. It is the commercial version which accepts credits. New price is €399 (was €599).
Tenkaichi Shogikai 2 is released today in Japan. This is a competitive online shogi game authorized by the Japan Shogi Association. Shogi (literally "generals chess") is a traditional Japanese board game, approaching the Western chess, pitting two players whose aim is to take the opponent's king. Konami has worked with the Japan Shogi Association to initiate a large public to shogi and contribute to its promotion. Tenkaichi Shogikai 2 will feature many Japanese champions such as Akira Watanabe and Yoshiharu Habu on the men's side and Kana Satomi and Ichiyo Shimizu on women's side. During online matches between two players, professional players "sit" as observers and provide comments. During solo game, professionnal players will appear to support player. "National ranking battle" mode allows players to compete across the country to get into the national ranking and "CPU Battle" mode will allow them to test their skills in choosing computer's playing level. During the game, music and background images change depending on the player's strategy to strengthen the atmosphere of the battle.
Yoshinori Ono, producer of Street Fighter IV and Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition (but also Street Fighter III 3rd Strike, Marvel vs. Capcom and Capcom Fighting Jam), will answer all of your questions about the Street Fighter saga. The appointment is set for Friday, February 4 at 18:00 (CET) on Unity Events USTREAM channel. You can already post your questions on Snow Infernus's blog at Capcom Unity. Hopefully Mr. Ono will be able to answer to everybody because at the time of writing, there are already 68 comments.
World Game Cup 2011 will take place at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes (France) on February 25, 26 and 27. Many arcade and console fighting game competitions will be held there. The main event will undoubtedly be the Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition (3vs3) tournament on Saturday (which is organized by Versus Dojo). Indeed, the winning team will win round-trip tickets to Japan where it will represent Europe at Tougeki Super Battle Opera 2011. Because of this, only European players can take part to this tournament. Other arcade tourneys will be: The King of Fighters XIII (2vs2), The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match, Street Fighter III 3rd Strike (single and 2vs2), Super Street Fighter II X (2vs2) and Guilty Gear XX Accent Core (2vs2). Finals will be broadcast live on Gameblog.fr website. Visitors will have free play access to arcade cabinets outside competitions. BlazBlue Continuum Shift game producer, Toshimichi Mori from Arc System Works, will be here to answer questions and sign autographs. Please find tournament schedule on our forums.
Fighting game fans will meet in Liège this Sunday. Indeed, the Player arcade and video game shop is organizing a "fighting session" from 2pm to midnight. Entry is free for fighters. Arcade games setup will consist of Capcom vs. SNK 2, The King of Fighters XI, Real Bout Fatal Fury Special and Street Fighter III 3rd Strike. There will also be sessions on the console versions of BlazBlue Continuum Shift, Super Street Fighter IV, Tekken 6 and Soul Calibur IV. Player shop is located at number 40 on Rue de Herve in Liège. To get there by public transport, take the train to Bressoux station. Then board bus 38B (direction: Verviers) and get off at "Robermont Cemetery" bus stop. Player is only 100m away.
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