Arcade Belgium
Namusco open days 2005
Namusco 2005

A small part of the buffetThese 15th and 16th of february, Namusco put on a great spread to organize their open days. At this juncture, the latest products from the leading manufacturers were showcased from video games to pinballs and photo-play. We were welcomed in a warm atmosphere, a breakfast buffet had been prepared and enthusiastic talks were pleasently taking place around a glas of wine or a cup of coffee. A lot of operators came to get informed and to test the new machines. Here's a small review of the showcased games:

* OutRun2 Special Tours
OutRun2SP deluxeWithout any doubt, the star of the day was the special edition of OutRun 2. Two "deluxe" cabinets modeled after a Ferrari 360 were standing in the center of the showroom. Several new features appear in this version, first, courses are totally differents, here we enjoyed a journey across the most beautiful sites of the USA. Original OutRun themes are back for our ears' pleasure and that's when you realize the quality of the sound system! The seat vibrates thanks to the sound! Unlike the twin cabinet, you shift gears on the steering wheel, it's an extra comfort.OutRun2SP twin Back to these two monsters were standing 2 linked up twins where four pilots could take part to a wild race. Cabinets are dressed up in yellow in place of the original version's red. The other new features are the "slipstream" (the aspiration effect when you follow another vehicle) and the appearance of a virtual "rival" when you play alone. The sceneries are gorgeous and the cars are very well modelized. So, everybody seems impressed. It has to be said that it's surely the most beautiful racer ever made...

* Ghost Squad
Ghost Squad deluxeThe other celebrity of the day, a shooter this time. Two deluxes and two uprights were shown. Useless to say the game is improved a lot when played on the big screen, especially in two players mode. There's no need to talk about it because we reviewed it two months ago. This said, I would like to specify that the more your play, the more you want it. The fact that you can rank up thanks to an IC card and that you can register your name to the world wide ranking increase this craze. No doubt, it's indeed the "Rolls" of shooting games.

* Tuning Race
Tuning Race deluxeHere's a prototype from Gaelco. It's a standard racing game at first sight but the big red button named "Stop" on the left side of the machine should arouses your suspicions... Yes, the cabinet starts moving as soon as you press "Start". The graphics are really nice and sensations are great since the car really tilts as you're taking curves in the game! You drive sport cars prototypes in and around Las Vegas. According to your driving skills, you gain points while racing that will allow you to purchase various accessories for your car, but only if you finished at least at third place. The weather is changing and really affects your driving experience. We're impatiently looking forward to the final version!

* Ring Riders
Ring RidersWhile we're at Gaelco, let's talk about this motorcycle racing game released last year that also uses a moving cabinet. Even if the concept of having to pass trough luminous rings is original, it's surely not the best game of its category. Indeed, this title's high difficulty level reserves it to a certain range of players. This said, sensations are rather amusing. Note that the weather can change during the race and that the cabinet allows up to two persons to take place on the seat. A cheap way to take your girlfiend on a ride!

* But there's more
Virtua Striker 4 Many other novelties were showcased; Virtua Striker 4, Tekken 5, The Fast and the Furious, as well as the latest Atomiswave games; Ranger Mission, Dolphin Blue and Demolish Fist. We only quote them here since we'll publish complete reviews of these games very soon. Several older titles were also there like Frenzy Express (an original scooter simulator by the korean company Uniana), Space Invaders Silver Anniversary Edition, Silent Scope 2 and Kart Duel. Aside the latest Web Sectors, there was also a Crystal system offering you the opportunity to play many emulated old arcade games but personally we think that this concept is morally displaced and without any big interest.

These open days were the opportunity for the numerous visitors to learn about the new products available on the market, to realize that the different manufacturers still manage to surprise and that the sector tends to be renewed.

Text: Sophie & Nomax. / Pictures: Nomax.
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