Tekken 5 is ready and will start shipping this month. After a disappointing fourth episode, the latest one in the famous Namco's 3D fighting games series gathers the best features of the previous games; the gameplay and combo system from Tekken Tag Tournament mixed with the characters from Tekken 4 plus 3 new fighters for a total of 20 competitors available right from the start and you have to add to that amount several time-triggered hidden characters. All of this updated to current graphics standards with the ability to interact with the scenery. But the greatest new feature is the IC cards support. Explanation: the player buys a magnetic card (at the price chosen by the operator) on which he can register his name along with his favourite character. He then earns points with each fight he wins or looses. Thanks to these points, the player can customize his fighter with various accessories he buys (hat, glasses, jacket, alternate haircut). The card remains valid for 500 games after which he has to buy another one and transfer his character. All of this is automatically handled by the machine. Another new feature is that the player can fight against the ghost of another person who played on the same cabinet because the machine has learned his way to fight! Thanks to his card, the player gains experience levels and can become 3rd dan at Tekken! But to achieve this he'll have to defeat several humans whom skills are equals or better than his. Fights will be exciting for sure! From a technical point-of-view, the game runs on Namco's brand-new "System 256" which is still based on Sony materials but includes a main processor overclocked by 33% and more RAM than the previous "System 246" (Tekken 4, Soul Calibur II, Time Crisis 3). Graphics are really great despite the aliasing effect inherent to the "Graphics Synthesizer". The game is available as a kit (PCB, IC reader and wiring) or as a full cabinet with a 28", 33" or 50" (deluxe) sized screen. Undoubtedly a massive hit! More info on the official website.
June 2001: After having closed down its sister company Atari Games, Midway definitely leaves the arcade industry. For many people, Midway calls to mind absolute fun and numerous hits. Is this the end of good american games? It's not considering Eugene Jarvis! Soon after, the creator of Defender, Robotron and the Cruis'n series starts up Raw Thrills and recruits some of the old Midway developers. In june 2004, their first game is out! Target: Terror, a lightgun shooter reminding Area 51 and Maximum Force all about terrorists extermination on a large scale thanks to uzis, shotguns, flamethrowers, ... Note that the goal of the last level of the game is to prevent a plane from crashing on the white house by killing the hostages holder! The game is gore and damn fun. The latest game out of the studio is The Fast and the Furious, a racing game "inspired" from the movie of the same name. It has the same gameplay than Cruis'n USA but allows you to race by night in the streets of various american cities. Like in San Francisco Rush 2049, the player can register, save and resume his game on the machine thanks to a little keypad. Better, the player's name is written on his license plate and if he's the fastest (achieving a time record), he wins a free game! Up to 4 cabinets can be linked up for reckless races. To sum up, this new studio makes a jumpstart! Raw Thrills games are distributed by Namco in Europe.
German arcade wholesaler ArcadeRick Amusement Co. (in Holzkirchen) is currently offering the latest Neo-Geo MVS titles at very low prices, see for yourself; Brand-new full MVS kits (cartridge) for 99 € each: The King of Fighters 2003, Metal Slug 5, Samurai Shodown V and Jockey Grandprix. SNK Vs. Capcom Chaos: 119 €, Pochi & Nyaa: 149 €. PCB versions of KOF2003, MS5 and SVC Chaos are also available for a slightly higher price. Attention, MVS cartridges need a Neo-Geo MVS mainboard to run (1-slot version are available there for 179 €) and a cabinet featuring 4 buttons per player. You can also purchase a (used) 4-slot MVS mainboard for 189 €, imagine a cabinet hosting this mainboard with 4 games amongst the aforementioned titles inserted and you can be sure to create some tiny event at your location! ArcadeRick also has offers running on some Naomi 1/2 bundles (including a mainboard, a GD-ROM drive and a game) at very attractive prices. Don't hesitate to dig their pricelist on their website, there're some bargain to make! Note they only do mail order selling.
Let's get back to a game that was released this summer in Europe; Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune. This is the latest racing game from Namco taking place in the universe of the "Wangan Midnight" manga. Aside "Time Attack" and "Intruder Competition" (2 players) modes, this game features the "Street mode" (aka "story mode") where you're driving on the Tokyo Express Highway being constantly challenged by other drivers so the races are following one after the other. The ultimate goal of the game is to defeat the famous Devil Z (after 3 rounds of 20 races each, for a total of 60 races). To succeed, you'll have to "tune" your car to the max. In order to do this, the player wins "tuning points" for each challenge won. These points will allow him to boost his car. It's possible to buy a magnetic card (dispensed by the machine) to be able to later resume the game where he left. The game has really good looking graphics since it runs on Chihiro GD-ROM (same hardware as OutRun 2) and the card system as well as the internet world ranking cause players to come back regularly. More info on the game's official website. Click here to see the cabinet and some cards.
Manufacturer: Namco. Size (twin): 176(w)x175(d)x208(h). Weight: 165Kg.
To be released in november in Japan so surely for beginning 2005 in Europe, here's the first upgrade for OutRun2 called OutRun2 SP standing for OutRun2 Special Tours. What's new: 5 new tours each divided in 16 scenes, remakes of 4 OutRun races and 3 Turbo OutRun races and remixes of the original music themes. You'll also be able to drive new cars like the Ferrari 512 BB and the 250 GTO. The first beta-test already took place 3 weeks ago this means the developpement is running well and we can expect many new stuff to be added by the end of the year. OutRun2 SP will be available both as an upgrade kit for OutRun2 and as complete cabinet version.
After "Daytona USA Turbo" and "To the Maxx 2001", there's a new unofficial upgrade kit available for Daytona USA: Daytona GTX "2004 edition". The innovation is that after each race, the player earns points he can use to upgrade his car (motor, armor, tyres and turbo). By using a PIN code given at the Game Over screen, the player can restart with the number of points he got. This kit includes 2 EPROMs, a small IC featuring 2 other EPROMs and dipswitches as well as 2 stickers. Even if the kit can be purchased for a price ranging from 350 to 400 €, it seems that Highway sells it for 170 €! Pay attention if you have twins because you'll need one kit per seat. Click here to see a picture of the kit and some screenshots.
After the departure of Dave Barron, previous sales director Paul Williams has been promoted to become the new CEO at Sega Amusements Europe. We wish him a lot of success with his new function!
Still Sega. Six months after its (japanese) arcade release, the home version of OutRun 2 is announced on X-box system even though Yu Suzuki declared that this game wouldn't see a home release because arcade sensations can't be recreated on home systems. Microsoft surely offered lots of dollars to convince him. However, it's an english studio external to Sega called Sumo Digital Ltd who's in charge of the conversion. we might think it's a suicidal move by Sega but it's clear that playing this game at the arcade has nothing common with the sitting-room TV! It's also obvious that the operators who invested in this jewel won't regret it, because if we trust what we heard so far, it's really the new Daytona USA and if there's only one driving game to have at one's location, it's absolutely this one! Arngrim reviewed this game for Neo-Arcadia, you can read it (it's in french) at www.neo-arcadia.com. One of the special features of OutRun 2 is to have an on-line world-wide ranking, you can check it at the official website of the game. You'll notice that world's best drivers are all japanese players, well, Paul Williams noticed it too so he calls all european players to show themselves and reminds you not to forget to enter your best times on the internet. If you want to try to beat the world-record or simply want to try the game out, you can play it at The Golden Gate which's these days in Genk. There, you'll be also able to play Virtua Cop 3, the third installment in this successful shooter series. The originality this time is that you have a pedal that activates bullet-time (slow-motion seen in Matrix), note you may come across some Shenmue characters in this game!
If you have these games (or others) at your location, thanks to notice us about it so we can keep this website up-to-date. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The fifth eurotechno coin-op industry conference will take place on Thursday may 6th at Le Meridien hotel in Brussels (facing the Central station). Among the topics discussed, let's note an in-depth vision of the future in technology and entertainment, the European legislation and taxation, the reprocessing of electronic components and the social responsability of the gaming industry.
Announced speakers are Oscar Nieboer, managing director of Virgin Games, Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and CEO of Uwink, Bob Cooney, vice-president of marketing at Ecast Inc, Luke Alvarez, CEO of Inspired Broadcast Networks, Peter Hannibal, electronic gaming director with Gala Group, Harmen Brenninkmeijer, CEO of Octavian International, Dominique Bé, deputy head of the European Commission's Employment and Social Affairs, Philippe Vlaemminck, senior lawyer and head of office at Vlaemminck & Partners, Adam Craig, international tax director with Deloitte & Touche and Jean Bergevin, head of the European Commission's Internal Market unit.
This year's event coincides with Euromat's 25th anniversary that will be celebrated at this occasion. Full delegation (2 people) registration fee is fixed to 550 € (excl. tax). For more info like the programme of the day, a full speakers list and registration, check the official webpage.
Little report of the ATEI that took place like each year towards the end of january (27-29) at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London. This edition was a real success with 294 exhibitors and 13 040 visitors (5,6% more than in 2003) representing a grand total of 119 different countries, 2004 is a record year in the history of this exhibition. That was for the statistics but that's the presented products that interest us, and on that side either we weren't disapointed! The different manufacturers are following the trend observed the last years; give the players the opportunity to play games they can't enjoy home in the same conditions, this means racing simulators and shooters principally... Read full article...
Amusement Journal recently published the ranking of arcade games that provided the best income in year 2003 in Japan. Here it is:
Best Income Award 2003
1 Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution (Sega/AM2)
2 The King of Fighters 2002 (SNK Playmore)
3 Virtua Striker 2002 (Sega/AV)
4 Mobile Suit Gundam - Federation VS. Zeon DX (Capcom/Banpresto)
5 Virtua Tennis 2 (Sega/Hitmaker)
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