Last year, several exhibitors complained about the high price of stand space and visitors' lack of interest towards their products. Therefore they announced that they would not exhibit again at ATEI. This lead to the creation of a smaller alternative show: Intergame Expo. ATEI organizer Clarion Gaming had to react and it was done this year with a space reorganization and a complete split of the amusement and gaming shows. So it's under a climate of uncertainty that the 2009 edition opens its doors...
English distributor Crown Direct's big booth is facing the entrance.
A wide range of machines is featured including latest Elaut cranes, pushers, ...
As usual, JNC Sales Export showcases many used games.
Like this Pump It Up NX2 dance machine released last year. While series' latest Pump It Up NX Absolute appears on UDC booth.
Opposite is RLMS Sales which distributes most well-known gaming brands but also pushers, vending machines and other jukeboxes.
As usual Photo-Me showcases its latest photobooths.
Wholesaler Huggables offers numerous traditional soft toys among which a real life looking Border Collie.
Unlike Genna Group's system, Quasimoto's Game Gate VU is licensed for commercial public use. Players pay on playtime basis. Game Gate VU is available in Europe through Sega Amusements. On their stand, you can try out Halo 3 running on Xbox 360.
Sega hosts its own bar where you can discuss new games, make good deals or simply relax a bit.
Let's start with Rambo, the latest shooting game by Sega. Unlike Japanese version that uses UZIs from The House of the Dead 4, the European cabinet keeps the assault guns which made Ghost Squad popular.
No surprise, players fire at will under Colonel Trautman's command! Action scenes are punctuated by clips from the first three movies. A "rage" gauge makes the player invincible and overpowered for a short period. A good old shooter unfortunately suffering of sub-par graphics.
This one needs no introduction, Sega Rally 3 is available in deluxe and twin formats. Driver's seat of the deluxe version follows the car's movements.
This is the most beautiful racer on the market today. Exotic scenery differs from the usual urban night theme of most drivers nowadays.
Hummer, Sega's new attraction retakes the dual driver system from OutRun2 SP SDX but looks more convincing this time. On Game Over, the duo's teamwork level is evaluated.
This is a motion cabinet and the bumpy tracks make players restless. Drivers are able to adjust the vehicle tilt during jumps using the accelerator pedal. Landing on all four wheels speeds you up. Up to four Hummers can be linked-up.
One more street racer with a neat realization: 24 cars (Mustang GT, Pontiac GTO, Subaru Impreza, Honda NSX, ...) and 16 courses through cities of New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo (Shinjuku and Shibuya). Players can of course customize their car and all races occur at night which is not surprising either. More original: the boost function is unlimited!
This game's particularity comes from the fact that the bike inclines automatically while you turn the handle bar. Up to four machines can be linked-up for a good laugh between friends! We remember the lack of interest of L.A Riders's standard version because of the unmoving bike. That's why only the deluxe version of King of the Road is distributed in Europe. Wise decision!
Here comes the show's most original video game: Brick People! You have to build up blocks against the screen to allow little characters to catch food. This game is marvellous! Unfortunately, due to the lack of respect some European players show, Brick People doesn't fit all locations unless you want to find yourself with an empty block box quite quickly.
In the budget range, Sega Clay Challenge exists as a universal conversion kit for all Jamma cabinets or as an upgrade kit for Atomiswave games like Extreme Hunting, Ranger Mission, Sport Shooting USA, ...
Another Atomiswave title: Sega Bass Fishing Challenge. The famous fishing game exchanges the rod to a trackball. This game is designed to replace Golden Tee Golf and Silver Strike Bownling but also exists as a universal conversion kit and as a dedicated cabinet.
Three main Sega Prize Europe licenses: Sonic X, Hello Kitty and Paddington Bear.
Complete range of Hello Kitty official soft toys is showcased, many more models will be available in the forthcoming months.
MP4 players are still very popular and Sega also has its own model named the ''Sega Vision''. Besides playing video and MP3, Sega Vision is also a portable television, a voice recorder, a camera and a video recorder.
There's a queue to experience the 4D XD Theater from Triotech.
Disney licensed kiddie rides are still so popular!
Well known in Belgium, Caroline Verheyden manufactures your personalized posters and plastic tokens but also plastic pipes for shooting. She hits the mark for her first time at ATEI with the only music featured booth (which was predictable)!
Pusher development specialist, Belgian company Van de Wege began to create redemption machines during couple last years. Its latest creation: the Big 7!
Bowling specialist Qubica diversifies with Skiller, a target shooting stand where realistic electrical weapons fire small plastic balls at captors.
Qubica distributes the Belgian Goolfy blacklight mini-golf. The concept is born in Canada in 2003 as ''Shankz''. It was imported in Europe by Goolfy three years later. People play in the dark with blacklights as only light source which highlight the scenery's fluorescent colours. Each course has its theme: jungle, pirates, Space, ...
Occupying less than 4 sqm, its size and ease of use are the strong points of this excavator simulator for kids made by Ritter.
Spanish company Giocos has been manufacturing all kinds of vending machines for more than 20 years like these pinball-like bouncing balls vending machines.
Effeci's remotely controlled lighting palm trees are ideal to catch attention.
On Cosmic Video Amusements booth, Global VR is one more time the main attraction with an update to NASCAR Racing adding two new tracks (Atlanta Motor Speedway and Watkins Glen International) and many new drivers and cars. Dogfight simulation Blazing Angels can also be seen.
On year after Asian Dynamite, beat'em all are back with Justice League - Heroes United.
Choose your favourite super hero among Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl & Green Lantern and fight your worst villains in this cell-shading beat'em all with confusing gameplay.
Eight tracks and more than fifty cars (Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Porsche, ...) are included in this driving game. Players can of course customize their car and save their progress. Need For Speed Carbon is available as standard and deluxe cabinets as well as an upgrade kit for NFS, NFS GT and NFS Underground. Four machines can be linked-up for mutliplayer.
NanoTech Entertainment, another American company distributed in Europe by CVA presents a prototype of its first racer: Xtreme Rally Racing. Players can challenge opponents worldwide and the game is updated over the internet.
To all SMS fanatics (and God knows they are many), LAI Games (from Singapore) offers Textminator! A game where you have to type words then sentences as fast as possible using a keypad! You can even compete with a friend!
Sea Wolf - The Next Mission (here in upright version) is the follow up to the successful redemption game by Coastal Amusements where you must sink ships to win tickets.
Other strength testing machines on the booth of Polish manufacturer Kalkomat.
Small and soft toys wholesaler FraVend from Ranst. "Low pricing and great customer care" is his motto!
Namco presents Razing Storm, the new shooter made by the development team behind Time Crisis series.
A nervous and varied gameplay coupled with a proven pedal system and awesome graphics make it the best shooter of the show! Originality: everything on the screen can be destroyed and enemies have an artificial intelligence making them unpredictable. A future hit!
Nirin, the latest motorbike racer from Namco powered by System ES1.
Nirin introduces bikes into the urban street racing by night. "Turbo" gauge charges up in every turn. Fast and fun, this game features five tracks ranging from the snow-peaked Higashiyama resort to the heart of Metropolitan City and five tuned bikes (from the manoeuvrable Cruiser to the imposing Super Motaro). The machine is fitted with a high resolution 42" screen and four units can be linked-up.
This worthy successor to Hydro Thunder has beautiful graphics and renders the sensation of riding on water quite well. Powerups and jumps are numerous in this very fun game. Highly recommended!
Complete Big Buck range of hunting games including the brand new super deluxe version of Big Buck Safari featuring a projector and a giant screen.
Konami is in shape this year with no less than five new titles! Let's start with GTI Club Supermini Festa!
With GTI Club, no more big cars, here comes the compact models like Mini, Peugeot 308 and VW Polo! Small but nervous, ideal to quickly climb up and down steep hills of Italian, French, English and American streets. Fun is the word here with the series classic ''Bomb Tag'' mode where players keep exchanging a bomb, the car which owns the bomb when timer reaches ''0'' explodes and his driver loses the round. For football fans, ''Car-Football'' mode is also featured. Less serious than other driving games, this third episode of GTI Club is a breath of fresh air! The game is still being developed and unfortunately, we'll have to wait for a September release.
When saying Konami, famous Dance Dance Revolution dance machine automatically comes to mind. To celebrate the series tenth anniversary, the cabinet receives a face lift and ditches its ''Dancing Stage'' European name to return to its original title: Dance Dance Revolution X. This anniversary edition includes many new features and a huge song collection comprising many classics from the previous games as well as lots of brand new tracks. Out in May.
Let's continue our tour of music games with the latest sensation from Japan: jubeat (renamed UBeat in Europe). Very well done, this compact cabinet received the Arcadia Award of Best Design. Concept is very simple, the player chooses a popular song and must touch the little screens in rhythm while following the sequence. It's harder than what it seems! Up to four machines can be linked-up.
We're now in front of an interesting case: Guitar Hero was the home adaptation of Konami's GuitarFreaks arcade concept. Due to its popularity, Guitar Hero now appears in an arcade format by Raw Thrills under the name: ''Guitar Hero Arcade''. It's justice. As most Raw Thrills titles, this cabinet hosts a Dell PC and features more than 400 pulsating LEDs which won't fail to attract players. The two included Enduro-ax guitars are stronger than their home counterparts.
The game includes more than forty fierce rock titles that players play through one of the eleven rock-stars on one of the nine different stages.
Combining video game and redemption is not easy but Byon Byon successfully passes the test! Players win tickets through nine mini games with various objectives like breaking bottles, find the object that doesn't belong/the intruder or select the good ingredients to make a cocktail. Commands are original since you have to squeeze both handles to shoot (imagine holding a bellow). Coloured and funny characters, a high amount of humour and simultaneous two players play will attract a wider audience than usual redemption machines. We love it!
''Superb!'' is the word that comes to mind when we think about this arcade iteration of Castlevania! Two players can enter this black box reminding Silent Hill. There they find two whip handles featuring two buttons: the first to select secondary weapons and the second acting as a trigger. Secondary weapons can be holy water vials or throw knives, the handle's top switching colors according to the selected weapon. And you'll need them when facing enemies like Dracula and The Death!
Moving the handle in the air results in whip blows on screen. It becomes quite quickly exhausting for your arm but the overall quality of the production (magnificent graphics and atmospheric setting) makes you wanting to continue your adventure. On the sound side, series fanatics will be in heaven with a good 5.1 sound system serving many great remixes of well known themes. An awesome and original game sporting a production quality level rarely seen in arcade games these days. Testing still has to be done to estimate if European players are liable enough to enjoy this machine without damaging it... Hopefully it will be OK!
Also on this stand: Blazblue - Calamity Trigger, the new fighting game from Arc System Works (Guilty Gear).
Coupling 2D characters with 3D backgrounds on a hi-res 16/9 screen, this beautiful game features an interesting storyline set in a graphically detailed universe. Although complex, gameplay basis stay approachable to beginners. Being the only fighter officially released in Europe this year doesn't make it less valuable since it's one of the best title in this genre.
This year editions of popular Incredible Technologies trackball games series: golf simulation Golden Tee Live 2009 and Silver Strike Bowling Supreme.
Street Fighter IV and Tekken 6 games are featured on the booth of Australian distributor Highway Group.
Two games that are very popular among players despite not being officially distributed in Europe (pictures by KWP).
Distributor UDC sells products refurbished in its workshop to professionals and consumers.
Panzer Elite Action is back in a new cabinet simulating tank's movements and brings you back to World War II. Two machines can be linked-up for head-to-head warfare.
IGS' Battle Stations puts you in command of a submarine armed with missiles and torpedoes. Your goal is obviously to annihilate entire fleets.
Help Snork to lighten his ship load by sucking up the prizes and then blowing them out of the ship in order to let it take off. A funny and original concept by Family Fun Co.!
And more surprising licenses such as this jackpot themed after Sega video games (Virtua Fighter 4, The Key of Avalon, Quest of D and Altered Beast).
F2 System from Korea presents its number 1 gambling title: Royal Grand Prix Derby (On Air)
Polish company Gamesystem knows how to showcase its products. These are Laxus machines loaded with MaxCASH 2 software which includes twelve different games.
Sega hostesses wardrobe haven't changed much since last year...
This edition was a good surprise with better products line-up than 2008 resulting in more sales for exhibitors. This is also a consequence of current pound sterling low exchange rate. Regarding video games, best racers of the show were H2Overdrive (out in April), GTI Club - Supermini Festa! (planned for September), Sega Rally 3 Deluxe, Harley-Davidson Deluxe and Hummer. On shooting games side, our favourites are Castlevania - The Arcade (undetermined release date) and Razing Storm (available in March). Meanwhile, Rambo and Ghost Squad Evolution are still good purchases. For music heads, eagerly awaited DanceDanceRevolution X will attract lots of dance fans upon its release in May. Guitar Hero Arcade and DJ Max Technika are also good choices. BlazBlue, the only fighting game officially presented is also a good bet. Brick People is a very original game but unfortunately reserved to monitored locations... This year, redemption games have been improved in many ways with varied concepts. Among these, Konami's ByonByon will certainly become popular while Deal or no Deal released last year is still a good investment.
Reorganization consequences are that many "small" exhibitors disappeared in favor of major companies which have bigger stands as well as a clearer sectors separation with gaming on ground level and amusement on first floor. Positive rating for ATEI 2009 which manages to erase shortcomings of the previous edition with a smaller but more efficient trade show. Next edition will take place from 26th to 28th of January 2010.
Text / pictures: Sophie & Nomax.
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